Artist Kanak Nanda Discoursing the Milan Design Week and Her Enriching Experience

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Kanak Nanda is an Artist, Graphic Designer, and Psychologist who is inclined toward creating a more colorful world through her passion for painting. From floor to ceiling and from fabric to furniture, she has accentuated every surface with her talent but majorly her work palette includes wall artwork incorporating a multitude of textures and patterns.

Kanak Nanda at Milan design week
Kanak Nanda

For her, art is something that moves you in some way and she likes to engage in projects that provide her freedom. She is also a color influencer for Asian Paints and a brand ambassador of Novacolors Italia. The recent feather to her cap is her participation in the Milan Design Week 2022 as an artist representing India and the brand Nova Colors.

Here’s her interview with the TDJ correspondent where she speaks about her experience at the Milan Design week

How did you get the opportunity to be a part of the Milan Design Week? 

In 2020, I was representing India and was one of the ten brand ambassadors for an Italian paint Company called Novacolor Italia. I was the only Indian that has ever represented them and was supposed to be the brand ambassador for the entire year. So, when I went there for training, I created a panel that was supposed to be at the Milan Design week for 2020 but when I came back the pandemic happened and I didn’t get a chance to display my work. So they gave me a chance to display it for this year, which is 2022. Also, this time it was much bigger than it has ever been because it was their 60th anniversary and they also asked me to create a panel live which was far bigger than just displaying my earlier works. 

What was your role at the event?

So, this year they planned a live painting session instead of just displaying artwork. I was one of the twelve artists from all over the world that was invited. I was the only female and the only Indian for this particular event. I was representing India and the brand Novacolor Italia – which organized this particular event. We had to paint live. We were given three hours and a theme that we had to prepare for and we had to do it in front of a live audience that consisted of other architects, artists, and designers from various parts of the world.

Kanak Nanda at Milan design week

Shed some light on the theme of the event.

The theme this year was ‘Getting back to Nature’, as we belong to nature. So we were given a couple of trending colors as the color of the year and along with that we were also celebrating the product that they have which is called Marmorino – it’s a stone finish. So we were celebrating 20 years of the product being available in the market and being used all over the world. I had to use both; the colors included and the product Marmorino and back to nature was the basic theme where it spoke about sustainability and how we are taking inspiration from nature and how every product or design idea is coming from nature.

Kanak Nanda at Milan design week

Discuss the artwork that you painted and How did your work incorporate the theme?

My idea for the painting was basically to create this whole background of nature – earth. So colors that I used are greens and blues to depict that. Along with that, I put a female who represents mother earth and there is a serpent around her which is a symbol of eternity and the continual renewal of life. When it sheds its skin it represents rebirth. It symbolizes our need to transform, evolve and heal at every stage in our lives. Post-covid a lot of us had to adapt and change our perspective and how we are as human beings to adjust to whatever was thrown at us so this was the crux of that.

Kanak Nanda at Milan design week

Share with us the products that you used in your artwork at the event.

The product that is used, is called Marmorino, which is a stone finish. It has high levels of calcium and limestone in it which is why it has the finish of a sandstone. Also, I have used one of my favorite products, which is Gold-leafing. I think it has become my signature style and I have used that in a lot of my artworks if you have seen my past works.

Kanak Nanda at Milan design week

How was the experience of interacting with other artists from around the world at the event?

This event that they organized was all about creating. There was no competition amongst the artists. A lot of them were very experienced and they were mostly from Europe. I did learn a lot, whether it’s their signature style or their technique of using the product. So, it was a great learning experience for me. 

How do you think the event helped you as an artist and a professional?

It has given me a very big platform and the kind of audience which included architects and designers from all over the world gave me a boost of confidence for sure that I was good enough to be showcasing my work internationally. It made me realize that I was at par with a lot of the international artists as well. Professionally, I got a bigger audience and a lot of them were internationally acclaimed artists and designers. I am in talks with them for collaboration and just waiting for them to materialize.

Kanak Nanda at Milan design week

Are there any forthcoming events or exhibitions you are participating in that you would like to share? Would you like to re-visit the Milan festival next year as a contributor to the event? 

Some events are happening mostly towards the end of the year, so stay tuned for that. And, Of course, if given an opportunity again, I would love to go and showcase my talent once again and learn a lot from there. Milan design week is the epitome of design so I would be honored to go there again.

Image Credits : Kanak Nanda

Written by Aastha Trivedi
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