The Telegraph
Saturday , September 15 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Sohrai moves from wall to apparels

The age-old Sohrai will soon add colour to your living rooms, courtesy a group of students from Ranchi’s International Institute of Fashion Technology (IIFT).

The students have picked up the famous tribal art form, twisted it around and crafted apparels and decorative items that were displayed at an exhibition, titled Reflections 2012, in Ranchi on Friday.

The exhibition — being held on the International Institute of Fashion Technology premises near Main Road off Sarjana Chowk — is showcasing Sohrai works on various mediums like handmade papers, fabrics, terracotta and even porcelain tiles.

All products were created by IIFT students, who picked up the technique of reproducing the art on different mediums during a two-day workshop that was held in July.

“We participate in fairs and exhibitions and send our products to other centres across the country to showcase the talent of our students,” said Abhishek Biswas, the director of IIFT’s Ranchi centre.

He went on to add that the works put up on display could be manufactured and sold commercially if there was a demand and a willing manufacturer.

Varsha Tibriwal, a student of the institute, said that they improvised a bit in order to reproduce the art works on fabrics, painted T-shirts, des-igner kurtis, curtains, stoles, lamp-sheds and cushion covers.

“We thank our faculty members for guiding us,” said Trishna, another student.

Sohrai paintings are artwork that are traditionally associated with villages of Chotanagpur, particularly Hazaribagh. The painters use natural pigments.

The Sohrai festival is celebrated in Hazaribagh around Diwali or the harvest season. The artists paint their huts with coats of dudhi mitti (yellowish white mud). The imagery contains scene from nature and wildlife.