The name Pichvai, literally defines its purpose, ‘pichh’ meaning back, and ‘vai’ meaning textile hanging. These intricately painted and visually stunning works that depict scenes from Krishna’s childhood, formed life sized, or even larger tapestries which hung behind the main idol to heighten the shrine’s splendour.
Pichvai Tradition & Beyond is an initiative to revive and preserve this historical art form, and extend patronage to the local artists of Rajasthan. This exhibition handpicked miniature artists from Rajasthan, who have over time, worked towards adapting traditional Pichvai compositions, into more intricate patterns derived from other miniature practices.
It offers an important platform to tradition by mainstreaming it for a wider audience. Traditional compositions and processes that date back to the 17th century are updated to be relevant to the current context. Contemporary pichvais from the atelier reflect this objective, by juxtaposing different styles with traditional methods.
The debut show of Pichvai Tradition & Beyond was at 24 Jor Bagh in 2015 and was later shown at venues around India including Kochi-Muziris Biennale (2016), India Art Fair, New Delhi (2016, 2018). It also has a permanent exhibition at The Museum of Legacies, Jaipur.