The Digital AI Platform Exploring The World Of South Asian Textile History


Perhaps the strongest force uniting us globally in a bid to create a shared narrative is art. The interconnectedness across the artistic realm has been a constant ever since from the times of Da Vinci to the current AI art era.

The Museum of Art and Photography (MAP) which is expected to launch by the second half of 2022 has collaborated with a Microsoft-backed AI to create INTERWOVEN, a digital platform that brings to light the textile traditions from across the world at the click of a button.

Keeping the essence of age-old craft techniques and community-based art traditions alive, the move towards a digitalized artistic experience comes as a welcoming advancement for art enthusiasts and artists alike.

The platform dives into MAP’s impressive collection of approximately 2000 south Asian textiles, covering a vast range of craft techniques like Zardozi coverlets, Bandhani saris, and ikkats and links them to similar objects across the globe with the help of AI. The software deduces a connection between the textiles and similar objects at ‘partner institutions, such as the V&A Museum in London, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Rietberg in Zurich, and the Royal Ontario Museum of Canada.’

MAP director Kamini Sahwney emphasizes the role of textiles in uncovering the relationships between a lot of regions and cultures in an interview.

“In India, our craftsmen were able to master the most complex weaving techniques, and they produced exquisite textiles that travelled across the world that serviced the world economies for centuries,” says Sahwney.

Trace the journey of how art, culture and global politics shape a shared trajectory from the comfort of your living spaces. Building upon cross-cultural connections and an ambitious goal to make art more accessible, the platform is a fine balance of academia meets AI, making for a curated art experience for the current generation of viewers; one that treats the rectangle screen as a portal into the world.

Aiming to create a space of solidarity through cross-cultural connections, the collaboration stands to be a peace offering in a world that seems polarized now more than ever. Banking on the power of art to correct differences and bridge broken connections, INTERWOVEN could prove to be a new era of human-centric storytelling that is both exploratory and engaging.

View the platform here.

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