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Archan Nair: Optical Illusions & Life

Archan Nair: Optical Illusions & Life

"My visual expressions are part of a journey which is really influenced by the mysteries of our existence and how every action, emotion, and our interconnectedness in a universal scale sets of a chain of reactions" shares Archan Nair. Get to know him better in his Kulture Shop Artist Interview.

KS: Give us a brief backstory. How tough or easy was it to transition from a local artist to a global one?

Archan: I never had any formal training in art, nor was I inclined towards drawing or painting while growing up. I began working in the fashion industry around 2002 when I joined my family’s apparel manufacturing company, and around 2006 I started experimenting with visual art. The fashion scene in India was really unorganized and stressful. I found it to be a very negative space, and thus creating visual art was an outlet for me, an escape to travel into a reality which was my own, in which I would be able to express myself. I was in awe of the fact that I could create something out of nothing. With time I was more immersed in the process of creating and it came to a point where I could not focus on anything else but draw or paint. Then, There was a point of realization around 2007 when I knew that this was what I wanted to do all the time. So I called it quits for the day-to-day work at my company and started my beautiful journey as an independent artist. It was the most difficult and confusing decision I ever made, but it was definitely worth it! I finally decided to pursue my love, to do what I really enjoy from the deepest corners of my heart, and to start my own studio where I could create all the time. It has been an incredible trip since then.

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Archan at work

KS: In the 10 years of you having being a practicing designer, any key moments or highlights you that stood out for you?

Archan: The most recent project has been the most intense and incredible one for me, where I have been creating an artwork each day for an entire year. I call this 365 days of art. About a month left for completion, I love challenging myself and exploring such unknown spaces.

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Follow Archan's art projects on Instagram @archannair

KS: Across the various types of design projects you take up, which medium is your favourite and why? Any mediums you look forward to exploring?

Archan: I love using technology in my process, hence you see a lot of digital techniques in my work. Been exploring a lot of digital sculpting and 3d and fusing them with traditional mediums as I love experimenting this way. I have also been dabbling a lot with creating virtual reality art and experiences which seems to be where my direction is headed. VR and AR is an exciting new realm as how we would express ourselves.

KS: It's always exciting to know what an artwork means to the artist, can you talk to us about any one of the works you are retailing with us?

Archan: I usually depict a phase or moment of my journey through multiple works. so when you see them in order you can understand the journey rather than through a single piece of work. and the artworks have been about my contemplation about the mysteries of existence and the patterns in which it operates. on how we are made of those patterns and everything which happens in our journey is also a part of that same pattern. its like how the observer and observed are the same entity and not separate, but the perception of looking makes it look like an optical illusion.

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Archan's Black & White Surreal Portraits series available online at Kulture Shop

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Archan in conversation at his September 2016 "Journey Within" exhibit at Bangkok

KS: What are you up to now? Any interesting things your fans should watch out for?

Archan: I usually instantly share projects I am working on in real-time with everyone and hardly keep projects under wraps. But apart from the daily art project and client projects, there are some fascinating ideas I have been working towards which are kind of a big shift in my art journey as well. So I will be disclosing them as things materialise more!

Archan Nair's beautiful artwork is available here.

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