A lawn-variety ‘slicing chai’ glass is elevated into a stylish champagne flute. A not easily seen lota (vessel) finds delight in a location in its new avatar as a decorative jar. Unapologetically unconventional in design, yet deeply rooted inside the Indian milieu, these domestic decor items are a part of the 21-piece series through Ikki’s, the new emblem from designer Gunjan Gupta, launched at Maison & Objet in advance this year. Ikki’s—which actually interprets to ‘twenty-one’ in Hindi—launches with 21 items designed for the 21st century. Each item is firmly entrenched in a thing of the day by day life in India and is an Indian at heart as it is contemporary in shape. Seemingly everyday gadgets like the balti (bucket), Kuchar (earthen mugs) are reinterpreted and uplifted into works of art.
This juxtaposition between the conventional and the cutting-edge isn’t new territory for Gunjan Gupta, founder and innovative director of Ikki’s. For over a decade now, Gupta has been growing current relevance for declining Indian handicrafts thru her self-named logo—and Ikki’s follows a similar philosophy. “My eponymous domestic decor gadgets logo is an inventive vision incorporating indigenous materials, capabilities, and narratives into sculptural objects which are symbolic of cutting-edge India and fall under the collectible layout category. Ikki’s is a product-design emblem that contains the same spirit and is focused in the direction of the layout of items which can be time-honored for application, characteristic and regular dwelling.”
Each home decor object harks again to a familiar, reassuring ritual or reminiscence. The Kuchar represents the comforting ritual of chai and conversations on the neighborhood tea stall. The patella brings to mind the flurry of interest in a standard Indian kitchen—with mothers at the helm. Gupta believes those quotidian memories lie on the heart of her paintings: “Stories of ordinary India are the soul of my designs, and I suppose that is the factor of my work that humans connect with across the world. Ikki’s expresses itself thru the discharge of tension among vintage, and new, hand made and industrial, form and characteristic, motive and play….”
Ikki’s has additionally drawn in a huge community of neighborhood artisans— providing them a platform to showcase their crafts and abilities—who have created this series the use of conventional substances (brass, stone, copper, and glass) in mixture with patented finishes, including a terracotta powder finish that has been advanced in-residence. The brand gives a limitless and confined series; the previous is the result of business and hand-crafted methods and was released in January. However, it’s the limited series (slated to launch on the September edition of Maison & Objet) that, without a doubt, embodies Indian craftsmanship. With it, Gupta hopes to “re-contextualize Indian craft for modern dwelling and putting the craftsman at the vanguard of the introduction”—a becoming tribute to craft, certainly.