Noorjehan Bilgrami is an artist, textile designer and researcher.
Her interest in traditional crafts led to the establishment of
KOEL, a workshop that pioneered the revival of hand block printed
fabrics in Pakistan. She is one of the founders of the Indus Valley
School of Art and Architecture and was its first Executive Director.
Years of research into ajrak, a traditional Sindhi
textile, led to publication of the book Sindh jo Ajrak, and later
to the making of the documentary video, Sun, Fire, River, Ajrak
- Cloth from the soil of Sindh.
Handloom weaving and natural dyes are now her major
interest and she was awarded the Japan Foundation Fellowship in
2001-02 to pursue research on natural indigo in Japan.
Noorjehan curated the exhibition Tana Bana: The
Woven Soul of Pakistan in collaboration with Jonathan Mark Kenoyer
at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1998; the exhibition
later travelled to the Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland,
Oregon, the Pacific - Asia Museum, Pasadena, California and Mingeikan,
the Japan Folk Craft Museum, Tokyo. A comprehensive bilingual exhibition
catalogue documenting the traditional textiles of Pakistan was produced
in 2004 when the exhibition travelled to the prestigious Mingeikan.
She has travelled extensively and lectured at universities
and museums in the United States, Scandinavia and Japan and has
written numerous articles for international journals.