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Woven Narratives

Indian handlooms as Creative & Cultural Industries

July 9 - July 13 2023

The exhibition Woven Narratives: Indian Handlooms as Creative and Cultural Industries, was curated by Mayank Mansingh Kaul and featured a selection of textile from the collections of art patrons Mrs. Sangita Jindal and Devi Art Foundation.  The exhibition focuses on CWG’s third priority of Promoting Cultural and Creative Industries & Economy.


Woven Narratives exhibition brings into focus the role of hand weaving across India’s creative and geographical contexts, by drawing attention to their distinct ecologies of manufacture, trade, and use. These may be seen as forming specific economic sectors while equally expressing varied individual, social, and cultural meanings for the communities involved. The selection of textiles represents some of the most prominent textile-producing regions in the country, narrating their diverse histories, visual and material features, as well as the aesthetic and technical connections many of them share with other parts of the world. Woven textiles, thus, become metaphors for both national identity and development as much as for the recognition of shared, global cultures.


The exhibits on view are conceptualized and created by those who practice as artisans, craftspersons, artists, and designers, employing a range of expertise and skills in hand weaving. The processes they engage in also include pre-loom activities such as spinning, yarn preparation, and dyeing, with aspects such as finishing and surface embellishment comprising post-production procedures. The makers are also dependent on a variety of raw materials, tools, equipment, and devices unique to the requirements of handlooms. Fabrics reach markets through different modes of transport, are sold through several retail and wholesale formats, and are transformed into apparel, home furnishings, and other kinds of products. From such perspectives, the links with other sectors of the economy prove to be vital. The Handloom ecologies included in the exhibition are that of Art & Design; Farming & Agriculture; Nomadic & Indigenous Traditions; Festive & Occasional Wear; and Patronage & Philanthropy.


The Woven Narratives exhibition was hosted at Hampi Art Labs in honour of the G20 Delegations and G20 Culture Working Group’s visit to JSW Vijayanagar. The inauguration and catalog Launch took place on 13th July 2023 for the visiting G20 Sherpa Group by Mr. Amitabh Kant, G20 Sherpa of India during its Presidency year of 2023.

Curators: Mayank Mansingh Kaul

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