by Shraddha NairJan 04, 2020
It’s a no-brainer that we love looking at beautiful things – from visiting galleries and museums, gazing at awe-aspiring paintings and sculptures to watching the incredible art of synchronised swimming and enjoying lush landscapes – humans have a penchant for admiring beauty, which often consists of patterns and colours. This has been and is in our collective conscience and can be observed in the calligraphy and geometric patterns across monuments such as the Qutub Minar complex in New Delhi, or the colourful and contained abstraction of a Mondrian, or maybe in the brilliant videography in K-Pop videos.
Of late, social media platforms have seen a surge in people liking and sharing minimal and colourful graphic content, often with relatable quotes. With an enviable following on Instagram (over 60,000 followers and growing day by day), 23-year-old Indonesia-based graphic designer Andhika Ramadhian’s feed will make one admiringly curious, swipe up and explore it. Why? Well, if you haven’t visited his profile yet, his work is a series of uncluttered and subtly manipulated photographs - a continued minimalist and surreal visual treat. Also interesting is the fact that he believes that beauty and aesthetics have always had an instinctive relationship with humans, and that they can be used effectively as an adequate and powerful way to communicate.
Reflective of his own idea of poetic beauty, Ramadhian’s creations often have one or two tiny human subjects against exaggerated, large-scale backgrounds, set in dreamy colour palettes. Giving off a very restrained Wes Anderson vibe, the pictures hero the context the subject is set in, which are either pops of colour or repeated symmetrical patterns that are tremendously eye-catching. Ramadhian reveals that he is inspired by a lot of things such as his own life experiences, the movies he watches, the songs he loses himself in, and the works of Surrealist masters Rene Magritte and Salvador Dali.
Ramadhian feels incredibly small and humble in the midst of nature – like a tiny piece of a big jigsaw puzzle. He was once exploring the landscape of Sumedang, his hometown, when he realised that everything looks even more interesting and beautiful from far away, a thought that many of us share when looking at scenic wallpapers or admiring the sunset. This acquired perspective he started practising in his art, and one can see the results in his work.
The tools he uses to create these magical swarm of pictures are gallingly crisp and simple – his phone, pocket camera and Adobe Photoshop. He captures these images, and post processes them in Photoshop, masterfully rendering a layer of magical surrealism onto seemingly mundane snapshots.
An overtly dreamy and emotional artist, Ramadhian has always wanted to express ‘feelings’ - of lost memories, of pain not quite forgotten, of thinking of someone from afar, of appreciating nature and its magnificence. He thrives on receiving an emotional response from his followers and viewers. In his own words – “When someone looks at my pictures, I want them to feel the way they do when they want to read a line of a poem twice.”