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By Insiya Dhatt
Poem by Athena Kashyap
San Francisco, California: Insiya Dhatt, 2022. Edition of 20.

12 x 9" closed; 11 pages. Double sided accordion. Bound like a wedding album with henna-colored handmade Japanese Momi Kyoseishi paper and covered in a bridal sari to represent the life of a married woman. The henna hands art was laser engraved on handmade Indian cotton rag paper using an Epilog Fusion Pro laser. The text is letterpressed printed using Garamond typeface on a Vandercook cylinder press. Signed and numbered by the artist.

Insiya Dhatt: “’Vidai’ was conceptualized at the beginning of 2022 to share the tradition of arranged marriages in India and the artist’s own experience.

"The book is a two-sided accordion and includes the poem ‘Hands Latticed’ written by Athena Kashyap in her book ‘Sita’s Choice’ about her grandmother’s experience in an arranged marriage. The book opens with the poem that aptly describes the trepidation faced by a young bride and a lifetime of molding to meet the expectations of an ideal wife. After the last page, the cover opens on the other side to give a glimpse of the artist’s experience with an arranged marriage.

Vidai is the ceremony in Indian marriages of saying farewell to your family – when a bride leaves her parents’ house to go to start a new life with her husband in his house. After this ceremony, the bride becomes a guest in her parents’ house and must fit into the house and family of the groom. “


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