For those of you living under a rock, every year the snowboard and ski season arrives in Denver with the traditional Opening Day Party put on by our good friends at Breckenridge Brewery and every year they pick an artist to design the snowboard for that year. Never Summer Industries in conjunction with Breck Brew giveaway a bunch of these boards all across town at bars and liquor stores. We were fortunate enough to chat with the designers of this years board and how the partnership and inspiration came to be. Check out our interview with Hari &Deepti below.
U5280: How long have you been doing this type of art?
H&D: We started experimenting with paper cut in 2010, so we have been practicing this art form for about 7 years now.
U5280: Where did the idea for the medium come from and what influences are they associated with?
H&D: Our idea for this medium came by chance. We had signed up to participate for a charity event and had to donate a piece of of our art and we did not realize that the deadline was the next day so we got hold of whatever we had at our disposal - some paper & watercolors and came up with a colored diorama. Later Hari being a graphic designer wanted to work with minimal color and decided to work with white paper and Deepti had this idea of adding lights to it. We tried it out and the result was beyond words. Subconsciously we do derive from the art that surrounds us especially growing up in India. India has a rich culture of hand made arts and one of them is Tholpaavakoothu which is a form of shadow puppetry similar to Wayang Kulit from Bali. We interweaved these influences with our love for nature, and the wilderness in Colorado along with our passion for story telling. We feel our life in Colorado, being around the mountains has had a big effect on our work. We continue to get inspired by the places we travel and try to tell a story of exploration, living among magnificent giants and the nature.
U5280: It seems that the origin for using paper as a primary medium comes from areas of Japan and China and even Mexico and other latin countries, why is it more popular in those regions than say here in the United States?
H&D: We are not sure if we can throw more light on this. But we do feel in Japan, it is culturally been a very important part of their life. Right from the washi paper screens to the temple lamps, paper is always the main element and there is a respect to the process and the medium. Similarly other cultures have been working with paper for a long time, and there is definitely an increased interest in paper. Especially in this day and age when information is easily accessible, it is really easy for people to connect with artists and art forms. We get a lot of inquiries from teachers & students regarding our artform and we are really happy to see students interact and interpret this artform in their way and to suit their narratives.
We feel in this fast paced digital word paper is tactile and if forces you to be patient. It is relatively accessible and cost effective in terms of raw material. So maybe thats why there is a lot more interest in paper arts.
U5280: How did the Breck Brew project come to fruition?
H&D: Ryan Workman from Breckenridge had seen our work and had written to us few years back that he would like us to be a part of the Breck Brew project. So in late 2016 we heard back from him saying he was still interested and we jumped on this opportunity. It was a great way giving back to the community and Colorado which has been an integral part of our art journey. The project was an amazing experience, we had a great team at Breck, who gave us a free range in what we wanted to create and the outcome is the result of that collaboration.
U5280: You have been commisioned from everything like bookcovers to window installations and now a snowboard. What is the craziest idea you have ever been approached to work on?
H&D: We think the craziest project we have done is remotely designing an installation for Pure Leaf which was displayed in multiple cities. We got our friends at Wigwam Creative to collaborate with us and we digitally designed the artwork in India which was then laser cut in the Denver and then assembled via facetime/live camera. The final assembly took place in Connecticut and then the artwork travelled multiple cities within six months.
U5280: Living in Denver the idea from the Breck Brew project has a lot of nods to our amazing landscape, seeing as how your work translates into stories how would you describe (in a story) the idea for the snowboard.
H&D: Colorado has a huge impact on our work and we wanted to capture the spirit of Colorado and the mountain life. This artwork captures a snapshot of when you are hiking /snowboarding and you take a moment to look at the majestic mountains overlooking the lakes with pristine reflections and star filled skies, and this was just an attempt to capture that feeling which every person in Colorado can relate to.