New York City-based design studio SOFTlab combines technology and craft with an installation titled We Are Flowers. Inspired by nature, the beautiful large-scale funnels are comprised of over 20,000 translucent flowers that create an immersive sculpture in the New York flagship store for Melissa shoes. It appears in the Melissa Gallery and was specifically created for the space. If you aren’t familiar with the brand, it’s funky, colorful, and playful rubber footwear that evokes a childlike feel (although marketed to adults).
SOFTlab’s sculpture is both precisely engineered yet enchanting at the same time. It’s whimsical and not over thought, which is how the designers want you to feel. They write:
Although we used cutting edge digital technology to develop this installation, we hope it remains mostly hidden in order for everyone to experience the magic of a hanging garden of flowers. We imagine this installation as an extension of the We Are Flowers collection by Melissa: technically innovative with attention to every detail, but first and foremost a design that expresses sensuality through its form and brings joy and color to the Melissa experience. (Via Ghost in the Machine)
***All US orders placed 4PM PST Today (January 20th) will be shipped out US Priority Mail and will arrive before Christmas.***
To celebrate the holiday season and get ready for 2013 we are having a massive 50% off sale on all books, magazines, shirts, and accessories on the B/D shop from now until January 2nd 2013. Just use DISCOUNT CODE: CREATIVE50during check out and give the gift of creativity and artistic expression this holiday season!
For Portable Cities, Chinese artist Yin Xiuzhen constructs small-scale cities out of discarded clothing and other fabric inside suitcases that she also equips with speakers, giving each city its own soundtrack. Each suitcase also has a small hole you can peer into to see an actual map of the constructed city. For installations, Xiuzhen maps the cities with string on the gallery wall. Xiuzhen was inspired by her own travels, waiting for her luggage, and the sense that she was traveling with her home. Some of the cities she has constructed include Berlin, Vancouver, Seattle, New York, and her hometown of Beijing.
“People in our contemporary setting have moved from residing in a static environment to becoming souls in a constantly shifting transience. The suitcase becomes the life support container of modern living…” she told Walker Art. “The holder of the continuous construction of a human entity.” via
Artist Thomas Doyle’s work is done in a miniature scale, at the size of a model train set or smaller. Taking pieces from these types of sets, he alters them as dark depictions of suburban life. We see natural disasters literally tear homes in two and sometimes turn them topsy-turvy. The scenes are set up as a story with the characters trying to make sense of it all. They are kept under a glass shell and feel like they are suspended in time as if they are in a snow globe.
The scale provides a weird feeling that we’re omnipotent and could crush them like a bug. Doyle notes this in his statement about the work, adding:
Conversely, the private intensity of moments rendered in such a small scale draws the viewer in, allowing for the intimacy one might feel peering into a museum display case or dollhouse. Though surrounded by chaos, hazard, and longing, the figures’ faces betray little emotion, inviting viewers to lose themselves in these crucibles—and in the jumble of feelings and memories they elicit.
We feel a connection to Doyle’s figures, which is a testament to his ability to tell a story. You walk away from this work wanting to know more about these tiny lives. (Via Fast Company)
London based collobrative group rAndom International’s interactive installation Rain Room allows you to have the luxury of walking through the rain without getting a single drop on you. Rain Room is a hundred square metre field of falling water through which it is possible to walk, trusting that a path can be navigated, without being drenched in the process.
As you progress through The Curve, the sound of water and a suggestion of moisture fill the air, before you are confronted by this carefully choreographed downpour that responds to your movements and presence. (via)
“Para-para Dancing (Great Empire of Japan) vs. Break-dancing (America)”
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)
In his new show “My God” Qiu Minye presents us with a new way of seeing. Well, he at least offers us a new way of experiencing objects and the recording of those 3-dimensional things with photography. By painting with light, Minye has suggested different forms of objects that could be real, and then photographed them, resulting in haunting, iridescent, airy images. Whether it is an outline of several figures huddled together watching something in the distance, or an ambiguous geological shape, mythological creatures or floating forms of babies, these snapshots all belong to another space and time.
Minye’s playful images all have a gracefulness to them, and more than most photographs seem to have successfully frozen a moment in time. By removing any fussy details (whether it is light, shadow or color) that may anchor an object in the mundane, he has elevated the idea of the object/subject to something majestic and mystical. The fish for example seems to spitting sparks of fire and is caught in an ethereal state – in a way we don’t see our everyday fish. Minye has managed to capture some sort of life force or see-able movable energy and it is a very calming thing to witness. He has a very existential approach to his art. He poses numerous questions when speaking about his past photographic projects:
What part of humanity is lost in time? How can we transform these moments into eternity? There are always two worlds, the world of yesteryear that has collapsed and the real world. Here, it is to travel between the two. (Source)
Minye seems to be coercing a particular response out of his audience – suggesting we look at the things surrounding us in an abstract, philosophical way – where it’s more about the idea of the thing rather than the tangibility of it. (Via Designboom)