In the sculptures of Amen Khanna, simple beiges, tans, and whites are used to powerful effect. The Indian artist’s porcelain figures come with rich emotional inner lives, despite their whimsical demeanors—some of his characters have their eyes shut in fear, some have their mouths agape in shock, and others have hands clasped tightly around their heads. Even in works designed to be functional, there’s a pensive grace that he injects into the work. Through his clay creations, Khanna hopes to shine a light on the negative emotions that people too often push out of sight.
平实淡然的色彩，却带有一种让人沉静的能量贯穿其中，一枚枚特立独行的小人仿佛各自拥有各自的小情绪，却又让人觉得饶有趣味。有些人闭起眼长大嘴巴，似乎是对眼前发生的一切感到讶异；有些人紧紧抱住头，似乎陷入了焦头烂额的困境中……哪怕是一些水杯花盆，也好似承载着一丝静默的忧伤——印度艺术家 Amen Khanna 说，他创作的这些陶土作品的初衷，就是“为了呈现那些人类看不见的情绪”。
The first time that Khanna touched clay, something clicked—he found a tremendous amount of beauty in the material. He admired its sturdiness, malleability, adhesiveness, and that, even without additional colorants, it came in naturally pleasing colorways. Once realizing that these qualities could be used to create unique, expressive works, he became obsessed.
Amen 在一次偶然接触陶土制作之后就爱上了这种媒介，他发现陶土本身具有着独特的美学价值。它实在、可塑、有粘力，且自带沉寂的色彩——这些与生俱来的物理性质让人着迷。而如何捕捉陶土的特性，去塑造一个个不同性格气质的作品，则是 Amen 一直想要去探索的命题。
Considering the versatility of clay, Khanna believes it’s a shame that people overlook their full potential. The material is often thought of as nothing more than a medium to construct functional ceramic ware. But Amen sees clay for what it is or can be—a material with life. Under his touch, his ceramic men express puzzlement, astonishment, sorrow, and more. “The thought that the material comes from the earth and will return to be a part of it one day keeps me grounded,” he says.
虽然说陶土的形态可以万变，但人们对它的看法似乎永远跳不出其本身的实用意义，所以大多数陶土制品都沦为了锅碗瓢盆。可是 Amen 并不这么认为。在他眼里，陶土是有生命的，这些小泥人们仿佛会惊讶、迷惑、忧虑、沉思，它们所呈现的神态是丰富多样的，但有着表里如一的核心：真诚。“一想到它来自于大地，总有一天会成为大地的一部分，我就觉得很踏实。”Amen 说。
Ceramics as a medium is prone to damage and cracks, and this is precisely what makes each of Khanna’s clay men so delicate and unique. In this way, they’re similar to human beings—needing to be constantly reshaped and cared for. This belief is what elevates his porcelain art and adds emotional dimensionality. He also believes the nature of clay adds a universality to his art, one that allows him to transcend gender, geography, and politics. He says, “Simply put, my clay men are the language and voice with which I communicate my thoughts and feelings with the world.”
这些陶土人在制作过程中总会不可避免地面临损坏和龟裂，但这也体现出每一件泥人的弥足珍贵，它们几乎和人类一样，需要一次次塑形，需要一枚枚真心呵护。唯有这样才能让观者关注和感知到更多情感信息，而非物质本身的实用主义。对 Amen 来说，泥土从来都不只是一种简单的媒介，他希望塑造的是一枚枚超越性别、地理、政治界限的泥人，“它们是我的语言和声音，我用它们与世界交流我的思想和感受。” Amen 说道。