lighting expert and product designer Vibhor Sogani talks about the inspiration behind his work, his style and his journey as an artist
He is the man behind Delhi’s first site-specific public art, Sprouts, the 40-foot high and 100-foot wide creation at the AIIMS flyover. But calling designer Vibhor Sogani just an artist will be an understatement. Known as one of the leading lighting experts of the country, his works now adorn the interiors of Grand Hyatt, Radisson, Shangri-La, Park Hotel, Taj, Clarion Hotel and Uppal’s Orchid among others.
Vibhor credits his technical knowledge to his alma mater — the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad. He says, “The National Institute of Design played an important role. I am a hardcore product designer; all my works follow a basic principle of ‘form follows function’. I always ensure that all my designs are simplistic in nature but at the same time, the user should wonder and analyse its functionality.”
Vibhor’s introduction to lighting took place in his childhood during his camp nights with his family. He recalls, “My father was a geophysicist and I have spent most of my growing years in camps. So, my earlier memories are of time spent with family around a campfire. I guess that played an important role in my understanding of how objects change form when exposed to light. Today, most of my works are stand-alone artworks, but when light is added, they are elevated to the next level.”
His style is experimental and language transformative. He was inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright’s famous Fallingwater building in Pennsylvania for his installation, Cascade Lights. His work is largely influenced by nature and its resources — for instance, Infinity has 7.000 crystals coming together to form interstellar formations of the dark sky, Beehive features golden bees perched on a steel hive and Chroma consists of chrome spheres suspending from the ceiling.
The artist uses mediums like steel, brass, wood, aluminum and copper for his work. But he admits that of all the materials, steel remains his favourite because of its ability to reflect light. He says, “In all my light installations, I make sure that the source of light is indirect, which also adds the mystery element. I also play with texture and reflection that stainless steel provides.” Stone remains another favourite medium for Vibhor, because of is versatility. Over the years, Vibhor has participated in numerous exhibitions, but was always a little apprehensive about being addressed as an artist. Today, he is happy to be called
one. He says, “Initially my technical knowledge overpowered the artist in me. Thus my previous works were more focused on designing sensibilities. With experience, you realise that there is a seamless blend between the two. The difference is just in the perspective. The minute I realised that, there was no mental pressure to create something but to enjoy my creations.”
Going forward, he wishes to create more public art in a bid to converse with the masses. He admits, “I miss the dialogue that began after my AIIMS project. There were numerous opinions from every quarter of life. But I love the fact that it has naturally mixed to become one of the significant elements to represent the developed, urban Delhi. I hope I could do some more projects like this across the country.”...