As a majority of the world’s population is shut away at home, most of us cannot help but be bombarded by the news and various media outfits expounding on the global pandemic, and the death and sorrow that comes with it. The era of isolation comes as a painful reminder of our humanity, of our need for human connection, and our yearning to be in the sunlight, amongst nature. In these grim times, art comes as our only source of salvation, our sole reminder of the world beyond our bedroom windows, a world rife with the creativity of human innovation.
One such collaboration between 18-year-old Indian artist and design whiz-kid, Sartaj Prince, and German visual artist, Timo Helgert, aims to bring a taste of the natural world to the comfort and safety of our own homes.
“We just wanted to create something mesmerising enough to take the worries off of the people,” Explains artist Sartaj Prince, “While the media is creating fear and anxiety, we wanted to do the opposite, create hope and inspire everyone who is locked at home, unable to go out and enjoy nature.”
An artistic visual collaboration between Sartaj and Timo of Vacades, a visual agency outfit based out of Germany, The Return Of Nature affords us a taste of the natural world, while also reminding us of our planet’s healing in our absence.
Born and raised in the Makkasar village of Hanumangarh, Rajasthan, self-taught design-prodigy Sartaj Prince only discovered his passion for art and design in the year 2018. Having arrived to the party later than his peers, Sartaj explains that the journey hasn’t always been an easy one, but one he knew he had to undertake.
“Art used to mean ‘fun’ to me but now it’s my whole life.” Sartaj explains, “It started off as a hobby, and after practicing for long, I think I found what I was good at. So, I went with the flow, kept practicing and here I am today- with art being a huge part of me and my life.”
Soon enough, Sartaj was creating art like the best of them. It wasn’t long before the world started to take notice. Sartaj’s stunning artwork garnered him widespread attention and popularity amongst the community, and served as fuel for the furnace within which strong bonds were formed. Timo Helgert, a celebrated visual artist from Germany and the founder of visual agency Vacades, reached out to the 18-year-old artist over social media for a collaboration
“Timo Helgert and I first interacted on Instagram.” Sartaj explains, “He is really friendly and supportive. It’s really hard to find a companion like him- he has always supported me like an older brother and he’s more like a part of my family now!”
The rest, as they say, is history. Having worked with high-profile brands the likes of Puma and ZARA, the two-man collaboration has seen the collaborative outfit Vacades soar to new heights, and has been the breeding grounds of artistic innovation.
An alluring audio-visual journey into a world where human infrastructure and nature collide with breathtaking synchronicity, The Return of Nature transports the house-bound travel enthusiast from the Taj Mahal of Agra, to the Museo Del Prado in Madrid, with many more stops along the way.
The tweeting of birds, complemented by captivating visuals of iconic landmarks, overrun by the sheer, unstoppable force of nature paints a picture of a world where humanity has all but vanished, not unlike the current social climate of the world.
“In these hard times, people were more focused on the negative impacts of the global pandemic,” Sartaj explains, “we thought it’d be a good idea to show that our planet has been healing all this time.”
Rapidly gaining popularity around the world, the series, which reimagines the iconic Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo, was even showcased at the real Shibuya Crossing, where the pieces were showcased every hour from 9am until midnight, as a part of @neoshibuyatv ‘s 15 second museum.
As we part ways, Sartaj elaborates on his relationship with art. Discovering inspiration in meticulously recorded introspective thoughts, Sartaj emphasises the importance of questioning yourself.
“Question yourself after each day. Make a simple Google Form with deep questions that make you think, and stick to it as a routine.” He says, “That way you come up with many interesting ideas and over time you will have a long list with creative resources. That way, you don’t have to wait for inspiration, or worry about an artistic block”
When asked, Sartaj reveals his artform to be a means of self-examination, expression, and a way to meet like-minded people.
“Art for me is a way of self-expression,” Sartaj explains, “all these years I’d created countless artworks, and it was fun to see people trying their best to understand the stories behind my work.”
Having made a number of like-minded friends, including mentor Timo Helgert, through his art, Sartaj looks forward to a bright future, rife with collaborative projects and more visually indulgent art.
We at TheVibe salute the talent and drive of the young Prince, and look forward to his next big project.
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