BHUJIA

Giuseppe Abate

Embroidery series, realized during the Guwahati Research program January / March 2016

"In 2016 Paolo Rosso, director of the Microclima project at Venice’s Serra dei Giardini, invited me to take part in the Guwahati Research Project in Assam, India. The residency, lasting two months, was not based on any specific theme, giving me the opportunity to work in total freedom. Over the course of many days I documented and collected images from the urban environment: snackfoods packaged using colours that I had never seen in Europe and branding that, instead of being printed, was painted onto the walls of buildings in the street, and hand-written text on the sides of vans and public transport.

One aspect of Guwahati that left a particular impresson on me was the almost forced relationship between a past, with deep-rooted traditions, and a present filled with cars, horns, mobile telephones and the branding of big organisations. Assam is famous for its ancient tradition in fine textile production, so, based on my collected materials and taking inspiration from by the typical fabrics of the region, I planned and produced a collection of textiles made with Indian silk, linen and cotton. Through this work I sought to highlight some aspects of a city that has undergone a particularly rapid period of technological development, linking two very different eras in its history."

Left: Bhujia, detail, embroidery on silk, 75 x 60 cm, 2016.

Right: Assamese snacks, 2016. Photo: Giuseppe Abate.

Left: Indane, detail, embroidery on cotton, 160 x 90 cm, 2016

Right: truck for Indane gas tanks transport, 2016. Photo: Giuseppe Abate.

Left: Kuch-Kuch, embroidery on silk, 160 x 95 cm, 2016.

Right: detail of the back of a bus in Guwahati, 2016. Photo: Giuseppe Abate.

THE EDGE

The Edge, different fabrics stitched together, 170 x 130 cm, 2016.

 

In European couture the edges and the hems are monochrome, in India these things are very colorful. These bands of color are full of gold, silver and beads. In Guwahati the tailoring shops have entire walls filled of this hemming. I bought, combined and sewed 31 bands of fabrics. I find the potential of a set of hems significant, destined to remain at the margingius of a fabric, to become themselves a fabric, if stitched together.