To be alive is to evolve.

Perfectly Imperfect or Imperfectly Perfect? This Paper ‘Performance’ is inspired by the Japanese concept of ‘Wabi Sabi’.

“It’s our imperfection that make us unique, and our uniqueness that makes each of us beautiful.

A knowing that we are just fine-
Just As We Are”

One paper alive in many folds.

It’s amazing how enfolding ONE sheet of paper, no cut-copy-paste, can create the drama of forms and dimensions. All in real time. Live!

It brings me closer to the dynamic movement and impermanence of nature and life. The fluidity in constantly creating, dissolving, recreating, dissolving. Nothing is fixed.

The Light in Wabi sabi lies in its profound simplicity-

“We are all work in progress.

To be alive means to evolve.”


©️aiyanagunjan.enfolding series. videoart.wasli handmade paper. 2021.

contemporaryartist #wabisabistyle #inspired. #paperfolding

Paper painting or performing art?

The art of enfolding paper feels more like a ‘performing’ art! Just like playing an instrument, the experience lies in the continuity of live-movement, not an end product.

It’s about the moment- in creating and experience !

A new perspective, a new experience around non-performing art!

Yet another ‘performance’ by the same paper painted, in enfolding process. My paper seems to come alive, under the spot light-
in folds, in movement.

Paper Performing Art

A tread uphill
to touch a new height.
Enfolding, circling
around the contours
to discover a centre
known not before
Diving deep in
the abysm within
Lost and dark
it seems

Only to awaken
to the Light

The Moonwalk Dance.

©️aiyanagunjan.2021. Video art. PerformingPaper. Wasli paper. calligraphy pen. Ink.

©️aiyanagunjan.2021. enfolding. calligraphy strokes.

Art lies in crumpling

Crumpled paper ends in a dustbin. That’s what one did till I discovered art of crumpling.

Unlike the fixed folds in tessellation, crumpling gives flexibility and freedom to create organic lines and form. Free-willy.

lines and form pulled out from crumple

Its fascinating to work with this ‘mouldable’ paper- just like clay. Here my sculpted paper sitting on my ceramic pen stand. A face creased in thought, with hair flying wild! So it seems.

A new exploration of my paper-painting taking a new expression in paper-pottery. The exciting part of exploration is you don’t know what comes next and where it leads you.

And the fun lies in this method in madness.


Exploring 2D-to-3D

Sculpting paper

Aren’t we constantly seeking another dimension to give us a new perspective, a new insight into the matter.

This time it was my hands itching to play in 3D. Sadly, clay and the potter’s wheel were far from reach. So I turned back to my good old pen and paper, searching for the 3rd dimension.

Where there is a will, one surely finds a way. Sometimes constraints push you to find another way out, a new method or material…

And I found light in origami folds. I never thought there was an art of crumpling and crushing!. My first experience of sculpting in paper. This adds a new dimension to my love for working with paper . I call it my ‘paper-pottery’!

Art is an exploration where the mind really don’t know where it is taking you. The mind simply surrenders to the intuitive flow of art n life. The joy lies in the hand-heart- head united in the flow.

#contemporaryartist #process #sculpting #paper#calligraphystrokes #artlife #indigo

My LockdownBook 2020

Text on text, day by day, page by page, dipping my calligraphy pen in the ink pot, and penning words of wisdom and inspiration- Bible on Bhagwad Gita sacred book.

Bible verses on Bhagwad Gita

And that’s what grounded me, sustained me through those trying pandemic times.

Sharing a few pages of life lived in those strokes, bound by the book. Perfectly imperfect lockdown life!

lockdownstories #covid #writings #calligraphyart #contemporaryartist

A Himalayan state of being

Often life crushes us down, squeezing us out of our own form. A form we recognise no more- crumpled, constricted, crushed. A form that is no longer Me. We cry, we fret, we struggle over how to iron those creases n folds and get back to the old shape.

Little do we know that life is sculpting a new form. The ups and downs, one fold after another, seems like the majestic Himalayan range enfolding in our life! No more flat, no more straight. The folding-enfolding by life actually adds newfound dimension, beauty and strength.

A Himalayan state of being!

My new exploration of enfolding my all-time favourite paper, calligraphy strokes and indigo.


Life is never flat nor straight. The drama plays out in the folds and creases of emotions- sometimes constricting, sometimes expanding, sometimes falling, sometimes risings, sometimes in order, sometimes all crumbled up. And in that lies the beauty and naturalness of life.

It made me reflect. Why should my paper be flat? It was interesting to learn that origami folds actually add strength to paper.

Continue reading “Folding-en-Folding”

Emotional Shift: 2020-to-21

Come New Year and one is flooded with good wishes messages. However, this new year stood apart. The messages were not the conventional expression- wishing happiness, health, wealth success.

As 2020 turned 21, there was a lot being expressed subliminally in the messages doing the rounds on social media.

The Pandemic year 2020 was like going through a gruelling emotional roller coaster ride- where the world turned upside down-full of unexpected twists and turns with a change in speed. With passage of time, the emotions of Indian consumers underwent the cycle of processing and grounding.

Semiotically decoding this New Year messaging revealed the underlying shift in emotions from fear-to-faith, cope-to-hope, rejection-to-gratitude, materialist-to-humanist. The Indian resilience and faith being the bottomline.

Semiotics studies the cultural context and communication, to dig deeper insights into how culture impacts consumer behaviour- subconsciously.

Decoding Indian emotional quotient…

looking back at 2020, looking ahead at 2021.

Venting out emotions

2020 – a year not worth remembering nor worth forgetting for all the troubles and miseries it brought. The conclusive refrain ‘2020- Go to Hell’ brings out our deep anguish and exasperation over the 2020 crisis.

