Hari & Deepti’s Shadow Boxes Are Simply Magical

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.”

View this post on Instagram

We are back! We have been busy working on something interesting over the past 4 months in Taiwan. This image is one of the four installations we created titled "The Journey of Paper". More images to follow soon. The project had it's fair share of problems mainly because of the weather. We had typhoons, torrential rains and if it wasn't raining it was a 100 degrees and humid (95%) which made paper feel like cloth. And then we fell sick and it is never fun to fall sick in a foreign country especially if you don't speak the language. But all this was still worth while because it taught us a lot. We learnt to be patient, humble, resilient and more importantly innovate and adapt to the weather and make work happen. It took us a while but it was a learning for a lifetime. And we couldn't have done it without the help of our friends. Taiwan has the most beautiful friendly humble people we have ever met (Ireland, you got competition ❤️) and we were so lucky to have some amazing people around us through our time in Taiwan. We will miss all of you and we look forward to our next trip. Thank you for all the love! PS. A special shout out to our curator Hsinchun, our friend & host Max and the beautiful staff at Sugarbistro and our crew 🙏🙌❤️ #pingtung #harianddeepti #journeyofpaper #paperart #handcut #handmade #taiwan #taiwanart #installationart #paperlove #instaart #paperisalive #paperandlight

A post shared by Hari & Deepti (@harianddeepti) on

“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: