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Tenmyouya Hisashi Revitalizes Traditional Japanese Art Through A Modern Lens

"Football"

“Football”

"Fighting Spirit"

“Fighting Spirit”

“Para-para Dancing (Great Empire of Japan) vs. Break-dancing (America)”

“Para-para Dancing (Great Empire of Japan) vs. Break-dancing (America)”

"Intertwining Thought"

“Intertwining Thought”

Tenmyouya Hisashi is a Saitama-based artist who infuses traditional Japanese art with non-traditional media (mostly acrylic paint) and images from modern life. Calling his work “Neo Nihonga,” Tenmyouya seeks to renew the relevance of Japanese-style painting by portraying old motifs through a modern lens, thereby celebrating a long history of Japanese culture and artistic tradition. Among his images are samurai playing soccer, armor-clad animals, and a Japanese/American street “dance-off.” His work is also informed by contemporary cultural theories and critical thinking; for example, in “Japanese Spirit #3,” a man wearing a traditional tsuna rides a motorized skateboard. This painting “draws upon and amplifies the stereotypes foreigners hold of Japan and was intended to be viewed by a foreign audience” — hence the odd mix of traditional Japanese imagery with high-tech apparatuses (Source).

In 2010, Tenmyouya proposed a new art concept called Basara, referring to an aestheticization of defiance, extending from the “outlaw samurais” of the Nanboku dynasty era to the youth subcultures of present-day Japan. Exploring this trend through neo-traditional Japanese art unravels assumptions about a conservative and subdued cultural history (Source). Basara is also a response to enculturation from the West — the inflow of Western culture and media that immensely influenced Japanese life. As written on his website, Tenmyouya seeks through his art to bring back the vibrant “sun” in Japanese art, where before it was relegated as the passive “moon”:

“Basara aims to reverse traditional values in order to restore the fertile light of the sun that originally characterized Japanese art. It is at once an attempt to claim back through relativization within Japanese art—rather than by comparison with the outside—the diversity that it is supposed to abound in so much more.” (Source)

Visit Tenmyouya Hisashi’s website and Facebook page to see more of his work. (Via Juxtapoz)

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Lightning Strikes: Artist Uses Electricity To Create Captivating Portraits

Dries Ketels - lightning painting Dries Ketels - lightning painting Dries Ketels - lightning painting Dries Ketels - lightning painting

Using up to 30,000 volts of electricity, artist Dries Ketels tries to capture a quality usually unseen in most portraits. His latest series, called Our Souls Captured in the Electromagnetic Field is an exploration of the human condition. He says by using a unique combination of different chemicals, painting materials and electricity, he is able to capture something more about his subjects. He wants to go deeper into their psyche, and to reveal something about people that is usually unseen. In the process he has come up with some pretty striking images.

He raises some pretty interesting questions while trying to reveal the working of our inner selves:

What is this soul or this character of an individual other than a bunch of electromagnetic interactions in the brain of that individual? What is the most important thing that a portrait should grasp? Are our actions, that define us as a human being, more than electromagnetic interactions? (Dries Ketels)

Ketels also makes the connection in his images between the patterns formed from the lightning and veins in the body, or synapses in the brain. He links the macro-world to the micro-world; the external universe to our internal one. The young artist is interested in new, exciting and innovative methods and ideas:

For a few of my series around realism I leave the traditional realism behind and present the reality of realism. One of the most important attitudes that helped me developing a relaity of realism and becoming what I am is the simple act of going left when everybody else is going right. It’s the only way to discover the new and push the boundaries forward. (Source)

To see more of his boundary pushing art, see here.

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Leslie Ann O’Dells’ Hauntingly Surreal Portraits Flourish With Beauty And Death

Psyche

Psyche

Novocaine

Novocaine

Widow

Widow

Hope

Hope

Leslie Ann O’Dell is a self-taught photo-illustration artist from Denver who creates hauntingly surreal portraits of women. Recurring throughout her works are washed-out figures overgrown with flowers and foliage; patterns sprout and undulate in the place of eyes, and everywhere you look subtle details unravel through hair and across skin. Charged with an arcane darkness, O’Dell’s works summon the chilling, seductive beauty of vampires and forest spirits. With nature, the psyche, and the subconscious as some of the central themes, the portraits shift gracefully between reality and dreams.

