PhotoSparks at Sampoorn Santhe 2014: creativity in handicrafts at the arts fair


In earlier posts, we brought you some photographs of digital product innovations from the annual Communicasia expo in Singapore. This edition focuses on traditional handicrafts at the Sampoorn Santhe 2014 (arts fair) in Bangalore. From coffee soap to ‘World Cup’ cups and banana bags to elephant poo paper, the featured artisans at the Chitrakala Parishad venue are at the cutting edge of creativity and humour. Make YourStory’s PhotoSparks your regular source of photographs that celebrate creativity and innovation!


Coffee inside the body – and outside!

Who said coffee is meant only to be consumed as a beverage? You can even make a good soap out of it, as shown by these coffee soap bars from Bangalore-based Organiq! The company makes natural, handmade vegan cold-processed soaps made with love for nature. “What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul,” goes an old Yiddish Proverb!


Who says India has nothing to do with the World Cup?

OK, India winning the FIFA football World Cup may be a pipe dream, but who says the World Cup cannot inspire creativity in India? India may be obsessed only with cricket as a sport, but savvy craftsmen at the arts fair have seen a business opportunity even for India in the football tournament – as these ‘World Cup cups and mugs’ show!

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Banana trees: fruits, chips, plates – and bags

Most of us know the many uses of the coconut tree – tender coconut juice, ripe coconut, dried copra, thatching for roofs, coir mats and rope, and so on. So also with the banana tree: chips from raw and ripe fruit, the fruit itself, banana leaves as plates — and even eco-friendly bags made from banana fibre, as shown in the picture. Banana twine from the leaves and stems is soaked in water and can then be woven into bags and mats. After Brazil, India is the largest banana producer but only an estimated 10% of the banana waste is extracted as fibre – indicating a huge opportunity for banana fibre products.


Dark humour?

We all have an inevitable appointment with Yama, the God of Death – but some T-shirt designers decided to morph this with the classic “I Want You” portrait of James Montgomery Flagg! This image for US army recruitment became a classic poster, and the Yama version is a clever though dark twist on the Uncle Sam version. Maybe it reflects that war leads to death anyway?


New wealth from the animal kingdom!

Hmmm. OK. Interesting. Paper is usually made from plant fibre but apparently it can also be made from animal dung. Disinfectants of course are used heavily in the process. It is possible to make paper, frames and cards with poo paper. The paper makers have all kinds of anecdotes to share about the correlation between the colour of the paper and the ingested food, time of the year, and volumes of poop per elephant per day!

Up next:

June 29: PhotoSparks @ Sampoorn Santhe arts fair in Bangalore, Part II

July 5: PhotoSparks @ Rainforest World Music Festival in Malaysia

Got a good creative inspirational photograph to share? Email us at!

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About the author

Madanmohan Rao is research director at YourStory Media and editor of five book series ( His interests include creativity, innovation, knowledge management, and digital media. Madan is also a DJ and writer on world music and jazz. He can be followed on Twitter at @MadanRao

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