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Art Craft

Hundreds of Minuscule Paper Cranes Perch in Bonsai Trees in Naoki Onogawa's Sculptures

April 5, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Naoki Onogawa, shared with permission

Using just his hands, Tokyo-based artist Naoki Onogawa folds scores of origami cranes with wingspans that never top a single centimeter. He then fastens the minuscule birds to asymmetric tree forms, creating bonsai-like sculptures engulfed by hundreds of the monochromatic paper creatures.

Onogawa tells Colossal that he began crafting the tiny birds following the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake that devastated parts of southern Hokkaido and Tohoku, which the artist visited the next year. As he walked around the city of Rikuzen Takata, he spotted 1,000 paper cranes at the site of a school demolished by the tsunami. “I found myself in terror of how powerless we humans are in the face of nature’s wonder; yet at the same time, I felt empowered by the power of life, vitality, that shined so brightly in the aftermath of its wrath,” Onogawa says. He explains further:

It was like witnessing the result of a desolate ritual where people channeled their unsettled feelings into these cranes. And here they exist, spirited with prayers that they would go back and forward to and from a world beyond here. I struggle to find the words to describe it, but I think that maybe the cranes that I fold now come from that place of solemn prayer.

Onogawa’s cranes are on view at the Setouchi City Museum of Art alongside Motoi Yamamoto’s sprawling salt installation through May 5. Browse available artworks on Picaresque, and explore a larger collection of his pieces on Instagram. (via designboom)

 

 

 



Art Photography

Illuminated Streaks Appear to Fall from Trees in Light Paintings by Photographer Vitor Schietti

March 25, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Vitor Schietti, shared with permission

In Vitor Schietti’s Impermanent Sculptures, thick treetops and branches are swollen with light that appears to drip down in incandescent rays. Each photograph frames the nighttime scenes in a dreamy, energetic manner as the glowing beams both outline and obscure the existing landscapes. Schietti shot the pieces shown here in February and March of 2021 around his hometown, Brasília, but the ongoing series first was developed in 2015.

Although some of the long-exposure photographs are taken in a single shot, many are composites created from various light paintings. He explains:

Apart from this process and color and contrast adjustments, the result is conceived entirely from real action with fireworks, a performance that shifts between spontaneity and control… To paint with light in a three-dimensional space is to bring one’s thoughts from unconscious realms into existence, only visible as presented through long-exposure photography.

Schietti sees the luminous series as a celebration of the Brazilian city, which he describes as a tree-filled oasis of birds and cicadas that’s “often integrated with the genius architecture of Oscar Niemeyer…Appreciating their hidden expressions, or imagining the life force that pulsates and emanates from them maybe a little less ordinary, so here (the) images play an important role: inspire and foster imagination.”

Check out the catalog of available prints on Schietti’s site, and head to Instagram for more of his photographs featuring Brazil’s lush landscapes and natural life.

 

 

 



Design

A Japanese Forestry Technique Prunes Upper Branches to Create a Tree Platform for More Sustainable Harvests

October 27, 2020

Grace Ebert

Image via Wrath of Gnon

Literally translating to platform cedar, daisugi is a 14th- or 15th-century technique that offers an efficient, sustainable, and visually stunning approach to forestry. The method originated in Kyoto and involves pruning the branches of Kitayama cedar so that the remaining shoots grow straight upward from a platform. Rather than harvesting the entire tree for lumber, loggers can fell just the upper portions, leaving the base and root structure intact.

Although daisugi mostly is used in gardens or bonsai today, it originally was developed to combat a seedling shortage when the demand for taruki, a type of impeccably straight and knot-free lumber, was high. Because the upper shoots of Kitayama cedar can be felled every 20 years, which is far sooner than with other methods, the technique grew in popularity.

To see daisugi up close, watch this video chronicling pruning, felling, and transplanting processes. (via Kottke)

 

Image via Komori Zouen

A scroll depicting daisugi by Housen Higashihara, courtesy of the auction house

 

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Craft

Quaint Campsites and Forests Populate Miniature Scenes of Carved Wood

October 15, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Thibaut Malet, shared with permission

Based in Montpellier, France, Thibaut Malet (previously) spent much of his childhood in his father’s workshop, which housed the family’s cabinetry business. At 10-years-old, the third-generation woodworker began sculpting the organic material, although his creations were infinitesimal compared to his dad’s counterparts. Malet carved miniature scenes spotted in everyday life, imagining new, small-scale worlds. “It was a way to work with wood without using the too dangerous machines of my father. My parents organized a tiny workshop in a small room, and it was perfect,” he shares with Colossal.

Although Malet never studied the trade in an official capacity, he now works as a designer and wood artist after a few years as an architect and furniture maker, a background that’s evident in his tiny scenes. Malet carves quaint cabins and outdoor equipment, including canoes, ladders, and seating areas, nestled among the trees or at the base of a ravine. Each structure is unique, whether built as a simple A-frame or a more complex, vaulted chalet. Intentionally minimal, the scenes reflect the artist’s commitment to “working with the least amount of material. It’s a reflection on saving material and space,” he says. “I’ve always liked the challenge of making things as small as I can.”

Many of Malet’s scenic wood carvings, which you can follow on Instagram and Behance, are available for purchase in his shop.

