Meet Phygital Sculptor Kaan Iscan

The Instanbul-based artist talks us through his influences, creative process and latest artwork, 'Delay'.


Apr 27

Sculpting and the qualities of different materials have always interested Kaan: "I spent most of my time in sculpture classes during my senior year at high school. I was deeply fascinated by working with materials and the physical involvement it requires. We were working with metal, marble, foams, and clays."

Kaan in his workshop (2022).

This joy and curiosity from his high school days, found him again a couple of years ago, after he had completed his study of visual communication. Influenced by his mentor, Börte İpek (who is also a painter) Kaan resumed his study of these concepts and ideas, yet he has swapped the traditional practice of physical sculpting for creating both digital and haptic pieces.

Kaan at work (2022).

His creative process often begins with a thought or a feeling, which he will try to visualise with a first sketch: "This step really helps to make that thought become real. When I feel like something is coming, I start to sculpt it on the computer and texture it to see where it goes in the 3D environment." While this process is ongoing, he will often print out the form and play with plaster or other materials to create a final version: "I love mixing the two processes and observing how it makes me think in a really different way.”

3D print with sketches superimposed in post-production (2022).

There is rarely a set timeframe for this process. Kaan often experiments, and discovering new methods and materials throughout the process is very important to him: "In my 3D printing process I’m using PLA material. It’s durable, light, highly pliable and reusable. For the post-production, I always look for new materials. These days I’m mostly into plaster, concrete, stucco, polyurethane foam and a few others. I like working on carvable materials."

By working in this multidisciplinary way, Kaan is able to innovate with shape, colour and structure. Melted faces and bodies, abstract shapes and forms meet in a playful use of colour and composition. Once the composition has been formed, he will plan how he can reflect that thought in the structure – the rest is totally intuitive.

Detailing 'Delay' - work in progress (2022).

Some of Kaan’s recent works have a figurative aspect, as is the case for his most recent piece, ‘Delay’: "I saw this girl in one of Lucian Freud’s documentaries. She was sitting on her legs, with her dog beside her. She was not happy, and I wanted to get into her world." Besides Lucian Freud, and Börte İpek, Kaan's work has been influenced by many artists, including Francis Bacon, Giocometti, Daniel Arsham, Erdoğan Zümrütoğlu and Gaetano Pesce.

When exploring new work, he always keeps an open mind: "I don’t like restraining myself with specific concepts so my practice is mostly informed by my current state of mind.”

‘Delay’ will be available on Dissrup from Friday, the 29th April.

— Discover Kaan on Dissrup and Instagram