Kashmiri artist Masrat Jan keeping the dying traditional art of paper-mache alive
Masrat Jan, a Kashmiri artist, is breaking stereotypes by preserving and reviving Kashmiri heritage and culture through the disappearing art of paper mache.
Kashmiri artist Masrat Jan is breaking stereotypes by reviving the Kashmiri culture and heritage through the dying art of paper-mache. The resident of Lal Bazar, Srinagar, the 50-year-old artist has earned a name for herself in what is usually perceived as men-dominated art form and has won three state awards. Paper Mache is a combination of craft and fine art from the Kashmir Valley.
It is an art form that is not only popular in Kashmir but also has a huge demand worldwide. The art involves creating different shapes like vases, trays and boxes by applying paper pulp over moulds, drying them, polishing them and finally painting them intricately with multiple shades. (Also read: Christmas bells ring in for Kashmiri papier mache artisans as they receive orders in bulk )
Speaking to ANI, Jan said, "I developed an interest in the art form during my teenage years and learnt it from my maternal grandfather. I later married to a family of paper-mache artisans and we are now carrying this art forward."
The award-winning artist, who is trying to train more women with the art form further added, "I am trying to teach more women so they warn their livelihood and support their families independently."
She also urged the government to provide better monetary assistance and opportunities to veteran artists so that they can pass on their skills to the upcoming generations and keep the Kashmiri heritage alive.
Her husband, Maqbool Ahmad, who is also a prominent paper-mache artist and won several awards, supported his wife with her dream and urged people to support the women around them to pursue the artwork.
"My wife wanted to continue with her passion after marriage so I supported her with my whole heart for her dreams. I urge everybody to support their wives and daughters to pursue their dreams like I did," he said.