The creative use of the traditional devotional form of singing – Qawwali, subliminally directs this anger towards God. The repetitive chorus style of singing drumming in the message of how bad 2020 was.

From Cope to Hope

A reflection of the year gone by on New Year eve – evocatively expressing the struggle and strife experienced by Indians. It highlights the renewed strength, resilience and hope of the Indians, in face of crisis.

Passing through this year, I have also gone through this difficult times. Having broken into pieces, I have now come out strong. I have maintained distance from loved one …as if taken a vow not to touch. Phone call, video calls have been my life line, and have celebrated Diwali on screen. Within 4×4 room, I have lived both joy and sorrow. I have kept a count of EMIs every month. Forget birthdays and anniversaries, I have myself done all the house work- utensils sweeping swabbing cooking etc. I have controlled expenses and even suppressed my dreams and desires. Work from home and work for home has made life a bit complicated. I have heard a vaccine will come. It’s now turn to change the calendar. The dates may change but the hardship is immense. My hopes are on the ventilator but my courage is soaring. Mask on face, sanitiser in hand, i m fully prepared. The clean, fresh sunny face cues hope and a fresh start.

2020: A Great Teacher

Every cloud has a silver lining. A shift in the mindset- from hating 2020 to acknowledging and being grateful. This year has taught us the precious lesson of life – patience, tolerance, resilience, minimalism, compassion. healing…we have adapted and survived through this year.

Honouring the Doctors as the Real Heroes

2020 has recasted perspective regarding who truly are the ‘celebrities’ in the world – the people who really matter. It’s an acknowledgment and recognition of Doctors and healthcare workers’ dedication, sacrifice and service impacting and saving lives.

Manoj Muntasher- an eminent lyrist of Bollywood, singer, poet, drives home the point:
New Year 2021 is the most significant year as it taught me what I had not learnt my whole life. My priorities became clear. I finally understood who are the BIG people in this world. Earlier I thought writers singers, actors, sports people, leaders, politician were the big people. Now I have no doubt – on the top list there are only three people – Doctors, Soldiers and Farmers.

It will make no difference if for a day we don’t see the singer, actors, cricketers perform, if don’t go out BUT if we go to the hospital and the doctor is not there, it will make a difference-forever.

For the earlier generation – medicine was considered to be a noble profession, and Doctors next to Gods. However, that no longer held true. The pandemic has brought back the due the respect, importance and gratitude for the Doctors amongst common man.

The harbinger of hope: vaccine

2021: Hope & Prayer

Looking ahead at 2021 with positivity, hope and faith – a shift from despair, suffering and negative emotions.

Wishing and willing 2021 to be a better year; protecting the new year from evil and negative forces.

Evoking God to make impossible possible.

In this video, the Indian classical singer evokes the higher forces to shower Joy, and remove all pain and suffering of 2020. It’s inspired by the Indian folklore: it’s commonly believed that the intense rendition of Raag Megh Malhar by accomplished musician ( Tansen of Akbar’s court) can directly cause rainfall and end all miseries. Rain ‘Shower’ is symbolic of happiness, life, joy ( end of summer drought) in the Indian landscape.

The excitement, the celebration, the fanfare around the anticipated launch of the Vaccine.

Humanity wins over consumerism

The NEW New Year Wishes in form of Blessings, Gratitude, Hope and Love.


Wasli: the 10th century living tradition

Wasli Paper

No screen can beat the touch and feel of paper. I am all ready to rock and roll with my new roll of Wasli Paper. There is something so special about it this humble sheet of paper. Wasli is a natural hand-made paper, made in layers.

Unlike the rough textured handmade papers, my calligraphy pen glides so smoothly on Wasli. It’s the hand-crafted technique of burnishing the paper ( rubbing the paper with Agate stone) that creates the smooth surface. It was devised in 10th century, specially used for miniature paintings and calligraphy.

It’s interesting to learn the word ‘Wasli’ has Persian origin meaning coming together, oneness. For me, it’s been a ‘coming together’ of handmade paper, ink and pen.

.#wasli #handmade #paper #material #burnishing #calligraphy #studio #contemporaryart #traditional #handcrafted

Handwriting a passé?

In today’s tech savvy world, everything can be created-re-created on the Mac machine. Nothing is impossible. I was intrigued when my artist friend gushed over Pro-create App. She updated me on this magic creative tool – every effect of painting medium can be brought alive with digital pen and screen. Imagine painting with watercolours without water, colours, paper and brushes. The tech wonder of the world seemed exciting, empowering, efficient but I felt it was robbing me of something.

It made me think from the perspective of the primary function of a computer – typing, lettering, writing. I ask myself – is the handwriting, the ink-pen a passe ?

I m a very pen and paper person. I used to miss writing with my ink-pen with computers taking over. That was till I found calligraphy.

My oblique cut nib qalam dips in ink-pot, pauses and then dances on paper . It unites my head, heart and hand ih in the flow of the pen. The experience of writing is so different from the incessant typing on the keyboard. The computer sucks me in its vortex, draining me; while the touch and feel of pen- paper calms me. I rejoice in the beauty of the ink-infused stroke on paper.

There is something intangible and authentic in hand-work, may it be any medium. Tech is an enabler making the process efficient and replicable. It cannot be a substitute to the organic flow of hand-work or vice a versa. Rather the two got to compliment each other.

My calligraphy pen and Mac work in tandem, complementing each other, in the mechanics and beauty of the written matter. And that makes me happy.

#handwriting #inkpen #calligraphylettering #contemporaryart #writing #computer #digital #modern#technology #handheart