Friday, November 27, 2009
Peoples throughout history have bought, adopted or pillaged technologies from one another, often through the mechanisms of war, trade and espionage. ‘Nations’ and ‘cultures’ are not discrete entities, but are rather continually evolving expressions of social history, economic imperialism and geo-politics.
Viewed in this way, globalization is a historic trend, but one that is accelerating. The rate and extent of globalization has increased exponentially through increasingly complex technological revolutions – agricultural, industrial, and now, digital. Yet, simultaneous to this technological convergence, the cleavages between populations defined by race, religion and nation are being redrawn, redefined and reinforced. Clearly, “we” (patriots, developed, democratic) are not like “them” (insurgents, underdeveloped, oppressed). Globalization, as translated through capitalism and nationalism, has not yielded cultural uniformity.
Manga Ormolu enters the dialogue on contemporary culture, technology, and globalization through a fabricated relationship between ceramic tradition (using the form of Chinese Ming dynasty vessels) and techno-Pop Art. The futuristic update of the Ming vessels in this series recalls 18th century French gilded ormolu, where historic Chinese vessels were transformed into curiosity pieces for aristocrats. But here, robotic prosthetics inspired by anime (Japanese animation) and manga (the beloved comics and picture novels of Japan) subvert elitism with the accessibility of popular culture.
Working with Asian cultural elements highlights the evolving Western experience of the “Orient.” This narrative is personal: the hybridization of cultures mirrors my identity as an ethnically-mixed Asian Canadian. My family history is one of successive generations shedding the markers of ethnic identity in order to succeed in an adopted country – within a few generations this cultural filtration has spanned China, India, Trinidad, Ireland and Canada. Cultural appropriation and assimilation seem like a natural part of my identity, a survival technique not uncommon among ethnic minorities.
While Manga Ormolu offers multiple points of entry into sociocultural dialogue, manga, by nature, doesn’t take itself too seriously. The futuristic ornamentation can be excessive, self-aggrandizing, even ridiculous. This is a fitting reflection of our human need to envision and translate fantastic ideas into reality; in fact, striving for transcendence is a unifying feature of human cultural history. This characteristic is reflected in the unassuming, yet utterly transformable material of clay. Manga Ormolu, through content, form and material, vividly demonstrates the conflicting and complementary forces that shape our perceptions of Ourselves and the Other.
Check out more work by Brendan Lee Satish Tang HERE
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Hedi Slimane (born July 5, 1968 in Paris) is a Tunisian-French fashion designer of Tunisian and Italian-Brazilian origins.
He studied political sciences (hypokhâgne prépa Sciences-Po), and Art History at the École du Louvre, and was also educated as a tailor.
From 1992 to 1995 he worked for Jean-Jacques Picart, notably on the centenary exhibition of Louis Vuitton's "LV" monogramme label.
Check out more stunning work by Hedi HERE
Chris Gilmour by Guido Bartorelli The work of Chris Gilmour provokes surprise and amazement beyond what could appear to be a mere process of reproduction. In returning to the value of making and strongly emphasising it, these works reveal a process of understanding that lets us see everyday reality with new awareness and appreciation. This practice avoids a withdrawal into the limbo of craft, and implies an intimate and profound quest towards the reason of things.
Gilmour has imposed a strict logic on his works he makes objects using only cardboard and glue. There is no supporting structure, no wooden or metal frame. His interpretations of everyday objects are created in adherence to the use of a pure and single material, but instead of the marble or bronze of classical statues, he has chosen one of the most humble and commonly found of our industrial times.
Packaging cardboard is, by its very nature, intended to contain but it is then discarded. Gilmour, however, uses it to contain the work’s own identity and to highlight the displacement between the original object and the one made in cardboard. This displacement is marked by difference: his sculptures (and apart from the use of such a poor material, they conform to all the accepted precepts of sculpture) are not mere copies, but rather translations from life. This translation brings with it a process of knowledge- the knowledge of the small things within which the sense of daily existence is hidden.
The artist compares his sculptures to drawing, a way of seeing objects by observing and measuring them. There is a process of deconstruction, followed by the actual construction process. It is in this process of making, in an almost instantaneous and immediate construction, as if Gilmour was using a pencil on a piece of paper, that the subtlety of diversity is embodied.
