"A multifaceted personality, Aman Khanna explains to us how its objects aim to strike a positive emotional chord by finding inspiration from the common man, his development process and how having multiple studios is a constant struggle." - Editor
What is the inspiration behind Claymen?
Claymen are a celebration of a style that lives at peace with its own little imperfections. Some are functional, they are hand made and are built to be used. Some incarnate the dysfunctionality intrinsic to society by hinting at the fragility of the human condition in a more general sense. These Claymen figure sculptures emerge from a careful observation of the common man and his dilemmas. They are peaceful, contemplative and quiet. While going through their own existential crises they are mere witnesses to the fact that: “Man is losing his humanity and becoming a
thing amongst the things he produces.”
What is your design development process? How do you go about it?
I have been creating character illustration for over a decade. They used to be all in flat two dimensions with clay I am able to explore the third. Sometimes certain words, feelings and interactions get stuck in my head and this helps to create new forms. The other times I follow the reverse process. Which is while working on a form I am able to associate it with certain words, feelings and interactions that I have experienced in the past.
While artists are in a quest for perfection, your artworks seem to be proud about their imperfections and even at times highlight them. Why is that?
Human beings aren’t perfect. Therefore, I feel it’s best to accept and
celebrate the imperfections.
Why do you emphasize on a humanist approach when it comes to your
It all depends on the human beings and boils down to the attitude of a
single human being. With the self-reflective and therapeutic nature of my work, If I can bring about a small but a positive change in the attitude of a single human then its all worth it.
What is the idea behind the range of dysfunctional objects?
Combining aesthetic and design, these objects have no immediate use but are not without a function. The use of ceramics as a fragile material seeks to evoke a sense of empathy, hinting at the fragility of the human condition in a more general sense. In a world ruled by the normative logic of capital, where narcissism rules, and commodities are fetishist, these humble, hand-crafted objects remind us of the subjective value of human relationships. But crucially of labor and
the social function of art.
You’ve set up design studios in India and abroad. How has your experience been in India? What were the initial struggles that you faced,if any?
It’s a constant struggle, designing, making and managing.
Any events or exhibitions we should look out for where your work is set to be displayed?
We are showcasing at the ASYAAF (Asian Student and Young Artist Festival) in Seoul via Gallery LVS. We are also launching at the Conran shop in London soon and we will have a small activation/ introduction to Claymen at their Marylebone store.
What would your advice be for young and emerging artists?
Take your time. Simplify. We all have a unique though process that we need to tap into to find our voice rather than trying to find it outside or basing it on a trend.
What is your work place/ studio environment like?
Calm but there is always music playing in the background. There is no hierarchy and everyone multitasks.
A: Aman Khanna