Inkink is a collaborative design project between artists Ooli in Saint-Petersburg and Anton Abo from from Kiev. But you wouldn’t necessarily know it from their work. The Slavic artists’ designs are rife with headdresses, totem poles, and ritual Hindu hand gestures. It’s neither Russia or the Ukraine where the two seem to meet.
Abo and Ooli’s work together conjures up artifacts from a cultural fantasy land, with imagery appropriated most obviously from Native American and East Indian cultures. Yet their design schema is not purely the reiteration of other cultural works. They take the stock iconographies of the (vastly) different Indian nations and create the scenes of a new landscape and mythology, characterized by Escher-like optical illusions and flying Narwhals.
Their use of natural imagery–constellations, furs, mountains, clouds, and trees–combined with repetition of the triangle, grounds their work in the idea of the primitive. But their clean and deliberate design visually maintains that it is anything but. The hand of the computer is very visible in their work. This contemporary digital touch, combined with the old-school pagan themes of nature as magical dream-like entity, coheres to create a visual setting that is dislodged from a regular time and space.
Kind of like Star Wars. It looks like the future, but then again, it’s telling you that it was a long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away… Inkink does design, illustration, typography and streetart. Check them out their blog here.
By Shawn Johnson