South Korean artist Jihyun Park creates incredibly complex images by burning minute holes in rice paper with incense sticks. He then mounts the finished ‘drawings’ onto varnished canvases. The final results are beautifully serene images of trees, mountains, clouds, forests and branches. As a kind of reverse pointillism, Park is interested in the contrasts between empty space and positive space, or by taking something away (parts of the paper, and the incense stick) to create something new (the image).
Inspired by the books Gulliver’s Travels, Utopia, and Erewhon and after seeing the Japanese animated movie Castle in the Sky, Park became interested in the ideas of utopia and harmony. He expands these connections in his work further:
My recent work, Incense Series, focuses on this relationship while searching for the promised harmonic balance that utopia brings. Ironically, the word “utopia” in Korean is “Yi Sang Hwang” and “Hwang” means “incense”. (Source)
Park also talks about the ideas of positive and negative further. He says the shadows created by the holes in the paper are playing off of the light reflected from behind them. To him this is a fine example of Yin and Yang and two opposites who complicate and strengthen each other. He also chooses to outline his subjects or to fill them in – working with reverses in an aesthetic sense as well.
The subjects addressed in my work range from the natural world to memories of the past, reflecting the constant physical and emotional changes in our environment. It is my hope that the “moments” I captures of my subjects are ones when they are at their most ideal– true utopias. While drawing them with the incense, I am “holding” a split moment of harmony in my hands. (Source)
Polish photographer Pawel Fabjanski serves up a nice blend of commercial/fashion aesthetics and personal input within his work. He brings a mysterious, postmodern edge to everything he does, whether it be a portrait of a girl with red pyramids attached to her face, or a troop of nondescript people in weird, pink lab attire (above). Touching on themes of alienation and “man’s response to the environment”, each photo gives you just the right amount of chills. Fabjanski also spends time teaching at the National Film School in Lodz.
When you think of a someone who’s a “crazy cat person” you might imagine them to live in shambles overrun by felines. In Andréanne Lupien’s series Crazy Cat Lovers, however, that’s not the case. Her amusing photos feature people in their otherwise tidy homes, yet surrounded by their cats duplicated many, many times.
These images celebrate her love of felines, and the initial inspiration was her own cat. Lupien tells us, “I had fun taking pictures of myself with my cat, putting it around me in the room so that the final picture would result in my cat being multiple times in the photography doing multiple actions. That was it!”
Crazy Cat Lovers makes light of the cat phenomena. With their Internet presence like videos, GIFs, and photos, felines become more and more popular. “This was my opportunity to fully talk about it.” Lupien says. “To create the photos, I would take my photography kit, put it in my bag and leave to explore the world of some crazy cat lovers. It was a great adventure! I would visit unknown people or I would go to a friends house. It was always a new universe to discover. Every picture had its own essence and energy, its own universe. It was like visiting a person’s unique world.” (Via Yahoo News Tumblr)
Since we last posted about him, multi-talented artist Tony Kinglux has been up to an interesting new gif project. Kinglux draws from his collections of various ephemera, from the medical and magical to the religious and ancient, and skillfully incorporates animated images into static and dated images, creating hypnotic new animations. Kinglux’s work is resonant with the mystical and magical, while also capturing a sense of measurable reality. “That’s what I’d like to achieve from these images: to inspire a new generation to take a look into some very old ways of looking at the world. A way of reimagining the universe and our place in it. That the magic still exists, it’s very close to us all the time and that it is waiting for your experimentation.” Kinglux is currently living in Prague where he’s visiting some of the magical haunts of the ancient alchemists.
Women have had the opportunity to rise against the perfection of the ad model. For instance, Jes from The Militant Baker goes against the grain by reinventing the black and white, over-perfected couple shots seen in Abercrombie and Fitch’s stores by posing, as a plus size model, with the regular Abercrombie male model. Many ad campaigns [Dove, Hanes, etc] have also done the same thing countless of times by producing content that celebrates the fact that beauty comes in every shape and size. These ads, however, almost never feature men, but only women.
So what happens with men? Do they not go through the same? Are they not as affected by the distorted ideals of beauty as much as women are?
In this photo series, Jenny Francis and The Daily tabloid newspaper, The Sun [England] teamed up to show how real men compare to the popular underwear ads that showcase the chiseled abs and faked tanned male models.
Four average looking men, stood alongside David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo, Freddie Ljungberg, and David Gandy to show off what a real life man would look like wearing the same exact underwear and standing in the same exact poses. The photos are quite funny, but they are also quite empowering as the provocative poses and the polarity of bodies shown in the comparisons further examine the different male body types out there, from short and thin, to tall and bulky. Just like women, many men are confronted with the issue of body ideals that are often impossible to achieve. (Via My Modern Met)
The New York-based art collective Dawn of Man has created site-specific video installations that bring peace and tranquility to the “city that never sleeps.” Entitled Projection Napping — which is a clever play on the technique, project mapping — the group transforms peeling walls, dark alcoves, and sky-high edifices into refuges for larger-than-life human beings. In each work, the characters appear to “settle down” into their respective spaces, curling up against the walls or dangling their legs off the edges. In a statement provided to The Creators Project, Dawn of Man explains their creative intent and the effect of their project:
“Projection Napping […] juxtapos[es] the calm, meditative state of napping against the kinetic, high energy noise of the sleepless city. An unsuspecting audience usually emerges at each location, often sparked with intrigue, sometimes enlightenment, and always a whole lot of questions” (Source).
What is also fascinating about the juxtaposition of the city’s chaos with the sleepers’ serenity is the public demonstration of a private experience. When we sleep (or nap), we allow ourselves to become open and vulnerable. Thus, when Dawn of Man’s sleeping giants turn over, rub their eyes, or lean exhaustedly against a wall, we are voyeurs to a moment of intimacy and perceived solitude. It is easy in the city to feel alienated from the life all around us, but thanks to this fascinating project, barren walls and cold architecture have been reinvested as landscapes of warmth and humanity.
Check out the video above to see the projections in motion. Dawn of Man’s website can be found here. (Via The Creators Project)
Hasan Kale likes to work on a small scale. How small? Lets just say that he could probably stuff an entire lifetime of work in his shirt pocket and still have room for a pack of gum. The Turkish painter creates miniature landscapes and portraits on everything from coffee beans to chili pepper seeds making Persian miniature paintings feel like massive murals in comparison. While the subject matter isn’t the most groundbreaking we can’t help but get a bit giddy about the thought of biting into a chili pepper and seeing a painting of a turban clad man staring back at us. (via)