Amid COVID-19 outbreak as the demand for face masks increases, folk artists in Patna, Bihar are making reusable face masks adorned with Madhubani and Manjusha paintings.
Madhubani painting is a famous art form that originated from Bihar and is widely practised in Mithila and other parts of the state. Madhubani paintings are characterised by natural elements like fish, birds, animals, turtle, sun, moon, bamboo trees and flowers. Its features include bulging fish-like eyes and pointed noses, prominently outlined. Manjusha art, on the other hand, is believed to be the only art form in India’s art history which has a sequential representation of the story and is displayed in series-form, also referred to as a scroll painting. Manjusha art hails from Bhagalpur and dates back to the 7th century.
“We thought we can popularise the art forms while supplying masks to the market. We are using cotton cloth material and price of one mask is Rs 80-100,” Smita Parashar told ANI.
She said that they have been working on Madhubani for 25 years and on Manjusha for six years.
“We have have been working on Bihar folk art Madhubani for 25 years and on Manjusha for six years. As the government makes efforts to encourage the art, we also came up with the idea of encouraging this art through this initiative,” Parashar said.
“Now masks are a part of our daily life and people are also trying to make a style statement through it. So we came up with the idea to paint these with folk art,” she added.
Chinese fashion designer Zhou Li, whose Dejin fashion brand recently exhibited at China Fashion Week, has been making embroidered silk masks equipped with high specification N95 air filters since February, providing the fashion-conscious with protective options.
At the onset of the outbreak, fashion brand Armani had begun making single use medical overalls for hospital workers at all its Italian factories in an effort to support healthcare workers amidst the coronavirus crisis.
The masks made by Superbottoms, a reusable diaper brand, are made with 100 percent cotton and have a pocket where one can insert a non-woven fabric as a filler. Around the world fashion brands like Dior, Prada, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, to name a few have been manufacturing masks at their facilities, while in India, designers Anita Dongre and Masaba Gupta are playing their part in stopping the spread of the novel coronavirus via funds, donations and masks. A large number of businesses in Beirut also switched to making masks, a rare opportunity as the pandemic hammers their collapsing economy. The local currency has plummeted and unemployment, inflation, and poverty have soared since last year.
— with inputs from ANI