Aman Khanna analyses humanity through Claymen
Aman Khanna is the man behind Claymen. Creating small sculptures that represent observations of the common man and his dilemmas, Aman’s work is thought provoking, unique and most importantly, a reflection of human behaviour. With his Claymen series such as The Tyranny of Perception and An Inflated Sense of Self Importance, Aman’s work expresses a strong sense of emotion and truth that are underlaid with themes of narcissism, suppression and egocentrism faced in today’s society. “Although going through their own existential crises at all times they are mere spectators or observers to the notion that “man is losing his humanity and becoming a thing amongst the things he produces,” says Aman about his creations.
“My subconscious seems to be interested in human psychology in general. People all across the globe have similar feelings and go through similar emotions and issues, and I like to speak to everyone through my work.”
With no two objects being exactly the same, the choice of the material itself adds to the individuality of the work. Clay is used consciously for its simplicity, rawness and purity. Derived from the earth, it is a basic element that allows Aman to be present with his objects, bringing personality and tactility to each piece.
When asked where his inspiration comes from, Aman says “Every now and then a certain thought, a feeling, an observation, an interaction or something I may have read tends to get stuck in my head. I would then have to address the fixation by giving it a shape or a form so that I can make peace with it. Sometimes the opposite happens, I would hand mould a clay face and it would just look like a feeling I had in the recent past and I would instantly give it a name.”
A graduate in Graphic and Information Design from London College of Communication, Aman also started the design studio Infomen with his college friend Carlos Coelho in London as well as Infonauts in New Delhi where he now resides.
For Aman, studying in London was a significant time in his life where he was encouraged to think freely, examine his work introspectively and learn the art of visual storytelling. Taking this wealth of knowledge and new gained perspective back to India, Aman has some thoughts on where he sees the future of Indian design heading: “As designers we need to tap into the huge resource of material, craft and techniques that have existed in India and make it up to date by adding real design value to it in our own unique ways. This should help us to create meaningful and sustainable design that has a global outreach. I already see this happening but we have a long way to go. I would like to see more individuality in what designers are doing. I think we all have interesting stories to tell, that is if we take our time to tell it and not get too influenced by what and how much other people are doing.”
Image credits: Aman Khanna