Rajni Perera’s work is a wondrous fusion of different mythologies, cultures and viewpoints. Her wildly colored drawings combine Hindu imagery, pre-historic animal beasts, galaxy prints produced by the Hubble Deep Field Telescope and the figures of exotic women. She works with techniques and symbols from Indian miniaturist art, Blaxploitation and pop culture references, forming her very own mythology.
Born in Sri Lanka, Perera is drawing on her own immigrant background and her transient state moving between Eastern and Western cultures to illustrate a unique standpoint that it both specific and universal. Her work is an exploration of what it means to be cross cultural in today’s world, and is her trying to dissect those layers in a way she, and us, can understand. A big subject in her work is the representation of female sexuality, and also the presentation of Asian and South Asian cultures in a predominately male Caucasian world. But she says perhaps it isn’t that straight forward.
I don’t know if I really want to make statements about racial prejudice, at least maybe I feel I’ve moved past that in my work. More like I try to make images questioning the projected, or fabricated sexuality behind circulated images (be it on screen, print or the web) of the colored female body in pop culture or otherwise, i.e. ethnic pornography. (Source)
We’ve all seen them- they’re these hyper-stereotypical web images of African girls in beads and wood, Japanese girls in kimonos, and Indian girls in saris; all very subservient, all very saleable; this is my point. There’s something for sale there. (Source)
For Perera the thing that is a common thread connecting Eastern and Western cultures is Kitsch: The idea of culture being re-appropriated by, or passed between, one another. Hollywood and Bollywood are essentially two heads of the same beast, and Perera certainly draws that beast spectacularly.
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Shocking photographs of acid attack victims shine light on Bangladesh’s cruel reality of frequent mutilation acts. The project called “Survivors” was made by an award-winning photographer Ken Hermann and video journalist Tai Klan. The duo visited Dhaka, capital of Bangladesh, aspiring to document the heartbreaking stories of people disfigured by acid attacks.
Rejection to have an affair, refusing to get married, land or marital disputes are the most common reasons for attacks often performed by close relatives, neighbors or a spouse. Majority of such violence acts are directed against young women and children who then are scarred for the rest of their lives. Medical treatments and surgeries are a mere utopia.
But there is an unbelievably inspiring side even to this tragedy: people captured in Hermann’s photographs refuse to see themselves as victims. Their portraits radiate extreme resilience and profoundness. According to the photographer, his goal was to portray these people by emphasizing their beauty and strength rather than displaying them as freaks.
“I have nothing to hide. I look at myself and love myself for who I have become in spite of what I have suffered”,—says Umma Aysha Siddike Nila, who was 15 years old when her husband burnt all of her face and parts of her upper arms with acid.
Many people whose lives were affected by acid attacks have devoted themselves to fight against the rooted custom. Thanks to people like Nila and bigger organizations such as Acid Survivor Foundation, there has been an 85% decline in recorded acid attack cases.
We don’t often highlight web design, but I thought that this recent work by Ritxi Ostáriz was worth showing. The site uses a very interesting animated background that uses moving image in quite an entrancing and hypnotic way. Check out the website by clicking here.
Photographer Francois Brunelle has been studying the human face since he first started photographing them in 1968. His recent project began when he snapped a photo of two North American acquaintances who looked remarkably similar. Brunelle is now set on photographing 200 unrelated couples who look like they could be separated at birth. In the beginning of this project, he took photographs of people he happened to know who looked similar, but since his project has gained media attention, some people have come forward as look-alikes. As of January of this year, Brunelle was still inviting couples to take part and help him reach his goal of 200 photographs.
“It is not about looking like famous people,’ he said. ‘The project is about looking like other people.”
“The fact that two persons, totally unrelated to each other, sometimes born in different countries, share the same physical appearance is really the essence of (it).” (via)
A trippy, pyschedelic, drug induced ride through a “Tron” like world courtesy of Röyksopp‘s new music video, The Drug. Watch the full video after the jump and step into the mulit-colored world of hallucination!
Belgium designer Bram Vanhaeren recently challenged himself to create a typography treatment everyday. How long will this project go on for is not clear but Bram’s goal is to make interesting quotes fun to read and remember. Not only has Bram been cranking out the designs on the daily but he has employed high-end printing services to make the prints available to you all!