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Jaali re-creates the tactile and haptic experience of a feature typical to the Indo-Islamic architectural style. Jaali or stone lattices were developed in the Mughal period in India (1526–1857). Often seen in combination with the parchinkari, or pietra dura inlays using semi-precious stones and marble, these intricate stone screens were used to provide shade and generate a cool breeze during the sweltering summer.
The Mughal rulers did not replace any of the existing aesthetic language in India, choosing instead to integrate distinct cultural identities to evolve a new, unique aesthetic. This can be seen reflected in the unique motifs used in mausoleums, tombs and mosques scattered throughout India, resulting in an evolution of culture, style, craft, and technique.
Jaali further adapts this idea of co-existence by using the underlying Islamic geometry in the architectural motifs and re-creating them in paper.
The patterns cut in kozo are derived from the 6-fold patterns bordering the tomb of I'timād-ud-Daulah in Agra (1622–28), originally made using the parchinkari technique. The equilateral triangles are made using handmade cotton paper, and come together as hexagons, the underlying shape in the 6-fold symmetry.
The mechanics, inspired by Ron Resch, allow an interaction between the two layers, urging viewers to find their own symmetrical balance as they “open”, “close” and adapt the book to hide and reveal the patterns.
Edition of 5