The Swadesh Bazaar was an immersive experience into India’s deep cultural heritage, curated and designed by Direct Create. Thematically designed around 108 Crafts of India - a sacred number with roots in ancient mysticism - were showcased to represent each and every state of India.
Commissioned by the Reliance Foundation, an Indian philanthropic initiative driving sustainable development across India, the exhibition was initiated to encourage the craftsmanship of traditional Indian artisans, with a special focus on preserving and reviving indigenous craft traditions. The exhibition not only provided livelihoods to thousands of such artisans but also gave them an opportunity to showcase their rare works from every corner of India to a global audience.
What started with ideas jotted down on paper resulted in a completely planned-from-scratch marketplace showcasing the best of craft products and art pieces from across India.
Under Direct Create’s umbrella, curators spanned the length and breadth of India to bring in products that spoke to the language of creativity across the country – woodwork from Nagaland and Suf embroidery from Kutch; bell-metal mirrors from Kerala and pashmina Kani shawls.
A team of architects and visual merchandisers built and outfitted the space at the Trident Hotel in Udaipur, which spread across 10 pavilions. The Bazaar brought together with elegance, skill, vibrancy, richness and functionality.
Retail Format Innovation
The Bazaar is curated by some of the most experienced and well-known names in the field of Indian Art and Crafts. Instead of the conventional state or craft-based format for showcasing Indian crafts. The Curation team proposes to present the Swadesh Bazaar collection using an innovative retail format of Category-based Pavilions. The use of Category-based collections will offer guests a dedicated and easy to navigate Bazaar. A shopping experience that aligns with mainstream retail formats yet carries the exciting amalgamation of the enormous diversity of India’s craft traditions.
The Pavillions of Swadesh Bazaar
The Masters' Treasures - Bespoke and exquisite 108 crafts from India
The Rug Shop - Carpets, Floor coverings, Rugs, Dhurries
Bejewelled - All jewellery categories from Gold Jewellery to Casual Terracotta Jewellery
Krishna - All aspects of Krishna - Art, Idols and Objects curated from across India
Unstitched - Scarves, Stoles, Sarees, Dupattas and Shawls
The Dining Room - Tableware, Flatware, Table Dressing
Inner Sanctum - Cushions, Quilts, Furniture, Photo frames, Lamps
The Playroom - Traditional Toys, Board Games, Fun Objects, Stationery
The Gift Box - Gift Boxes, Trunks, Containers, Jewellery Boxes
Art of Wellness - Wellness, Incense, Yoga Accessories
Tree of Life - Wall Art, Textile Art, Paintings, Wall Panels
Swadesh Bazaar showcased 108 Crafts of India, this was the shortlist of the crafts we showcased: Ajrakh Printing, Gujarat. Applique, Gujarat. Aranmula Kannadi, Kerala. Assam jewellery, Assam. Batik, West Bengal. Batik, Madhya Pradesh. Bagh printing, Madhya Pradesh. Bagru Dabu Printing, Rajasthan. Bandhani, Rajasthan. Bandhani, Gujarat. Bead jewellery, Nagaland. Bell metal, Kerala. Benaras Wooden Toys - Wooden Carving, Benaras-Uttar Pradesh. Bidriware, Andhra Pradesh Blue Pottery, Jaipur-Rajasthan. Brass work - Muradabad- Uttar Pradesh. Brocade, Benaras-Uttar Pradesh. Bronze casting, Bundelkhand, UP Carpet Weaving, Bhadohi -Uttar Pradesh Ceramic Handmade, Auroville -Pondicherry Chamba Rumal, Himachal Pradesh Chanderi Weaving, Chanderi - Madhya Pradesh Chanderi Weaving, Chanderi - Madhya Pradesh Cornhusk weaving, Sikkim Crewelwork- Kashidakari, Kashmir Crochet, Uttar Pradesh Damascening weaponry - Koftgari, Rajasthan Dhurrie Weaving, Gujarat