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Jasjyot Singh Hans

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Jasjyot Singh Hans’s Tumblr page comes alive in candy pop hues, and his captivating GIFs are almost hypnotic. Combining his love for art and his penchant for fashion, his illustrations explore nuances of the fashion industry, its perception of beauty and body image. Jasjyot can trace his love for drawing back to his childhood. ‘I have lived in a close-knit joint family since childhood. In that little space filled with tonnes of love and even more flying tempers, my sketchbook was a way for me to create worlds of wonder. I don’t think I would, have been able to pursue art and design without my parents support. Right from not throwing away any of my sketchbooks to keeping their cool when they saw sketches of girls clad in bikinis drawn at the back of my notebooks, my parents have been instrumental in my choice of profession. My mother says the first thing she remembers me drawing was the side-profile of a woman.’

Dark, intense and beautiful, each of his women tell a story. Full-bodied and olive-skinned, they redefine the ideals of beauty and the preset ideas of body image. ‘I love drawing big women; women with marks on their body and oil-soaked hair. It’s about staying true to what I have seen around me, and taking from it what seems beautiful to me and putting it out through my work. I think a lot of what I draw springs from my own body image. I’ve aways felt a very strong sense of failure. I’ve changed so much over the past few years and that has definitely changed the way I see myself, for the better. But that’s been a feeling I can never shake off; it has stayed. I draw what I associate with. I draw a character not because it seems interesting to me, but because it is me,’ he explains.

Following a degree from the National Institute of Design, he is presently pursuing an MFA in Illustration at Maryland Institute College of Art. Over the years, he has contributed to Sabyasachi Couture, Vogue, Elle, Manta Ray Comics, Penguin Books and spent a season as a print engineer with Manish Arora. Recently, he created an artwork titled I am Bold for a playlist curated by Shruti Hassan—in a collaboration with Kulture Shop and Apple Music—in which a woman clad in a saree and a leather bomber became his muse. His women hint at the themes of nostalgia, self love, body positivity, erotica, beauty and fashion. Each of his illustrations add up to a larger cause, and reinforce the fact that there is beauty in multiplicity. ‘I think it’s important to have an alternative voice so people don’t have to give in to the predominant ideas of what fashion and beauty is. My work is a more inclusive view on fashion and body image; it is a celebration of the everyday, and seeing beauty in diversity,’ he says.

 

Text Ritupriya Basu

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