Photographer Donna J. Wan’s ongoing series “Death Wooed Us” is gorgeous, unsettling, and deeply empathetic. “In 2011 after the birth of my daughter I developed a severe case of postpartum depression and considered taking my own life,” she writes in the description of the work, all photos taken in “suicide destinations”—places where people have taken their lives.
“Using research gathered from media reports, I found several locations in the Bay Area and travelled to them. I walked along the paths taken by these people before they ended their lives. Most of these photographs were taken from bridges, including the Golden Gate Bridge, one of the most well-known ‘suicide destinations,’ but also lesser-known beaches and overlooks. I purposely photographed from the perspective of looking up at the sky, down at the water or crags, or straight ahead but far away, thinking that these views might have resembled the ones seen by others moments before dying. Many of my images have a hazy and elusive quality, which I believe reflects the clouded state of mind of the suicidal.”
Suicide is such a sensitive subject. There are many people—probably the majority of people—who cannot imagine losing the will to live. Whether because of religious beliefs, or ties to family and friends, or just the innate need to stay alive, these people believe that they would never end their own lives. Then there are others, who have lived with pain and grief and the loss of hope. Those who, because of sickness of body or brain, struggle through every day. Once you have crossed this line, between life at all costs and death as a merciful end, the world never looks the same to you again. In Wan’s series, her experience is what makes the photos haunting and peaceful. She has looked into the cracks of her own soul, and that has enabled her to walk in the footsteps of those without hope and capture their last sights with kindness. The last view of a suicidal person could be macabre, an intrusion into someone else’s pain. These photos offer beauty, the acknowledgement of despair, and the desire for peace.
“There are some who may think that my photographs romanticize these places of death. I can understand that point of view, although that is not my intention. Death is not beautiful – in fact, jumping from a bridge 200 feet high is a very painful and violent way to die. Yet the sublimity of these places continues to lure people to them. I do not intend for my work to glorify the allure of these places. Instead, I hope that it may offer a glimpse into the minds of those who may have thought that dying by these beautiful places was a peaceful way to end their suffering.”
Joining 3D printing and digital textile printing, the idea of a sprayable, wearable and fabric has the inventors of Fabrican LTD imaging the possibilities which go beyond its initial usage in the fashion industry. Fabrican’s ‘Euraka!’ moment came from another famous canned sprayable, Silly String. The science of the process involves the creation of a liquid suspension which is then applied using a spray gun or aerosol canister. The resulting sprayed fabric has natural, synthetic and recycled fiber options, and when applied typically feels like a breathable suede.
Practical applications have ranged past fashion shows into automobile interiors, furniture upholstery and even entire rooms (the material is easily washable). The fabric can be embedded with a variety of supplements and additives which make separate colors, patterns and (which also opens up the possibilities of quick-creating medical applications such as casts, bandages and even antiseptic-wound cleansing).
According to Fabrican-inventor, Spanish fashion designer Manel Torres, “As a non-woven material, Spray-on Fabric offers possibilities for binding, lining, repairing, layering, covering and moulding in ways previously not imaginable.”
Watch a slightly NSFW video of Fabrican LTD in action after the jump!
Beautiful/Decay is proud to present B/D Cover Artist Alumni and talented artist Aaron Nobel’s newest mural and exhibit in Los Angeles. Known for his comic book reconstructions, Aaron’s newest mural in the hip Melrose and Heliotrope intersection of Los Angeles measures at the over 30 x 50 feet!
To celebrate the unveiling of the mural Synchronicity Space (directly across the street from the mural) will be holding a three day exhibition of drawings and paintings by Aaron. The show and mural unveiling kicks off on May 24th from 6-10pm with a set by DJ BlackRainbow and refreshments. Read more about the mural and see an assortment of Aaron’s work after the jump.
When vegetal artist Duy Anh Nhan Duc and photographer Isabelle Chapuis collaborate, the resulting images of people and flowers are anything but cliché. The series “Etamine” (stamen) and “Dandelion” are elegant and surreal, beautifully conceptual and expertly shot.
In “Etamine” a somewhat androgynous man is adorned in black and red and purple and yellow. “Fragile compositions of thousands of petals: carnations, anemones, irises and chrysanthemums merge with the skin.” The petals resemble feathers, as if these are sensual and captivating birds preening for the camera.
“Duy Anh Nhan Duc is an artist who handles vegetal art in a very singular way.… He merges plants with human bodies, integrates them with objects, combines them with his drawings or stages them though his short-films. Through his work, he weaves a poetic world where plants rule as masters.”
Like its seed head, “Dandelion” feels more fragile, suspended in time, as if the female model is holding her breath. Shot against a black background, the dandelion seeds are as impossibly delicate as snow or fog. Where in “Etamine” the petals have merged with the male figure, the seeds in “Dandelion” are ephemeral, pausing for a moment before floating away on a breath or a breeze.
Chapuis says, “I’m very inspired by the aesthetic movement in painting, Tim Walker. C’est l’art pour l’art. Art for its own sake. It’s only about emotion. I don’t want to accomplish anything beyond appealing to peoples’ senses”. (Source)
These series are proof of the magic that can happen when two extremely talented artists combine forces to make captivating work. (Via Ignant)
Check out Kako Ueda‘s cut paper masterpieces! With each project, she explores her deep interest in organic beings (insects, animals, and humans alike), and weaves them into mind-bogglingly intricate, extraordinarily precise patterns and forms. Her newest work (immediately after the jump!), still in-progress, is a hybrid figure measuring about 7 feet high!