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Artist of the Day | Sachin George Sebastian

Sachin George Sebastian

In the Ocean of Chaos

Olefin Paper


276x76x61 inches


Sachin George Sebastian explores paper as a medium, creates sculptures and installations exploring the form and construction of paper.

Starting out as a graphic design student from National Institute of Design, Sachin George Sebastian discovered the world of paper engineering through pop-up books at a book store.

Sebastian's use of paper as a form as well as a medium comes across best perhaps in his work Words: A User's Manual which has extensive use of newspaper text as rhetoric. Sebastian has remarked how the connection was made by him one morning when he opened the newspaper, an everyday phenomenon. "Almost completely covered with text, it was covering a lot of stories happening all around us. The second thought was that of how the entire city is waking up with it, making the day better, worse or least affected by the same. These multiple stories kept getting stacked at the corner of a room. Those stacks represented the whole set of events that happened in the past few months. Like a diary of the nation, and bits from all over the world."

Sebastian represents the process of collective history making and unmaking, with some stories getting representation while other events blur into obscurity and finally oblivion. He uses the idea of newspapers getting stacked up over the year in one corner of the house to depict the growth of newspaper stacks into a metropolis representing its stories and collective history in its archives. The events that have repercussions in our life are represented by the narrow lanes that the newspaper stack metropolis leaves in his paper city, and the shadows that they draw.

Sebastian’s obsession with the city is two-fold, to bring out the outward gleam of a metropolis that belies its alienating nature. He sees the city as a microcosm of carnivorous flowers, which while coming together as an organic whole, alienates the individual. This has been addressed repeatedly in several works of his. When asked about the same, Sebastian says, "The beauty from far is deceptive, and on a closer look one just sees the monstrosity of the metropolis that they get trapped in - filled with wires and windows and people, their thoughts, structures and chaos, all growing in a very organic monstrous way… but that’s the beauty of the city". The structure and order of the metropolis is the very same form that breeds its anarchic nature, the unplanned expansion of a metropolis driven by its burden and greed, and this dichotomy comes across starkly in Sebastian's works.

Sebastian grew up in the town of Kasaragod, Kerala and shares a tentative relationship with the idea of the big city. He sees big cities as tempting from a distance but with the capacity of swallowing up an individual, manifesting in the carnivorous flowers used in his works as the metaphor for units of a city.

Sebastian's works often analyze the city with its inorganic elements through metaphors from nature, for instance flowers are a recurring theme in his works. Sebastian's works represent the conflict that comes across with things that he loves like the organic beauty of nature and the things that he resents visually - the concrete cityscape and the industrial excesses and wastes of cityscapes come together in one place.

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