PLAINSBORO – “Ethnic Expo”, an exhibit of Indian textiles, opened at Plainsboro Library on Oct. 5 and continues through Oct. 30.
Curated by Anita Kulkarni, the exhibit is designed as a visual and tactile experience that features both framed art and unframed art that can be touched. It is also educational, exploring the rich artistic traditions of India.
As the show’s curator explains, “The legacy of Indian silk-making and weaving is rich and long-standing. The gorgeous silks are unmatched in their charm; and when improvised with India’s regional culture and symbolism they produce some of the finest textiles in the world. The silk weaving skills run in the families where older generations hand down the knowledge to the younger ones in an informal process. Most art is learned via observation and imbibed through years of practice. There are no manuals, no standardization, by far no formal training, and despite the extraordinary art they create, livelihood may still be a struggle for artisans. But the product is superlative, and world class in its quality, artistry and appearance. India presents a great range of weaving trends with their textures, dying methods, design philosophy, motive selection and symbolism, color palettes, gold-silver brocade (zari) and opulent embroidery.”
Kulkarni holds a Bachelor’s in Architecture (Bombay University, India) and Master’s in Landscape Architecture (University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA) and has more than 25 years of experience in the field of architecture and design. Born and raised in India, Anita came to the US for her higher studies. She has published many articles on the subject of architecture.
While designing interiors, she chanced upon the fascinating traditional silk weaving, hand-painting and thread-work styles embedded in different Indian regions. The story of context and traditions defining forms became a central concept in her explorations and in her work. Anita has accessorized many of her spaces with the alive, colorful, deceptive elements of silk, and in addition has continued to research the amazing but lesser known visual arts of India.
The Plainsboro Library is located at 9 Van Doren St., Plainsboro. Hours are 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday to Sunday. For more information, call 609-275-2897.