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Dongwook Lee’s New Human Species

The human figure is at the forefront of the research and production of the young Korean artist Dongwook Lee. His remodelling of the body is an obsession that had led him over the last few years to breathe life into a new human species, an army of figures characterised by two leitmotifs: Dongwook’s man is always to be found naked and in miniature. On one hand, working on a microscopic level links him up to a long tradition of interest in the skilful rendering of minute details in a small-scale reality; on the other, it reflects a desire to cover up, camouflage or conceal these “figurines” in the backwaters of the most banal normality to which they might instinctively belong. One pokes his head out from the shell of a snail; another cries out desperately from behind a dry twig like a malignant wood spirit; yet another is to be found squashed inside a syringe, as if ready to be injected to another body along with all his dramatic charge. Their nudity seems to reflect the will to do away with the mystification of the human body, to show it without frills, without any indication of social status. It is here that Dongwook would appear to denote a break with the cultural traditions of his origins.

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Gifs of Creepy Clones by Erdal Inci

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In a way, endlessness is a fundamental characteristic of gifs.  However, the work of Turkish artist Erdal Inci, highlights this aspect of a medium in a style that is especially hypnotic and creepy.  Inci has worked in video for nearly ten years.  He’s since translated work into gifs using his same clone and light effects.  In them, he seems to produce an endless hoodied army of himself marching, sliding down handrails, hopping up and down stairs.  Though the action is brief, its repetitive nature makes it difficult to pull away your eyes.  All of the Erdal Inci clones in lockstep trudge on together until we manage to close the window.  [via]

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Kip Omolade’s Hyper-realistic Paintings Of African Masks Highlights Our Own Immortality

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Multi-media artist Kip Omolade paints captivating portraits based on realistic African sculptures. His new series Diovadiova Chrome is a collection of hyper realistic, super saturated, luminous faces that are a result of a labor intensive process. Omolade first makes a mold of each model’s face out of plaster, casts it in resin, adds a layer of chrome and extravagant artificial eyelashes. This final version of the sculpture is then used as a model for the oil painting. Omolade says his paintings are:

historically connect[ed] to ancient, realistic African sculptures such as Benin ivory masks and Ife bronze heads. The oil paintings are psychological studies that investigate immortality, the universal masks we all wear and contemporary notions of beauty and luxury.

He goes on to say that his re-imagining of the masks are a conduit between the spiritual and natural world. He has exhibited the actual representations of the masks as well, as a kind of homage to the history of African culture being on display. His expertise in the African Art genre (gained from working at The Center for African Art in NYC) has fueled his passion for promoting awareness of the indigenous culture. To see more of his impressive images, see after the jump.

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Shohei Otomo

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At quick glance, these manga illustrations by Japanese artist, Shohei Otomo appear to be traditional – black, white, red.  Not quite though: tough Geisha playing table tennis, far from.  Such a violent spin with these renderings, you really sense the impending impacts.  Fun.

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Pedestrians Create Leaves On Trees By Walking Across Large Canvases On The Street

 

Cool project from the DDB China Group for the China Environmental Protection Foundation:

We decided to leverage a busy pedestrian crossing; a place where both pedestrians and drivers meet. We lay a giant canvas of 12.6 meters long by 7 meters wide on the ground, covering the pedestrian crossing with a large leafless tree. Placed on either side of the road beneath the traffic lights, were sponge cushions soaked in green environmentally friendly washable and quick dry paint. As pedestrians walked towards the crossing, they would step onto the green sponge and as they walked, the soles of their feet would make foot imprints onto the tree on the ground. Each green footprint added to the canvas like leaves growing on a bare tree, which made people feel that by walking they could create a greener environment.

It’s nice to see a project that gets the public completely involved without sacrificing any quality control. See some detail images after the jump. (via)

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Home de Caramel

“Dame Otro Papel” is the name of the new music video from Barcelona hip-hop group El Gremio. The video, featuring some nice stop-motion animation, was done by Spanish animation studio Home de Caramel. Check out their site for more work, including some cool industrial design stuff.

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The Fascinating And Majestic World Of Japanese Samurai Armor

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If you ever been intrigued by the world of Samurai, now’s your chance to learn more about the life and culture of these ancient warriors and the artisans that made their decorative armor. In Los Angeles until February 1st, one of the most comprehensive collections of headgear, masks, weapons and even horse trappings used by high ranking Japanese warriors from the 14th – 19th centuries in on display at LACMA. Samurai: Japanese Armor from the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Collection is a fine testament to the artistry and functionality of Japanese battle art. Described by the curator Robert T. Singer as more than just a one dimensional cultural display, he says:

My story is not about the samurai. My story is more about the art, the idea that a samurai, a warrior class, would be so interested in such fantastic symbols and mixing together Buddhism, Shinto, and things which would not mix together outside this culture. (Source)

He also talks about his fascination with helmets in particular. To Singer they are a perfect example of the blend of utilitarian decorative art. They include symbols ranging from mythical figures to abstract motifs. The helmets include things like demon birds and eggplants, and all parts are made from precious materials like bear fur, iron, gold, silver, copper, bronze, and silk. Singer explains the complexity of the symbols a little further:

Animals, Buddhism, Shinto, they’re all mixed up. We really don’t understand why. This is performance, ceremonial, processional armor, and they’re showing off, they’re trying to be, sort of, outside the normal world. (Source)

If you are lucky enough to be in Los Angeles, you should definitely take the time to see these cultural artifacts, or you can purchase the catalog here.

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The Morbidly Peculiar Animal Skeletons Of Caitlin T. McCormack Are Crocheted Out Of String

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The morbid sculptures of Caitlin T. McCormack would fit right in at your next Halloween party. She creates beautifully intricate skeletons of fictional creatures – rodents, seahorses, insects and animals. Not only do they look fragile, macabre, antique, precious and ghoulish, but you would probably be surprised to learn what they are made from. The artist actually discovered that covering crocheted cotton string in PVA glue stiffens the material, producing a bone-like effect.

Her dark, heavenly creatures are usually displayed, sprawled out and pinned to a dark board of some sort. They look as if their skin and meat has been carefully dissected and discarded, leaving their skeletal remains to be gracefully displayed for all to delight in their discovery. Not only does McCormack craft these intricate alien-bone-forms, but also delicate lace work, dramatic dresses that look like they were worn to a ghost’s wedding, and charming little illustrations and plasticine characters that usually reference a well known horror story.

The busy artist doesn’t stop there – her work will be also feature as a part of the group show Opus Hypnagogia: Sacred Spaces of the Visionary and Vernacular at The Morbid Anatomy Museum in Brooklyn, New York. Exploring states we experience between waking and sleeping, the show is a journey into altered perspectives, dark thoughts and unknown visions. A combination of historical, ‘Outsider’ and Visionary art, the show promises to be enlightening and entertaining. Running from July 18th – October 15th, be sure to explore the show and bring out your own black magic.

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