Editorial: Anticipating the Household Robots

 Volume 1, Number 2, 2017 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/cjad.12.v1n200

As we are immersed in the hand-held devices, perhaps it is time now to think of another big event—the the arrival of automation and robots. It may seem very distant or vague at present but nobody can predict the arrival of some epoch-making technology. May be there would be a convergence of the so-called smart phones and household robots. Robots are there, of course, in many fields, but here we are talking about the arrival of robots for serving our household needs and personal assistance; for example, robots helping people with cooking, washing, cleaning and other repetitive activities. Even, by using such robots we can do away with certain services, which sometimes demand lowering of human dignity.

However, our attitude to robots differs from smart phones in one important aspect: our distrust of robots at home. There are several reasons behind such attitude, and here we will talk about only one aspect: design. Much of our aversion to robots lie with the stereotypical designs of robots made popular or notorious through a sci-fi presentation of the devices. In an effort to project a kind of machine-human combination, robots have been perceived as having something to do with the alien. This tendency might have emerged in the west because of polarity in the thinking pattern, whose roots are to be traced back to the duality of God and Devil. Just as anything bad was associated with the Devil, the probable sinister aspect of the robots was thought in line with that kind of Christian theological paradigm. This needs a shift in design conception.

In all other sphere we think of the design of the devices as per the demand of the components and ergonomics. The same needs to be hammered home while understanding robots and while designing robots. Household robots will be smaller and even tiny in sizes and design must follow utility and aesthetics. Industrial aesthetics depend heavily economy and in many cases, the economy dictates aesthetics. But there are counter-forces too. Such forces may not be perceptible at once or may not challenge the economy instantly. Rather such forces remain hidden and operate in subversive manner. An example of such force can be found with folk art forms, particularly the performance arts which pose a resistance to acquisition of aesthetics by economy. So the designers need to understand that attempt at achieving global uniformity may not go well with all the sections.

The market economy cannot conquer or appropriate everything. Our situation demands a truce in order to satisfy the sensibility of the customers. What we are basically suggesting is that production of household robots will need naturalization in a particular culture and the naturalization process will demand designing in consonance with the fundamental aesthetics of a particular culture. Let us wait for day.

Tarun Tapas Mukherjee

Featured Artist: M. Srinivasa Rao: the Modern Sculptor

By Archana Sonti (Artist)

 Volume 1, Number 2, 2017 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/cjad.12.v1n207


Talent, Skill, Creativity—all in one, makes the Sculptor M.Srinivasa Rao. Trained in traditional temple sculpture in his early education at Tirupathi and reading the history books on temple sculpture, related mythological stories as part not only of his curriculum but out of his personal interest, contributed to the making of his art. These mythological characters, images, iconography,    symbols,     forms      still influence Srinivas but he presents these   to express his modern day  concepts  of new technology and contemporary city life style amalgamating both and bringing new  visual  language, sometimes  in a conscious effort and Sometimes with a subconscious manner. Traditional sculptures are geometrical and are mathematical but his are free flowing and also negating the detail design aspects of traditional sculptures, he has simplified the form and the lines in his sculptures to bring his own personalized form and concept. He says ’Indian Sculptures and art has always been surrealist, so it has a natural influence in my work.

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Strategies for Teaching Textile, Clothing and Designing in Zimbabwe: a Case Study of Two Universities of Technology

Felisia Chimbindi

Chinhoyi University of Technology, Zimbabwe. Orcid: 0000-0002-8069-7180. Email: SRembe@ufh.ac.za

 Volume 1, Number 2, 2017 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/cjad.12.v1n206


Textile, Clothing and Design programmes’ provision to students with diverse academic backgrounds in universities of technology in Zimbabwe has led to various concerns raised by the stakeholders emanating from curriculum implementation approaches, such as students’ failure, drop out and prolonged completion of programmes. This study therefore, sought to examine teaching strategies used to cater for the students in provision of the programmes in 2 sampled universities. The study adopted post-positivism paradigm and used mixed method research approach that integrated concurrent qualitative and quantitative procedures in data collection, analysis and interpretation. Questionnaire, interview and document analysis were used to collect data from 36 lecturers, 2 quality assurance directors, 2 faculty deans of studies, 2 chairpersons and 6 lecturers. Collected data were analyzed using statistical and non-statistical procedures. The study revealed that lecturers used various teaching strategies to cater for the students, despite the absence of university curriculum implementation policy.

Keywords: Diverse academic backgrounds, Textile, Clothing and Design programmes.

The ‘Contextual Modernism’ in the Silk Paintings of Maniklal Banerjee

Ashmita Mukherjee

Research Scholar, Jadavpur University. Email: ashmita5293@gmail.com

 Volume 1, Number 2, 2017 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/cjad.12.v1n205


The paper tries to analyze the silk paintings of Maniklal Banerjee (1917-2002) who was greatly influenced by the artists of the so-called Bengal school of art. The school started by Abanindranath Tagore did not remain confined to its own time and space, but grew into dynamic new modernisms over a span of nearly a century. Art historian Sivakumar invoked a number of artists of Santiniketan and called it a “contextual modernism”. The paper tries to re-read the spirit of Santiniketan artists on the more recent and un-researched art of Maniklal Banerjee- who contextualized in his own way the Bengal ‘school’ that had by now turned into a ‘movement’. The spirit of freedom runs at the core of this movement and finds a new language in the late twentieth century artist’s renderings of daily life and Puranic narrations.

