Archive for the 'art' Category

a short visit to de young

“Founded in 1895 in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, the de Young Museum has been an integral part of the cultural fabric of the city and a cherished destination for millions of residents and visitors to the region for over 100 years.

On October 15, 2005, the de Young Museum re-opened in a state-of-the-art new facility that integrates art, architecture and the natural landscape in one multi-faceted destination that will inspire audiences from around the world. Designed by the renowned Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron and Fong & Chan Architects in San Francisco, the new de Young provided San Francisco with a landmark art museum to showcase the museum’s priceless collections of American art from the 17th through the 20th centuries, and art of the native Americas, Africa, and the Pacific.”

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the blank space is – an art

In Chinese paintings, blankness is called the “breathing space”, left for imagination. Chinese values what is not said more than what is clearly stated. Thousands years ago, in a competition painters were asked to paint the scene in a poem. The poem described the spring time when flowers were flourishing. The road was covered with fragrant petals. A horse galloped by. Petals were stirred up and left floating in the air. Many painters painted the scene word by word. The winner painted a horse racing by, with its horseshoes surrounded by butterflies.

One modern art painting I’ve seen is just a white canvas. That’s the extreme case of blankness.

In music, a sudden pause unleashes the power.

In movies, what is not in picture forces the viewers to complete the story. The viewers’ curiosity is heightened and attention drawn. The movie 菊次郎の夏 made many of such pauses. It gave the movie a sense of real life’s pace, not rushed by the limit of the two hour cinema time. This movie is about how a nine-year old Japanese boy spent his summer with a almost stranger man. The boy lost his father when he was a baby. His mother moved far away. He lived with the grandma who had to work everyday. When the summer vocation came, all the normal activities such as after school soccer practice stopped. His friends went on vocation with their families. The boy suddenly felt the lack of his own. One day, after receiving a parcel from his mom, he packed up his summer homework, family photo, took his mom’s address off the parcel, and went off to see his mom – just to be stopped down the street by a group of teenagers trying to knock the little money off him. A neighborhood couple intervened. The wife sympathized and asked her clueless gangster-ish husband to take the kid to see his mom. Their journey started with the man spending a couple of days and all the travel money on betting bicycle race. (Doesn’t Japan have horses, greyhounds, rabbits?) His lack of responsibilities put himself and the kid in various unfavorable situations. When they finally reached the destination, they realized the mom was remarried and had a complete new family. At this time, the movie was only 2/3 done. It could go many different directions including your typical American ending ;-). However, it continued with the life pace without a hint of rush. The man and the boy ended up camping out with three guys they met on the road. An inspired poet who was traveling the country in a van. Two motor bikers who wear serious black but have heart as soft as mochi. The summer ended when everyone departed. At the end of scene, the boy and the man said goodbye on the bridge the first met. The boy asked, “Uncle, what’s your name?” After got his answer, he ran toward home and disappeared from the view. End. I almost did not want it to end here. I would like to know what would happen when they met again. The director must have resisted the tempt to add any more touch to his canvas.

In the documentary “Objectified”. It was said the best design is to take elements off the design, until every feature left is absolutely necessary. Editing the movie can be the similar process.

I wonder, what is the blank space in our lives? On Monday when we are asked by our colleagues how our weekend was. We were almost embarrassed to say it was just normal two days. Nothing exciting happened. Internet filled all the large chunks of our “inactive” time. And smart phone patched up the remaining small gaps. While these devices become more powerful, and the content distributed through them is forever growing, is it even possible to taking their influences off our minds, so we can have some blank space to develop the thought of our own?

combine Chinese painting with pottery

Creates 3D Chinese painting. The form is somewhat rigid. The idea of combing two very well established art forms into one is brilliant.

book reading – History of Modern Art

By: H.H.Arnason, Marla F.Prather

(What’s better than reading a book on Sunday while half of your face is swollen from a bee sting? 🙂

P31 – Realism, Impressionism, and Early Photography

A prolific writer, as well as caricaturist, hot-air balloon photographer, and dynamic man about Paris, Nadar wrote in 1856:

Photography is a marvelous discovery, a science that has attracted the greatest intellects, and art that excites the most astute minds – and one that can be practiced by any imbecile….Photographic theory can be taught in an hour, the basic technique in a day. But what cannot be taught is the feeling for light….It is how light lies on the face that you as artist must capture. Nor can one be taught how to grasp the personality of the sitter. To produce an intimate likeness rather than a banal portrait, the result of mere chance, you must put yourself at once in communion with the sitter, size up his thoughts and his very character.

sweet furniture pieces

they stand on their own, make clear statements

arco floor lamp

Design Achille & Pierre Giacomo Castiglioni, 1962
Marble, stainless steel, aluminum
Made in Italy by Flos

Paulistano Armchair

Design: Paulo Mendes da Rocha
Manufacturer: Objekto

Designed in 1957 by Paulo Mendes da Rocha, the Paulistano armchair was part, for many years, of the living rooms of the Athletic Club of São Paulo. The frame is a continuous 17-foot piece of solid steel, shaped under 200 lbs of hydraulic pressure and welded in a single spot. (which I luckily own)

cedar flare coffee table

Design: Urban Hardwoods

Collect art for the art

HERB & DOROTHY tells the extraordinary story of Herbert Vogel, a postal clerk, and Dorothy Vogel, a librarian, who managed to build one of the most important contemporary art collections in history with very modest means.

Valentino & Mr. Wright

Two men with vanity. And because of their absolute confidence, immortal.

The documentaries
Valentino: The Last Emperor
Frank Lloyd Wright (PBS 1998)

One can argue that neither fashion nor architecture is a necessity for humankind. If we lived in a world without anything beyond what is absolute necessary, what kind of feelings would the evening gown or Falling Water stir in us?

Over thousands of years, we are conditioned to appreciate such things. Gradually we distribute larger and larger part of our happiness to them.

In Valentino’s film, his 45 years’ career celebration was held in a museum hall. Gowns that he designed over the years were hung in rows on the wall. The gowns, heavily decorated and without a real body inside, looked almost scary. In another scene, Valentino and his partner argued about the backdrop of his fashion show. The sand dunes, made out of hard plastic, looked almost cheap when there was no light on. With lighting, they still looked out of place in contrast to his elaborate evening gowns. Yet, the audience were moved. Why? What is in addition to the design which get us emotionally charged?

Only recently I learned each year’s fashion “hot” color was decided by a group of designers. Did I really think that the trend was consolidated from data by watching how people wear on the streets? In reality, we were marketed to.

Architecture, is different The feeling we get inside a building comes directly from us. We do not need to be told how to feel. Quoting from a architecture critic, “Great architecture, like any kind of great art, ultimately takes you somewhere words cannot take you at all…Some experiences gets you in your gut. And you just feel it. And you can’t quite even say it.”