Viraj Khanna, a young artist from Mumbai recently marked his debut at India Art Fair at Tao Art Gallery. Titled 'Ineffable', his artwork highlighted a contemporary and global take on the traditional Indian hand embroidery techniques like Aari, and Zardosi. "I hope to give hand embroidery a global position it truly deserves," says Viraj, who is a son of ace fashion designer Anamika Khanna. Clearly, the inspiration for using Indian craft in his artwork comes from his mother, whose couture is known for being heavy on embroidery and Indian craft.
Representing India's identity, culture, and beauty through his complex abstract contemporary figures in vivid colour and texture, the paintings depict a discontinuity in the flow of things, of how imperfection runs deep in the core of everyday lives. "My work requires the viewer to draw their own experience from the artwork. I am very excited to gauge people's responses to the work," says Viraj who started his artistic journey three years back.
Viraj Khanna- Art Work |
Growing up around textiles, crafts and colours gave him a natural comfort and confidence with the medium. "The myriad of materials I can experiment with helps me understand what I am trying to say," says the artist who tries to give a contemporary spin to the age-old embroidery practice by using it differently.
Just like any artist, Viraj draws inspiration from other visual artists as well. He tells us that he admires the intricacies of Azerbaijani contemporary visual artist Faig Ahmed's artwork. "The way he weaves his carpets in such an unconventional way. He gives a contemporary twist to his work which inspires me a lot," says Viraj, adding that he also takes inspiration from veteran Indian sculptor Mrinalini Mukherjee's artwork.
In order to stay relevant Viraj tries to make his art that is ahead of its time by keeping it unique. He intends to grow within the artistic and creative ecosystem to be able to stand out as far as his art is concerned. "Since my work talks about people and how I look at the world it will continuously evolve and so as my art practice in this continuously evolving world," concludes the artist.
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