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Kohei Nawa’s Cloud Installation Made Entirely Of Bubbles

Kohei Nawa- InstallationKohei Nawa- Installation Kohei Nawa- Installation Kohei Nawa- Installation

Japanese artist Kohei Nawa created an amazing foam installation that took over the entire room of a gallery in Japan. The perfect finishing touch, tiny specks of light like a night’s sky, added a dash of poetry to the ambiance.

Titled Foam, Nawa experimented with various combinations of glycerin, detergent, and water until he had realized the ideal, perfect, pliable foam, one that would not be affected by gravity or lose shape. The installation, which was being altered continuously by eight different pumps in the room, had an eternally shifting presence which made the clouds even more realistic. Looking at it scientifically, he said:

“Small cells bubble up ceaselessly with the slight oscillations of a liquid. The cells gather together, totally covering the liquid as they spontaneously form a foam, an organically structured conglomeration of cells. The risen volumes of foam link together and reach saturation, but continue to swell, occasionally losing vitality and spreading out over the ground.” (Excerpt from Source)

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Kazuhiko Okushita’s Enchanting One-Line Animations

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Kazuhiko Okushita is better at Etch-a-Sketch than you: He creates whimsical animations and illustrations with just one single line. His art is refreshing in its simplicity, though there is also a quiet depth to his creations. His 2009 animation, “Red Thread” (link below), wordlessly captures the rhythms of life. The characters that emerge and vanish from the eponymous thread are amazingly expressive, like two-dimensional puppets come to life with emotions and mannerisms all their own. “Red Thread” also employs a classic symbol of Japanese and Chinese mythology: the red string of fate which is supposed to connect soulmates and should be impossible to be severed — though of course life doesn’t always work that way.

Other examples of Okushita’s work, such as his GIF animations of a pet jellyfish and goldfish, are more straightforward and make excellent use of the medium. There’s something soothing about watching jellyfish disappear and re-appear. Its outline is graceful and mesmerizing. To put it simply, Okushita’s work shows that less is definitely sometimes more. (via Spoon & Tamago)

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Artist Makes Ceramic Vessels By Detonating Explosives

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Though made of clay and designed as functioning vessels, the  ceramic vessels created by Prague-based artist and designer Adam Železný are anything but ordinary.  Using an innovative method of controlled detonation, Železný sends shockwaves into small refractory containers holding masses of clay to create unique works of art. Appropriately titled “The Blast,” this series of works offers an unconventional approach to a familiar art form— “a kind of punk analogy to an industrial porcelain production.” 

Based on complex tests and intricate measures, Železný’s system of charges results in one-of-a-kind bowls spanning various shapes and sizes.  While each bowl is undoubtedly a work of art in and of itself, to the artist, it is not the finished product that is key but, rather, the process itself.

In order to capture this fascinating method of production, Železný has documented the entire process in a video.  Depicting the artist’s “alternative methods of ceramic shaping,” the short video shows Železný himself as he sets off the explosions and subsequently creates the sculptures. While the video also briefly depicts the project’s initial set up and final, tangible results, its focus remains on the process—which is, ultimately, presented as a work of art.

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April Dauscha Creates Delicate Lace Veils For Her Tongue, Eyes And Other Body Parts

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April Dauscha toys with subtle extremisms through her use of lace. Existing somewhere between performance art and fashion design, she wraps her tongue, her hands, and covers her eyes in various ways, half concealed beneath the delicately woven fabric. She makes tongue slips and singular gloves that she can put on, slowly, for the camera.

Some of the documentation is done through photographs, although there are also short videos which feature Dauscha, up close, putting things on her tongue. In this instance the work is quite phallic; sliding her tongue into the lace wrapping easily reminds one of a penis coming into contact with a condom. This wrapping, veiling, covering of the mouth in this particular manner seems an easy metaphor to an obstruction of either speech or individuality. She enters the fabric and is simultaneously entering an illusion, a changed version of herself. Neither fully obscured yet not limitless as before, her tongue is then partially concealed but operable. In yet another video she binds her tongue with a long piece of string, circling it around the tongue tightly, like a corset. Then she pulls the entire thing off. Dauscha attaches a lot of meaning to these pieces and movements:

“My making focuses on feminine objects and materials. Lace, veils, undergarments and hair adornment speak not only of womanhood, but also of the duality of human nature. Lace speaks of purity and sexuality, it reveals and conceals, it is humble, yet gluttonous in its ornamental overindulgence; lace is the ultimate dichotomy. I use it as a potent symbol to represent the duality of body and soul, right and wrong, good and evil. Historically, neglected, disheveled and unbound hair was a sign of mourning and penance, a physical representation of one’s sin and sorrow. In my work, hair comes to represent an uncomfortable binding of one’s self to one’s alter ego, while helping to

serve as an act of penance and mortification.”

(Excerpt from Source)

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A House Built From Wax Will Slowly Melt This Month In London

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British architect/artist/technical wizard Alex Chinneck is at it again. We have written about his last project here on Beautiful/Decay, and his latest public sculpture is just as impressive as his others in the past. Known for creating strange, surreal interpretations of urban architecture (like a slouching building facade, and a levitating market building), Chinneck has a knack for surprising even the most cynical observers. Keeping with his habit for curious titles, his newest work is called A Pound Of Flesh For 50p and is visually as interesting as it’s label. Working for over a year with many different chemists, wax specialists and engineers, Chinneck has managed to build a house completely from wax.

