Designer Pavitra Rajaram’s collaboration with Jaipur Rugs has resulted in a stunning collection of carpets called Majnun at the ongoing Salone del Mobile 2023 in Milan. Rajaram’s artistic talent is evident in her tribute to the magnificent heritage of the Indian subcontinent. Her work beautifully reinterprets classic motifs like the Shikargah from English country homes, the mesmerizing tantric tiger rugs of Tibet, the weeping willow motif of Chinese scroll paintings and the folk tradition of Afghan war carpets into a modern language that blends ancient designs with contemporary sensibilities.
The convergence of art, design and culture is a milestone occasion at the launch of the Majnun Collection during Salone Del Mobile 2023. This collection is a masterpiece that boasts impeccable craftsmanship, artistic interpretation and a commitment to social impact that is bound to make an indelible mark on the global design industry. Know more about the Majnun Collection on SURFACES REPORTER (SR) as Rajaram enlightens us on its design philosophy and more…
This collection is a masterpiece that boasts impeccable craftsmanship, artistic interpretation and a commitment to social impact that is bound to make an indelible mark on the global design industry.
Pavitra Rajaram X Jaipur Rugs
The Majnun Collection is a testament to Rajaram’s love for showcasing India’s cultural heritage and her commitment to design as a tool for social impact. Her collaboration with Jaipur Rugs, led by the revered Nand Kishore Chaudhary, popularly known as the Gandhi of carpets, further emphasizes her dedication to empowering artisans and preserving the ancient art of rug weaving. Reminiscing her experience, she adds, “A chance meeting with the founder of Jaipur Rugs NK Chaudhary really inspired me. I was stuck with his vision of empowering artisans to become artists. I loved his idea that each carpet is woven with the blessing of a family. When I visited the weaver communities and witnessed the change at the grassroot, it really moved me. I wanted to be a part of this amazing ecosystem and be energized through a collaboration that was a dialogue between my design sensibilities and their artistry.”
Pavitra Rajaram and Yogesh Chaudhary, Director, Jaipur Rugs at Salone del Mobile 2023 in Milan.
According to Rajaram, the audience at Salone is knowledgeable and has a deep eye for design and craftsmanship. The positive response from such a wide variety of design and craft lovers towards Majnun was heartwarming and greatly appreciated. “People across the world were mesmerized by the creativity, craftsmanship and inspiration behind the collection, and hugely impressed by the effort and workmanship of the artisans from Jaipur Rugs,” she informs.
Bahaar takes inspiration from Iranian Shikargah traditions, depicting wild animals in a natural forest setting.
The Majnun Collection: A visual treat
Rajaram’s inspiration for the Majnun Collection was the craft traditions that span the geography from Persia to China, the story of the makers and their context. The collection celebrates iconic carpet traditions reimagined in a contemporary idiom. Each carpet has a unique design approach that needed its own innovation in technique and design adaptation accordingly. “The motifs on the carpets have been part of our design history for a long through various objects, textiles, collectibles, or artifacts,” she adds.
Jaipur Rugs does not merely make carpets but it showcases the deep history of India through them. Yogesh Chaudhary, Director, Jaipur Rugs, emphasizes, “The brand adopts a multi-faceted approach to illustrate the rich history of its products to the modern crowd. The company’s design team works closely with artisans to create contemporary designs that are rooted in Indian tradition and culture. These designs are then showcased through various events and exhibitions, where visitors can witness the skill and passion of artisans firsthand.”
Maryul intentionally incorporates imperfections as a testament to the belief that only the Almighty's creations are perfect.
The Majnun Collection features five distinct designs, namely, Bahaar, Sipahi, Sakya, Arjumand and Maryul, each made from wool and pure silk. Bahaar takes inspiration from Iranian Shikargah traditions, depicting wild animals in a natural forest setting. Sipahi pays tribute to Afghan war carpets and Indian history, with a folk-inspired soldier’s uniform. Sakya incorporates the cintamani motif, symbolizing power and strength, and brings it back to its Eastern roots. Arjumand reinvents the weeping willow motif in the style of a Chinese scroll painting, while Maryul intentionally incorporates imperfections as a testament to the belief that only the Almighty's creations are perfect.
Arjumand reinvents the weeping willow motif in the style of a Chinese scroll painting.
The Majnun Collection articulates the design history and legacy of the Indian subcontinent. For Rajaram's first-ever carpet collection with Jaipur Rugs, they explored the history behind some of the most iconic and recognizable carpet traditions and reimagined them in a contemporary idiom. From traditional Shikargahs that found their way to stately English homes in the 18th and 19th centuries, to the hypnotic tantric tiger rugs of Tibet, the traditional motifs and patterns were reinterpreted in a new way. The traditional Bid-Majnun or weeping willow motif is reinvented in the manner of a Chinese scroll, and the folk tradition of the Afghan war carpets with their painful history of war and conflict are adapted to our own Indian colonial narrative.
Sipahi pays tribute to Afghan war carpets and Indian history, with a folk-inspired soldier’s uniform.
Empowering artisans to become artists
Over the years, the company has expanded its offerings to include higher-end products, such as designer collaborations and custom-made rugs for luxury clients. Jaipur Rugs has also invested in technology and innovation to improve the quality and efficiency of its production processes. “The investment and focus of Indian companies towards continued investment in technology, infrastructure, quality, and sustainability have helped Indian brands to compete with renowned names in the luxury segment from across the world. Today, there is growing awareness and appreciation amongst the worldwide audience towards Made-in-India luxury products. Companies like Jaipur Rugs are well-positioned to seize the opportunities that lie ahead and continue preserving India's rich heritage and art through innovative design,” adds Chaudhary.
Sakya incorporates the cintamani motif, symbolizing power and strength, and brings it back to its Eastern roots.
Rajaram was deeply moved by NK Chaudhary's vision of empowering artisans to become artists. The collaboration was, thus, a dialogue between Rajaram’s design sensibilities and the artistry of the weavers. The carpets are unique and draw from iconic carpet traditions, where each one has a unique story. “The Majnun Collection took a lot of time and visualization to incorporate the design history and legacy from the Indian subcontinent,” she cites. The team at Jaipur Rugs, along with their artisans, articulated Rajaram’s creative thoughts magnificently and made the Majnun Collection a visual treat.
Image credit: Jaipur Rugs