The Lost Bombay

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Design: Lakshman Khadapkar
Location: India
Project Type: Student Project
School: National Institute of Design
Tutor: Mala Sinha, Suchitra Balasubrahmanyan
Packaging Contents: Playings cards
Packaging Substrate / Materials: Paper
Printing Process: Digital Printing

In Bombay textile history a woodblock maker plays a vital role but at the same time, they never had a celebrated identity as a designer. Their story always ended with every block they created. The wooden blocks that were used in Bombay during the last two centuries, few blocks are still present but nobody knows what happened to the artisans and who created those blocks, even from where those artisans and blocks came from? It still remains a mystery! Have we lost this unique part of Bombay?

Why playing cards? A person who used to make those blocks, the whole family survived on the earnings of the artisan. They were the true King of their families. The wives were the ones who understood and took the responsibility for the family just like a queen. While studying the life of those people I realized that these personalities completely resemble the characters of playing cards. This project is my tribute to the people who lost their impression in the city of Bombay. This set of playing cards talks about the lives of those artisans.

What’s Unique?
This set of cards is completely dedicated to the forgotten artisans from the Bombay textile mills and every element of the design including four suits signifies the history of the Indian textile industry.