Perfecting the art of replicating bricks from wax, he has completed another one of his  ambitious projects, this one featuring over 8000 authentic looking bricks. He has built a two story building for London’s Merge Festival and it is definitely a sight to behold. Set to melt over the course of 30 days, this house will eventually be nothing but a pile of waxed lumps coagulated on the ground with pieces of window and door frames sticking out.  Naturally, Chinneck has to manually set it alight to help the structure melt in the right way, assuring the disintegration happens at an even rate. The process will be something of a surreal slow motion break down of matter; where the wax will look like an organic disease spreading out down the building. The wax will consume itself – like something out of a bad B Grade horror movie.

Celebrating the Bankside district in London, this project links back to the original building on this site that was actually a candle-making factory a couple of hundred years before. (Via Fastcodesign)

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Javier Perez’s Fun Drawings Incorporate Real Life Into The Mix

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Javier Perez is a commercial artist and designer who has been having a blast on Instagram creating quick and simple sketches that combine the 2D world with our own 3D reality. Perez obviously has a lot of fun playing around with different ways to combine the two visual effects and create a hybrid in the photograph, which makes it equally a joy to view. He uses his fingers, or objects like food, matches, toothpicks, and the like as the props for his drawings.

His bio on his website states:

My work is very simple and minimal. I want that the person can take a break of the saturation of the photos in general. I never imagine that the people of the world will love my illustrations. It’s amazing the thousands of messages and fanarts I receive.
“Create every day. No matter your skills.”

He brings up a really great point about saturation. We truly are bombarded with so much imagery, especially through the Internet, and so a great deal of the appeal of Perez’s work comes from its simplicity. It allows the viewer to breath and rest peacefully on the image. Each one is enjoyable and easily understood; there is no ambiguity or doubt as to what is going on. (Via Faith is Torment)

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These Impressivly Spooky LEGO Sculptures Aren’t Meant For Kids

Gilcélio de Souza Chagas, Old Electric Chair

Gilcélio de Souza Chagas, Old Electric Chair

Jimmy Fortel, Scary Bear (~200 pieces)

Jimmy Fortel, Scary Bear (~200 pieces)

Dan Parker, Cavities (~1125 pieces)

Dan Parker, Cavities (~1125 pieces)

Mihai Marius Mihu, Heresy, from "The Nine Circles of Hell"

Mihai Marius Mihu, Heresy, from “The Nine Circles of Hell”

There’s a lot of impressive things built using LEGOs, and a lot of times the family-friendly toy stays PG in content. In Mike Doyle’s new book titled Beautiful LEGO 2: Dark, however, the dozens of creations are more sinister in nature. The publication includes a number of MOCs (a community acronym that means “My Own Creation”) that feature the likes of a scary bear, an electric chair, giant insects, and more. The artworks are an interesting and entertaining spin on LEGOs as they venture into adult territory. And, since we’d usually think of them as something that’s more lighthearted, it makes even more of a visual and conceptual impact. Beautiful LEGO 2: Dark comes out next month. But if you enjoy these unconventional builds and want to see more of the now, be sure to check out its predecessor, also by Doyle. It’s titled Beautiful LEGO. (Via Wired)

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Heroin Chic- High-Fashion Photo Shoot Of Russian Prostitutes

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While the term “heroin chic” emerged in the 1990s as a droll description of the trendy androgyny and grungy-yet-glamorous look of contemporaneous supermodels, artists Loral Amir and Gigi Ben Artzi present the expression through a literal lens with their series, Downtown Divas.

Comprised of a short film and photographic series, Downtown Divas presents heroin-addicted Russian prostitutes as they don designer clothing and pose for a reimagined fashion spread. Juxtaposing bruised legs, tired eyes, and aloof expressions with luxury materials, trendy ensembles, and elegant silhouettes, the striking photographs appear disjointed and disconcerting. Though aesthetically startling and indicative, they paint a very different picture from the corresponding short film. Comprised of candid interviews, the poignant film surprisingly does not focus on each woman’s hardships; Amir and Artzi sought, rather, to “show a different side of the women and ignore that ‘drug addict’ tag that they carry around” (Bullett). By strictly avoiding questions regarding their drug use or experiences as sex workers, Amir and Artzi are able to instead focus on unseen—and often ignored—aspects of the women’s lives, including recurring dreams, childhood aspirations, lost loves, and favorite colors.

While many applaud Downtown Divas as a critique of the fashion industry and its apparent glamorization of drug addiction, contrary claims of exploitation and questions of the subjects’ ability—or inability—to consent have also emerged. Thus, while seemingly intended as a means to humanize the women, many hold that it instead achieves the exact opposite by exploiting them and taking advantage of their apparent afflictions and unwell mental states.

After viewing the photos and watching the video, what do you think of Downtown Divas? Humanizing social commentary, or exploitative agenda? (via Feature Shoot)

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