Expressions and experimentations: textiles in visual art

Visual artists from South Asia engage with materials, processes and histories associated with textiles to produce works that can provoke deeper considerations of the medium.


Video transcript,  Image credits

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Terms to know

Weavers’ Service Centre
Training and textile weaving development centers managed by the Ministry of Textiles, Government of India, Weavers’ Service Centres (WSCs) were founded in 1956 with the aim of facilitating the growth of the handloom sector and making it a sustainable industry in the global market. The centers study handloom and weaving techniques in India and prepare samples of weaving technologies to train weavers. Founded by Pupul Jayakar, with a parent center in Mumbai and three other centers in Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai, the centers were conceptualized under the government’s Planning Commission.

A devotional tradition where images of Buddhist deities are painted on scrolls, to gain divine merit and for teaching and meditating, historically, thangka paintings served as visual aids.

A devotional tradition where the cloth was painted with images for veneration and hung behind the deity, pichwai means “that which hangs back”. The tradition emerged from the temple town of Nathdwara, near Udaipur, Rajasthan where the shrine of Nathdwara was built in the seventeenth century and the idol of Krishna installed here was moved from Mathura during the reign of Aurangzeb. 

From The MAP Academy Glossary

Additional resources

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Cite this page as: The MAP Academy, "Expressions and experimentations: textiles in visual art," in Smarthistory, August 17, 2022, accessed April 20, 2024,