When first approaching the artwork of Japanese artist Takahiro Iwasaki it’s entirely possible you might miss it altogether. Not only are his small buildings and electrical towers excruciatingly small and delicate, but they also rest on absurdly mundane objects: rolls of tape, a haphazardly wrinkled towel, or from the bristles of a discarded toothbrush. Only on close inspection do the small details come into focus, faint hints of urbanization sprouting from disorder. My favorite pieces are his topographical maps that have been carefully cut from thick rolls of gray and blue electrical tape. Many of these objects were on view as part of the Constellations show at Cornerhouse in Manchester back in 2011 and at C24 Gallery last year. However Iwasaki currently has a new collection of much larger works at the 7th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art at GOMA in Queensland, much of which you can see over at designboom. (via artscharity.org, cornerhouse, c24 gallery, karl steel)
Is this the first music video made exclusively with embroidery and sewing implements? I’m gambling yes. Directed, filmed, and produced by Christophe Thockler the clip uses 10,000 photographs of needles, thread, cloth and embroidery, mixed with clever lighting techniques to produce a fun video for Favorite Place, the latest track by US pop rock band Black Books.
Using hundreds of second-hand shirts Finnish environmental artist Kaarina Kaikkonen creates site-specific installations suspended above roadways or inside large warehouse spaces. Her most recent work Are We Still Going On? (top images), was conceived at Collezione Maramotti, a private collection of contemporary art in Reggio Emilia, Italy, and involves hundreds of children’s shirts hung in rows to resemble the interior hull of a giant ship. The shirts are organized by color on each side of the skeletal boat to represent a sort of symbolic dialogue about gender. You can learn more over on Art Texts Pics and see a brief video of the piece here. (via global art news)
The Mending Project was a 2011 installation and performance art piece by Austin-based artist Beili Liu. The work involved an ongoing process wherein visitors were invited to cut pieces of fabric from a giant cloth upon entering the space, the fragments of which Liu then stitched back together creating a giant patchwork that gradually encircled the artist. The concept seems harmless enough if it weren’t for the ominous array of downward-facing scissors suspended above her workspace.
The installation consists of hundreds of Chinese scissors suspended from the ceiling, pointing downwards. The hovering, massive cloud of scissors alludes to distant fear, looming violence and worrisome uncertainty. The performer sits beneath the countless sharp blades of the scissors, and performs an on-going simple task of mending. [...] As each visitor enters the space, one is asked to cut off a piece of the white cloth hung near the entrance, and offer the cut section to the performer. She then continuously sews the cut pieces onto the previous ones. The mended fabric grows in size throughout the duration of the performance, and takes over the vast area of the floor beneath the scissors.
Known mostly in for his graffiti-influenced string tags on the streets of Minneapolis, Eric Rieger aka HOT TEA (previously here and here), recently completed this massive installation at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Titled Letting Go, the piece uses 84 miles of colored string that forms the artist’s interpretation of the sun. In a statement about the work Rieger says:
At least once in our lives we have all had to let go of something we truly love. Whether it be a pet, personal object or in some cases, loved ones. This piece is my interpretation of the sun. The sun brings life and also represents happiness, warmth and energy. When letting go of something or someone we truly love, sometimes it is okay to celebrate their lives along with mourning. This piece represents the warmth and love I have received from those I have had to let go of.
Definitely check out the timelapse of the installation, the upside-down haircut at the end looks like it was a lot of fun. Letting Go will be on view through Septmeber 2 at MIA. Photographs courtesy Amanda Hankerson and Eric Rieger. (thnx, rob!)
A portrait artist at heart, I am particularly intrigued by the challenge of trying to control the unpredictable nature of wine bleeding through fabric in order to channel the equally imprecise nature of a person’s character. In addition, the sacred aspect of wine lends itself to religious iconography, reminding many of the Shroud of Turin: one who drinks wine may come to feel a certain level of saintliness sipping on this liquid form of divinity. So, this is a form of consecration.
I’m also fascinated by the aspect of control in how she forces the wine to create line and tones, it would be great to see a video of the process.
Portland artist Jo Hamilton (previously) has a number of new crocheted portraits up on her website including a recently shot stop-motion video detailing the progress of a piece that’s one party freaky and two parts amazing. Hamilton was interviewed earlier this month in Vogue.