Magic is close at hand. For Deepti Nair and Harikrishnan Panicker all it takes is some paper, scissors, and light. The husband and wife artist duo (known as Hari & Deepti), create paper cut shadow boxes that have a dreamlike feel to them.
Their multi-layered artwork is meant to draw the viewer inside within its paper folds. A work of storytelling, as much as work of craftsmanship, each piece can take between 8 to 10 days to complete depending on its size and intricacy. “The idea of using paper as a sculpting medium and forming 3D dioramas is something that is really new,” the paper artists relayed in an interview with ACTFAQs, “but there is a fresh wave of artists trying out paper art.”
“Our art is a collaborative process,” they further explained, “so it might be something we come across during our travel or something we imagine. We then sketch it out and hand-cut these intricate layers. The next phase is putting the layers together, depending on how it interacts with light, making some last-minute tweaks. This is the most crucial part of our work.”
Based in Mumbai, you can see Hari & Deepti’s work online, through their buzzing Instagram page, or in exhibitions around the world. “We have worked and developed this style which is very unique,” they stress. “We are still pushing ourselves within this art form to tell these stories in a better way.”
Below you’ll find some of our favorite pieces by them: