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Art

Human Anatomy Baked Into Polymer Desserts by QimmyShimmy

May 12, 2019

Andrew LaSane

Singapore-based mixed media artist QimmyShimmy uses polymer clay to craft baby figures and sugary treats that blend fantasy and reality in interesting and often disturbing ways. From tiny anatomical heart pies to baby head lollipops, the surreal sculptures are a trick and a treat wrapped in one confusing but attractive package.

Formally trained in graphic design, QimmyShimmy tells Colossal that sculpting was a self-taught skill inspired by the desire to do something different. “It is a mix of wanting to do something really whacky apart from my design work, and also a little voice in my head that just wants to make strange, surprising things.” The oven-baked clay is formed and painted by hand and sometimes placed on common dessert settings, which makes the stark contrast of the imagery more apparent.

While the work has been called pop-surrealist and even creepy, QimmyShimmy says that was never the intention. “My works have always been about finding the balance between sweetness and horror, and trying to find a way a viewer can look at them and feel repulsed yet enticed. That is the reason why I work often with subjects that we desire—desserts, pastries, etc. I grew up quite an oddball with an overly imaginative mind, and wonder if things are more than what we think they are. With my work I try to push our preconceived ideas and associations with objects, which dark humor seem quite effective in doing so.”

To see more of the artist’s unsettling creations, follow QimmyShimmy on Instagram.

 

 



Art

Imaginative Botanical Ceramics Invent New Fruits and Flowers

May 10, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Ceramic artist Kaori Kurihara’s textured ceramics reference familiar botanicals like durian, cauliflower, and bananas, while maintaining an otherworldly element of surprise. The artist adds organic details like articulated fronds and streaked or dimpled skin by hand, while working in part from her imagination. In a statement  she shares, “I take inspiration from the plant world with particular attention to forms and their geometric repetition. Every element of nature seems to repeat itself, but in fact there is an infinite variety of it. I have the deep desire to make concrete the fruits represented in my mind and to be able to contemplate them through my own eyes.”

Kurihara learned the art of pottery in her native Japan, at SEIKA University in Kyoto. She has further refined her craft as a resident of France, where she has studied jewelry-making, which includes techniques like enameling that the artist now uses in her sculptures.

The artist has exhibited widely and will be showing her work at the International Fine Art and Craft Biennial in Paris from May 23-26, 2019, as well as at the Bernardaud Foundation in June, 2019. Take a peek inside her studio via the video below, and on Instagram and Facebook. If you enjoy Kurihara’s work, also check out William Kidd’s inventive and organically-inspired ceramics.

 

 

 



Animation

Delight-Inducing Augmented Reality Videos by Vernon James Manlapaz Combine Everyday Scenery with Fantastical Interlopers

April 18, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Everyday spaces like street markets, city sidewalks, and restaurants become fantastical playlands in the mind of Vernon James Manlapaz. The designer, who has several years of experience in animation and visual effects, creates delight-inducing augmented realities that he shares on Instagram with his more than 150,000 followers.

Manlapaz tells Colossal that his digital creations are a combination of pre-planned concepts and spontaneous inspiration. The designer always keeps his phone and 360 camera on hand so he can capture footage for scenery at any time. Manlapaz explains that he chooses to work with familiar objects and concepts that everyone can identify with as the basis for his wonder-inducing moments.

The content I make is always about bringing out that childlike wonder we all have. The goal has always been to bring joy and happiness to everyone who comes across my work. That even that 10 seconds they spend watching the content brings joy to them even for a couple of moments to their life.

Manlapaz was born and raised in Manila, Philippines. He now lives in Los Angeles where he works as a visual effects designer at Snap Inc., which you may know as Snapchat. Follow along with Manlapaz’s digital delights via Instagram. (via It’s Nice That)

 

 



Art Documentary

Life in Miniature: Medical Devices and Pre-Packaged Foods Immortalized in Tiny Sculptures by Kath Holden and Margaret Shaw

April 2, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Kath Holden constantly daydreams about the everyday objects she can transform into tiny sculptures. Even during doctor’s appointments, the U.K.-based miniaturist glances around the room to investigate which medical devices she can cull for inspiration. Holden runs Delph Minatures with her business partner and mother Margaret Shaw, a fellow miniature maker who specializes in food-related items such as pre-packaged steaks, baskets of fruit, and trays of brownies.

The pair was recently profiled in Life in Miniature, a short film by Ellen Evans which delves into the women’s studios and their opinions on the world of miniatures. Holden explains that she views other miniaturists as often being stuck in the past. She doesn’t understand the desire to recreate Georgian and Victorian houses, when you could produce objects for ordinary people, and produce objects relevant today. “I like to represent now,” she explains in the film. “The era I life in. If we don’t do miniatures of what we do now, how will it be represented in the future?”

The film premiered at the Sheffield DocFest in June 2018 and was in the official selection for Sundance Film Festival, SXSW, Hot Docs, Aspen ShortsFest, and several other festivals. You can view the short documentary in the video above, and learn more about the Holden and Shaw’s wide range of contemporary miniatures on their website.

 

 



Design Food

Dizzying Geometric Pies and Tarts by Lauren Ko

February 7, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Lauren Ko brings mathematical precision to her baking, using elaborate intertwined patterns to form transfixing patterns to the top of her homemade pies and tarts. The Seattle-based amateur baker has been piecrafting for just a couple of years, she tells Mic, and if you’re wondering, this is her favorite pie crust recipe. Ko combines classic crusts with colorful fillings like blueberries, kumquats, purple sweet potatoes, and pluots to create her visually striking sweets. You can follow her on Instagram.

 

 



Design Food

Stairstep Chocolates Designed by Universal Favourite Stack into Cubes of Complementary Flavors

January 5, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Anyone who’s looked down and realized their plate is all beige has felt the full force of the role of color in what we eat. Universal Favourite takes the visual element to another level with their modular Complements chocolate. The Australian design studio created the project as a client gift and developed it into a collaboration with sweets experts Bakedown Cakery. Each modular staircase-shaped chocolate (blackcurrant, cherry, cookies and cream, fairy floss, lemon, matcha, pistachio, shortbread, single origin dark, strawberry, vanilla, and watermelon) fits together with a complementary flavor to form a very visually appealing cube. Bakedown also shares their handiwork on Instagram, as does Universal Favourite. (via Ignant)

 

 



Photography

Aerial Shots of the Bright and Colorful Goods Sold by Street Vendors in Vietnam by Photographer Loes Heerink

October 26, 2016

Kate Sierzputowski

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Fascinated by the colorful arrangements of flowers and fruits strapped to the bikes of street vendors in Vietnam, photographer Loes Heerink began climbing onto different bridges around Hanoi to capture these pops of color on the streets. Heerink loved that each of the vendors creates a new piece of art everyday, and that the collection of goods they bring into town differs each morning. This act prompted the series “Vendors from Above,” a collection of these street vendor photographs she shot while living in Vietnam.

In order to commemorate these workers, who are often female migrants, Heerink is hoping to expand the project to create a photobook through her new Kickstarter campaign which will bring her back to Vietnam. You can see more series from the now Netherlands-based photographer on her website and Instagram. (via My Modern Met)

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