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There is no denial to the fact that bright paintings and bold sculptures are amongst the best ways to uplift the spirits of a dull place. For centuries, paintings and sculptures have been used as an elegant and expressive medium to adorn their personal spaces. But, nowadays, art is not just restricted to paintings and sculptures; rather it has seeped in the daily lives of people. From acting to dance, food to containers, jewelry to clothes, art can be seen beautifully intertwined in the daily life of an Indian. Therefore, limiting art as a decorative piece is not justified. To bring home this point, let’s take the example of Indian Art.

Clothes: If we look back in history, we will find that India has always been a land of diversity and rich culture. It is this amalgamation of culture and diversity that bestowed India with an assortment of different art forms. If you have slight interest in art or in fashion, then you would be acquainted with Warli prints. Warli painting is a form of traditional paintings, which is mostly done by the tribes from India’s North Sahyadri Range. It is a form of tribal Indian Art. But, in the recent years, the fashion industry took inspiration from themes and designs used in Warli paintings and came up with Warli print fabrics, suits and sarees. Not only Warli prints, fashion industry uses designs inspired from Kalamkari paintings and Madhubani paintings.  This amalgamation of art and textile is an example of textile art.

Jewelry: No one can deny the fact that Indian women love jewelry. When it comes to jewelry, no woman can resist having a single piece. Their craze for jewelry is well known. Be it solid gold, diamond, pearls, polki, meenakari or kundan work, women, especially Indian women, want to have them all. My personal favorite of all is meenakari jewelry. Intricate designs and beautiful colored enamels give this form of jewelry its distinctive touch. It is not only famous in India, but it also has global takers. While meenakari jewelry is extremely popular, not many know that meenakari is actually a technique of coloring. Many artists are implementing this technique in their work and coming up with beautiful meenakari paintings, vases and marble artifacts among other things, thus making it another Indian Art form that has seeped in our daily lives.

Bangles: Thanks to the age old epic, Mahabharata, Indians are well acquainted with the word ‘lacquer’ or ‘lac.’ This lacquer is the same material that is used to make world famous lac bangles of India and lacquer paintings of China and Japan that was revived and established as a distinctive type of fine art painting by Vietnamese artists. Though, lacquer paintings are not that famous in India, but lacquer bangles have a special place in the hearts and bangle boxes of Indian women. Almost same technique is used to make a lacquer painting and a lacquer bangle. The form of art that Vietnamese artists revived to adorn the walls of homes and offices, has been used for ages to adorn the forearms of Indian women.

Dance/Drama/Movies: It is widely known fact that art is a medium to express thoughts. Like painters choose canvas to express their feelings, there are performance artists who choose dance and drama to express them. As a child, I watched a 15-minute silent movie featuring Charlie Chaplin, one of world’s greatest performing artists. I distinctly remember how he conveyed thoughts with ease. He did not require words to express himself. He only acted and his gestures conveyed what he wanted to said. Such was the power of his acting, the medium that he chose to express, that what I saw some 20-years ago is still fresh in my mind. Performance artists, be it a dancer or an actor, use gestures and expressions to communicate their thoughts. One such form of Indian art where performers uses gestures and expressions to communicate is Kathakali, a dance-drama based on Jayadev’s Gita Govinda.

These are some examples that signify that indeed Indian art is not limited to Indian paintings, but it has evolved over a period of time and has touched the everyday life of people.