Gilmour’s work includes stunning virtuoso life-size objects, as well as cruder and more essential reproductions, sometimes left at a stage that calls to mind drafts or models. These are however all based on objects we have all experienced first hand- a typewriter, a car, a bicycle, a wheelchair. These objects are always carefully chosen for their evocative and conceptual power, for the potential for mnemonic narration that they contain. They offer a blank canvas upon which the viewer can project their own memories or experiences, recalling collective perceptions or the gestures and the rituals of daily life. All the objects have an uncanny power to provoke a sensation of attraction and a desire to interact in the viewer. The ordinariness of the actions associated with these objects causes the viewer to unthinkingly act out the gesture associated with it- to type, or to open the car door- and it is this contradiction between the seeming functionality of the objects and the fact that in reality they are “fake”, this peculiar conceptual short circuit, which increases the bewildering effect of the works and lets us into a poetry of pure plastic forms.
Guido Bartorelli Translation: Simonetta Caporale
See more work by Chris HERE
Arnhel (b.1964) has been living and working in London for the last 15 years. After studying documentary photography under Magnum photographer David Hurn at Gwent College, he initially started out as a portrait photographer but his focus soon changed to a more reportage based approach.
The essence of his photographic practice is rooted in recording the moment in-camera rather than focusing on post production work.
With 3 images already in the National Portrait Galleries permanent collection, and clients including T Mobile, BP, Orange and Canon - Arnhels push now into the worlds of editorial and advertising will be an interesting one to watch.
See Arnhel's portfolio HERE
Background Whilst managing Europe’s largest photographic studio complex, his passion for photography grew. For a period of four years he was fortunate to work alongside photographers such as David Bailey, Richard Avedon, Albert Watson and Nadav Kander.
Since Toby’s return to Sydney in 2000 he has established a significant base of leading advertising clients both in Australia and Internationally including BMF, Whybin TBWA, Clemenger (Proximity) London and DDB. He has also just completed a recent project working as a Director of Photography together with a well renowned Director for Proximity Films and BMF Sydney.
Recent personal projects include a series on professional Thai boxers and a “Portraits And Places” series documenting the desolate road to Broken Hill. He recently held a solo exhibition at the Blender Gallery in Paddington, Sydney. His edgy style and award-winning photography have been celebrated with a New York Festival Gold, numerous Cannes and one show finalists, a World Press Award, Folio Awards, ADMA Awards, as well as nominations for the International Colour Awards and the Black & White Spider Photography Awards. Toby has now been nominated in two consecutive years as a finalist for his portraiture in the Sydney Morning Herald 2007/08 “Shoot the Chef” competition.
In 2006-07, Toby was commissioned by National Geographic and Australian Tourism on three separate occasions to photograph remote locations throughout Australia, accompanied by an English journalist. Together, they documented people in their extraordinary environments living extraordinary lives – a recurring theme throughout Toby’s portfolio of work.
See more work by Toby HERE
Kris Lewis began dreaming and flailing atop this lovely carnival ride in 1978, in the great surround of the Jersey shore. Growing up in a family that included 7 brothers and 1 sister provided ample fodder for his creative appetite, weaving an existence replete with love, conflict, beauty, tradition and classic Jersey brawls.
Kris’ father provided the artistic gene and a glint of inspiration, but it was his mother who taught him the importance of hard work and dedication as he watched her raise an entire family alone after his parents’ separation. As an immigrant who had to flee from communist forces in her home country of Latvia, Kris’ mother also instilled in him a love for his Latvian heritage and its traditions, which are a major influence in Kris’ artwork.
Other influences in Kris’ art include Alfonse Bougereau, Andrew Wyeth, Hans Holbein, Albrecht Durer, Hieronymus Bosch, Gustav Klimt, Antonio Mancini, and Jules-Bastien LePage.
His reverence for masters of old is apparent in his depiction of the human figure, which he uses as a vector for hidden stories, delicate emotion, and universal truth. His affinity for people-watching also informs his paintings, collecting glances, gestures, miens and hints and channeling them through the canvas for the viewer to share in the experience.
After studying Illustration at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Kris eventually found himself living and working in Los Angeles, where he still resides and has yet to fully explore.
His paintings have been featured in galleries in cities around the world, including L.A., San Francisco, Seattle, New York, Miami, London, and Hong Kong. His work has also been seen in the publications Juxtapoz and Modern Painters, and featured in the books Copro/Nason: A Catalogue Raisonne and Two Faced: The Changing Face of Portraiture.
See more work by Kris HERE
A short skateboard video from Salazar Productions featuring, Bradley Sheppard, Alien, Nate Lacoste, Chris Connolly, Nate Roline, Stacy Gabriel, Desmond Hoostie, Mike Klinkhamer, and Rob Rickaby.
Directed By Liam Mitchell.
Shot By Nathan Drillot and Liam Mitchell.