Weaving stories through paper
“When I graduated, I realised that I was not too happy working on a 2D frame and always loved the 3D effect pop-up books had,” says Sachin. “That is when I felt the need to translate ideas through it and started exploring the idea. I could not have done this in a fixed job, so I started freelancing.” The Kerela born artist, now based in Delhi, says that this gave him enough time to learn the art of paper engineering and experiment with it. In a span of two years Sachin found a publisher to fund his book on paper engineering, but he then sidelined the idea as he wanted to explore the medium further. “The want to create properties and applications beyond the two spreads of a book started coming to my mind. So I kept exploring till I achieved what you see today - a narrative in multiple layers of paper.”
Though the the technique involved in creating multiple layers of paper looks very complicated, Sachin says it takes him a week or two to finish one frame. “I use archival paper and a simple paper cutter. Archival paper is a special paper used by many libraries to keep documents from becoming brittle. There is no special scissors or a hi-fi equipment that goes into creating these pieces. I hardly use a scissors,” he says. “People used to be surprised to know that they were hand-made,” he laughs.
Explaining that origami and paper engineering are two completely different art forms, Sachin elaborates, “Origami is all about forming things out of paper. One does not cut paper to create something.”
Turning blank papers magical
Sachin’s first show was at Khoj, an artist residency programme at Delhi, where his theme 'metropolis and city planners' was conceived. Explaining, he says, “My works are a result of the collision between things I love like nature, organic beauty and things I resent, that include industrialization, concrete cityscape with sharp corners and wires running all around blocking the skylines.”
Sachin participated at the India Art Fair 2012, Bookroo - Children’s Literature Festival in 2010, Art Maker 'Circa 2012', among others. His latest expo was at the Chivas Studio Spotlight, a global creative collaborative platform that hosts events to showcase the best of contemporary art, fashion, photography, installation and performing arts under one umbrella. He was also inspired by the National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB) regional office building at Rajendranagar in the city during his visit and he plans to make one similar structure out of paper.
“I realised that everything that I have been doing for these six years was nothing but narratives of a dreamer in me, which I term as the aesthetic sense or arts. That opened a new door for me and just a year from there, I did my first solo exhibition in 2011, titled Paper Tongues at the Exhibit 320, an art gallery in Delhi.”
Common patterns and cross-reference
His tryst with Khoj was the turning point in his life, he says and that his thoughts never felt kidnapped after that. “There were a new set of thoughts and tricks happening with my knife. The space that was empty all this while was now filled with thoughts.”
Sachin opines that the collision between what he does and doesn't like brings certain common patterns, a cross-reference that acts as his inspiration.
“I guess I haven’t reached a state yet to define things in words, but all I am good at shaping empty paper and giving it a new meaning. I like to see till what extent I can,” he says, adding, “I feel like everything is falling in place now and I am just waiting to publish my own pop up book one day.”