Earth's soils not only sustains all living things with its bounty, those same soils can also inspire us with its beauty. Humans have built homes with earth's soils for thousands of years, made pottery, and have even painted with earth. Working with Tokyo non-profit Wall Art Project, which brings art into schools in India, Tibet and elsewhere, Japanese artist Yusuke Asai created these stunning murals for the Niranjana School in Bahar, in the eastern state of Bihar, India.
Titled “Earth Painting; The Forest of Vows," this intensely patterned work features stylized animals and people, and was done with seven different types of soil, cow dung, water and straw. Covering all the walls and ceilings, this soil-based artwork presents an immersive visual experience to the students, plus an aesthetics lesson grounded in ecology and the local customs of using cow dung for fuel and fertilizer.
Asai, who is known for painting huge installations with found materials like tape, leaves, pens, dust and mud, was chosen for the project as this school was actually started with the donations of Japanese students. Though Asai's work was temporary (the mud eventually washed away after a few months), it's nevertheless an exquisite example of the possibilities of soil.