Pooja Singhal, PICHVAI TRADITION & BEYOND, Collateral @ Kochi Muziris Biennale 2016


A Pichvai is a luxuriously detailed hand painted textile traditionally hung behind the idol of Shrinathji, an incarnation of Lord Krishna. Over the last century, painted textiles that left the shrine have taken on a new role as wall art and are much sought after by the cognoscenti for their effervescent aesthetics and have spawned a new pursuit among collectors.

Pooja Singhal’s “Pichvai Tradition & Beyond” had for the first time brought to the public eye, artworks that have been reworked with layered historical inferences in newer scales, formats and themes. These artworks thus have moved away from their purely religious connotations to representations of aesthetic modes, seasons, forms, colours and secular iconographies that a layperson can see and appreciate.

At the Kochi Biennale 2016, the playground of contemporaneity in India, ‘The Pichvai Tradition’ was the first showing of a traditional art form in a nascent new avatar. The show will brought tradition to newer audiences and allowed them to understand and appreciate the sublime beauty these works were invested with.

Eka was invited by Pooja Singhal to curate the show at the Kochi Muziris Biennale 2016.


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