Majnun: Ancient Designs Find Modern Interpretation in Carpets
This year for the Salone Milano, Jaipur Rugs in partnership with Pavitra Rajaram, a multidisciplinary designer launched “Majnun” – a collection of carpets that celebrates “ancient weaving traditions”, “generational craftsmanship”, and “the power of purposeful design”.
At the Jaipur Rug stall at the Salone Milano, Indian mysticism is celebrated in traditional motifs and handwoven exuberance. A traditional Shikargah from the stately English homes in the 18th and 19th centuries and hypnotic tantric tiger rugs of Tibet re-interpreted with traditional motifs, a traditional “Bid – Majnun” or weeping willow motif reinvented in the manner of a Chinese scroll painting and the folk tradition of the Afghan war carpets, adapted to our own Indian colonial narrative, all bring into focus the multi0cultural history of India.
Jaipur Rugs is known for its collaborations and the way in which it benefits its creators: the weavers in the village who are involved in the making of the handwoven rugs. This year for the Salone Milano, Jaipur Rugs in partnership with Pavitra Rajaram, launched “Majnun”.
“A testament to the old, the new, and everything in between, this collection is set to launch at the global benchmark event for the furnishing and design industry, Salone Del Mobile, 2023, in Milan, Italy,” promises its creators.
For Pavitra, as a designer passionate about showcasing India, Persia to China ‘ rich legacy, and a champion of ‘Slow Design’ – a concept that builds on the fact that design must be savoured not devoured – the Majnun collection is a celebration of design history and legacy from the Indian subcontinent. However, while being deeply entrenched in the history of design, Majnun is also a step towards interpreting ancient designs in a modern idiom. The collection is a testament to the fact that design is in a continuum and the motifs that have stood the test of time need to be revisited and reinterpreted in unique ways. That is how design travels and design legacies are kept alive.
The Majnun Collection, while entrenched in the ancient culture and weaving traditions from Persia, China, and India, is a decisive step towards contemporising history. It celebrates the resilience and passion for art and is a testament to the enduring legacy of timeless craftsmanship.
Speaking on the partnership, Pavitra Rajaram, said “Design is always in a continuum. Motifs that have stood the test of time must be revisited and reinterpreted in unique ways. That is how design travels and design legacies are kept alive. With Majnun, I wanted to create a collection that is as old as it is new, with roots steeped in the iconic carpet traditions from India, Persia, and China, but interpreted in a modern idiom.”
It wasn’t just the celebration of art and design history that Pavitra wanted to focus on with Majnun. One of the forces behind the collection’s focus and philosophy is none other than the Gandhi of the carpet industry – the founder of Jaipur Rugs, Nand Kishore Chaudhary.
His passion for breathing new life into the ancient art form of rug weaving and his commitment to elevating artisans into artists, in particular, is what inspired Pavitra. “I too am passionate about and strongly believe in advocacy, collaborations, and support for those whose lives and livelihoods are connected to craft and traditional practices in design,” she says.
Likewise, for Yogesh Chaudhary, Director of Jaipur Rugs and son of Nand Kishore Chaudhary, the Majnun collection came as an opportunity to not just further strengthen the organisation’s vision of combining the pursuit of profit with the spreading of kindness, but also to bolster it on a global scale.
“For me, it’s not just a company vision. Even personally, it is important to me that we stay invested in keeping a dying art alive, in enabling a whole community of weavers out of generational oppression,” he says. “We are happy to be partnering on collaborations like Majnun, that are not only visually stunning and luxurious but they also bring a sense of social responsibility and commitment to ethical manufacturing practices” he adds.