Keywords: Bengal School, Maniklal Banerjee, Abanindranath Tagore, Nandalal Bose, Indian art, Puranic art, aesthetics

Towards Digitally Archiving the ‘Sharinda’

A case study of the video documentary mode for showcasing multidimensional cultural traces

Ashes Gupta

Professor, Dept. of English, Tripura University, (A Central University), Suryamaninagar, Agartala, Tripura, India. Orcid.org/0000-0002-5881-8468. Email: ashesgupta@tripurauniv.in

  Volume 1, Number 2, 2017 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/cjad.12.v1n204


It all began with the shooting of a documentary on the ethnic musical instruments of Tripura (specifically a video snippet on the ‘sharinda’). The idea was to document and hence to preserve them from oblivion. And keeping in mind the simple logic that essence of any musical instrument is the musicality of tune and rhythm that it offers, audio-visual mode was the obvious choice for documentation, since after all a typographical text cannot reproduce sound. The very technicality of the video documentary necessitated a holistic and comprehensive understanding of the way in which the making, music, instrumentalist trinary in focus has to be shot and documented against the backdrop of the geographical features of the land and landscape of origin, with the audio track reproducing to precision the nuances of the sound reinforced by the voice-over of the poetic texts that spoke about both the instrument and the landscape.

The live cultural circuit (to borrow and modify Louise Rosenblatt’s proposition in ‘Literature as Exploration ‘(1938) that evolves out of this intellectual osmosis has been spoken of by several theoreticians, Henry Kreisel and Ashis Nandy being the most prominent. Henry Kreisel is of the view that all discussion to the literature produced in the Canadian West or the Canadian Prairie “must of necessity begin with the impact of the landscape upon the mind” (173). What is true of the Canadian Prairie literature is universally true for all literatures across the world and also for all cultural texts in their all-inclusive textuality including music and musical instruments. In the process of shooting and editing it was perceived that every instrument such as the sharinda is inextricably intertwined with the landscape and its physical details, often replicating the natural ecological sounds, utilizing ecofriendly material and reinforcing Ashis Nandy’s proposition: “Ours probably is the age of homopsychogeographicus.” (Nandy 1999  305; italics mine.)

This could be extended to the hypothesis that every cultural trace and space including literature and music are ultimately attempts at initiating a cartography of the mind, whose documentation should invariably facilitate an understanding of the ‘homopsychogeographicus’ of the self. This paper attempts to deal with the inevitable intellectual osmosis that facilitates interaction between geography (in the sense of landscape features) and the human psyche (homopsychogeographicus) to produce cultural products including ethnic musical instruments, literature etc. and the way in which they fuse with each other to make a documentary possible.

Keywords: Sharinda, documentary, North East

The Art of Traditional Painting in Assam: a Critical Study on the Manuscript Paintings of Bhagavata-Purana, VI-VII

Bikramjit Sarkar1, Dr. Rajesh Bhowmik2

1 Research Scholar, Department of Fine arts, Tripura University. Orcid id: 0000-0002-2752-8601. Email id: bikramjitsarkar1983@gmail.com

2 Associate Professor, Department of Fine arts, Tripura University

Received September 12, 2017; Revised October 15, 2017; Accepted October 22, 2017; Published October 25, 2017.

 Volume 1, Number 2, 2017 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/cjad.12.v1n203


The art of manuscript painting Assam mostly developed during the medieval periods in response to the Bhakti-movement headed by the Vaisnava saint Srimanta Sankardeva (1449-1568). The establishments of Vaisnavite institutions so-called Satra in Assam were the major centres of practising manuscript paintings. The subject of the paintings is taken from the Hindu epic and Puranas.  Different stories and events related to Lord Krishna were illustrated using Natural ingredients. The practice of paintings followed traditionally during 16th to 19th century. Especially different parts of Bhagavata-Purana were illustrated with paintings for entertainment and the better understanding of the people. The skill and quality of artists and their aesthetic sense of vision were executed through the paintings. This present paper has been made to highlight the paintings of Bhagavata-Prana VI-VII, which were executed during 1785 A.D. The skill of artists in the arrangement of composition and the simple stylistic representation is the matter of appreciation and understanding. It is very important to study and document the paintings in today’s context of dying traditional knowledge of art practice so that the future generation can attain knowledge of the culture of painting in the development of society & religion and also be aware of the contribution of the antiquities of past art and culture of North-East India.

Keywords: Assam, Bhagavata-Purana-VI-VII, Culture, Manuscript Painting, Tradition, Vaisnavism.


