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Sachin George Sebastian's artwork. IANS

He calls the art of cutting paper meditative. He smiles that whenever he starts doing that, it is tough to take him away.

For Bangalore-based artist Sachin George Sebastian, whose latest show, ‘Once, there was a seed’ at Vadehra Art Gallery in the capital concluded recently, the fascination for the medium started when he came across a pop-up book in a second-hand book store in Bangalore. “That was the first time that I was something like that, and it left me stunned. I kept wondering how can something three-dimensional come out of a book…”

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Talking about his latest exhibition, which showcased drawings and sculptures made using paper and steel, the artist who showed last in 2015 (also at Vadehra) said that that was the year his first baby was born, and he started questioning the purpose — of everything. “What is my purpose as an artist, human being, a parent, how do I balance life and work? Every year brings a set of new experiences, the focus keeps shifting and newer thoughts take priority. For the past five-six years, I have been drawing a lot.”

In fact, Sebastian was supposed to hold an exhibition in April last year but that could not materialize owing to the pandemic.

Sachin George Sebastian calls the art of cutting paper meditative. IANS

Being a hands-on person, the artist also has also employed his skill-set beyond paper art, said, “At one point of time, I also did a freelance project in Jaipur for a paper company wherein I made all the products collapsible, so they could be shipped in a large quantity together. Besides, I was applying this paper-engineering technique into other products and things.”

Now settled in Bangalore, he wants to tell stories using those techniques, outside the book format. While he keeps working with paper as an artist, he also explores other materials.

Talk to him about his work in steel, and the artist says that white paper has become the material for him to consistently explore more, considering its tactility and texture, it becomes framed in a box. “Like, a wooden box — you can’t feel the texture anymore. Fifty percent of the world’s steel is used for making buildings, in construction. So, when I make work out of steel, I can have it outside the frame. This time, I feel I was finally able to get the texture, frame, and fluidity that I get out of paper into steel.”

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Originally from Kerala, the urban landscape has always found a prominent place in his works. “My journey has taken me to Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Jaipur, and Delhi. And then going for projects in Gurgaon. And you know, other than this scale that the cityscape boasts of, there’s also a big difference in people — from city to city. And that fascinates me. How does the city affect people living in its embrace? Everyone complains about their existence in the city but people keep coming to it. And I couldn’t understand this. It’s not so easy living there, but it provides for them. It is something very beautiful. In my previous works, it is more like a carnivorous flower. Like, it attracts its prey, and finally consumes them – but it’s not chaotic. That is what I was trying to refer to from government paperwork earlier. Sometimes, people complain about the wires getting entangled, and the streets. Isn’t it beautiful? Like, if you see a photo, you can immediately tell that — that’s from India. That’s not Dubai, or anywhere else.”

Stressing that he is essentially a storyteller who tells tales through his visuals, “Stories force us to imagine. I read and write. However, there are things that I just cannot express in words. Guess that is why I started making visuals, became a visual storyteller.” (IANS/KB)


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Books that you can read in 2022.

Reading allows you to gain a deeper understanding of the world around you, stimulating your creativity and keeping your mind engaged.

A list of new releases published by Aleph:

What the Heck Do I Do With My Life?: How to Flourish in Our Turbulent Times

Many causes, including technology, climate change, demographics, and inequality, will cause our planet to change more in this century than in all of human history. Extreme change is offering unparalleled opportunities for individuals, companies, and society, as well as a 'adaptive challenge.' Those who can adapt to a fast-paced, complex, dynamic, and unpredictably changing world will prosper. Those who are unable to do so will suffer immensely.

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There are obvious signals that we need new ways of thinking about the world and our place in it all over the place. Our old ways of thinking about education, lifestyle, success, and happiness are no longer valid. What are the changes in the workplace? When future jobs are still being invented, how can you know what talents will be useful? Will 'jobs' even exist in the future, or will we be relegated to a world of projects and freelance work? What do you do with all of this and more?

What the Heck Do I Do With My Life? is a book on figuring out what you want to do with your life. Ravi Venkatesan argues that effective adaptation in the twenty-first century necessitates a "paradigm shift," a new attitude, new talents, and new techniques. Ravi also considers how, rather than drifting along like a piece of driftwood, we will need to live life more consciously, making deliberate decisions about who we are, what we do, and how we live.

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Neeraj Chopra: From Panipat to The Podium

On the night of August 7, 2021, a billion Indians' long-held desire came true as Neeraj Chopra won gold in the javelin in the Tokyo Olympics 2020. The wait, on the other hand, had been extremely long. In reality, this is India's first individual gold medal in athletics since the modern Olympic Games began. The entire country showered him with affection when he did it in his signature flair and smile. The media went crazy, and the youth discovered a new source of inspiration. People flocked to get their photos taken with him, and businesses discovered a new wonder-ambassador. Neeraj Chopra: I'm Neeraj Chopra, and I'm From Panipat to the Podium begins in a small village in Panipat and tells the story of his formative years, which were marked by restricted resources and opportunities. It takes readers through his journey to Panchkula and then to the national camp in his quest to conquer the world.

My Cricket Hero: XII Indians on their XII favourite Cricketers

Pieces from Keki Daruwalla on Polly Umrigar, Fredun De Vitre on Chandu Borde, Gulu Ezekiel on Eknath Solkar, Hemant Kenkre on Sunil Gavaskar, Amrit Mathur on Salim Durani, Kersi Meher-Homji on Vijay Hazare and many more make for a great lockdown read.

It's A Wonderful World: A Memoir

His book is a provocative read that makes us wish we had a life like his. Khalid Ansari's life has been an exciting and purposeful journey in service to his fellow human beings, beginning with his birth in Mumbai's impoverished Madanpura to a father who began his life as an orphan and a mother from a poor household. Ansari has attempted to depict some highlights of a splendored life that he has been lucky to experience, catching stars while chasing rainbows in this 'donkey's tale'. It's been la vie en rose for him, from founding newspapers and magazines to representing his country at the United Nations, accompanying dignitaries on state visits, covering cricket Test matches, nine Olympics, Commonwealth and Asian Games, travelling the world, and being awarded the Padma Shri award. The author has worked hard to keep this narrative from devolving into a 'I-did-this-did-that' pat-on-the-back, shabash!' By 'spicing' it up with dollops of frothy stories and self-critical bon mots, he has attempted a discourse on the meaning of life, the 'right path,' and the like, even as he has attempted a discourse on the purpose of life, the 'right route,' and the like.

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Glen Carrie / Unsplash

Elections in 107 municipalities and Howrah Municipal Corporation will be held by the end of February.

A Day after the Calcutta High Court asked the West Bengal Election Commission (SEC) to consider postponing of elections in four Municipal Corporations scheduled on January 22, the state government has written to the state poll body that they don't have any objection if the SEC decides to postpone the election for another 4 to 6 weeks considering the Covid situation in the state.

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