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In sand, stories unfold

 | May 28, 2012

Blake's famous line about "a world in a grain of sand" takes on its own meaning in the hands of visual artists.

THE beauty about art is that it keeps evolving—in fascinating, sometimes mind-boggling ways that continue to move us, entertain us and overwhelm us.

In 24-year-old Kseniya Simonova’s world, story telling through sand painting became her medium of expression when, almost destitute from a failed business, she began drawing on the sand at a beach in Ukraine.

Her childish sketching soon progressed to become sophisticated works of art as Simonova refined her talent and sought to tell moving tales through the medium of sand animation.

Winning the reality talent show Ukraine’s Got Talent in 2009, Simonova reduced many to tears with sand animation that depicted the horrors of Germany’s invasion of Ukraine during World War Two. In it, she tells a tale of life and love, death and despair, war and peace.

Another outstanding artist who has taken sand animation to the next level is Mexican Joe Castillo with his “SandstoryÒ”, a collection of art images he draws in sand on a lit table. Like the performances of Simonova’s, Castillo’s is scored and choreographed to live or recorded music and performed live on stage. The changing images of the sand animation are projected onto a giant screen, taking on the appearance of a movie show reel.

Kaushik Bose from Kolkata calls himself a “sand animator” who believes that in a grain of sand lies the secret of the universe. He performs regularly at corporate events and weddings, mesmerising his audiences with seemingly three dimension landscapes that transform with a flick of his hand into human figures, objects and symbols that tell heartfelt stories.

Words alone cannot describe the full emotional impact of their work. One would have to watch it to fully appreciate it.


Kseniya Simonova

Joe Castillo

Kaushik Bose


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