Photography

Vivid Photographs by Trung Huy Pham Capture Annual Water Lily Harvest in Vietnam

June 26, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Trung Huy Pham, shared with permission

Each year as the Mekong Delta floods, locals gather hordes of long-stemmed lilies from the water-covered rice fields. Photographer Trung Huy Pham recently captured the annual harvest in a vivid series taken in the Long An and An Giang provinces in Vietnam. He photographs the farmers wearing canonical hats as they collect the fast-growing flowers, which often are used as decoration and as additions to hot pots. The pink water lilies swirl in the water, forming an S-shape as their stems align.

Pham shares an incredibly diverse array of shots taken around Vietnam on Instagram.

 

 

 



Design

A Savvy Designer Launches Company that Prints Custom Masks Emblazoned with Your Face

June 26, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Maskalike, shared with permission

A clever new product by Danielle Baskin is a remedy to current challenges with facial recognition software used to unlock phones. The San Francisco-based designer recently launched Maskalike, a company that prints custom face coverings with photographs of the wearer. Made of machine-washable cotton, the functional masks create a seamless look that opens cellphones and other devices without having to remove it first.

Maskalike currently has a waitlist for custom designs, although there are options for those who want to maintain some anonymity. The company sells masks printed with Hide the Pain Harold, a man featured in stock photographs who now is recognized widely as a meme. “Look permanently uncomfortable, trying to be happy,” the product description reads.

Follow updates on the company’s timely designs on Instagram. (via Laughing Squid)

 

 

 



Art Illustration Photography

Browse Hundreds of Artist’s Zines, Prints, and Other Works at the Virtual Brooklyn Art Book Fair This Weekend

June 25, 2020

Grace Ebert

Kiss” by Sophie Page, four-color risograph print, white paper, 14 x 8.5 inches. All images courtesy of Brooklyn Art Book Fair

The Brooklyn Art Book Fair has moved its 2020 market online, extending the opportunity to pore through the offerings from artists and independent publishers to those who don’t reside in New York City. This year’s fair boasts more than 400 publications presented by 45 vendors, like The Free Black Woman’s Library, Printed Matter, and Paradise Systems. Founded in 2017 to provide smaller presses and artists the opportunity to showcase their work without a financial barrier, this is the fourth iteration of the annual event organized by Endless Editions.

We’ve gathered a few of the offerings here: Khari Johnson-Ricks’s “A real Conversation,” a vibrant screenprint of one of the artist’s incredibly detailed collages; “Friendship Forever,” a humorous collection of comics, by Inkee Wang; and Sarula Bao’s queer romance narrative “Changing Faces.” Browse the available prints, zines, and other artworks on the fair’s site, and pop into the artist chats throughout the weekend.

 

Left: “Changing Faces” by Sarula Bao, 7 x 5 inches, 10 pages. Middle: “A real Conversation” by Khari Johnson-Ricks, five-color screenprint on paper, 22 x 30 inches. Right: “Friendship Forever” by Inkee Wang, 5.6 x 8.25 inches, 24 pages

From the NYC Amidst COVID-19 Fine Art Print Bundle by Felicita Felli Maynard, 5 x 7 inches

The Free Black Women’s Library” poster by Olaronke and John Andrews, 24 x 36 inches

Mushrooms & Friends 2” by Phyllis Ma, 28 x 22 centimeters, 32 pages

Lost Things” by fenta, 5 x 3.5 inches, 44 pages

Abecedarian” by Ashley May, four-color risograph, accordion book, 11 x 9 inches

 

 



Art

As a Tribute, Vhils Carves Ten Masked Healthcare Workers into a Hospital Wall in Porto

June 25, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Vhils, by Expanding Roots, shared with permission

To honor essential workers, Portuguese artist Alexandre Farto, who goes by Vhils (previously), recently completed an expansive public artwork at the São João University Hospital Centre in Porto. Vhils chiseled 10 masked figures into an outdoor wall at the facility, creating a permanent homage to nurses, doctors, cleaning staff, maintenance workers, and kitchen employees. “It is a commendation of the courage, dedication, and selflessness with which they place their lives at risk in the defense of our own,” the artist says. “The disposition of the people in the composition, side-by-side, aims to symbolize not only the concept of frontline but also cooperation and teamwork.”

