The art of going nowhere, doing nothing, of staying still, of listening to the sound of silence, of being in a space that becomes a bridge between the self and the particles that combine themselves into various forms in the world outside the self. A space like Under the Frangipani, the Asian Paints exhibit at India Design Week, is just that. A network that connects all to all. At a very basic level it is a homage to nature and natural materials but at its core it is a connective node.
The space melds a Japanese zen garden with a Kerala style home. And why not? Two wonderful expressions of natural materials coming together, both intended to create synchronicity between human lives and natural rhythms, both keeping us close to the materials of the earth. And in the center, one of nature's most beautiful flowering trees - the frangipani. Symbol of love, strength, unity, and connectedness. A perfect example of the beauty of simplicity. A pure white blossom with an uncomplicated petal structure and a heady but pretty fragrance that doesn't overpower. Evocative and lovely.
The frangipani is one of those special blossoms that is everywhere but doesn't tire. It exudes restfulness. And a bit of amazing trivia: the frangipani is recommended as a gift for someone who has endured many challenges because this plant must be heated over 500 degrees F to catch alight and start burning. Wrap your mind around that. It is in this perfect setting that the new offerings from Asian Paints are presented, all centered around nature or natural materials. Nilaya Naturals paints - a heart-filling creation based on ancient recipes that use natural materials to produce pure, organic paint with luminous, colours that are so authentic they behave like colours in the natural world. Makes sense. Natural materials, natural colours. Each colour is an ode to nature's palette - vivid, restful and breathtaking.
Royale Play finishes are also on display. Once more, nature is the theme with finishes based on natural textures. Then there are the wallcoverings. Heart stopping designs by Mo Naga, celebrated tattoo artist whose work reflects the varied art forms of Nagaland - his homeland, an animistic art form which presupposes that all things have a soul, animate or inanimate and so is closely entwined with nature.
And last but not least the artisanal handmade wallcoverings, powerful creations by Maximiliano Modesti.To go back to the beginning, what are these expressions achieving? The point is connectedness. A going back to where we are from, to a space that slows us down to a pace that allows us to feel the elements that bind us. We gather under the frangipani and become one.