Visual Translation of Guru Nanak’s Philosophy by Janamsakhi Illustrators

Gurdeep Kaur & Rohita Sharma

Department of Business and Fine Arts, Lovely Professional University, Phagwara, Punjab, India.  Email: gurdeepkaur121@yahoo.in.

Received July 13, 2017; Revised September 25, 2017; Accepted September 28, 2017; Published October 12, 2017.

 Volume 1, Number 2, 2017 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/cjad.12.v1n202


From the second half of seventeenth century, the people of undivided Punjab started to appoint illustrators to draw the manuscripts of Guru Nanak’s life stories. The main purpose of illustrating the manuscripts was to understand and convey the Nanakian Bani and worship the Guru through the miniature visuals preserved at home. Janamsakhi texts and bani of Guru are also the rich source to understand northern Indian culture and society of fifteenth century. The paper attempts to link Guru Nanak’s life and bani with the miniature visuals to reread the illustrators’ interpretations merged with their own imagination and perceptions. The study concludes that the Janamsakhi illustrations are the amalgamation of various facts and fusions of cognitions and perspectives of different illustrators.

Key Words: Guru Nanak, Janamsakhi illustrations, illustrators, philosophy, Sikhism

Native Tradition and Changing Market Dynamics: The Future Sustainability of Hajo and Sarthebari Metal Crafts

Lakhimi Jogendranath Chutia1 & Mrinmoy K Sarma2

1Research Scholar, Tezpur University, Assam, email: clakhimi@yahoo.co.in

2Professor, Tezpur University, Assam, email: mrinmoy@tezu.ernet.in

 Volume 1, Number 2, 2017 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/cjad.12.v1n201


The article deliberates over the issue of sustainability of traditional crafts from the economic as well as tradition point of view. In the age of global competition when the world has become a small trading community, handicraft artisans constantly compete with machine made products and struggle for the sustenance of their age old traditional industries. The traditional brass and bell metal sector of Sarthebari and Hajo in Assam is going through a similar fate. Changing functional requirements and aesthetics orientation of modern customers are pressing artisans to modify certain traditional features of the crafts and innovate according to market demand. In addition to this, unrestricted flow of imported metal items also offers tough competition to the indigenous sector. Artisans complying with existing needs of customers, comparatively, do well in economic terms than those producing age-old products. As noticed, artisans also seem to continue the craft in future and encourage their kith and kin to undertake the occupation, since they find it a reliable income source. Meanwhile, change in archaic design and make of metal items raises the issue of sustainability of tradition. However, it is important to understand if harping on to tradition overlooking economic sustainability of producer of the craft can ensure the sustainable growth of the sector. The paper thus aims to highlight the present scenario of the industry and its future scope for sustainability by taking into consideration the artisans’ and market viewpoint. It extends suggestions based on the information gathered from the market and producer to ensure sustainability of the art and the artisan.

Keywords: Sustainability, traditional, economic, brass and bell metal crafts, artisans, Assam

Tracing Footprints of a Bygone Era: Kaleshwari complex, Lavana

Maulik Hajarnis & Bhagyajit Raval

Faculty of Architecture, Parul University, Waghodia, Vadodara, Gujarat, India. E Mail IDs: hajarnismaulik@gmail.com, bhagyajit.raval@gmail.com

    Volume 1, Number 1, 2017 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/cjad.v1n1.v1n107


The paper begins with a background of the study wherein the heritage potentials of the Panchmahal region are discussed, wherein ‘Kaleshwari’ is mentioned as one of the archaeological sites in the region. The next portion of the paper unfolds the details of this State Protected group of monuments like the Architectural significance of the site, etymology, geographical location and other important details about the site like the then logic behind the selection of the site, flora and fauna, etc. Each monument out of the group of protected monuments at the site is then analysed from an architectural perspective. The paper concludes with a way forward wherein the further scope of research and restoration is written down.

Keywords: Kaleshwari, Panchmahal, Vaav, Chauri, Mandir

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Editorial, Vol. 1, No. 1, New Series

   Volume 1, Number 1, 2017 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/cjad.v1n1.v1n101

With this issue we have started a new series from Chitrolekha. We have not only changed the name from “Chitrolekha International Magazine on Art and Design” to “Chitrolekha Journal on Art and Design”, we have also brought about significant change in the scope of the publication. Recently the UGC has approved and included the Magazine in the UGC Journal List. We are thankful to all for the recognition. The archived contents of the previous series will remain on the site and we will continue with our new avatar with different ISSN and metadata.

The changes become necessary as we want to expand the scope of our journal and make it more scholarly in nature. The journal has been lauched as a scholarly platform for discussions on the evolution and intercategorial development of art and design. It explores arts both as a mode of signaling as well as being in an ontological sense. The mystery of the first arts of our ancestors intrigues us today, from a scientific as much as an aesthetic perspective. Similarly the future of arts leads us to think of things quite unknown to us. The scope of the journal therefore, is open-ended so as to be able to incorporate and address emerging areas in human arts and sciences.

We hope the new Editorial Team will make it a successful platform for publishing in the field of art and design.