Let there be light: Vibhor Sogani's newest installation 'Nebula'

It comes together to form a huge and lustrous suspended cloud. The shiny convex surfaces reflect an array of perspectives.

Published: 15th November 2020 05:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th November 2020 06:59 PM   |  A+A-

Nebula at the Dubai Design Week

Nebula at the Dubai Design Week

Experimental and transformative are the words that best describe his installations. With innovative artistic expressions exploring diverse materials, his is a contemporary vocabulary with a touch of international cosmopolitan flavor. It has made installation artist Vibhor Sogani much sought-after. Collaborating with Wilson Associates, a global architectural interior design firm, and Studio Mark Lighting Consultants, an architectural lighting design practice, Sogani recently presented a public art installation at the Dubai Design Week, tantalizingly named Nebula.

Comprising umpteen spheres in different sizes, the installation is sculpted from mirror-finished stainless-steel. It comes together to form a huge and lustrous suspended cloud. The shiny convex surfaces reflect an array of perspectives. At the same time, they present a collective kaleidoscopic image. “In a world where we may not constantly be accompanied by another, the Nebula is a reminder that we do not run solo. We are never just one person—each one of us is an aggregation, not a singular; an individual is a composite, not solitary. We carry within many versions of our own selves—because, we are never just one person,” explains Sogani.

Vibhor Sogani

The artist is well-known for India’s largest public art installations—Sprouts—that stands 40-ft high. The steel installation stands in the heart of Delhi, near the All India Institute of Medical Sciences flyover. A government initiative, Sogani remembers the one-line brief he was given by the then Chief Minister of Delhi, Sheila Dixit—‘from walled city to world city’. And he delivered.

The installation is a landmark today. This Jaipur-born artist is known for his light fixtures that render captivating patterns on surfaces. For example, one of his earlier pieces—Umbra—is essentially a 200-mm brass ball atop a stainless steel stand. The light source is composed of a brass mesh, which helps cast dramatic patterns on the surfaces it hits. “Ethereal and sublime”, is how the artist describes it.

His work—The Nest—at the Light + Building 2018, in Frankfurt, easily became one of the most photographed designs. Again it used thousands of stainless-steel balls that came together to mimic a weaver bird’s home. But if you thought you could predict what Sogani and his art is all about, you cannot be further from the truth.

While he has done giant installations that play with light, he has also developed India’s first few Go-Karting tracks; redesigned Mumbai’s suburban trains; worked on the upgrade of copper craft in Kashmir and more. The Dubai Design Week is the region’s largest creative festival. Staged in partnership with Dubai Design District (d3), it is owned and managed by the Art Dubai Group.


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