Kalpataru ✿ Jharkhand’s Tree of Life by Sahil & Sarthak


10 August 2023

Tree of Life detail – Sahil & Sarthak

Our August laurel goes to the epic Tree of Life made by Sahil & Sarthak for the Mall of Ranchi, Jharkhand, India.

Sahil & Sarthak provides some background to this profound work. 

Our studio documents crafts from various parts of India. The artisans came to our workshop on the outskirts of Delhi to create this artwork. The entire artwork is hand-crafted.

We have our own small production house on the outskirts of Delhi, which is managed by a uniquely skilled artisan, we started our collaboration 15 years ago. From small home decor items to now 7 to 10 meters installations, we have come a long way.

The original version of the Kohvar and Sohrai paintings is made by communities in the rural parts of Jharkhand. The Khovar and Sohrai paintings are an indigenous art form of Hazaribagh whose origins can be traced back to the cave painting tradition during a transient phase between the Mesolithic and chalcolithic age in Hazaribagh region in Jharkhand. The traditional paintings have motifs that are common to both ages.

These paintings are ritualistic paintings and have a temporary life span. Sohrai is the harvest painting on the mud houses, repairing it after the rains and offering thanksgiving to the forces of nature. Khovar refers to the decoration of the marriage chambers.

The Tree of Life is an artistic adaptation of these ritualistic paintings in a more permanent and sculptural form, crafted in metal and brass. We have rearranged these traditional motifs, forms and storyboards into a modular composition that looks Like the “Kalpataru”- The Tree of Life.

According to the scriptures, in the churning of the ocean of milk (Samudra Manthan), many wonderful treasures that became the prototypes for their earthly and heavenly counterparts were brought up from the depths. Kalpataru or Kalpavriksha was one of such treasures. The Tree of Life represents balance in nature, abundance, enlightenment and prosperity.

The artisans who worked on this installation are master craftsmen who work with various metals such as brass, copper silver and gold. Traditionally they were a community of silversmiths. They belong to Ghaziabad, Moradabad and Firozabad region.

Sahil & Sarthak are Sahil Bagga and Sarthak Sengupta. Visit www.sahilsarthak.com and follow @sarthaksahil.



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