Folk impressions_n_ expressions…

ImageMandanagraphy by Lakhi Chand Jain on Craft paper > Size- 2.5 x 4.0 ft


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Binayak Ji Ka Mandana…

The artist has showcased his two series of Binayak Ji Ka mandana  paintings on canvass at Kamalnayan Bajaj Art Gallery (2002) and Artists’ Centre (2003) at Mumbai.

Image Mandanagraphy by Lakhi Chand Jain on Canvass  > Size- 2.5 x 2.5 ft


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When tradition meets fashion

Pray for better rain… The artist has given a modern look to the       mandana visual folk art. He had transposed the auspicious embellishment of mandana on the signature umbrellas in Monsoon 2004 – 2005.

ImageEvoke the rain God with an umbrella… Have you heard of an umbrella that can evoke the rain God? Mandana artist Lakhi Chand Jain, has designed an umbrella that has symbols from mandana art form that commemorates the monsoons.                                                                                                                                                  –Mid-Day, Mumbai, July 01, 2004. 


When tradition meets fashion…. As Jain stated, “There are several International brands in India. But now India needs to create its own brand with its definitive characteristics which will curve its niche in the International fashion industry.”                                                                                                                                                      –DNA, Mumbai, Dec.29, 2008.

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Pray for Non-Violence

Pray for Non-violence_image source_mandanagraphy@india

The artist has created a series with his ethereal expressions of emotions related to a peaceful, non-violent philosophy through his famous signature mandana. This series of designs, playing only with the simple lines and specially created for the ‘Eternal Gandhi’ Project, an initiative of the Aditya Birla group.


An artist tribute to Mahatma… Jain has created a series of paintings with the theme ‘Pray for non-violence’, using the Mandana art form, to depict Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy.                                                                                                                                                –The Hindu, Oct 01, 2005.

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Earthy appeal

ImageKalwa-based artist is reviving the Rajasthani folk art of mandana through modern means.

As Lakhichand Jain’s agile fingers trace an intricate pattern of white chalk across a red, earth-smeared background, traditional Rajasthani mandana art comes alive, reminiscent of the designs on the walls and floors of rural houses in the Land of Kings.

The Rajasthani version of the Gujarati rangoli and the Bengali alpana, mandana uses simple geometric forms like triangles, squares and circles to decorate houses. “This folk art makes use of red sand (geru) and chalk powder and is applied on floors and walls, especially on auspicious occasions and festivals,” explains the 38-year-old artist based at Kalwa, near Mumbai.

While Rajasthanis believe these unique patterns act like good luck charms to keep evil away and guard their homes, for Jain it is a passion that has driven him for over two decades. A graduate in applied arts, Jain first learnt mandana from his grandmother and now painstakingly coaches his two sons, hoping they will keep the tradition alive.

In his endeavour to sustain the art form, Jain has delivered many lectures to design students on the importance of conserving traditions and using it in mainstream devices. “Over the years this folk art has taken a severe beating because we no longer have earthen walls and verandahs to sanctify and decorate,” says Jain. “The only way to preserve such a custom is by developing it through textiles and design.”

To this aim the artist has in the past tied up with jewellery maker Inter Gold to produce a mandana-based series of gold coins. He has also innovatively adapted this art to fashion with his “Pray for better rain” mandana umbrellas which were marketed by Stag Umbrellas during the monsoons.

Incidentally, the word mandana is derived from the Sanskrit word mandan, which means “to invent”. So in a way, Jain is not parting with tradition when he explores new media for the folk art to make it appealing to the masses. He has tried to give it a modern look by using glass, metal, wood, linens, cotton, ceramic, gold and terracotta.

Mandana is also being propagated through laser and digital technology. But that by no means puts a stop to the learning. Jain is currently researching the origin of mandana and wants to digitally document his findings. When tradition meets technology, can magic be far away?

Kimi  Dangor ( Published in- India Today >December, 27, 2004.)

India Today Press Clipping

A contemporary expression of Mandana by Lakhi Chand Jain

4mandana - CopyA Man for Mandana…  Lakhi Chand Jain is giving new shapes to the ancient artistic ritual of Mandana, thus raising it to the level of contemporary art.                                                                                                                                                                            –Marwar, 3rd Issue 2003.

Art conscious

Umbrella_Mandana_Lakhichand_jain_13Artist Lakhi Chand Jain strives to revive the forgotten Mandana art

He’s a self-taught artist of a forgotten folk art called Mandana from Rajasthan and he has just one desire – to bring world acclaim to the art form. Kalwa-based artist Lakhi Chand Jain says, “I have been learning about Mandana art ever since I was six years old. It was an Interest passed down to me by my grandmother Ratan bai. Today, I want to popularise the form in foreign countries, and I know there can be a huge market for it abroad.”

