Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Noorjehan Bilgrami is an artist, textile designer and researcher. Her interest in traditional crafts led to the establishment of KOEL, a workshop that pioneered the revival of hand block printed fabrics in Pakistan. She is one of the founders of the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture and was its first Executive Director.
Years of research into ajrak, a traditional Sindhi textile, led to publication of the book Sindh jo Ajrak, and later to the making of the documentary video,Sun, Fire, River, Ajrak - Cloth from the soil of Sindh.
Handloom weaving and natural dyes are now her major interest and she was awarded the Japan Foundation Fellowship in 2001-02 to pursue research on natural indigo in Japan.
Noorjehan curated the exhibition Tana Bana: The Woven Soul of Pakistan in collaboration with Jonathan Mark Kenoyer at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1998; the exhibition later travelled to the Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland, Oregon, the Pacific - Asia Museum, Pasadena, California and Mingeikan, the Japan Folk Craft Museum, Tokyo. A comprehensive bilingual exhibition catalogue documenting the traditional textiles of Pakistan was produced in 2004 when the exhibition travelled to the prestigious Mingeikan.
She has travelled extensively and lectured at universities and museums in the United States, Scandinavia and Japan and has written numerous articles for international journals.