He remoulds junk as fancy pieces of art

While his classmates rack their brains to solve mathematical problems, this 17-year-old boy imagines the maths symbols taking shape of different designs from candle stands to table base. The twist in the tale is the material that he chooses to create these design is scrap!

“I want to change the people’s perception of discarded material,” says Robin Passi who has his hands full with a different medium of art, quite early in his life.

Showcasing his creations at his fourth exhibition, ‘Recycled Material Pieces’ recently at Alliance Francaise, the Std XII student of Sanskriti School feels that “every rusted piece of metal has an attractive story attached to it. Say for example a part from a truck that would have traveled over the entire nation will now become an art piece in someone's living room. Every shape has its own character,” Passi philosophises as viewers appreciate his unusual outlook.

Seeing art through a “different perspective”, he started fiddling with a crankshaft few years back. “I wanted to make a candle stand out of it. Initially it didn’t work, but when it did then everything started taking a shape on its own,” he says, recollecting his first memories of exploring scrap as a medium to express his artistic sensibilities.

Being surrounded by artists, it was difficult for Passi to realise that scrap was the material that would help him communicate what he wanted. “After starting small with a crankshaft, I felt the urge to use wire mesh and travelled to Mayapuri scrap market in search of it,” he says, finding it difficult to source material from other places for his creative pursuits.

“Once a scrap dealer got curious to know why a young boy like me wanted to buy crankshafts in bulk. I tried explaining to him that I wanted to make a lamp out of it and he instead gave me the number of a place from where I could buy a brand new fancy lamp,” laughs Passi narrating the incident. After this, he didn’t attempt to entertain any more curiosities.

“Few of them asked but I smiled and moved on,” he says emphasising on his idea to create artworks that are multi-functional. An example of this are his book racks that can be used as pineapple stands too.

Though majorly self-taught, he considers Subodh Gupta as his inspiration and admits that he did seek guidance of experts at certain stages, such as when his iron bookshelf made his whole study stink of rust.

“I then realised that I need to coat metal with silicon spray to avoid it from getting in contact with air,” he says pointing at a frame mirror. “This embodies my entire exhibition because each part used to make this is from the leftovers of all the other artworks exhibited here.”

The young artist’s profound thoughts don’t end here as he also mentions that his next exhibition will incorporate “old weapons of war to make the world realise it’s time to put them down!”

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