Follow Vhils on Instagram to keep up with his upcoming carved artworks, and check out the book he recently released that collects his public projects. (via Street Art News)

 

 

 



History

Page Through This Incredibly Detailed Sino-Tibetan Book Printed in 1410

June 24, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images courtesy of Incunabula

An ancient-book collector is offering a rare glimpse into a Sino-Tibetan book that’s believed to have been printed as early as 1410 in Beijing. A self-described bibliophile known as Incunabula, the collector shared a thread containing dozens of images showing inside spreads full of red ink drawings and Ranjana script, a writing system developed in the 11th century. The Gutenberg Bible, which was printed with movable metal type, dates back to 1454, nearly 45 years after this woodblock-produced text.

Within its accordion-fold pages, the ancient book contains impeccably detailed “Sanskrit dhāranīs and illustrations of protective mantra-diagrams and deities” and a collection of Tibetan Buddhist recitation texts. It has more durable, black covers that are covered in gold-paint drawings featuring “20 icons of the Tathāgatas,” which roughly translates to “one who has gone.” All text is printed twice on each side of the paper to allow for right-to-left and left-to-right readings in both the Indo-Tibetan and Chinese styles, respectively.

“During the early Ming, close relations were established between Tibetan monks and the imperial court in Beijing. Although not directly part of the Buddhist canon, this work relates closely to the manner of woodblock carving employed for the production of the Sino-Tibetan Kangyur,” the collector writes.

Check out more of the inside pages in Incunabula’s thread, and follow the collector’s archival work on Twitter. (via Open Culture)

 

 

 



Art

Floating Black Balloons Explore Contradictions in Artist Tadao Cern’s Installations

June 24, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Tadao Cern, shared with permission

Artist Tadao Cern often considers dualities and contradictions—lightness and heaviness, minimal and intricate, inanimate and lively. He channels these relational tensions into “BB,” installations featuring black balloons that float in parallel planes and incline in rows. “These boundaries are a result of our own mental rule-making, and at the end, we surround ourselves with many limitations,” the artist shared with Colossal. “(The) notion of contradictions is nothing more but a man-made concept…A feeling of nothingness and absence of all the ideas became the objective for me.”

Based in Lithuania, Cern has brought the ephemeral project to Tokyo, Beijing, New York, Paris, Venice, and Cologne in recent years. At each site, the artist revives and replaces the balloons as they lose helium and shrink. Each time, he’s reminded of the same concept that he explains on Behance:

They represent nothing, a true emptiness. Which is felt every single time looking at the cloud of these black floating objects, eagerly waiting to be forced to react to our presence…react with no message, no notion. It’s just a dialog between us and them; here and now. Which will develop into a reminiscence of an idea once balloons will deflate and the work will become nonexistent again.

Cern releases prints of his work on Patreon, and you can dive further into his spatial projects on Instagram and Behance. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

 

 

 



History Illustration Science

Vintage Natural Science and Astronomy Illustrations Adorn Face Masks by Maria Popova

June 24, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images courtesy of Society6

Maria Popova, of Brain Pickings, has released a series of face masks that bring a dose of history to the modern-day essential. Each fabric covering is adorned with a vintage natural history or astronomy illustration, including Ellen Harding Baker’s solar system quilt, Ernst Haeckel’s renderings of jellyfish, and irises and other medicinal plants originally painted by Elizabeth Blackwell in the 18th century. “Because of the mask’s particular folding pattern, some of the artwork came alive in a wholly new and unexpected way,” Popova writes in a post.

My personal favorite — the original design I made for myself and my most beloved human — is the total solar eclipse mask, evocative of the opening line of astronomer and poet Rebecca Elson’s magnificent “Antidotes to Fear of Death”: “Sometimes as an antidote, To fear of death, I eat the stars.”

Explore some of the collection on Brain Pickings. You also might enjoy these artist-designed masks.