Japanese photographer Takehito Miyatake is known for his accomplished long-exposure photographs of fireflies, volcanic eruptions, and beaches awash in bioluminescencnt firefly squid. His exposures, which he refers to as “the light of Japan,” can last anywhere between 15 seconds and 30 minutes and are rooted in an almost meditative approach to photography that he likens to a form of poetry in an interview with TIME. His time spent waiting for each exposure hasn’t been in vain, Miyatake recently won the Grand Prize at the 2014 Nikkei National Geographic Photo Awards. You can see more of his photography on his website and over on Spoon & Tamago.
On a quick local note, our friends from the mighty Sketchbook Project are stopping by Chicago on August 22 & 23 with some 4,000 sketchbooks for you to peruse from their famous mobile library. The library will be parked at Galerie F which is opening Cut Along the Dotted Lines, a stencil art exhibition featuring work by SARO, Jason Rowland, and EPYON5. It’ll be awesome, see you there!
The Chemin de fer de Petite Ceinture (French for “little belt railway”) was a 32 km railway that encirled Paris, connecting all the major railway stations within fortified walls during the Industrial Revolution. In service from 1852 to 1934, the line has now been completely abandoned for 80 years.
Several developers and local officials have recently set their sights on the vast swath of unused land, tunnels, and stations as an opportunity for new development. However, some railway enthusiasts and related organizations want the tracks and stations to be preserved indefinitely as part of the cities’ heritage. Others want to turn areas of de Petite Ceinture into parkways similar to the nearby Promenade plantée, a 4.7 km park built on an elevated train track in 1988 that later inspired New York’s famous High Line.
As part of his project “By the Silent Line,” photographer Pierre Folk has been working since 2011 to photograph the 160-year-old railway’s last remnants before any final decisions are made. He stalks the tracks at all times of the year, often returning to the same locations to document nature’s slow reclamation as rusted tracks and crumbling tunnels are swallowed by trees, vines, and grass. This is just a small selection of Folk’s work, you can see many more photos right here.
Conceptual artist and illustrator Gediminas Pranckevicius posesses an imagination to covet. While most of his digital painting is centered around character design, his larger landscapes seen here are rich in detail, creating impossible but ingenious juxtapositions of water, land, and haphazard architecture. You can see more of his work over on Facebook, and all of these are available as prints via INPRNT.
One of the most common feelings I get when watching an artist working is “oh, that looks easy.” After all, the materials and method are all right in front of you: paint or ink, a paint brush or pen, and a hand that moves deftly across a canvas. What goes completely unseen of course are the years upon years of practice, the trials and failures, and the possession of innate talent. A great example of this are these Japanese dragon paintings that are rendered almost completely with a single stroke of paint.
According to Japanese culture blog Iromegane, the paintings are called Hitofude Ryuu (Dragon with one stroke), and the ones shown here originate from a small studio called Kousyuuya in Nikko, Japan. The studio has seen four generations of master painters who have been creating these stylized dragons for decades.
The process involves carefully painting an ornate dragon head with various flourishes, and then finishing the piece using a giant sumi brush in a carefully orchestrated stroke. The process has much in common with both ink wash painting and calligraphy, and similar to letterforms, the images are often repeated. From the videos you can see certain designs are reused in different colors or with added details. All the videos here start at the fun part where the torso is painted, but you can rewind them a bit to see the creation of the entire painting. (via Cineraria, Iromegane)
For his latest body of work, artist Maskull Lasserre acquired a number of souvenir sculptures, the kind found in antique stores or craft fairs that have been mass-produced by anonymous artists, which he then used as a foundation for his own artwork. In a process he refers to as “re-carving,” Lasserre removed details from the artist’s original work to reveal intricate skeletal structures, a process we’ve marveled at numerous times over the last few years here on Colossal. If you happen to be in New York, the pieces are on view for two more days at Junior Projects as part of the Regular JOhn show curated by Jim Lee. You can see many more photos of each piece over in Lasserre’s portfolio. (via Design Milk)
Product designer Marcel Dunger conceived of this fascinating and elegent way of creating small rings, pendants, and earrings by “repairing” broken pieces of maple wood with colored bio-resins. The resin is first poured onto a larger piece of broken wood and after the hardening process the piece is then machined into pieces of jewelry.
We’ve seen so many different projects using resin lately from sculptures of aquatic life to hair ornaments, but what’s probably more interesting, as pointed out by The Fox is Black’s Bobby Solomon, is the trend of visibly incorporating repairs into new or improved objects. We’ve seen it with Japanese Kintsugi pieces, furniture created by fusing tree trunks with cast aluminum, and even another wood/resin combo resulting in glowing kitchen shelves. As far as turning waste products into functional objects, or extending the life of something broken, it’s a visually striking idea that will hopefully be incorporated by more artists and designers. You can see more of Dunger’s work in his online portfolio. (via The Fox is Black, Behance)