Purvai Rai (b. 1994, New Delhi, India) completed her Bachelor’s degree from Srishti Institute for Art, Design and Technology, Bangalore in 2017.
She has had two group shows; What is contemporary curated by Anushka Rajendran at Art Alive Gallery in 2019, Art Now curated by Sunaina Anand at Lalit Kala Academy in 2019. She was also a part of India Art Fair, New Delhi 2020.
Purvai Rai is a graphic designer, textile designer and multimedia artist, her practice reminds us that textile was once the carrier of history and identity, and such meaning has since been replaced by industrial and mass-produced fabric meant to be discarded and replaced every year, each season. She works with natural materials like jute, cotton, and yarn which acts as a medium of storytelling in her artwork. As our patterns of consumption have altered to fit with the neo-liberal logic of excess, Rai laments its implied loss. She is particularly interested in the tactility of natural fabric, and how in the recesses of its weaves reside familial and generational memory, waiting to be inherited as clothes are passed on from parent to child. She believes that much like a photograph, a piece of fabric also captures the essence of many moments in our life.
Purvai Rai’s work portrays clothing as a symbol of identity, reminiscent of the past, an object of cultural importance, and a tool of memory making. Each series looks at textile—the art of making and carrying it—as a medium of storytelling, as layers of fibers uncover personal and collective narratives that hoard with the passing of time.
Purvai lives and works in New Delhi, India.