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August 08, 2018

On Our Radar: Artist And Illustrator Karan Singh

Text by Zaral Shah

The multidisciplinary artist infuses his work with a playful mix of patterns and palettes

Each of his artworks is an amalgamation of various distinctive elements. He uses — and reuses — many patterns to create structure, depth and dimension, and this technique has become a distinguishing feature of his work. Multidisciplinary artist Karan Singh adds to his mix bright colours and the occasional touch of whimsy, generating striking visuals that give expression to his worldview through GIFs, illustrations, and 3D motion graphics.

Currently headquartered in Amsterdam, Karan believes that his own nomadic life has contributed significantly to his creative sensibilities. “I recently moved from Japan to the Netherlands, and am going through this phase where I’m reflecting on my time in Japan and the country’s approach towards minimalism and beauty — which is one of the things that’s influenced my work the most,” he shares.

Many of the self-taught artist’s personal and commercial works feed off each other and there are components that he likes to consistently maintain — simplicity of form being one of them. He elaborates, “I like reducing the work to a simpler composition, because the concept — the idea that the work is communicating — is what is most important to me.”

Potluck, his first solo outing in 2016, set the benchmark for his subsequent artistic ventures. The brightly coloured illustrations in this exhibition explored how everyday gestures — like two of our fingers crossed — and objects are empowered by the meanings with which we saddle them. He says, “Fingers crossed, without us attributing any meaning to the gesture, signify nothing. But we’ve empowered it to carry our hopes and this endows it with a lot of emotional meaning.” Ask him about what’s currently looming over his creative canvas and Karan shares, “I would like to be making more sculptures and fine art prints, something I’ve been saying I will do for a very long time now.”

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