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  Life   More Features  03 Jul 2019  Stainless and sprouting for joy

Stainless and sprouting for joy

THE ASIAN AGE. | SEAN COLIN YOUNG
Published : Jul 3, 2019, 1:02 am IST
Updated : Jul 3, 2019, 1:02 am IST

Vibhor Sogani, who captured capital’s imagination with his ‘Sprouts’ installation, has now unveiled ‘Joy’ in Dubai Creek Harbour.

‘Sprouts’ in New Delhi.
 ‘Sprouts’ in New Delhi.

When stainless steel is thought about, the first thing that comes to mind is utensils and daily-use items. But interestingly, this time, the metal has been used as a tool for artistic purposes. There are similar spectacular attractions around the world, such as the Atomium in Brussels and the Chicago Cloud Gate.

Similarly, stainless steel installations called ‘Sprouts’ exist at the AIIMS flyover in the capital. These were designed by the internationally acclaimed Vibhor Sogani. This 40-feet-high structure  is spread over six acres of greens in the heart of Delhi. It was an initiative by the Delhi Government towards the beautification of the city.

Vibhor recently unveiled 'Joy', a 30-feet-tall installation in Dubai Creek Harbour, UAE. The installation is envisioned as an ode to celebrate everything in life that is beautiful, joy-giving and unadulterated. Depicted as a bouquet of balloons, it reflects the ever-changing environment as the passers-by catch a glimpse of themselves in it. The installation is in close vicinity to the new upcoming Dubai Creek Tower, set to be the tallest tower in the world.

Commenting on the meaning behind the installations, Vibhor says, “When you do a project of this nature, there has to be some reason and logic behind it and one has to be aligned to the logic because it is in the public space, it has to have some meaning, it cannot be a random piece.” He later explains that ‘Sprouts’ is based on the seed of a plant beginning to sprout. “I am basically trying to talk about India as a nation, since 70+ years of our independence, we are sprouting as a nation,” he elaborates.

‘Joy’ in Dubai‘Joy’ in Dubai

Elaborating on the challenges he faced with the project, he said, “In India, to have a public installation is a very challenging process. There are a lot of government agencies involved in clearing the project. In Dubai, I did not have to talk to any authority for this”.

Art when demonstrated in public spaces can have its own set of challenges. One wonders what the final product will look like and how the audience would react to it. “One of the challenges is to figure out what is it that  would make sense, which would appeal to all segments of people? How would people engage with this piece of yours?”

Vibhor specialises in metals and uses stainless steel for his installations.

He comments, “Stainless steel is a low-maintenance metal in public spaces, unlike brass, copper and iron, which create issues in public and outdoor spaces.”

“The concepts were such that I wanted to use the reflective part of the material. When there is a high level of reflection, it tends to make the work exciting. From the public's point of view, when you want people to engage with the installation, this makes things meaningful”, he adds.

The use of light is another interesting aspect that is seen in these projects. Vibhor says that light tends to excite him. He concludes, “With light, you are trying to add another layer to your artwork. Light becomes my medium and I find it very useful when it becomes dark.”

Tags: stainless steel, vibhor sogani