The Telegraph
Friday , September 14 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Grains fashion designer taste

- Eye on Guinness for rice art

A visit to the Guinness World Records website recently has added another skill to fashion designer Madhusudan Kumar Lal’s repertoire.

The 33-year-old, who is originally from Patna, has started working on rice grains. He makes miniature portraits of different personalities on them and has decided to apply to the Guinness World Records.

Lal, the head designer of a Noida-based buying house, started his journey in June. In around two months, he has managed to complete 500 oil portraits on rice grains. He has set himself a target to complete at least 1,000 oil portraits on rice grains within December.

Of the figures who have found a place in his painting portfolio include Hollywood celebrities, Indian politicians, writers and sportspersons.

“Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan, Nitish Kumar, Sushil Kumar Modi, Bal Thackeray, Anna Hazare, Steve Jobs, Taslima Nasrin and Salman Rushdie are few of the people I have painted on rice grains. I got great satisfaction from making the oil portrait of chief minister Nitish Kumar.”

The impetus for his artwork, he said was a record made by a miniature artist for the smallest printed book.

He said: “I was browsing through the site of Guinness World Records and came across a record made by micro miniature artist Anatoli Konenko. I was struck by an idea to do something creative like this and decided to make micro miniature paintings.”

Creativity was not the only inspiration for Lal, though. He also plans to popularise rice art in the country.

“I will try to get myself registered in the Guinness World Records. I chose rice art because it is creative. Though it is slowly getting popular in India, rice art has been mastered in several countries. Here, rice art has not reached the level of popularity it has achieved in countries like Japan. Everyday they (artists in Japan) are trying something new with this art form. I want to make rice art popular in India and that was also one of my reasons to work with rice grains,” he added.

The fashion designer, who has a postgraduate degree in knitwear, design and technology from National Institute of Fashion Technology, Calcutta, is now based in Delhi. If his costumes and dresses can be seen without any hard work, his micro miniature paintings require a little more effort. They cannot be seen with the naked eye. “Rice grains are so small that one needs a microscope to see the oil portraits I made,” said Lal.

His friend in need for his miniatures is a “very fine brush”, which has only six bristles, Lal said. He plans to finish one oil portrait on a rice grain in 15 seconds against a minute to three that he takes now. “It’s not easy to enter the Guinness World Records. So if I make it happen, it would be one of my greatest achievements. Who would not want this kind of an achievement? I am working day and night to complete my work within my target — December.”