Mukhra/Tukra/Chakradar In Tintal & Rupaktal - Jan Haag

Mukhra/Tukra/Chakradar In Tintal & Rupaktal - Jan Haag

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Single strand Persian wool; double strand Appleton wool; lace wool, partly Kashmir; silk yarn; rayon yarn; cotton and viscose yarn; cotton, silver and gold thread on 18 mesh canvas. Continental stitch in all four directions.

Approximately 154,548 stitches

Dimensions: 18 x 26 ½ in.

In North Indian Classical music, a Mukhra is a short introductory piece on the tabla, ending in a tihai. A tihai is a compositional ending element repeated three times. A Tukra, which also ends with a tihai, is played later in a performance. A Chakradar can be similar to either of these compositions and the whole of the composition is repeated three times.

Using repetition and variation, which is also basic to needlepointing, this work explores musical "color" and patterns as well as light, shadow, and transparency. This piece has a depth of field and three dimensional quality, perhaps unique in needlepoint compositions.

The complexity of this piece is astonishing. Note, for example, the camels walking on a border of golden sand.

Haag explains:

"Why camels? Many talas of North Indian Classical music are based on the sounds heard in nature. Tradition has it that the rolling rhythm of Rupaktal is based on the walk of the camel. Note that each of the camels carries a pack, covered with a decorative carpet as usually would have been the case as they walked along the Silk Road through the deserts of Asia.

"At the center of the top stands the blue Lord Krishna with his flute, leading the camels. Next to him sits the drummer. The background of the camels contains repetitions of a stylized version of the Gordian Knot, a reference to Alexander the Great who, presented with the original Gordian Knot, sliced through it with his sword. The Gordian Knot's inclusion here alludes to Alexander's 4th century B.C. incursion into India (an event un-noticed in Indian history -- until Westerners began to write that history).

"The camels proceed in groups of seven, echoing the beat of Rupaktal. Crossing the lower camel border to the left is a great OM referring to the original sound. In the middle, Shiva as Nataraja dances the world into existence, a damaru (drum -- the symbol of creation) held in his right hand."