Srinagar: Papier-mache art is a centuries-old craft that has been used for decorative purposes in various parts of the world, including the Middle East, Japan, China, and India, and now it is finding rejuvenation across continents as the diaspora promotes this unique art form.
However, in Kashmir, it has evolved into a distinct art form that has been a part of the region's cultural heritage for centuries.
Kashmiri papier-mache items, such as pen stands, coasters, jewellery boxes, flower vases, lamp shades, trays, photo frames, and decorative bowls, have good demand both inside and outside Kashmir.
The flow of tourists in the region has helped promote the Kashmiri crafts, and people associated with the craft are exploring their skills and gaining global recognition.
The Kashmiri diaspora, living in different parts of the world, has also been instrumental in promoting this unique art form. Many Kashmiri Americans, such as Dr Qurat Andrabi from Charlotte, North Carolina, and Dr Ambreen Andrabi from Los Angeles, have been using papier-mache items to introduce their American friends and acquaintances to the Kashmiri way of life.
They have been cooking Kashmiri food, singing Kashmiri songs, and dressing up in Kashmiri dresses during gatherings to showcase the splendour of Kashmiri culture.
Social media platforms have also played a significant role in promoting Kashmiri papier-mache art.
Syed Aauqib Andrabi, another US-based Kashmiri, has emphasised the importance of using social media to prevent this art from dying.
He believes that all Kashmiris, regardless of where they live, have a responsibility to promote and preserve this unique art form.
However, despite the popularity of papier mache art, many artisans feel disgruntled because of the low marketing of their products.
Ghulam Hassan Khan, a craftsman from Hassanabad, Srinagar, believes that although tourists love this art and pay a handsome return, there is a dearth of proper publicity and awareness.
He hopes that the government will promote art in the country, and the diaspora will vehemently promote it abroad.
He also believes that the people associated with art need assistance from the government to overcome the economic challenges they face.
The Kashmiri papier-mache art is a unique cultural heritage that is gaining global recognition due to the efforts of both the diaspora and the people associated with the craft.
The art form is not only beautiful but also functional, and it has the potential to boost the local economy.
However, the lack of proper marketing and awareness is a significant challenge that needs to be addressed. With the support of the government and the diaspora, Kashmiri papier-mache art can continue to thrive and contribute to the cultural and economic prosperity of the region.
Papier-mache art has been used for centuries, but in Kashmir, it has developed into a unique and distinct art form. The technique involves combining paper pulp with glue and then moulding it into various shapes and designs.
The Kashmiri papier-mache art is known for its intricate designs, vibrant colours, and the use of gold leaf to give it a unique shine.
The art form has been passed down from generation to generation, and many families in Kashmir have been associated with the craft for centuries. The artisans use a variety of tools, including brushes, spatulas, and knives, to shape the paper pulp into various forms. Once the design is complete, it is left to dry before being painted and adorned with gold leaf.
The Kashmiri papier-mache art is a unique cultural heritage that is gaining global recognition due to the efforts of both the diaspora and the people associated with the craft. The art form is not only beautiful but also functional, and it has the potential to boost the local economy.
However, the lack of proper marketing and awareness is a significant challenge that needs to be addressed. With the support of the government and the diaspora, Kashmiri papier mache art can continue to thrive and contribute to the cultural and economic prosperity of the region.
It is a symbol of the rich cultural heritage of Kashmir, and its rejuvenation and promotion can play a significant role in preserving and promoting the identity of the region.