Dokra Craft, Chattisgarh Ganjifa Cards, Orrisa Gond Art, Madhya Pradesh Gota Pati Work, Rajasthan Hand Blown Glass + Jewelry, Muradabad- Uttar Pradesh Ikat and Double Ikat Weaving, Sambalpur- Orissa Jamdani Weaving, West Bengal Jawaja Leather, Jawaja -Rajasthan Jogi Art, Gujarat Kaavad, Rajasthan Kachchi Embroidery, Gujarat Kalamkari Hand painting, Sri Kalahasti- Andhra Pradesh Kalighat Parchment painting, West Bengal Kanjiwaram Silk weaving, Kanchipuram- Tamil Nadu Kansa Metalwork, Orissa Kansa Metalwork, Rajasthan Kantha embroidery, West Bengal Kimkhab, Benaras-Uttar Pradesh Kora mat weaving (Pattamadai), Tamil Nadu Kota Weaving, Rajasthan Kundan, Rajasthan Lacquer work, Chennapatana, Karnataka Leather puppetry, Andhra Pradesh Lehariya Dyeing, Rajasthan Lehariya Dyeing, Gujarat Madhubani Wall art, Madhubani -Bihar Maheshwari weaving, Maheshwar -Madhya Pradesh Manipur Basketweaving, Manipur Marble Carving, Agra -Uttar Pradesh Marble Carving, Jaipur-Rajasthan Marble inlay, Uttar Pradesh Marble inlay, Rajasthan Mashru, Gujarat Mata Ni Pachedi, Gujarat Meenakari, Rajasthan Mekhla Chador Weaving, Assam Miniature painting - Pahadi School, Himachal Pradesh Miniature painting - Rajasthan School, Rajasthan Mohra metalwork, Himachal Pradesh Mojri Making, Rajasthan Molela Clay work, Rajasthan Naga Loin Loom weaving, Nagaland Nagaland Cane and Bamboo weaving, Nagaland Nettur Patti jewel box, Kerala Paithani weaving, Maharashtra Palm leaf weaving, Tamil Nadu Paper mache Work, Bihar Parsi Gara Embroidery, Maharashtra Pashmina Shawl, Kashmir Patachitra - Palm Leaf and Canvas, Orrisa Patan patola, Gujarat Pattu Weaving, Gujarat Pattu Weaving, Rajasthan Phad Painting, Rajasthan Phulkari, Punjab Pichwai, Nathdwara, Rajasthan Pink Meenakari, Benaras-Uttar Pradesh Punja Dhurries, Rajasthan Punja Dhurries, Uttar Pradesh Quilting / Dohars, Rajasthan Rabaari Work Embroidery, Gujarat Sanjhi Paper Cut, Uttar Pradesh Sanjhi Paper Cut, Rajasthan Seashell carving, Tamilnadu Shola Pith, West Bengal Sikki craft, Bihar Silver coated on Brass metal Work- Jaipur, Rajasthan Silver Work- Jaipur, Rajasthan Soft stone sculpture, Uttar Pradesh Split ply braiding, Errol Pyres, Gujarat Suf embroidery, Gujarat Sujuni Wall Art, Bihar Tangaliya Weaving, Gujarat Tanjore Paintings, Tamil Nadu Takashi, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan Telia Rumal, Tamilnadu Temple jewellery, Tamil Nadu Terracotta Pottery, Delhi Tribal wood carving, Nagaland Tribal wood sculpture, Baiga Madhya Pradesh Uppada Weaving, Andhra Pradesh Walnut wood carving, Kashmir Warli painting, Maharashtra Water Hyacinth weave, Manipur Woodblock making, Rajasthan Wood carving, Uttar Pradesh Zardozi Weaving, Uttar Pradesh
The Swadesh Bazaar was Experienced by over 2500 world leaders from global business, political, design and the entertainment community. At its peak, the project had 1000 people working on it. Curated by a team of able curators and connoisseurs from the world of design and craft, we mobilised more than 25,000 handcrafted products from the remotest parts of India. The fact the entire project was completed start to finish in just 45 days is another milestone.
The Swadesh Bazaar was a celebration of Indian heritage, and a reminder to value and nurture that heritage in current times. From live demonstrations of various crafts to folk dances and music performances, the Bazaar was a living experience of India brought to life. In the end, what came to the fore was the collaborative spirit with which the experience of the event was created - one that spoke to the foundation of Direct Create as a high-energy, creative organisation. Creative minds from different spheres worked together across platforms to deliver a much loved, record-breaking event.