Jain, also a senior faculty with BD Somani Institute of Fashion Technology, has created over 300 Mandana artworks in traditional canvas as well as contemporary surface and textures. “Traditionally, the painting is done on walls and floors, he explains, “but I have painted on canvas, paper, glass, ceramic etc. In fact, I have even taught students to paint on t-shirts.”

Being an old village art form, Mandana is an entirely creative experience. It has no formal education and training in Indian art schools. Jain says, “I have relied on my traditional knowledge as well as my research. The only way to preserve the art is by developing it through unique ways, modern techniques and different media.”

Jain, a highly spiritual person, says he derives his inspirations through meditation. “Usually, when I want to paint, I close my eyes and meditate. In the process, shapes and designs appear before my eyes, which I then put out on my medium.” This is how the artists claim to have created his series on Ganeshji, recently.

Jain recently compiled Mandana in a new-age digital audio-video presentation (power point and slides). Packed in 38 topics, the slides show various aspects of the art – the two types called Vallhari Pradhan and Aakruti Pradhan, its significance and demonstrations.

“I will use this presentation in my workshops before starting actual display,” he says. He explains that Vallhari Pradhan depicts life around us while Aakruti Pradhan depicts geometric forms expressing cosmic symbols. “Aakruti Pradhan is the more complex form, which only a person with knowledge can appreciate. It usually hides a poem or a story in its symbols.”

He adds that the form is all the more difficult because mistakes can’t be erased. “A painting may take as much as two to 20 hours. But, since there is no use of any technical instruction in it, an artist can’t get up unless he completes the artwork.” Jain also points out that an artist can be judged by the design he creates.

Today, after several exhibitions and projects, Jain wants to give this art a mainstream recognition and global accreditation. He has created designs on glass, metal, wood, linens, cotton, silk fabric, ceramic, gold and terracotta. “I would love to see Mandana as one of the identities of India and contribute to it economically,” he says, hopefully.

– Nitya Kaushik

Published in- The Indian Express >Mumbai Newsline > 22 October 2007

A Profile- Lakhi Chand Jain


Lakhi Chand Jain, born, lives and paints in Maharashtra (India). He is an inventive contemporary artist, travel writer and language translator. His past honors include dozen of awards at national and state level for his offbeat design and unbound creativity. He is linked with the field of the Interactive spaces & exhibition design. By profession, he is also strongly committed to the Mandana traditional visual folk art since over two decades.

He is a self-taught artist in Mandana. In India, there is no formal education and training in any art & design schools for mandana as well as other visual folk arts. The tradition of Mandana is passed down from one generation to another in his family. He picked-up Mandana tradition by practice at an early age of six year from his grandmother late smt. Ratan Bai Jain.

He has given a new lease of life to the Mandana visual folk art form and also has adapted Mandana patterns from traditional canvass to modern surface, textures and mediums. He is giving new shapes to the Mandana, thus raising it to the higher level of contemporary art.

He has tried to give it a contemporary look to Mandana by using Hi-tech laser, digital, thread-embroidery & print technology. He has created innovative concepts & designs on glass, gold-silver-copper metal, linens- cotton-silk fabric, Eco-friendly handcrafted papers, wood, ceramic, and terracotta etc.

In the year 2004, he has compiled Mandana in the form of Digital Audio-Visual presentation with covering around 40 topics. This AV presentation illustrated various aspects and significance of the Mandana art for fashion, art-crafts and design students. To promote the Mandana art, he has tried to increase the awareness of the Mandana by writing articles for regional, national print media and in-flight magazines. There were several live interviews-talks broadcasted about Mandana on AIR and FM channels and also many Mandana demonstrations telecasted on various TV and news channels. He has showcased two series of paintings, title- ‘Binayak ji Ka Mandana’ on canvas at Bajaj Art Gallery (2003) and Artists Center (2004) in Mumbai and also his numerous Mandanas, which are in collection in India and other countries.

In own words,“I have relied on my traditional knowledge as well as research. I’ve picked up this tradition from my grandmother and mother. My mission is to give this art a mainstream recognition and global accreditation. The only way to preserve such a custom is by developing it through unique ways, modern techniques and different Medias. Mandana has various forms… various images and various styles. Mandana has its own language, which has to be understood to gauge the depth of its various aspects.”

He has credit to design first-ever innovative syllabus in India, based on Indian Arts called-‘Indian arts in fashion’ for ex-design and fashion students and also organized many workshops on Mandana for fashion and design student.

-Meeta Surana

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