‘Melange’ by Chhaya Naran

Chhaya Naran, Melange, 2018. 1 minute, 21 seconds. Music by Z/Bernard Szjaner. Courtesy of the artist.

In Melange, Chhaya Naran blends digital techniques with hand drawn textures to create a space that is both futuristic and nostalgic. Referencing Frank Herbert’s iconic science fiction novel Dune, Naran’s image of hyperspace is defined by organic lines and rough, shifting shades of red. Color and tactility fill a space that in science fiction is overwhelmingly shown as empty, sterile, and intangible. As the red and black vacuum of space shifts in the center of the frame, a delicate portal of white lines emerges, introducing light and depth. Two bright spots of orange chase each other towards the tunnel of the viewer’s vision like simplified space ships. Amorphous neon pink drips like liquid along the lines of light that form the portal, complicating the viewer’s notion of reality in the abstract space. In Naran’s imagining, space is clamoring with life, unknowable not because it is a void, but because it operates under a logic all its own.

Chhaya Naran is an artist and animator who lives and works in Vancouver, BC. Their work is influenced by their love of food and fantasy, as well as their experience as a brown, queer, trans person. Naran is a founding member of the animation collective Flavourcel. To see more of their work, visit their website here.