India’s cultural identity is so closely associated with the everyday motifs that scream for our attention in gullies and high streets, in malls, supermarkets and kirana (grocery) shops, on screens and in print. They ignite a sense of belonging within each one of us by taking us down memory lane. These items and designs don't only resonate with one particular generation but seep throug time to connect all Indians across eras.
An upcoming art show presents an illustrated survey of printed and painted graphic design samples, designed in India for homegrown products, services and properties. It is a collection of iconic, nostalgic, familiar, unfamiliar, accidental and intentional graphic design. Illustrated and curated by Bombay Duck Designs, EVERYDAY INDIA is a fascinating look at design that really does make this country tick, every single day.
From signage to products to logos to packaging, growing up in India has given us a whole unique language of design that has become a part of our DNA and that becomes a trigger to stories that encompass every part of our lives. True to the show's tagline, "Graphic design and multiplicity from gullies to high streets", the show will comprise 6 original paintings that explore graphic design in India through a wider lens as well as a series of 5 flip-books of ubiquitous iconography that survey the similarities and nuances of ever present the iconography found in the urban-scape.
The showcase is a result of the hard work of two young artists who share the same admiration for the native land. Sameer Kulavoor is a visual artist who, having closely witnessed the rapid transformation of urban surroundings and culture in India in the 90s, is constantly documenting the impact of art on the world around him. Zeenat Kulavoor wears many hats as a typographer, graphic designer, book designer and printmaker. She loves working with everything that’s tactile and her personal body of work specialises in working with multilingual Indian scripts.
The artistic archive looks at the interplay of independently designed elements that exist within the urban graphic landscape; focusing on how they come together, lose their individuality, and eventually form a new multicultural and multilingual visual system. Sharing an overview of more than 250 graphic articles collected from various parts of the country, they examine graphic design in India that's undertaken by the informal designers usually found at print and photocopy shops popularly known as DTP artists as well as formally trained designers.
A series of digital collages examine the informal rules and practices that come with creating ‘Indian brand languages’. They explore and analyze the photocopy shop signage systen through Surma Mehndi (Henna) packaging aesthetics, Indian wedding card design, Pan Masala (tobacco), Desi Daru (alcohol) packaging aesthetics and local diagram aesthetics. In a land with a burgeoning population, hundreds of languages and dialects, a multiverse of gods of all shapes, forms and sizes, and wide social and economic differences, it is also an enquiry into where design ends and art begins and vice versa; examining the overlaps between the two.
The show will be on display from the 16th July to the 13th of August 2023 at Gallery 47 A, Khotachi Wadi, Girgaum, Mumbai from 11 am to 7 pm. It will be open on all days except for Monday.
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