He stands without a plan,
seeking into the unknown,
to capture the invisible,
portray the existence.
An endless journey without a destination
slowly disappearing into the mist.
A time has come for revelation,
thoughts, mind, body and soul,
gracefully showcasing oneself as a whole.
“In the midst of bustling Bangalore traffic there lay a terrain camouflaged within the bamboo shoots. A step further in and time seems to gradually slow down with rest of the world coming to a standstill. The chirping birds overpowering the noise of the drill machines. On the other hand, a diverse group of people spread across the land soulfully engrossed into their craft. This is his sanctum and we become a part of it. Often a space is the reflection of a person’s mind. Sangaru ‘the creator’ in his true entity has been able to organically compose an environment where work seems to be a play and a mystical treat to one’s eye.
“I remember walking into the studio just like a child dumbstruck, entering a carnival with eyes gazing from one end to the other not knowing where to stop. Numerous people walk in with a similar sense of astonishment and curiously engaging in endless questions ranging from the ‘process’ to the ‘ingenious products’ to the ‘mysterious man’ himself.
“Bamboo was the beginning of the road map, leading into a whole other dimension. The philosophy runs around the craft of hand and finding innovative ways for it to sustain in our contemporary age. Each product is built from scratch, passed through a series of different people, to create something not only aesthetically beautiful but ‘powerful’ for what it represents.
Who would have thought that an entire craft form or a city could be recognized through an object?
The Channapatna chair, lacquered itself in a solid dynamic red or the Mukharna chair carved its way through the Kashmiri walnut, each of these pieces stands there in all its glory to give a symbolic tribute to a craft form.
“The people behind the scene are one of the significant driving forces. The Tripura and Bihar artisans are relentlessly experimenting with different joineries, pigment finishes, construction, weaving and more. Sometimes it feels like a chemistry lab with no predictable outcome.
“A different world seems to exist in his mind, slowly unraveling in the form of his works. Often, he’s cocooned in the middle of prototypes with ideas emerging in diverse forms and shapes to undergo metamorphosis and resulting into something riveting. All that’s needed to stimulate the process is the aroma of steaming hot coffee and Pink Floyd playing in the background creating a trance to wander off into one’s boundless thoughts.
“Curiosity often strikes about his roots before he emerged into the limelight. His birthplace and childhood memories belonged to different cities, so he would often claim that he’s from nowhere. This early departure from permanence probably embedded the nomadic side within him leading to a whole new perspective. Even while coming across his articles from Gaatha, one will notice how he is able to capture more than a moment, a breathing story composed into one frame representing life in its rawest form.
“A lot people work with passion but only a few out of pure joy. I had the privilege to experience such pleasure. While the rest of the world is running a race, at Sangaru’s we’re redefining the concept of time.”
Former Intern at Sangaru Design Studio
(WATCH THE FILM)
Sandeep Sangaru, our muse
This time around, our muse happened to himself take a keen interest in film making and photography and hence was involved in the process of production. He helped us pinpoint what could be worth capturing and supported all our thoughts on the same. Retakes were encouraged among the unending questions that were thrown at Sangaru by our open-eyed selves.
His workshop is a world of its own, the enclosures seeming like they’ve sprouted out from the Earth, raw and full of life. The smell of sawdust fills every nook and corner of the jungle like premises. The resident craftsmen are in full alignment of Sangaru’s efforts and are tuned to process all his drawings into products with their hands, each sketch a new challenge.
A day of production means getting lost in the whirring of machinery under light and shade of the bamboo patches leading from one point to the other. A firmament of prototypes hangs by the roof above the artisans in the workshop and are a constant reminder of their efforts in making each thing of beauty. Every so often a contrasting bright red or indigo catches the eye adding curiosity to the ambience. Our tea breaks and dhaba style lunches have become second nature during each visit. The atmosphere of Sangaru’s lab of experiments rubbed off on us and reflected in the way we shot the film, which in itself was an exploration that became a means to an end.
PRODUCED BY TEEPOI
PRODUCER, PHOTOGRAPHER & ILLUSTRATOR: VANDANA DRUVA KUMAR
AUTHOR, MUSIC & CONTENT DIRECTION : KARISHMA RAO
VISUAL DIRECTION, DP, EDIT & GRADE: VISHWESH SHIVA PRASAD