O’Dell’s subjects are specters of both beauty and death: flowers bleed and adorn the women’s heads like funeral offerings, bodily contours putrefy into weeds, and sightless eyes gaze into an unseen abyss. In a figurative representation of death-becoming-life (and vice-versa), a bird stretches its wings inside an opened chest cavity (see “Hope”). Some of the images confront us with a more somber beauty — observe the ethereal and aloof figures in “Contemporary Monster” and “Sleepwalk.” Vacillating between delicacy and intense emotion, O’Dell’s works seduce and seize the imagination.

Visit O’Dell’s website, Facebook, Instagram, and Tumblr to view more of her work. (Via Juxtapoz)

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Now You Can Get Married In A Wedding Chapel That Looks Like A Rainbow Filled Kaleidoscope

coordination asia designcoordination asia designcoordination asia designcoordination asia design

If you’re thinking about getting married and want to take your vows under a unique environment you can hop a plane to Shanghai China. There a company called Coordination Asia has designed The Rainbow Wedding Chapel modeled after the inside of a kaledeiscope. It takes the classic idea of this creative toy and proceeds to realize it on a larger scale. Using glass, mirrors, and paint in an array of colors it gives couples an alternative to more traditional nuptial environments. It looks super pretty and signifies many different things that have changed in our culture. For one how artists today are looking to affect on a broader scale and influence many opposed to a few. It also shows how traditions in our time are now flexible.

The chapel definitely has a new age feel. The architecture is circular signifying life’s continuous flow. The beautiful colors make for aesthetic bliss and no wonder someone would think to design it for that special day. You can adjust hue and choose how many of them you want reflected on the walls. Altogether 3,000 glass panels and 65 colors make up the chapel.

Based in Shanghai, China, Coordination Asia continues to be an innovator in glass design. The company recently curated an exhibit entitled “Keep It Glassy” showing large scale installations using the material.  (via mymodernmet)

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Zachari Logan Depicts Hybridized Nature In The Exploration Of Masculinity And Queer Identities

Eunuch Tapestry 5 (detail) (2015).

Eunuch Tapestry 5 (detail) (2015).

Leshy 2 (2014).

Leshy 2 (2014).

Fountain 1 (2013).

Fountain 1 (2013).

Root 2 (in progress).

Root 2 (in progress) (2015).

Zachari Logan is a Saskatoon-based artist who creates stunningly detailed drawings, installations, and ceramic works that explore representations of masculinity and queer identities. Proliferating throughout his works are thick amalgams of nature; beards and hair sprout into lush habitats for various animals (see the “Wild-Man” series); ceramic petals cluster together like piles of delicate, bleached bones (“Fountain 1″); and elsewhere, a mythological body composed entirely of flora and fauna melds with the surrounding forest (“Leshy 2″). Interestingly, the plants depicted are of diverse origins, sourced from images collected by Logan in North America and Europe. These beautifully-woven hybrid landscapes represent the liminal spaces inhabited by queer identities — that is, those vital spaces between “here” and “there” that unsettle the restrictive binaries of heteronormative gender and sexuality.

Many of these works are interpretative self-portraits of Logan, created in the exploration of his own body, memories, and sense of place. However, in his more recent works, Logan has portrayed the body more as a “catalyst,” thereby allowing him to “re-wild his body as a queer embodiment of nature” (Source). One of his most spectacular and ongoing works, the Eunuch Tapestry Series, exemplifies this shift from self-portraiture to a more objective exploration of identity, both corporeal and incorporeal. Based on the fourteenth-century Flemish Unicorn Tapestries, the Eunuch Tapestries feature camouflaged bodies (self-representations of Logan) crouching and searching amidst walls of dense, dark foliage. The newest work, “Tapestry 5″ (shown above), features a nude, shadowy figure moving quietly through the hybridized forest. Whereas the Unicorn Tapestries represent a search for a mythical creature, Logan’s works metaphorically explore the liminal terrain of queerness, discovering new bodily narratives infused with history, myth, and presence.

Always investigating and expanding the boundaries between the physical and metaphysical, Logan’s ceramic works draw these two realms together. “Fountain 1,” for example, is a time-based installation whose bone-like flowers accumulate every time it is shown, proliferating like a living thing despite its sterile, ceramic composition. The Root Series also represents a philosophical blending of physical body and metaphysical time, place, and memory; detached body parts surrealistically sprout flourishing weeds. In these works, the body is both the adornment and the catalyst, the tangible and intangible vessel through which we derive personal meaning and identity.

