The 34th India International Trade Fair 2014 (IITF) held at Pragati Maidan in Delhi stood as a staunch pinnacle of the achievements of women in various fields. The Bihar Pavilion designed by Delhi-based TOD Innovations exemplified this theme by treating it with a holistic approach and yet highlighting the detailed characteristics of women achievers.
Founder and Partner at TOD Innovations, Kulveer Singh Bhati, drew inspiration from successful women who are shaping the society not only through their economic revolution but also imparting their vision of a healthier and wealthier future into the society. Each component of the pavilion was interwoven with the stories of women achievers and the mark they’ve made on Bihar’s future.
From the pavilion facade to the courtyard and themed halls, all the areas honour the achievements of women and the role they’ve played to change the societal landscape of Bihar, while showcasing alongside the numerous artistries and crafts that Bihar is proud of.
To start with, the entrance under the tilted canopy was decorated with ‘Sikki Chakras’ that are hand crafted discs made by weaving dried grass which was also dyed in vibrant colours. The facade which looks like an abstract ‘jali’ was designed in a minimalist cubist fashion. This ‘jali’ was actually influenced from renowned Madhubani paintings which depicted women doing their daily chores, in their traditional roles and peeled off at one corner to reveal the women of today’s Bihar.
The aura of unveiling the present from the wrappings of the past is pretty evident here. The whole facade glowed in the evening bringing to life the fine strokes of the ‘Madhubani Jali’.
The ‘Tulsi’ courtyard celebrated the invigorating spirit of woman achievers with stories about them printed on ‘Bhagalpuri’ silk panels which personify the traditional, handmade craftsmanship of Bihar. The ceiling was decorated with stunning ‘Madhubani’ paintings that capture the role of women in each phase of their lives and their journey to overcome their hurdles.
The centre of the hall with the ‘Tulsi’ tree, which is the traditional icon of womanhood and an integral part of every household in Bihar, rose from a cluster of pedestals showcasing various crafts and the numerous accomplishments of women. The dark mono-chromatic interiors punctuated with bright splurge of colours imparted liveliness to the space. Here on, a passage decorated with bamboo ‘jali’ and adorned by a ‘Sikki’ chandelier lead to the administrative and crafts hall.
The former displayed the government’s efforts to ensure women’s self-sufficiency and progress and was an interaction platform with the executives.
‘Upendra Maharathi Shilpkala Sansthan’, who commissioned the pavilion design, also organised live demonstrations by the artisans in the crafts hall to give its visitors a taste of their prosperous craft heritage.
Adding character to the space, were the ‘Tikuli’ paintings and paper mache masks-adorned walls. Right in the middle was a display of the best examples of Bihar’s crafts. The top storey of the pavilion had individual stalls displaying the work of the exhibitors of Bihar. For its commemoration of empowered women and highlighting the humungous crafts scene prevalent in Bihar, the Bihar pavilion received the Gold Medal for the ‘Best Pavilion in IITF’ 2014.
Text By Rehana Hussain