dioramas

Posts tagged
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Art

Delightful Nighttime Landscapes Nestle into Stacked Wooden Boxes in Allison May Kiphuth's Dioramas

February 3, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Allison May Kiphuth, shared with permission

Allison May Kiphuth (previously) shrinks the expansive landscapes found throughout the eastern United States into picturesque dioramas brimming with natural life. Through layered watercolor and ink renderings, the Maine-based artist creates a mix of quiet forest scenes and ocean habitats often under a dark, nighttime sky. She then stacks the outfitted wooden boxes, blending the marine and land-based pieces in varying positions that create new ecosystems with every combination.

Although Kiphuth derives much of her subject matter from the area around her home, she shares that experiencing new scenes is essential to her practice. “I haven’t been outside of Maine in over a year, and while this landscape is usually so expansively beautiful to me, without the contrast of other landscapes for perspective, it’s been feeling incredibly small,” a feeling that’s amplified by her living and working from a tiny home that’s just 8 x 20 feet.

The artist will have work at Paradigm Gallery in Philadelphia in May and has a solo show slated for August at Antler Gallery in Portland. Limited edition prints of the piece above are available from Nahcotta. Get a glimpse into Kiphuth’s process and views of the scenery she references in her works on Instagram.

 

“Bond,” watercolor, paper, and pins in antique box, 4 x 6 x 2 inches

“Defense,” watercolor, paper, and pins in antique box, 4.625 x 7 x 3.75 inches

Left: “Den” (2019), watercolor on layers of hand-cut paper, sealed with encaustic, 6 x 6.5 x .5 inches

“Nightlight 2,” Watercolor, paper, thread, and pins in antique box, 6.25 x 4.875 x 3.25 inches

“Observation” (2019), watercolor on layers of hand-cut paper, sealed with encaustic, 6 x 6 x .5 inches

“Defense” in progress

 

 



Craft Photography

Derrick Lin's Dioramas Contrast the Bustle of Agency Life with Peaceful Office-Supply Scenes

March 24, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Derrick Lin, shared with permission

Seattle-based photographer Derrick Lin (previously) constructs miniature worlds that serve as a direct contrast to the stacks of books and other office staples like paperclips and pencils they’re surrounded by. Often showing life’s more relaxing and sublime moments, each scene is complete with tiny figures and their possessions as they pass along a sidewalk lined with cherry blossom trees, occupy a packed airport terminal, and sit on the floor of a messy living room. Because Lin assembles his little scenarios on his tabletop, some of his shots even feature a coffee mug in the background.

The photographer tells Colossal that in recent years, he’s started to consider the more subtle emotions of his daily reality “as a single working professional living in a major city.”

In addition to humor and whimsy, I started to pay more attention to topics around loneliness, mental health, and kindness. I strive to depict and spotlight on the kind of thoughts we typically reserve for ourselves. My photography loosely reflects what I personally experience and what I see around me. What continues to amaze me is the messages I receive from my followers about how my little project resonates with them and brings them joy and calmness.

To keep up with Lin’s office supply-based dioramas, follow him on Instagram, and check out the prints he has available on Society6.

 

 



Art

Architectural Miniatures by Mohamad Hafez Promote Meaningful Dialogue About Conflict in Syria

October 27, 2019

Andrew LaSane

Framed Nostalgia (2019), 31 x 37 x 10 inches. Images courtesy of the artist

Connecticut-based Syrian-born artist Mohamad Hafez (previously) uses found objects, paint, and scrap metal to create architectural dioramas of Middle Eastern urban environments. The photorealistic miniatures are packed with detail and speak to the political and social issues plaguing the artist’s war-torn homeland.

An architect by trade, Hafez imagines and builds cross-sections of streets and structures covered in grime and graffiti. Situated within suitcases and picture frames, the wall-mounted pieces are meant to be viewed and considered up close. Exposed rusty pipes, rubble, and weathered doorways of the crumbling nation are contrasted by hopeful verses from the Quran. The streetscapes, according to statement on the artist’s website, combine Hafez’s interests in street art and activism. While feeling helpless to bring about meaningful changes in Syria, his intention with the dioramas is to “expose the Middle East’s conflicts to the world in a modest, artistic approach to appeal to a wider contemporary audience.”

