It is well known that for a painting, or a sketch, one need a painting surface, and commonly used is “Canvas”, a fabric known for its tenacious characteristics. Ever heard anyone using “Paddy fields” as a painting surface? Started by the farmers of village – Inakadate, Japan, in 1993 this is an art form where huge pictures are drawn on “Rice Paddy Fields”.
The art is now famous worldwide and has been brought to India by an amateur Botanist – Mr. Shrikant Ingalhalikar.
Shrikant, inspired by the Japanese “Tambo Ata” art form has created a picture of lord Ganesha, at a farmland at Donje Phata, Pune. The image is 40 meters in length and two colors were used for it. A city-based engineer, botanist, and agriculturist – Shrikant, during his work on conservation of rice varieties, happened to visit a site on the internet describing the Japanese farmers who created this art form 23 years back.
Traditionally rice cultivating village of Japan – Inakadate, on the occasion of celebrating their 2000 years of this tradition, decided to join hands and invented an innovative style of growing rice. They used different varieties of rice, which yield colored leaves, for creating a huge picture on the field.
Using field as a big canvas they arranged precisely and strategically these varieties and when they grew, took the form of a picture of – Mount Iwaki, a stratovolcano in Japan. This large scale artwork became a blockbuster hit and soon this became an annual festival of Inakadate. Since then they have created a number of such pictures, now with the help of computer graphics, they even create portraits.
Shrikant studied this art in depth and found that a variety of rice in India has a black colored leaf. He decided to use this combination of black and green color for his creation. He minutely plans the whole thing first on a paper and then on the computer. The picture to be drawn is divided into squares and the size depends on the ratio of the picture and the field used. Along with his farm laborers, he then planted the rice crop in the first week of August, on half an acre of his farm. He explains that the designing is easier than an actual act of planting the crop. This art needs a fair knowledge of geometry and graphics.
Shrikant suggests that though the art can be done during the “Kharif season”, it can be taken up by horticulturists and landscape artist. This can be done with any form of garden, though he himself will keep doing it only with farming activities.
Shrikant is a strong believer of “Old style of farming and agriculture”, and he advocates working with hands in the fields. He says that he started this art to promote and motivate people to work in the fields and not shy in doing it themselves. He wants to keep the art form alive and at the same time encourage the youngsters in the nearby villages to take agriculture.
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