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Interesting homeware that are elaborate, geometrical and traditional

Having grown up in an open and creative environment, it was natural for 33-year-old Indian artist Zoya Chaudhary to develop an artistic flair of her own. It is her love for hand-drawn illustrations and an intrigue for the East that propelled her to launch The East Story, a homeware label that combines Zoya’s rustic style with eastern myths, legends, and culture. The brand’s first collection is Murraqqa, a series of vibrant cushion covers inspired by Mughal art.

Tell us about the designs in the Murraqqa collection.
The Mughal Empire made India their home in the 16th century, and with that came art that was elaborate, geometrical and traditional. I wanted to give it a modern edge. I illustrate by hand and you’ll see that the prints are raw and uneven. The end product is less traditional, and more vibrant and fun. Plus, my sense of style and art has always been colourful.

Why are you fascinated by the East?
The West has always dominated (our lifestyles) – we speak their language, learn their poetry, and know their heroes – more than we know our own, or that of the East. When I sing British poetry to my kids now, it doesn’t make sense because we hadn’t seen those things in India. We need to know more about the East, too.

How does your upbringing influence your work?
Both my parents went to drama school in India and are in the media industry, and I grew up in Bombay, where all the artists and filmmakers are. On top of that, my dad is Hindu and my mum is Muslim, which wasn’t the norm back then. I wasn’t confined to just one culture and I had a more open upbringing. 

How does colour play a role in a home?
Colour can be used to create dramatic decor for the home, and these can be used as focal points. For example, you can design around one colourful object.

What else can we expect from the brand?
There aren’t too many brands here with vibrant prints and I’m getting great feedback. Perhaps, with more options, people here will open up more to colour. We are planning to produce more quirky accessories and wall decor, so look out for that.

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