Wednesday, 22 September 2010

24 Xiao: The Chinese Fashion Obsession

Xiao[孝] meaning filial in Chinese might seem completely irrelevant to the series of fashion shots created by the Taiwanese photographer Liang Su and produced by Jeffery Wang from the ad agency BlanQ.

The only connection is that there are 24 pieces in the series and each photo takes one expression in the ancient filial duty bible and applies them to the new found obssession with Western high fashion and luxurious brands. It's completely souless and another attempt to marry up East and West commercial cultures that's visually pleasing. Nevertheless, the images are highly polished, beautifully arranged and fit for the Chinese Vogue and Elle. Spotted brands include Dior and Jean Paul Gaultier.

The agency BlanQ has an extensive portfolio on Behance that's worth checking out.

Full post...

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Christine Crane: Paint like you are playing Nintendo

There are paintings that make you smile, such as Christine Crane's. The childish strokes, drips and fileds of colours create the perfect combination of playfulness and vibrancy. Graduated in 2008 with a fine art degree, the young Canadian artist has certainly got a unique style that's resting half way in between street art and illustration, with cartoon-ish characters and animation-like background, Crane brings us a fun world pulled straight out of Nintendo games. Check out her portfolio on ArtDoxa and start throwing your paintbrushes around to match the wonky looking rabbits and pandas.

For more up and coming artists from the other side of the pond nearer to the polar bears, check out Escape into Life, where Crane was spotted.

Enhanced by Zemanta
Full post...

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Alain Delorme: Super Totems In Shanghai


With her booming economy and authoritative political system, China often finds herself in the spotlight of Western scruntiny and controversy. Recently Morrissey commented that the way Chinese treat animals must make them a "subspecies". Does that make the Germans a subspecies too? Surely they killed more Jews than cats and dogs, and not for food either? Enough said.

Not only do the Chinese make their cultural heritage subject of art works, (Ai Weiwei has certainly paved the way for Western recognition of Chinese contemporary art), many Western artists also find China at the centre of their inspiration, notably British photographer Jasper James, and lately, French photographer Alain Delorme.

During the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai, Delorme wondered around the city away from the modern skyscrapers and the clean streets and deep into the suburbs surrounding the developed central, capturing the daily movements of the "floating population" - the Chinese migrant workers, as they shift cargoes of goods, recycling materials, chairs and bottles in and out of the city to make a living. At first glance these images are half real half surreal, with carefully compositioned and horizontal layers. Delrome cuts out the city in the manner of an archaeologist. Various subjects spread out in a regular way between the ever-changing urban temporalities: the daily newspaper, the ceaseless movement of the passers by, the building sites and the new buildings, which all falls under a slow rhythm. Behind the balance of these compositions, Delorme breaks the rules of the documentary kind, playing with the assembly and the color to present a kind of “hyper reality” which highlights the paradoxes of the most dynamic city of China. 

In these photographs Delorme also captures the individuality of the workers, whereas the common depiction of the Chinese work force has largely been a faceless mass.The author urges us to see the workers as they contribute to the growing consumerism in which they do not benefit from themselves. Alain Delorme reactualizes the documentary proposal here which is based on the contrast between the form and of the representation, with the bright advertising colours, and the subjects of his depiction to underline this variation. These men become the superheroes of the new world whose force seems multiplied by ten. They are believed capable of all the prowesses, maintaining balance of their random and strange burdens with dexterity. Layers upon layers, thousand-year-old China côtoie contemporary industrial power is matched by the ordinary worker's totems. The race is not only among the men in the city, but also that of the city towards its future.

AlainDelorme Totem 2 600x409 Totems by Alain Delorme

Delrome's latest exhibition's in Paris featuring the series of Totems at the Magda Gallery until the 25th of September.
Enhanced by Zemanta
Full post...

Monday, 13 September 2010

Green Avatar: graphic design by Tatiana Kazakova

Russian graphic designer Tatiana Kazakova has mixed fishes, birds, whales, mystical trees and flowers in wonderful inky green and pale pink.  In her latest works which seem to have taken inspirations from traditional Japanese watercolour paintings and techniques, with great details and subtlety, she's created a magical land where fishes and birds float in between flower clouds and whirls of tree branches. Kazakova has also made an animation video which is short but sweet, (again, look out for the triangles!) 

((())) from tk_tk on Vimeo.

Don't get her confused with a Russian mayor and a dancer if you search for her work on the Internet, more of her stuff can be found here and on Behance network. Some of her futuristic style graphic designs have also been  spotted on mymodernmet. Think of music by the Knife, these images would go well in an electro concert in animation under some laser lights.

Enhanced by Zemanta
Full post...

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Gig Review: PVT UK album launch at the Old Blue Last

I don't normally write reviews and try hard not to read them. Most of the time the bands who disapppointed one fussy, pretentious blogger are not because they are shit live, but it could have been the venue, the sound checks, the people around you, where you stood, how long it took you to get drinks etc that makes all the difference between heaven and hell.

The odds were pretty bad for the Sydney-trio PVT then. Tube strike, pouring rain, a miserable Monday in London, in the sweaty and oxygen-less upstairs of the Old Blue, only the most faithful fans could endure an hour-long blast without wishing to gulp some fresh air. The fact that I stood right next to a group of Frenchies who wouldn't stop babbling all the way throughit  didn't help either (this is what happens when you do an invite-only gig and people get in for free). Nevertheless, PVT put on a good show which improved and impressed, with moments of brilliance in In The Blood and The Quick Mile, but also spastic seconds of madness with the synths and guitar riffs piercing the ears in the likes of Light Up Bright Fires.

The truth is, PVT is not another band that sounds better on record than live. They have toured extensively for the last two years covering Europe and North America and have the confidence to experiment with different arrangements when playing their old hits, which is impressive when they constantly manage more than three pieces of instruments. The problem with a band that started as instrumental and then leaned more towards electronic and added on the vocal is that they have developed a way of laying out tracks based around the beats and synths first, the vocals don't necessarily come with it, but being added on later only when the urge of "ahh" and "ohh" kicks in. The final product might sound solid enough on record but cracks and falls apart easily live.

Like many old Pivot fans who fell in love with O Soundtrack My Heart, Church with No Magic is an appreciated change. It's one step away from the mid-ground where Pivot stood firmly between post-punk and electronic. An album from a band in transition, for better or worse, PVT dares to differ and keep you wanting more.

Watch the new video of their second sinlge Light Up Bright Fires from the new album, directed by Alex Smith. PVT will be back for their UK tour on the 28th of September, starting from Machester. Catch them at Cargo on the 6th of October.

Full post...

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Balam Acab - See Birds EP : The Witch House ∆ continues

Remember the symbols and codes all these witch house bands use and the arrival of Tri Angle label? Check out the debut EP release from Balam Acab featuring birds, winds, underwater currents, light clanks and beeps. Stream/buy the whole thing here

Obssessed with triangles at the moment, so here we go, "retro futurism" spotted on Behance
Sakke Sioni

Hannibal Chew
Portuguese web designer/illustrator Joao Oliveira (or according to himself, a computer and telematics engineer) has done some cool stuff for brands such as Nike and Hugo Boss, check out his tumblr for some more offbeat collections and fancies.

Full post...