PM Modi gifts hand-carved box with Rogan paint to Japanese counterpart Kishida

Rogan painting is a fabric printing art practiced in Kutch district of Gujarat. In this craft, paint made from boiled oil and vegetable dyes is applied to the fabric using a metal block (printing) or a stylus (painting).

The hand-carved wooden box with Rogan’s painting. ANI

Tokyo: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday presented a hand-carved wooden box with a painting of Rogan to his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida when meeting with him in Tokyo, Japan.

Rogan painting is a fabric printing art practiced in Kutch district of Gujarat. In this craft, paint made from boiled oil and vegetable dyes is applied to the fabric using a metal block (printing) or a stylus (painting). The craft nearly died out at the end of the 20th century, with Rogan painting being practiced by only one family.

Prime Minister Modi previously gifted a traditional Rogan painting to Denmark’s Queen Margrethe II during her three-day tour of Europe this month.

The word ‘Rogan’ comes from Persian, meaning varnish or oil. The manufacturing process of Rogan paint is very laborious and skillful. Artists place a small amount of this paint paste in their palms.

At room temperature, the paint is carefully twisted into patterns and images using a metal rod that never comes into contact with the fabric. Then the craftsman folds his designs into a blank cloth, thus imprinting his mirror image. Indeed, it is a very basic form of printing. Previously the designs were simple and rustic in nature, but over time the craft has become more stylized and is now considered a high level art form.

This craft is a form of surface embellishment and practiced for over a hundred years, but now by a single family in Nirona, Kachchh. A special paste made from castor oil is used in this craft. Castor seeds are pounded by hand to extract the oil and made into a paste by boiling. A colored powder diluted in water is then mixed with it.

The pastes of different colors yellow, red, blue, green, black and orange are stored in earthen pots with water to prevent them from drying out. The kalam, an iron rod, flat at both ends, is used to paint half of the drawing with the support of the fingers of the left hand. It is then printed onto the other half of the fabric by pressing the two halves together. As they were inexpensive substitutes for embroidered textiles, they were popular alternative textiles for clothing.

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