Logan is currently attending the International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP) in Brooklyn (ending this month). His “Eunuch Tapestry 5″ is on display at the Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art until Tuesday, June 23rd. He is currently exhibiting at Paul Petro Contemporary Art in Toronto until July 11th, and is also featured this month at Western Project in Los Angeles. Keep an eye out for Logan’s upcoming projects in in Atlanta, Seattle, Regina (Canada), and Verona, and visit his website and Facebook page to see more beautiful and exploratory works.

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Marc Simon Frei Captures Electrical Currents And Tiny Lightning Bolts In His Shocking Photography

Marc Simon Frei - Photography

Marc Simon Frei - Photography

Marc Simon Frei - Photography

Marc Simon Frei - Photography

Are you ready for some shocking art? Somewhere between science and art, Marc Simon Frei tests their boundaries by combining these two worlds into a stunning series of photographs titled Tesla Sparks. The innovative artist creates electrical currents with a Tesla coil and captures their iridescent glow with his camera. A Tesla coil, invented by engineer Nikola Tesla around 1891, is an electrical resonant transformer circuit that produces both high and low voltage. Frei manipulates this electrical current in fascinating ways by arching a variety of different objects to the coil. This produces mesmerizing bends in the current, resembling tiny lighting bolts. In fact, Frei plays off this likeness by staging miniature lighting storms of his own. He creates clouds out of wool and constructs a scene so that these electrical currents seem to shoot out of his “clouds.”

To add an even more striking visual, he adds an element of color by illuminating his clouds with different colored LED lights. As if the bright, purple and blue glows erupting from the Tesla coil weren’t awe-inspiring enough, his eerily beautiful clouds fill you with a surreal wonder. The intense hue that the electricity emits captivates us, reeling us in to every frame. There is a powerful tension between the undeniable beauty of the many bolts of voltage lighting up each photograph and the known dangers behind high-voltage. We are drawn to its attractiveness, but are aware of its dangers. The photographer has created a unique, dynamic series that demonstrates spectacular colors and patterns made from electrical currents. (via This is Colossal)

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Yinka Shonibare’s Ballerina Goddesses In African Print Tutus

Yinka Shonibare - Sculptures 7Yinka Shonibarembe - Sculptures 12 Yinka Shonibarembe - Sculptures 11

Playing with human size dolls and dressing them up with colorful garments and crazy accessories to contemplate today’s identity is the medium Yinka Shonibare has chosen to express his vision. The mix of Victorian style dresses, tutus and adire; a textile made by Nigerian women creates an intriguing and marvellous symphony, pleasant to the eyes but disturbing for consciousness. ‘You will undergo environmental doom” the graceful and sarcastic Greek gods disguised as ballerinas seem to be announcing. ‘What is my identity?’ seem to be screaming the headless characters.
The dolls represent the rebellion that humans deserve for soiling the planet. It is a charming, fantastical staging operated by Yinka Shonibare to condemn agressive and violent acts with a clear message: he hopes to provoke the “psychic unity of mankind’.

Caught in an unceasing dichotomy: colony and metropolis, white and black, poor and rich, progress and destruction of the earth, traditional and contemporary society are subjects approached by the artist via atypical sculptures.
The subject touches directly Yinka Shonibare who considers himself as a “post-colonial” hybrid. He was born in Nigeria and raised in England, that explains his concern towards colonialism and post-colonialism within the contemporary context of globalisation. He flirts with intense subjects such as money, empire, conflict and environement. He questions the meaning of cultural and national definitions and he asks what constitutes our collective contemporary identity today while condemning the excess of destruction due to the humans excess violence against the Earth.

Yinka Shonibare will be showing his work at the following locations:
Morris-Jumel Mansion in New York until August 2015
Daegu Art Museum in South Korea until October 2015
Contemporary African art Museo Afro in Brazil until September 2015

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The Street Art Interventions Of Daan Botlek Are Superhero Like

botlek street artbotlek street artbotlek street artbotlek street art
With no color and minimal characteristics, Daan Botlek makes statement with larger than life figures placed on exteriors and interiors of abandoned buildings. In various scenarios his anonymous characters become street art interventions which engage in various acts of tumbling, jumping, dancing and running. Botlek’s muse eventually takes on a superhero persona that shows him escaping out of walls and other apparatus. If you look closely some of the narrative points to the figure escaping from himself while in others he’s having out of body experiences noted in a shade of orange. These show the usual metaphorical feelings one might have in the mind such as drowning or having your skin ripped off. Botlek playfully uses this to his advantage and makes it unique by placing it in an environment which is uncertain and out in the open.
Based in Rotterdam, Netherlands Botlek has been compared to artists such as Keith Haring. (via behance)

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