Welcome to Yali- Handspun, Handwoven - Past and Present
Yali, is a platform that brings to life, projects that develop from the research and documentation work undertaken at The Registry of Sarees. Our work is centred around hand spun and handwoven textiles that form the heart of the two principle historic collections at The Registry of Sarees. The exhibition showcases a deep understanding of hand spun and hand woven textiles based on the foundations of process, materiality and skill by tracing the design history of hand spun and hand woven in the time periods between two critical Design Movements in India - The Bauhaus Movement and The Vishwakarma Exhibitions.

It's interesting to acknowledge that there exists no word for “design” in the Indian dictionary, and although there prevails a constant debate to distinguish between craft and design, both have paved a way of utility and aesthetic in the space of art and culture.

In the 1920’s India struggled against colonial rule to win her Independence and among the multiple schools of thoughts that emerged in the process two can be cited as very impactful. First when Gandhi led the non cooperation movement, against foreign goods entering the Indian market - now recognised as The Swadeshi Movement. Another - less celebrated movement, was led by Rabindranath Tagore to invite more recent developments of the west towards Identity Building for a new India - such as the idea of holistic design development after his visit to Bauhaus, Germany. Following these two opposing yet identity building factors, independent India incorporated both to the extent that today- design and textiles have become inseparable. This amalgamation can be witnessed between the 1980s-90s when India reached out to the world with Festivals of India and Viswakarma exhibitions.

Understanding our tradition of textiles by exploring design journeys and vocabularies teaches us that we are keeping the identities behind them at once fluid and dynamic while also maintaining them in a state that is intact and distinct.
The exhibition is designed in three themes woven together, First two rooms underline the essence of Khudrang - Self colour largely focusing on materiality, the two rooms following it show influence of art and design movement on textiles in terms of process and the last room focuses on the concept of craftsmanship and skill through zari. We end the exhibition with a personal story that highlights memories and association of oneself with handspun and handwoven textiles.