Posts tagged
with kites


Ai Weiwei’s Suspended Bamboo and Silk Beasts Highlight Ancient Chinese Mythology Inside a Paris Department Store

January 27, 2016

Kate Sierzputowski

Ai Weiwei‘s (previously here and here) first exhibition in France is not staged at the Centre Pompidou nor the Palais de Tokyo, but within Paris’s Le Bon Marché, the city’s oldest department store founded in 1852. At its center the exhibition includes 20 illuminated silk and bamboo creatures that float above the cosmetics department, a contradiction of subject matter that Ai embraces as he allows the two vastly different worlds to collide momentarily during his store-bound exhibition.

The show, titled “Er Xi” or “Child’s Play,” is in many ways tied to the artist’s family and childhood. His father, the Chinese poet Ai Qing, passed on stories to Ai of his time spent living and studying art in Paris in the 30s. Thinking about his father’s history within the city, Ai also contemplated his own background with the art of kite making, enlisting 12 kite makers from the Shandong Province in China to build the sculptures from similar materials he used to make his first kite at the age of ten.

In addition to these hanging sculptures, Ai also installed work in the department store’s front windows and throughout the store, including a 65-foot dragon on Le Bon Marché’s ground floor. Weaving together 2D and 3D works, Ai illuminate’s the mythology found in the 2,000 year-old “Shan Hai Jing” (Classic of Mountains and Seas), a series of traditional Chinese children’s fables that reference birds, fish, and dragons.

“Introducing the fantastic within a retail space strikes the imagination of customers, visitors, passersby,” said Ai in a statement. “We all lead parallel lives in this other world of dreams, fantasies and feats. We must learn to coexist with them as they are an integral part of our humanity; to embrace our mythology. Children know how to do this naturally. This exhibition speaks to our inner child,” the artist said in a statement.

Er Xi” runs at Le Bon Marché in Paris through February 20, 2016. (via Designboom)










Amazing Documentary

Residents of Rio de Janeiro Take to the Rooftops to Battle with Kites

July 28, 2014

Christopher Jobson

For many of us, the idea of flying a kite involves stopping by a convenience store to purchase an inexpensive plastic kite emblazoned with a movie character, and heading over to the local park to launch it into the sky where it’s promptly swallowed by a tree. But for residents living in the crowded favelas of Rio de Janeiro, where resources and park space is scarce, flying kites is do or die. People of all ages take to the rooftops to fight with homemade kites using strings coated with wax and powdered glass in an attempt to cut the strings of competitors. Entire battles are fought between neighboring “turfs,” where real life conflicts between people and neighborhoods are settled through kite wars.

Filmmaker Guilherme Tensol, in collaboration with sports magazine Victory and Brazilian production company Mosquito Project, produced this stylized documentary short titled Kite Fight for the New York Times leading up to the World Cup a few weeks ago.








Gas Giant: An Enormous Suspended Kite Installation by Jacob Hashimoto

June 24, 2013

Christopher Jobson










Installed by artist Jacob Hashimoto (previously) last fall at Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Gas Giant is a site-specific installation created from myriad paper kite structures. Known for his complex and seemingly weightless installations, Hashimoto’s artworks frequently involve numerous suspended components imprinted with or otherwise suggesting elements of nature, such as clouds, wind and water. This particular piece was just one of several artworks on view as part of his show “super-elastic collisions (origins, and distant derivations).” You can explore more photos here (use the scrolling gallery on top). All imagery courtesy the artist and Rhona Hoffman Gallery.




Light Hearted Kites

May 6, 2012

Christopher Jobson

There are two extraordinarily beautiful things happening in this iPhone video by Patrick Colpron. The first is an impressive six-sail kite designed and flown by Steve Polansky, and second is the heart-achingly wonderful song Lighthouse by Patrick Watson. What a perfect moment in time, sort of an impromptu video poem.



A Colossal


Sailing Ship Kite