by Airin Dia in New Art on Thursday 11 July 2013

Aakash Nihalani’s style is recognizable across the wide variety of mediums he uses: minimal geometric shapes on a flattened visual plane, often employing different techniques of contrast and forced perspective to give the impression of virtual depth or movement.

While his work ranges from digital to sculptural, his public interventions mostly require only tape or cardboard to create illusions that engage the viewer and surrounding architecture in a disorienting visual play.

Two-dimensional objects may seem to recede distantly, be seen simultaneously from multiple points of view, or appear impossibly to be superimposed in space.

For Islands, Nihalani forgoes his usually vibrant color scheme to create a series of site-specific works in high-contrast, monochromatic black and white. Along one wall, two distinct black masses resemble jigsaw fissures, submerged into the architecture. Elsewhere, neatly lined processions of geometrical forms seem to emerge from the wall and diminish into the distance.

The effects are illusory, activated only from certain points in the room, and appearing distorted or distended from others. Negotiating these perspectives guides the viewer through the exhibition, drawing them occasionally to the footprints of the artist, the precise stance and angle from which the process originated.