By INSHA LATIEF
SRINAGAR: Kangri, Shikara, swans are placed carefully next to furniture. The decorative items sit elegantly for display. Made with pieces of paper of different colours, the artefacts catch attention of people passing by.
The decorative items are made by Mohsin Rashid, 18, of what he calls Paper Art.
Inspired by the traditional Kashmiri craft of papier mâché, Mohsin uses folded paper pieces which he skilfully interlocks to craft these decorative items. In 2014, he started with plain paper to make a swan. Then he started using colourful sheets of paper and began to display his work in events organised by his school.
With the help of his sister Nusrat and friend Adil, Mohsin has now participated in various events at state and national level. Last year, he bagged the second prize in an event, Kala Utsav, held in Jammu.
Mohsin said that from childhood he was interested in art and that he is equally good at painting. The motive behind his Paper Art is making good use of paper. He said, “We students waste huge amount of paper every day. We can create these decorative items with paper or newspaper which we usually throw away. We can develop a new form of art.”
From last year, Mohsin is running a page on Facebook by the name Paper Art of Kashmir by Mohsin Rashid. The page is followed by 235 people and on it he uploads pictures of various objects made of paper.
Mohsin has also sold some of his items. Last year, a Kangri was sold for Rs 12,000 and a Shikara for Rs 2,500. He is now planning to make a Samovar.
Mohsin lost his father at an early age. He took up a catering job at hotels and restaurants to shoulder the responsibilities of his mother and three younger siblings.
Mohsin is a student of commerce and finds it difficult to get time for his paper art. “This craft is almost costless but demands time and patience,” he said. “Because of our studies, I and my team are not able to give our best to it.”
He said he receives great support from his mother, who is a housewife. “Whatever work I do, she trusts me and appreciates me,” he said.
With his family often in financial constraints, Mohsin considers his craft as a way of earning money. He said, “This art earns me money and I will continue to make paper art objects.”
Mohsin and his friends recently exhibited their Paper Art at book exhibition organised by the Directorate of School Education at Kothi Bagh Higher Secondary School.