The Shadow Ganesha that Went Viral
A young artist who makes ordinary objects cast a divine shadow
SANA ANIL KUMAR IS A MULTI-TALENTED artist from a small village near Karimnagar in Telangana, India. He’s skilled at pencil and pen drawings, but his new claim to fame is shadow art. During one of the village’s frequent power outages, Sana noticed that the shadow cast on a nearby wall by his flashlight looked like something. Instantly the idea came to him of a new way to create art.
He starts by gathering all sorts of household objects—small bottles, toothbrushes, Rubiks Cubes, paper, cups, books, shampoo bottles, etc. He arranges these on a table and illumines them with the flashlight to create a detailed work of art on the wall. He’s done Hindu Deities, celebrities, buildings, bridges and more. A small piece can take up to five hours, while a large Deity or person can take eight hours. He’s made over 40 such works which he photographs and posts to Facebook—his one gateway to the Internet. His Ganesha and Durga shadow pieces have gone viral, and he hopes to one day put together a museum exhibit.
ALL PHOTOS: COURTESY SANA ANIL KUMAR
Multi-faceted talent: Sana with his award-winning shadow art of Lord Ganesha
Go to his page, facebook.com/Sanasinnovision, to find not only his shadow art, but a tour de force of creativity. His art media are ordinary and wildly diverse: sand, milk, sugar, tea, coffee powder, salt, Eno, even dry spaghetti. Sana has carved a scene into the skin of an apple; and a dirty rear windshield of a car became his canvas. He is also an excellent carver, sculpting a piece of chalk into a chain with interlocking links, and turning a pencil lead into a miniature Eiffel Tower. Art remains a hobby for Sana, something he does “just for fun.” He has made drawings for friends, and has yet to ask for any money in return. In 2016, he won India’s National Academy of Letters’ Yuva Puraskar award as a promising young artist.
Pen art of a traditional Hindu dancer, modeled from a photo
A miniature chain carved out of a stick of chalk; The Eiffel Tower carved into the tip of his drawing pencil
Art in all forms: The Statue of Liberty, Krishna, a bharatnatyam dancer, Charlie Chaplain, Mahatma Gandhi, and a moon-walking Michael Jackson
Siva meditating next to a Lingam
Pencil sketch of young boy, duplicating a photo exactly
Salt art of Gandhi
Milk art of Shirdi Sai Baba; apple carving of couple on a bench under a tree; coffee-powder portrait of Bruce Lee