Just bag it

AN EVENING in Paris. Or was it Hyderabad? Given the ambience, the mood and melody it looked like the land of Eiffel Tower. But actually, it was the patch of Charminar where the pleasant evening unfolded.

The venue was West Marredpally, more precisely the renovated and transformed Alliance Francaise. As dusk set in, the place resonated with a French lyric `en rouge et noir...' crooned by a student. Young guys and gals in sparkling evening wear added a dash of charm. As a part of the French season in India, Alliance Francaise organised a fashion show on Friday evening. And boy, this was a `different' show. Models sashaying down the catwalk showcased not any special fabric, design or style. They presented the artwork of Pascal Colrat, the internationally acclaimed French photographer and graphic designer.

And what did they display? It was the quintessential article which none can dispense with. From the elite to commoners - almost everyone uses it. Right, it was the gunny bag, an ecological substitute of plastic bags of modern India.

Art slung across the shoulder, senior students walked down the ramp to sighs of oohs and ahs.

The bags carry images captured by Pascal from immediate Indian surroundings - ranging from the social to the mythical and symbolical. The idea is to present to the world a truly contemporary India.

Pascal, who took an artistic residence in India last year, has come up with 50-odd eye-catching frames which have been printed on postcards and textile bags. It is interactive art at its best. The bags bear the face of Ganesh, a brown-eyed princess peeping through a golden veil, a typical Indian T-shirt. They also carry strong messages like say `No to smoking,' `Just relax,' `Take it easy.'

What goes into Pascal's art? It is digital photography and a judicious mix of graphic design, text, signs and symbols. Well, you can have those shopping bags with iconic and verbal messages for just Rs. 50. The exhibition is on at Alliance Francaise till Arpil 4.

By Ifthekhar J.S.

Photo: Mohd. Yousuf

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