Kalakaari Haath.Inc and Avid Learning present the fourth episode of Art Redefined Today (A. R. T.) 2020 as a part of a specially curated virtual week – A. R. T. 2020: Tradition Meets Arts and Crafts Today. This thematic week – celebrating India’s rich art and craft traditions – will take a closer look at the myriad of artistic styles, aesthetics and artisanal skills that dot the country’s diverse cultural landscape and how they are being updated, contextualized and redefined for contemporary times. This panel discussion on the redefining of the canon and what is included in its purview as skilled creative output worthy of inclusion will feature Curator and Writer Mayank Mansingh Kaul, Director, Ojas Art Anubhav Nath and Chief Mithaiwala, Bombay Sweet Shop Girish Nayak who will be in conversation with Cultural Entrepreneur Sangita Kathiwada. Join us to learn about innovations in tradition and revisit what the vast canon of traditional art will look like in the coming age.
Mayank Mansingh Kaul is a New Delhi-based curator and writer with an interest in post-independence histories of textiles, design and fashion in India. A graduate in textile design from the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, Kaul has been involved in the past in areas of cultural and creative industries’ policy. Exhibitions that he has curated include The Idea of Fashion (Khoj International Artists’ Residency, New Delhi, 2011), Fracture: Indian Textiles, New Conversations (Devi Art Foundation, Gurgaon, 2015), Gold: The Art of Zari (Bikaner House, New Delhi, 2017), 25 Years of Abraham & Thakore (New Delhi, 2017), Crossroads: Textile Journeys with Ritu Kumar (India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, 2018), New Traditions: Influences & Inspirations in Indian Textiles (Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur, 2018) and Meanings, Metaphor - Handspun and Handwoven in the 21st Century (Chirala, Coimbatore, Bangalore, 2018-19). He is the editor of Take on Art Design (2012), Cloth and India: Towards Recent Histories, 1947-2015 (Marg, 2016), Baluchari: Tradition and Beyond (2016) and Take on Art Fashion, which looks at a century of Indian fashion (2019). Kaul has represented the field of Indian design and textiles in prestigious forums in India and internationally.Read more
Anubhav R Nath director of Ojas Art and co-founder of the Ramchander Nath Foundation; graduated from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, after which he did a course in Marketing of the Visual Arts at the Sotheby’s Institute of Art, London. The foundation is dedicated to restoring and promoting the arts and providing unique platforms to artists. An active observer, he covers contemporary Indian art for various Indian and international publications. Currently, he is curating Ojas Art’s Expressions of Tihar, a first-of-its-kind show based on experiential curation. Artists visit Tihar Jail, one of the largest prison systems in south Asia and will create artworks based on this unique experience. Previously, he curated Choas in Order a joint show between the Governments of India and Vietnam held in Hanoi (2008) and Maybach: Celebrating a Legend in conjunction with the US and Germany based Maybach Foundation (2006). Besides art, he has a keen interest in vintage automobiles and enjoys researching on their histories. He also volunteers for various non-government organizations and tries to help in the alleviation of disadvantaged children, both in the rural and urban setting.Read more
Chef Girish Nayak’s interest in cooking began at the age of 17 when he went for an internship at ITC Grand Maratha Sheraton in Mumbai. Even though he started work in the Garde-Manger section, his periodic visits to the bakery section to collect breads piqued his interest. Post the completion of his course at the Welcomgroup Graduate School Of Hotel Administration, he took a keen interest in baking breads. He even worked at local bakeries in his spare time – his first job was at a sweet shop in Udupi, near Mangalore in Karnataka. Girish then enrolled at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), Hyde Park, New York, where he developed a strong basic foundation in the art of Baking and Pastry-making. During his time at the CIA, he worked part time as a Teacher’s Assistant as well as a dishwasher. He had the opportunity to work for the famed Chef Johnny Iuzzini, the legendary Pastry Chef at Restaurant Jean George, where he learnt the art of classic French desserts with a playful modern American touch. Keen to enhance his knowledge, Girish was a stagier at some of New York’s finest pastry kitchens and bakeries, including Daniel, Bouchon Bakery, Bouley Bakery and Le Bernardin. Girish subsequently became part of the team at Gotham Bar and Grill under Chef Deborah Racicot, where he mastered the running of pastry and bread stations, and went on to work as a bread baker at Amy Bread Bakery in Chelsea Market. Girish returned to India in the latter part of 2010 and joined the Olive Beach, Bengaluru. At Olive Beach, he spent time fine-tuning his pastry skills for the Indian market, under the guidance of Chef Manu Chandra. He moved to Mumbai to help Chef Manu create a new dessert menu at Olive Bar and Kitchen in Bandra and Mahalaxmi. In May 2012, he moved back to Bangalore to help set up the Baking and Pastry unit at Monkey Bar. Thereafter, he set up the Bakery at Toast & Tonic, while simultaneously providing inputs to other restaurants within the company. With a keen interest in what India has to offer in the confectionary space, Girish decided to take a break and travel within India, to learn more about the techniques and history of sweet making. Post this culinary journey, he joined the Hunger Inc. team to explore working with traditional Indian sweets and mithai in a reimagined, contemporary style with their newest offering, Bombay Sweet Shop. Girish joined the team in 2018, to bring familiar flavours from around the country, using a mix of traditional and modern techniques to create an offering that is fun, seasonal and created to rekindle the love of Indian sweets.Read more
Sangita Sinh Kathiwada has recently been termed as a "serial culture and design enterpreneur" having qualified as a graphic designer and further studied jewellery designing, interior decoration, photography, and silkscreen printing. Mélange opened its door to Mumbai city 27 years ago in a 100-year old wine cellar, enjoying instant success owing to a first of its kind unique approach at a time when sustainability was not a word on anyone's mind. Sangita Kathiwada captured the attention of textile and fashion lovers for having spotted talent making her a mentor to now- famous several designers. Mélange reflects Sangita’s impeccable sense of style and aesthetic. With a commitment to supporting the weavers and artisans, incorporating the latest design with ancient Indian handicrafts, she went on to establish The Morarka Cultural Centre at the prestigious National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA). Sangita Sinh Kathiwada drew the attention of the city to its magnificent heritage architecture by painstakingly arranging path breaking Fashion presentations at the Royal Opera House, Faramji Kavasji Hall and the Mumbai University Convocation Hall. Sangita set up “window” a unique non-commercial Gallery along with Neville Tuli. She served on the board of Osians and committed her time for education and awareness for the Contemporary arts and crafts of our country. The force behind Mélange also committed herself to the cause of redefining the role and reach of our national fabric Khadi and other Indian textiles. Sangita served on Lakme Fashion Week board for 11yrs and made a significant contribution by yet again supporting new talent. She also played the role of external faculty for a short duration at NIFT and SNDT design institutions. Sangita has been invited on several national and international platforms as a speaker. Sangita played a key role in designing the film Rang Rasiya.Sangita is credited for renovating, redesigning and repurposing more than a dozen heritage properties giving them a new meaning relevant to contemporary use. She is presently working on launching a wellbeing product in November 2020.Read more