For fashion brand AMPM, this season’s mood board is the middle ground where art and culture come together. Borrowing from the heritage of India, the brand’s newest project, art-i-culate’s inspiration, comes from the work of artist Jai Khanna. Having deep roots in Rajasthan, Jai’s rendition of Pichwai captured Priyanka Modi’s attention. We caught up with the creative director of AMPM, Priyanka and artist Jai, to know more about the anthology series.
L: R: Creative Director of AMPM, Priyanka Modi with husband, and co-founder, Ankur; Artist Jai Khanna, whose work inspired the project
ELLE: Tell us about the mood board for this project.
Priyanka Modi (PM): One of my greatest joys is discovering the many ways in which art can make you feel liberated. The starting point of my inspiration was Jai Khanna’s modern interpretation of the age-old craft of Pichwai. For the first time, instead of telling our story, I wanted to tell his story and the stories of other artists and creators like him who have freely explored their creative expression through their own unique mediums.
Art-i-culate is an anthology series that offers an intimate account of creative artists from different disciplines. The mood board for this project had to be very individualistic. Every creator in the series has a very distinct and nuanced personality. Needless to say, every creator’s imagery had to be treated, keeping that in mind. While you see an earthy tone in Karuna Reddy’s series, you can almost sense the meditativeness in Jai Khanna’s portraits. All this while, tying the whole project together in the true AMPM style – minimal, conversational and evocative.
Guneet Monga, one of the artists featured in the art-i-culate project
ELLE: Tell us a bit about the process of turning this from an idea into a project? What were some of the challenges you faced?
PM: In 2019 I visited an art exhibition and found myself entranced by the works of Jai Khanna. Having deep roots in Rajasthan, I had seen many Pichwais, but when I saw Jai’s rendition of Shrinathji, I was utterly transfixed. Just taking the basic guardrails of Pichwai, he seemed to have created his own language, one that was free of rules and restrictions and full of detail and devotion. The uniqueness of his artistry, his compositions and his minimalistic expressions were the starting point for my inspiration to design our Spring Summer ’21 collection, aārthai, and subsequently, the art-i-culate project.
It was our first time taking on a project so dynamic. From identifying these creators to the logistics of the production, this journey was thoroughly enriching for all of us. Despite the restrictions due to the pandemic, it was incredible to see how safely and seamlessly the team and our content partners brought art-i-culate to life.
Chef Shilarna Vaze, one of the artists featured in the art-i-culate project
ELLE: How would you describe art-i-culate. Tell us about the kind of experience you wish to create with it.
PM: Made with love, art-i-culate is an extension of my vision to start a lifelong conversation with artists, creators, dreamers and thinkers. This is my attempt to discover art, in all forms and all styles. Everyone’s artistic journey is different, the inspiration is different, and the purpose is different. In fondly recounting their journeys, these creators have given us a glimpse of themselves. Every emotion, every movement that you see, articulates their story.
Ashima and Ruchi Narain, two of the artists featured in the art-i-culate project
ELLE: The creators featured in the series are culture influencers in their own ways. How did you zero in on them?
PM: Each creator in art-i-culate is someone whose work inspires me and truly reflects the ethos of AMPM. While one is a passionate potter who approaches her wheel in the most poetic way, another is a filmmaker whose purpose is to create empathy. It is one of my greatest joys, to have discovered creators that behold an artistic language of their own. A language so rich that generations of other creators will be able to uplift their work and empower themselves.
Karuna Reddy, one of the artists featured in the art-i-culate project
We haven’t even scratched the surface of the brilliant minds and unusual talents whose stories we want to bring to life. With art-i-culate, I hope to start a dialogue, one that never ends, one that is constantly flowing. I hope that this series enriches the lives of everyone who experiences it. That it sparks a little inspiration, a little creativity, for the great minds out there waiting for it.
Jai Khanna On His Art Inspiring The Series
Jai Khanna, the artist who inspired the project and one of the artists featured in the art-i-culate project
ELLE: Your work was the starting point for this series. Tell us about your first thoughts when you heard about the project.
Jai Khanna (JK): Initially, I was apprehensive about the project. Previously few design houses have approached me to adapt my art into fabrics – an idea I was never keen about. However, when I saw the glimpse of the new collection, I was quite convinced. The collection was quite refreshing and imaginative and had a completely new approach towards a modern way to look at the traditional art form. It was truly a testimony of inspiration matching a uniqueness of design.
AMPM’s S’21 aārthai Collection
ELLE: Can you tell us a bit about your work that inspired this series? What was the experience you wished to create with this?
JK: Priyanka saw my work in my solo show in 2019 – I was presenting a 400-year-old art form of Pichwai into a new modern lens that is unique and contemporary. With my work and with this project, I would like to create an experience of the newly positioned modern yet traditional contemporary art form into a distinctive sense of fashion that conveys the true meaning of inspiration.
ELLE: Tell us about the experience of being a part of art-i-culate.
JK: I think it was quite overwhelming for me – the journey video and photo shoot was done fairly beautifully and portrayed my true presentation as an artist. The kind of response I have received from the campaign is quite extraordinary. It was indeed a pleasure to be associated with AMPM – it was a fantastic presentation of unique stories in the most personal manner. I am delighted to see the unification of art and fashion in the most astounding way.
Photos Courtesy: AMPM