From a distance, artist Ye Hongxing’s works on canvas appear like pointillism technique, as if it’s thousands of tiny painted dots occupying a single canvas. But, as you look closer, her images are much more than that. The small spots of color are actually decorative stickers! Cartoonish dogs, cats, fruit with faces, smiling raindrops, and virtually any cutesy design under the sun make up the complex compositions. They’re a collision of subject matter, and you’ll find pop culture icons, animals, flowers, and historical references are just some of the things you’ll find in these swirling works.
The dizzy mosaic are meant to fuse traditional Chinese imagery with contemporary society. Religious statues, for instance, flow into Darth Vader’s mask. This juxtaposition is the artist’s reflection on China and how its culture has been influenced by the West. “Using stickers is a conscious challenge to traditional and conventional mediums,” she writes in an profile for the Lux Art Institute. “A sticker has an enormous amount of information in it, they reflect the time we’re living in and they are fragmented and mosaic, so I can give them a new order in the landscape I’m creating.”
Tokujin Yoshioka is one of the more famous contemporary artists today, even if his website’s bio modestly (or jokingly) claims “His works, which transcend the boundaries of product design, architecture, and exhibition installation, are highly evaluated also as art.” His current career retrospective at Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo is titled Tokujin Yoshioka_Crystallize, a play on both the artist’s tendency to utilize both light and crystals in his work, as well as the idea of the alternate definition of crystallizing, meaning to give form to.
The exhibition, which is Yoshioka’s largest solo show to date, consists of well-known and previously un-shown pieces, though certainly centers around the immersive sculptural installation, Rainbow Church (pictured above). The installation is forty feet tall and consists of 500 light-refracting crystal prisms which project rainbow hues in the gallery space.
In a description of the piece for Fast Company, Margaret Rhodes describes the work, “The spare aesthetic doesn’t make it easily apparent, but Rainbow Church is influenced by an experience from his early 20s, when he visited Henri Matisse’s Rosaire Chapel in Vence, France. “I had a mysterious experience of being filled with overwhelming light and vibrant colors,” the artist says in a press release. “A dream to build architecture like this chapel came up to me strongly.” In a departure from the tangible materials he’s used in the past–foil for chairs, feathers for a snow-themed art installation–he’s building with light, the most ephemeral material of all.”
Other works also utilize the ethereal qualities of refraction, such as Ray of Light (below) also emits a rainbow glow, this time via a transparent crystal structure. The gallery walls are again activated by the light, as the gallery space is changed by the sculpture itself. (via designboom and fast company design)
Experimental design/art studio Cohen Van Balen‘s new project 75 Watts features an actual factory, assembly line, and workers. However, the product the assembly line workers are constructing does absolutely nothing. Well, almost nothing. The purpose of the product is simply to choreograph the movements of the workers as they construct it. 75 Watts illustrates the complex dance of production, consumption, and the human relationships therein regardless of the product. The project received its name from a rather creepy quote from the book Marks’ Standard Handbook for Mechanical Engineers: “A labourer over the course of an 8-hour day can sustain an average output of about 75 watts.” Check out the video to see the dance of the pointless product.
The current Le Bestiaire exhibition on display at the Biennale internationale design de Saint Etienne 2015 in France is an adorable collection of grizzly monsters, creatures, critters, beasts and fiends. 14 different creatures of all shapes, sizes, colors and textures were dreamed up by a diverse bunch of artists including Studio Brichet Ziegler, Perrine Vigneron and Gilles Belley, Louise de Saint Angel, Anne Lutz, Joachim Jirou-Najou, Felipe Ribon, Les Graphiquants, Twice, Helkarava, Bonnefrite, Malika Favre, Amélie Fontaine, Leslie David and Ionna Vautrin.
In a workshop inspired by the animals in the exhibition, kids are asked to imagine themselves as a make-believe beast. A project created by Amélie Doistau and Tomöe Sugiura, the different monsters have forms, colors and patterns from actual, real life animals.
The exhibition asks us to think what it means to wear a costume, to don a disguise and to have the opportunity to act out of character.
When we dress up, regardless of whether we become beautiful or ugly, good or bad, marvelous or monstrous, everyone gets into character and is excused of all odd behavior, without being subject to ridicule. The animal kingdom is amazing and rouses the imaginations of young and old alike. Many designers have explored the world of childhood through this unifying theme. They transform everyday objects referencing zoological world. Could it be the desire to tame wild animals that propels designers to represent fierce creatures as docile pets? (Source)
If you get the chance, be sure to check it out for yourself, and you can ponder these questions further. Le Bestiaire runs from March 12 until April 12, 2015.
(Via Pattern Pulp)
Roshan Adhihetty regularly takes off his clothes and photographs other people without theirs on either. Despite what that sounds like, the series he has put together is a tasteful, candid look at a popular past time. Die Nacktwanderer, or The Nude Hikers captures groups of hikers reconnecting with nature and immersing their bodies into their surroundings. Growing up in Lausanne, an area which is quite accustomed to nudity, Adhihetty is no stranger to seeing the human body without clothes on. But after visiting his first nudist beach in Corsica, he decided to take a closer look at the culture of nudity, and in particular, the modern trend of naked hiking. He says:
Nudity and Nature have always been big subjects in art. Inspired by the romantic paintings I was hunting for photographs which feature this tension between romantic nature and disturbing contemporary elements – an opposition between nature and culture. (Source)
His photographs are a brazen look at a subject not often talked about, and sometimes even sneered at. But Adhihetty portrays his subjects with respect and grace, after he had to put himself in their shoes, so to speak. After tracking down a group of willing participants through Craigslist, the photographer had to join them in the buff to be allowed his camera on the hikes. Along with his other observations, Adhihetty realized that many of his subjects were male, and women only make up about a fifth of the hiking population. He notes that this is most likely linked to the social pressures and judgements our current society places on the female figure.
Hopefully with projects like this photographic series, we will stop seeing the naked body as only a sexual thing, but also as a very natural way to exist in the world around us. (Via Feature Shoot)