Harold J. Miossi Art Gallery at Cuesta College is currently hosting a Retrospective exhibition of Hafez’s work through December 20, 2019. His miniatures can also be seen at The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago as their first “interpreter-in-residence.” To dive deeper into Hafez’s miniature worlds, follow the artist on Instagram.

Framed Nostalgia 1 (2019) (detail)

Framed Nostalgia 1 (2019), detail


WWII Box (from the Baggage Series, detail

Framed Nostalgia 2 (2019), 31 x 37 x 10 inches.

Hiraeth, 61 x 35 x 21 inches.

Hiraeth, detail.

Unsettled Nostalgia. 12 x 60 x 8 inches

Unsettled Nostalgia, detail.

 

 



Art

Potato Chip Sand Dunes, Spiral-Bound Swimming Lanes, and More Miniature Transformations from Tatsuya Tanaka

October 11, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Another year, another 365 days of miniature glory from Tatsuya Tanaka (previously).  On a daily basis for the past seven years, the prolific Japanese miniature artist has shared unique images of imagined scenes created using the simple combination of everyday objects, tiny model humans, and his boundless imagination. (For anyone keeping track, that’d be over 2,500 dioramas.) Crinkle-cut potato chips become desert sand dunes, spiral-bound notebooks delineate swimmers poised to compete, and books filled with sticky notes create an urban skyscraper scene. Tanaka periodically releases books, calendars, and post card collections of his favorite photographs, which he lists on his website. You can also join over a million Tanaka fans on Instagram and Facebook, or if you’re in Japan, check out his show in Nagoya through November 25, 2018.

 

 



Art

Miniature Installations Built Inside Suitcases Detail the Homes That Refugees Leave Behind

September 26, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Syrian-born, New Haven, Connecticut-based artist and architect Mohamad Hafez compiles found objects and scrap metal to construct miniature recreations of homes, buildings, and landscapes left by refugees in the Middle East and around the world. The dioramas for his series, UNPACKED: Refugee Baggage, are built into suitcases to pay tribute to the difficult journeys forced by the ravages of war. Miniature cars, tiny living room sets, and even fake plants adorn the open luggage—installations which each take Hafez several months to complete.

The detailed works are paired with audio recordings from refugees from Afghanistan, Congo, Syria, Iraq, and Sudan. The stories are recorded by Admed Badr, an Iraqi refugee and Wesleyan University student, and illuminate the struggles faced by those who have had to leave their homes. You can listen to the recordings on Hafez and Badr’s website for the project, and see more of Hafez’s suitcase dioramas on his Instagram. You can also see the work in person at DePauw University‘s group show “Baggage Claim,” on view until December 9, 2018.

    

 

 



Photography

Snails Occupy Miniature Sets Built by Aleia Murawski and Sam Copeland

August 15, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Creative duo Aleia Murawski and Sam Copeland build elaborate miniature sets occupied by small, slimy actors. The environments are laced with suburban nostalgia, which feature perfectly manicured lawns, plastic-coated furniture, and messy teen bedrooms littered with snack wrappers and tiny video game consoles.

The pair’s collaborative worlds are used for still images and short films. Murawski’s favorite part of shooting with snails is seeing how they interact with their sets, while also learning how to specifically direct the slow moving creatures, she explains on her Instagram. One way she and Copeland inspire certain movements while filming is by positioning cucumbers behind the sets’ tiny objects, which encourages their subjects to inch towards the hidden vegetables. The duo used this technique in their recent music video project for Bully, in which they built out an entire neighborhood and house set to outline a day-in-the-life of an extra sluggish snail.

For more slime-centered work, including this video of a motorcycle-riding snail, visit Murawski’s Instagram. You can purchase posters of the collaborative photographs on Big Cartel. (via It’s Nice That)

 

 

A Colossal

Highlight

Sailing Ship Kite