Daniel Agdag is an artist and filmmaker based in Melbourne, Australia, whose practise sits at the nexus of sculpture and motionography. He creates highly detailed sculptural pieces that have been described as architectural in form, whimsical and antiquated in nature and inconceivably intricate.
Agdag principally uses boxboard (a heat-treated archival paper), glue and a scalpel and deliberately keeps his process very simple but the outcome is extremely complex. He is drawn to the utilitarian origins and monochromatic nature of his chosen materials and creates structures which resemble architectural forms and machines. For Agdag, the tonal quality of the boxboard emulates building materials, reminiscent of stone, steel and timber. Furthermore, the boxboard is 100% recycled and a material enjoyed and appreciated by the artist due to the many lives it has had before existing in the forms he creates. His works represent a paradox of fragility and strength using a medium that is essentially paper. He is an accomplished filmmaker, and these models can come to life through the medium of stop motion animation.
Agdag describes his work as ‘expressions of symbolic self-analysis reconstructed in three-dimensional form’ – mechanical manifestations of his thoughts, ideas and ancestral stories. He takes inspiration from the overlooked, concealed mechanisms and systems that enable the industrialised world to function, and often explores the playful, fantastical realms of invention and imagination.
Whilst his work is predominantly realised in cardboard, he has made work in steel, wood and glass as part of translating his elaborate ideas into large scale public art sculptures. His stop motion film ‘The Lost Property Office’ was shortlisted for an Academy Award in 2018 and won Jury Prize for Best Animated Short at Newport Beach Film Festival in 2019.
Agdag has had solo shows in Melbourne, New York and London and has been presented at international art fairs across the world. His work is held in private collections in the United States, Japan, Hong Kong, Australia and Europe.