Bhai Gian Singh Naqqash's Mohrakashi Art

in Image Gallery
Published on: 28 November 2018

Dr Maneet Kaur

Dr Maneet Kaur is a researcher, academician, textile artist and designer. Under non-net fellowship, she completed her PhD on 'Evolution of Motif and Colour of Ikat in Gujarat, Orissa and Andhra Pradesh' from Design Department, Kala Bhavan, Visva-Bharati, Santiniketan. Prior to that she received fellowship on Small-study research grant on 'Bondo textiles' and 'Natural dyeing in Ikat Textiles from Lac and Jackfruit' from the Nehru Trust for the Indian Collection at Victoria and Albert Museum. Further she has submitted a documentary film on 'Bondo textiles of Orissa' to the handlloom office under Ministry of Textiles, Bhuwaneshwar, Orissa. She has taught as a Lecturer for a year in the Architecture and Interior School, LPU, Phagwara and as an Assistant Professor for two years in Design Department ApeeJay College of Fine Arts, Jalandhar. She has presented papers on 'Batik of Santiniketan', 'Kodpad Weavers', 'Telia Rumal of Pochampalli by Chiruveru Ramalingum', 'Crochet for Wearable', 'Punja Dhurries in Punjab' and 'Florals of Darbar Sahib' in seminars and conferences respectively. She has also been engaged in natural dyeing of silk, cotton and jute, designing organic jewellery, souvenirs with the folk artists and craft persons of Santiniketan; dhurries in natural dyeing with Nakodar weavers and introducing new motifs in Phulkari of Patiala.


Bhai Gian Singh Naqqash's forte included motifs of painted seasonal local flowers that are either part of dehin in Mohrakashi or arrangement of flowers, leaves, Creepers or bushes surrounded with grapevine or Arabesque floral pattern in corners, square and rectangle forms. His fluidity and consistency of lines and intricate drawings are present in miniature paintings as well. Before the mohrakashi patterns are executed, the designs or patterns are made on paper and then transferred on to the wall. The compositions are an extension of the sketches or drawings that he paints on the wall. The compositions need to be of exact proportions and scale as required on the wall. The stencil is a khakaa, an outline of  the motif made by perforating paper with a needle based on the pattern. It is likely that the original painted miniatures were done on paper and then a stencil was prepared from them.


The image gallery gives us a glimpse of his floral paintings on handmade paper in pigmented colours, book covers designed by him and the drawings as well as patterns that he published. All these original works are being currently preserved and maintained in the form of digital prints by his grandchildren & great-grandchildren.