 

 

 



Art

Uncoiled Rope Sprawls Across Canvases and Open Spaces in Organic Forms by Artist Janaina Mello Landini

September 3, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Ciclotrama (expansão)” (2019), 4 Ciclotramas of “expansion” series with varied sizes, black and blue ropes, 270 x 600 x 400 centimeters. Zipper Galeria, São Paulo, Brazil. Photo by Gui Gomes. All images © Janaina Mello Landini, shared with permission

Janaina Mello Landini (previously) unbraids lengths of rope to create fibrous labyrinths that breach canvases’ edges and crawl from floor to ceiling. Including both sprawling site-specific installations and smaller pieces confined to a few dozen centimeters, the São Paulo-based artist’s body of work is broad. All of her projects, though, explore tension and space as they spread into arboreal forms or perfectly round networks.

Her recent works include a massive tree-like installation that fans out across Zipper Gallery’s floor and walls into delicate, tape blossoms. Another is a smaller, numbered piece that was born from the artist’s response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  “My days are quite slow now, no more assistants around, but I’m still working and thinking a lot,” she shares with Colossal and notes that at the beginning of lockdowns, she completed “Ciclotrama 177 (Fibonacci),” which is shown below.

Since 2010, Landini has been contributing to her Ciclotrama series, a moniker that defines each piece. “The social cartography of individual networks shows the infinite interconnectedness of personal trajectories throughout a system, society, and the world as a whole. The movement of bodies (ropes) and the relationship between rhythm and time are also fundamental aspects of these series,” she says.

To dive further into Landini’s work, check out her Instagram or Artsy, and take a virtual tour of her recent show at Zipper Gallery.

 

“Ciclotrama 177 (Fibonacci)” (2020), cotton threads and acrylic pen on canvas, 1.7 x 1.7 meters. Photo by Lucas Cimino

“Ciclotrama 177 (Fibonacci)” (2020), cotton threads and acrylic pen on canvas, 1.7 x 1.7 meters. Photo by Lucas Cimino

“Ciclotrama 141 (épura)” (2019), 20 meters of handmade cotton rope diameter 24 centimeters and 2880 meters of paper tape, 700 x 800 x 1600 centimeters. Zipper Galeria, São Paulo, Brazil. Photo by Gui Gomes

Left: “Ciclotrama 153 (aglomeração)” (2020), rope on canvas, 43 3/10 × 43 3/10 inches. Right: “Ciclotrama 124” (2018), Dipado rope sewed on natural linen, 78 7/10 × 78 7/10 × 2 inches

“Ciclotrama 141 (épura)” (2019), 20 meters of handmade cotton rope diameter 24 centimeters and 2880 meters of paper tape, 700 x 800 x 1600 centimeters. Photo by Gui Gomes

“Ciclotrama (expansão)” (2019), 4 Ciclotramas of “expansion” series with varied sizes, black and blue ropes, 270 x 600 x 400 centimeters. Zipper Galeria, São Paulo, Brazil. Photo by Gui Gomes

“Ciclotrama (expansão)” (2019), 4 Ciclotramas of “expansion” series with varied sizes, black and blue ropes, 270 x 600 x 400 centimeters. Zipper Galeria, São Paulo, Brazil. Photo by Gui Gomes

“Ciclotrama 141 (épura)” (2019), 20 meters of handmade cotton rope diameter 24 centimeters and 2880 meters of paper tape, 700 x 800 x 1600 centimeters. Photo by Gui Gomes

“Ciclotrama 141 (épura)” (2019), 20 meters of handmade cotton rope diameter 24 centimeters and 2880 meters of paper tape, 700 x 800 x 1600 centimeters. Photo by Gui Gomes

“Ciclotrama 174 (impregnação)” (2019), 50 meters of black nylon rope 40 millimeters diameter and 4.200 black nails, 6 x 7 x 5 meters. Photo by Gui Gomes

 

 



Art

Thick Clusters of Wooden Birdhouses by London Fieldworks Sprawl Across Tree Trunks

August 20, 2020

Anna Marks

“Spontaneous City in the Tree of Heaven.” All images © London Fieldworks

In London Fieldworks’ delicate creations, architecture meets nature. Its installations feature pine-colored clusters of minuscule wooden forms that appear to grow upon vast tree trunks. Founded by artists Bruce Gilchrist and Jo Joelson, London Fieldworks is a collaborative and multidisciplinary arts practice with projects at the intersection of architecture, sculpture, installation, and film. 

Each of the homes has rounded windows and doors, while those on large evergreen trees resemble natural objects, such as wasp and hornet nests or even fungi and mushrooms. From reflecting Clerkenwell’s urban renewal to offering new habitats for animals, the sprawling birdhouses fuse architectural ideas with nature and art, resulting in sculptures that integrate effortlessly in both natural and urban spaces. Through its installations, the practice explores its concern with the climate crisis through the lens of history, the environment, and culture.

One work, “Spontaneous City in the Tree of Heaven,” references opposite sides of London: Duncan Terrace Gardens in the east and Cremorne Gardens in the west. The installation is constructed from hundreds of bespoke bird boxes reflecting the forms of the local architecture—a combination of Modernist 60’s social housing and Georgian townhouses

Explore more of London Fieldworks’ projects on its site. You also might enjoy this similarly dense complex for avian neighbors.

 

“Spontaneous City: Clerkenwell”

Right: “Spontaneous City in the Tree of Heaven”

“Spontaneous City in the Tree of Heaven”

“Spontaneous City in the Tree of Heaven”

“Spontaneous City in the Tree of Lebanon”

 

 

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