Æquō is a collectible design platform, with artisanal collaborations at its core, based by Indian artistic and entrepreneur Tarini Jindal Handa. ‘I come from a household of artwork patrons,’ she says. ‘My grandmother based the Kanoria Centre for Arts, an artist residency in Ahmedabad, and my mum based the journal Artwork India. Rising up in Mumbai, we had been all the time surrounded by artists and attention-grabbing individuals from the artwork world. I truly studied trend in London, however like lots of people, my style advanced. My schooling in design and structure isn’t formal however has come from the artistic individuals I surrounded myself with. My grandmother taught me to try this.’
This particular context attracts Jindal Handa to deal with cultural preservation and innovation throughout the design and artisan spheres. Inviting designers from everywhere in the world to journey and work in India, Jindal not solely reveals a deep love for her nation, but in addition helps creatives to check tasks with historical and conventional methods – from embroidery, handloom textiles, carpentry, papier-mâché and silverware. ‘In an ongoing dedication to the progress of India’s social and cultural legacies, I see Æquō as an experimental mission that transcends borders and equalises its contributors,’ she provides.
Æquō: celebrating Indian craft
Primarily based within the district of Colaba (Mumbai’s historic centre), the gallery proposes an equal dialogue between makers, designers and supplies within the creation of refined furnishings and inside objects. ‘Our mission is to reshape the connection between them, to disclose their worth and potential. We thoughtfully develop furnishings and inside objects that emphasise this intersection. By inviting international minds to work right here domestically, we undertake and create new lenses and distinctive languages to revisit Indian heritage,’ feedback Jindal Handa. This manner, worldwide modern designers can encounter India’s various and profound methods by way of the gallery’s intensive community of artisans.
‘Æquō is creating the marketplace for collectible design in my nation, however we’re additionally creating a completely new market globally for advantageous Indian artisan methods. In the end, I would like Indian craftsmanship to obtain the respect it deserves internationally. We’re going to make blue-chip names of beforehand unknown grasp craftsmen. I would like individuals to learn about Jeeveram the carpenter from Alibag, concerning the wonderful stonework of Frozen Music in Jaipur or concerning the bidri [a silver inlay technique] of Mohammad Abdul Rauf,’ explains Jindal Handa.
Plunging into the gallery’s journey comes spontaneously: ‘I’m personally excited concerning the aesthetics of what cultural fusion seems like. The thought for Æquō emerged as I used to be growing items for my own residence with Florence Louisy, a French designer who graduated from the Netherlands-based Design Academy Eindhoven, then collaborated with the Campana Brothers, and is now the artistic director of Æquō, sharing her life between Paris and Mumbai.’
Louisy’s work was the main focus for ‘Uncooked’, the primary exhibition at Æquō. Jindal Handa explains that it ‘owes its title to a time period rooted within the Latin phrase crudus, which loosely interprets to “raw”. In a design context, nevertheless, “Uncooked” nods towards how the supplies in query stay unprocessed, untouched or left of their roughest kind.’
Louisy created eight collections for the gallery’s opening; all items appear permeated with particular tales to inform, apart from sustaining the ‘magnificence and depth of supplies virtually closest to their pure state’, Jindal Handa provides. The gallery area (designed by French architect Ivan Oddos) is smooth and welcoming, a sort of white canvas the place the creatives invited might categorical themselves freely. ‘We’re the primary collectible design gallery in India,’ claims Jindal Handa, ‘and the ambition for Æquō is to be world-class in every little thing we do. I would like the gallery to be nomadic and nimble, displaying in uncommon locations around the globe in addition to design festivals. We’re not outlined by the precedent of any system.’
Makers, designers and supplies plus Jindal Handa’s nice community comprise the highly effective engine behind the gallery. Æquō helps to create the marketplace for collectible design in India, but in addition creating a completely new market globally for advantageous Indian artisan methods.
For the gallery’s first anniversary, Jindal Handa is displaying a sequence of screens made utilizing the bidri silver inlay approach, which originates in Bidar. ‘The dimensions is phenomenal – normally this can be a craft you solely see in small objects,’ she observes. ‘They’ve been made by the grasp craftsman Mohammad Abdul Rauf and designed by Florence Louisy, with the silver strains within the type of illustrations by [artist and designer] Boris Brucher. They’re masterpieces of latest design and collaboration – actually exemplary of the items we wish to create and fee sooner or later.’
Jundal Handa has a fairly stable thought of herself; when requested to explain her method to what she does, she replies: ‘I’m curious. If somebody drops a reputation that I don’t know and sounds attention-grabbing, I’ll discover out extra. I’m quick. I’d work in a artistic business however I’m from a enterprise household. We make issues occur. And I prefer to evolve; the extra I see, the extra honed my style turns into. And I’m cautious to encompass myself with objects that deliver me pleasure. Structure and interiors deliver me specific pleasure. However there’s extra to life than good aesthetics. I’ve a household, I get pleasure from seeing avenue life in Bombay. I’m grounded.’
Æquō, Devidas Mansion, Unit N° 11, 1st Ground, B Ok Boman Behram Marg, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400001, India. Opening Hours: 11am-7pm Monday / 11am-4pm Tuesday
The gallery’s second assortment shall be ‘Cédric Courtin: Dwelling Archive’, a research of leather-based craftsmanship in collaboration with the Pondicherry-based designer.
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