Haiku Artist

Kambiz Derambakhsh has been creating social and political cartoons for the past sixty years. Stream of ideas and images constantly feed his mind, pour to his hands and on to the paper in form of the most sophisticated yet simple marks. Derambakhsh explains, “My ideal, today, is to speak with the least number of lines and simplest of forms, like the Japanese Haiku. This is a new age and people do not have time to read long forms, so I work hard to say what I want with visual brevity.” His magic of visual haiku is embedded not only in the economy of the lines but his use of “white” space. As he states, “ the white spaces on my work are my material and I use it as another color—it is beautiful and simple. Within this space I can draw a line and create a sky, another line and create another line below and make the ground.” His cartoon character (Adamak:Little person) is drawn with few lines. “In the beginning, the character was more detailed…but I reached the point where I realized buttons or checkered patterns were irrelevant. Another interesting aspect of the character is that he doesn’t have eyes, eyebrows, or a mouth…We understand his emotions through his gestures….when he bows his head, we know he is sad; if he jumps in the air, it means he is happy; if he has his hands under his chin, we know he is thinking.” Through the years Derambaksh’s clever Adamak hasnot only been engaging us with an array of emotions from sorrow and fear to joy and laughter but also pushed us to think deeper and look closer.

Images by: Kambiz Derambakhsh © Written by Roshanak Keyghobadi, 2019. This text cannot be quoted, translated or published in part or as a whole without Roshanak Keyghobadi’s permission.

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