Synopses & Reviews
is the first ever collection of Indian matchbox labels. Comprised of over 500 images, the book also unfolds as a suggestive history of ephemera. Curious and visually stunning, the matchbox labels come in a staggering variety of designs arranged thematically, Shahid Datawala's diverse collection subtly reflects ideas of language and cultural exchange, as well as the place of labor in the Indian matchbook industry. A well-established brand quickly spawns imitations and variations as small producers compete with the large in an anarchic marketplace. The accompanying essay provides an insight into Indias complex match industry, calling attention to the material context as well as the art history that has produced the labels.
About the Author
is a designer, photographer and obsessive collector of all manner of curios, and is well known in design circles in India and Europe. Shahid can often be spotted trawling the street markets of Indian cities where, among other things, he has managed to accumulate thousands of matchbox labels. Currently he lives in Mumbai.