A humble Indian kulhad (clay cup used for drinking milk and tea) inspired Swiss ceramist and teacher Claude Presset to dedicate an entire exhibition on cups. And what cups!
The figures read like this — 100 ceramists from 19 countries of five continents make 1001 cups. Ceramist Anja Seiler from Switzerland says, “Claude and I have been planning this exhibition since 2006. Long time ago, Claude came to India and was served tea in a kulhad and since then she was so besotted with it that she started planning this exhibition.”
According to Presset, it was a lot of hard work to visit various countries and select ceramists from different regions for the show. Tradition of ceramics, interpretation and experimentation by an artist were some of the factors kept in mind while selecting the 100 names. Some of the Indian participants are Chaudhuri Ira, Vir Aarti, Naik Jayanti and Daroz Pandurangiah. The neatly laid out cups of myriad shapes, sizes and colours kept inside well-lit wooden showcases commands admiration. Works of various ceramic artists from France, Switzerland, Algeria, Australia, Canada, Belgium, Afghanistan, Netherlands, Spain, Pakistan are on display.
Naman Ahuja, professor of Art History, JNU, who visited the exhibition says, “I got an invitation for this and it’s a superb, well-curated, thoughtful, and brilliantly displayed exhibition.”
Some of the interesting features on the cups are human and animal figures, hand impressions, glazed pieces, hand painted, Chinese characters, carved shapes, leaves and abstract prints.
To educate the curious visitors, there are charts inside the exhibition hall, giving information on history of kilns, ways of coating and colouring and glazing clays, how to shape clays and the types of clays in the world. There’s also a movie on ceramists and art of clay modeling, which is shown three times a day at the venue.
On till December 31, at the Crafts Museum, Bhairon Road, Pragati Maidan.