With nimble fingers and wads of currency notes, origami artist Noman M.A. Haji has transported a piece of Putrajaya — a picturesquely beautiful Malaysian city with sprawling gardens and aesthetic buildings — to his modest second-floor apartment in Broadway.

Noman M.A. Haji. Photo: S. Thanthoni
Noman M.A. Haji. Photo: S. Thanthoni

This origami work faithfully reflects an architect’s sketch of a multi-layered structure planned on the Putrajaya waterfront.

Using photos gathered from the Internet and scale models bought while on vacations, 59-year-old Noman has ‘built’ many such wondrous structures. The Burj Khalifa in Dubai and the Eiffel Tower are the latest additions to the collection, which includes a massive, currency-laden Taj Mahal that earned him an entry into the Limca Book of World Records.

His works numbering over 50 and ranging from bikes to cars to buildings will be exhibited on March 19 (from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) and March 20 (from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) at Sh. Shabbir Sh. I. Haji, No.1 Salai Vinayagar Koil Street (opp. Don Bosco School), Broadway. Entry is free.

Besides the novelty of using currency notes for paper, the set of origami models is marked by attention to detail. Also, his partiality for two denominations (Rs. 5 and Rs. 20) is obvious. Noman explains, “With their rich colours, these currencies make the designs stand out.” For the Eiffel Tower, Noman used 20-rupee notes numbering 894, for Burj tower, it was 192 20-rupee notes, and, for the building in Putrajaya, he has combined 20-rupee and 5-rupee notes.

A doll clothed in currency notes stands dwarfed by the many tall works, but it is a costly piece of art. The thousand and hundred rupee notes that it wears add up to Rs. 21,000!