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Art

Porcelain Busts Imprinted with Chinese Decorative Designs by Ah Xian

July 19, 2014

Christopher Jobson

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Chinese artist Ah Xian lives and works in Sydney where for nearly two decades he has explored aspects of the human form using ancient Chinese craft methods including porcelain, lacquer, jase, bronze, and even concrete. The artist often uses busts of his own family members including his wife, brother, and father onto which he imprints traditional designs with a vivid cobalt blue glaze. Via Asia Society:

These sculptures by Ah Xian establish a series of multilayered oppositions. The most overt is the tension between the sculptural form of the bust and the painted surface designs, which the artist likens to the oppositions of West and East. The bust is part of a Western portraiture tradition dating back to the busts of ancient Roman times and the designs are derived from Chinese decorative traditions, unique to China and in some cases to the studio-kilns at Jingdezhen. Such an opposition can also be seen as the relationship between the personal (since many of the busts are of Ah Xian’s family, including his wife, brother, and father) and the political (a statement about the artist’s own Chinese heritage articulated outside China).

The works collected here are mostly from his Human Human and China China series. (via I Need a Guide)

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Art Photography

From the New World: A Sprawling Digital Collage of a Dystopian Future by Yang Yongliang

May 28, 2014

Christopher Jobson

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From the New World, 13′ x 26′ (400cm x 800cm), Epson Ultragiclee print on Epson fine art paper

In his largest artwork to date, Chinese artist Yang Yongliang (previously here and here) just unveiled From the New World, a sprawling digital collage depicting an overpopulated, futuristic landscape completely overrun with construction, debris, and high-rise skyscrapers. The new artwork is a continuation of Yongliang’s ongoing commentary about the devastating effects of unchecked development and industrialization through the use of dense, photography-based collage. From the New World measures almost 26 feet wide (800cm) by 13 feet tall, and while it’s impossible to truly appreciate it online, you can see many more detail shots over on his website.

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From the New World, detail

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From the New World, detail

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From the New World, detail

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From the New World, detail

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From the New World, detail

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From the New World, detail

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From the New World, detail

 

 



Photography

Photos of Hong Kong Construction Sites Wrapped in Colorful Cocoons by Peter Steinhauer

May 15, 2014

Johnny Strategy

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Like a burst of color on an otherwise grey canvas, a single majestically colored building rises out of a sea of dull grayness. This is not Christo’s latest “wrapping” project, which is what the photographer Peter Steinhaur first thought, naturally, upon encountering the phenomenon. In fact, these are construction sites wrapped in a colorful mesh material, a traditional method employed in Hong Kong to prevent debris from falling onto the streets below. According to Steinhauer, who’s lived and worked in Asia for the last 21 years – but was stunned to discover this unique construction method in Hong Kong – buildings are wrapped regardless of whether they’re coming up or going down. I’ve seen a similar method employed in Japan with smaller houses, but never anything of such monolithic scale. You can see many more photos over on Steinhauer’s site, where he has two series aptly titled “Cocoon.” (via Featureshoot)

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Peter-Steinhauer-cocoon (13)

 

 



Photography

Underworld: The Intrepid Cave Photography of Robbie Shone

April 17, 2014

Christopher Jobson

China Caves 2012 - Hong Meigui Expedition to explore giant caves in Wulong County

China Caves 2012 / Hong Meigui Expedition to explore giant caves in Wulong County.

China Caves 2012 - Hong Meigui Expedition to explore giant caves in Wulong County

China Caves 2012 / Hong Meigui Expedition to explore giant caves in Wulong County.

The giant caves of Mulu National Park, Sarawak, Borneo, Malaysia

The giant caves of Mulu National Park, Sarawak, Borneo, Malaysia.

Exploring The Gouffre Berger(cave) in the Vercors region of France. At just over 1000m deep, The Gouffre Berger is recognised as one of the best sport trips in the world.

Exploring The Gouffre Berger (cave) in the Vercors region of France. At just over 1000m deep, The Gouffre Berger is recognised as one of the best sport trips in the world.

Epic cave exploration photography from around the world

A cave explorer climbing out of a Maelstrom on the fixed rope in Boxhead Pot, Yorkshire Dales.

The giant caves of Mulu National Park, Sarawak, Borneo, Malaysia

The giant caves of Mulu National Park, Sarawak, Borneo, Malaysia

China Caves 2012 - Hong Meigui Expedition to explore giant caves in Wulong County

China Caves 2012 / Hong Meigui Expedition to explore giant caves in Wulong County.

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Robbie Shone is a British adventure, cave and travel photographer based out of Austria. His adventures have led him to the remotest areas of China, Papua New Guinea, Borneo, the Alps and Crete where he has photographed the deepest, largest, and longest cave systems ever discovered. These feats involve dangling on a thin rope 650 ft. (200m) above the floor in the world’s deepest natural shaft, exploring the far ends of a 117 mile long cave system, and spending nearly four days continuously underground on shoots.

Collected here are some of his most jaw-dropping shots, many from a 2012 excursion into cave systems in Wulong County, China. You can explore more of his cave photography over on his website. All imagery courtesy the photographer. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

 

 



Art

A Dystopian Sci-Fi Movie Filmed Completely under the Radar in China … Starring Ai Weiwei [Updated]

April 2, 2014

Christopher Jobson

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Just announced today, The Sand Storm is a short film directed by New York filmmaker Jason Wishnow that was shot completely under the radar in China, starring none other than dissident artist Ai Weiwei in his acting debut. How such an audacious and risky endeavor came into being is pretty mind-blowing given the heavy amount of surveillance surrounding the artist. The movie takes place in a dystopian future where Ai Weiwei plays the role of a smuggler in a world without water.

The existence of The Sand Storm was kept heavily under wraps while shooting in Beijing. Ai Weiwei has been closely watched by the government since his 2011 imprisonment and authorities still have yet to return his passport. While the short film has already been shot beginning to end, the filmmakers are raising a bit of money on Kickstarter to finish the movie and recoup some costs as crowdfunding beforehand was too risky. Had this been announced yesterday I would have assumed it was a hoax.

Update: At the moment it appears the Kickstarter has been halted due to a dispute.

 

 



Art Photography

Animated Photo Collages by Qi Wei Fong Shimmer to Life as Time Passes

February 21, 2014

Christopher Jobson

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Glassy Sunset, 2013

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Tanah Lot Sunset, 2013

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Chinatown Sunset, 2013

Several months ago we featured a photographic series called Time is a Dimension by artist Qi Wei Fong that depicted layered collages of landscapes and cityscapes photographed over a 2-4 hour period. Fong has since taken the project a step further by animating the images in this new series called Time in Motion. The new photos, shot in locations around China, Indonesia, and Bali show the change in light at sunrise or sunset through angular rays and concentric circles that shimmer as time passes. You can see more from the series on his website.

 

 



Design

An Illegal Mountain Constructed Atop a 26-Story Residential Building in Beijing

August 13, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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While most property and homeowners might be lucky to erect a small fence, add a new wall, or plant a few trees without applying for a permit or checking local zoning laws, things in Bejing are apparently quite different. For the last six years an eccentric doctor built a sprawling mountain villa on the roof above his top-floor flat in this 26-story residential building, all without asking permission of residents or local authorities. The enormous addition covers the entire 1000-square-metre roof and was built using artificial rocks but with real trees and grass.

It only took six years of complaints from neighbors who suffered from the noise and vibrations of heavy construction machinery, water leaks, and other disturbances to finally get the attention of authorities who recently gave the man 15 days to remove the mountain or else it will face forcible removal. Read more over on the South China Morning Post. (via dezeen)