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    Match boxes collection in Vadodara

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    Some artists draw their inspiration from nature, while some from other forms of human life. But a Vadodara based artist Atul Padia way back in 1970s drew inspiration for his art from matchboxes. With over 5000 plus matchboxes as his collection he is probably of the few persons who has such a collection with them. Recently he display his collection in MSU as part of heritage week celebration in Vadodara.

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    The exhibition has several sections like world, sports, vehicles, animals, birds, brands, advertisements, trees, vegetables, flowers, etc. The matchboxes also find traces of Bollywood films like Coolie, Mother India, Noorie, and so on. Padia has collected the boxes from across the country wherein he says, the variety is found in remote villages. There are several boxes on display which had gone to other countries like Mauritius, Japan, Cambodia and so on as their demand is dependent on exports from India only. The match industry is India largely functions from South India from Sivakasi, Sattur, and Malapatti, all in Tamil Nadu.

    Padia said that he was collecting the matchboxes since 1970 when one matchbox cost 7Paise. All the boxes are of great archival value as they not only are colourful, but also impart significant messages. The way they are drawn has inspired me to take up art and design things. There are references of objects, emotions, and even the situations prevalent in our country at certain times.

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    He also added that during his admission interview in Faculty of Fine Arts in MS University, he presented a handmade matchbox of a icecream Softee as a sample of his portfolio for designing an object, and he was selected.

    Informing about the collection, Padia said, “I have been collecting the matchboxes since 1970 when one matchbox cost 7Paise. All the boxes are of great archival value as they not only are colourful, but also impart significant messages. The way they are drawn has inspired me to take up art and design things. There are several forms which I was attracted to and thus took art as a profession. There are references of objects, emotions, and even the situations prevalent in our country at certain times.”

    img-20161119-wa0034

    The exhibition is bifurcated into several sections like world, sports, vehicles, animals, birds, brands, advertisements, trees, vegetables, flowers, etc. The matchboxes also find traces of Bollywood films like Coolie, Mother India, Noorie, and so on. Padia has collected the boxes from across the country wherein he says, the variety is found in remote villages. “There are several boxes on display which had gone to other countries like Mauritius, Japan, Cambodia and so on as their demand is dependent on exports from India only. The match industry is India largely functions from South India from Sivakasi, Sattur, and Malapatti, all in Tamil Nadu”, informed Padia.

    Padia also said that the exhibition holds importance as for many, it can be a topic of research guiding how times changed in our country through glimpses on the matchboxes. “Also, the boxes tell us how duplication was so common in our country at all times, even today, that same pattern is seen in several brands. The boxes also depict a story on how much effort is gone in making this, but all what matters to people is the matchsticks, which also are decreasing in today’s times”, added Padia.

    Now continuing his collection he now has 50plus match boxes of 5 star hotels of all across the world. Different type, shapes and colors of glass bottles, Brand tags, 50,000 plus company logos and symbols are other of his collections. He plan to open a museum to display his collections for the upcoming generation.

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