Curated by Rashmi Varma & Swapnaa Tamhane
Photography by Prarthna Singh
Phaidon Press 2016
An exploration of the timeless beauty of Indian design through 200 classic objects.
The Indian subcontinent is an amalgamation of peoples, cultures, languages and philosophies. Throughout history Indian culture has been subject to myriad different influences, from the Mughal empire to the British Raj to the now globalized nation in transition. Similar to 'Wa: Essence of Japanese Design', this book will trace continuity through the history of Indian design from antiquity to the present day.
The book explores the elements that make Indian design so special, including the varied manufacturing and decorating techniques of the country’s incredibly skilled craftsmen, highly specialized object designs that have been refined over centuries, and ongoing responses to nature, technology, and necessity. The objects were chosen for their enduring quality and beauty, and their integral connection to Indian culture.
Rather than following a chronological order or concentrating on the (often anonymous) designers, this book separates the objects into abstract categories anchored by Hindi words chosen to illuminate how each object fits into the lives of Indians.