"Without a shadow of exaggeration, the most beautiful book I’ve ever laid eyes on." - Brainpickings.org
"This folk art collection of wood-cut style illustrations is so visually compelling, you may want three copies... one to leaf through at leisure, one to take apart to frame the full-page images, and one to bestow upon someone special." - SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION
"Gloriously attractive, endlessly fascinating book. The illustrations of fish, reptiles, crustaceans and sea birds shine and shimmer; each is as vibrant as it is meticulous." - Asian Review of Books
Selected as featured title at the TED2012 Bookstore.
Waterlife features Mithila art, a form of folk painting from Bihar in eastern India. The artist Rambharos Jha grew up on the banks of the legendary river Ganga, and developed a fascination for water and water life. In this visually sumptuous book, Jha creates an unusual artist’s journal, adapting the motifs of the Mithila style to express his own vision. He frames his colorful images of octopus, crocodiles, birds and shellfish with a playful text that evokes both childhood memory and folk legend.
Waterlife is silk-screen printed by hand on handmade paper, and hand-numbered to indicate the limited print run.
From School Library Journal
Gr 3 Up-As an object, this book is exquisitely executed. Consisting of gorgeous prints of water life paired with brief reflections by the artist, the physical texture of the book-from the cloth cover to the handmade paper pages-serves as a rich complement to the visual texture of the silk-screened images. Jha presents his own interpretations of the traditional motifs found in Mithila art, a pattern-rich form of folk painting from the Bihar region of eastern India. The audience for this art book is somewhat unclear as the volume has no cohesive narrative and the artist's notes on what inspired the images or how the artistic decisions were made are not informative enough to be educational. However, it could have a place in art curriculums as style inspiration or as an exhibition of one artist's work, especially where there is a need for multicultural art. Although this book's limited appeal makes it an additional purchase for most libraries, it is indeed a work of art.-Anna Haase Krueger, Antigo Public Library, WIα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
About the Author
Rambharos Jha grew up on the banks of the legendary river Ganga, and developed a fascination for water and water life. Born in the culture-rich district of Darbanga in the Mithila region, he moved to Madhubani as a child when his father started work in a government supported art and culture project. Since then he has followed his own creative impulses, developing the tradition in his own distinctive style. This is his first book.