water

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Art

Gleaming Water Drops Bead on the Canvas in Kim Tschang-Yeul's Hyperrealistic Paintings

February 23, 2021

Grace Ebert

(1986), oil on canvas, 63 1/2 x 51 3/8 inches. Image via Christie’s

Swollen, glistening, and saturated with illusion, the ubiquitous water drop absorbed Kim Tschang-Yeul throughout his career. The Korean artist, who died earlier this year, was faithful to the seemingly mundane subject matter, choosing to depict the dewy orbs repeatedly after an initial painting in 1972 following his relocation to France. Inspired originally by a water-soaked canvas in his studio, Kim nurtured the viscous element in his hyperrealistic paintings created across nearly five decades. In an essay about the artist’s unending commitment, Dr. Cleo Roberts writes:

It is a tendency that seems to unite many of Korea’s avant-garde who took from Art Informel in the early ‘60s, including Ha Chong-Hyun and Park Seo-Bo. In this generation of artists, there is a ritualistic devotion to a chosen form, process, and, at times, colour. One could venture that, in the context of living in a volatile country ravaged by war, the security of immersion in a singular mode was an empowering choice, and may have been a necessary psychological counterpoint.

Whether depicting a singular pendant-shaped drop or canvas strewn with perfectly round bulbs, each of the oil-based works exhibits a deft approach to shadow and texture. The bloated forms appear to bead on the surface and are imbued with a sense of impermanence: if disturbed by even a small movement, they look as if they could burst or run down the surface.

 

“Waterdrops” (1979), oil on canvas, 102 x 76 3/4 inches. Image © The Estate of Kim Tschang-Yeul, courtesy of the estate and Almine Rech, photo by Rebecca Fanuele

Gleaming with occasional patches of gold and white, the transparent renderings foster a deeper connection to Taoist principles, in addition to questioning the tension between nature and contemporary life. “The act of painting water drops is to dissolve all things within [these], to return to a transparent state of ‘nothingness,’” Kim said in a statement, noting that his desire was to dissolve the ego. “By returning anger, anxiety, fear, and everything else to ‘emptiness,’ we experience peace and contentment.”

If you’re in London, you can see the first posthumous show Water Drops, which covers Kim’s entire career and features many of the works shown here, at Almine Rech from March 4 to April 10, 2021. Otherwise, head to Artsy to see a larger collection of the artist’s paintings.

 

“Waterdrop” (1974), oil on canvas, 17 3/4 x 16 1/8 inches. Image © The Estate of Kim Tschang-Yeul, courtesy of the estate and Almine Rech, photo by Rebecca Fanuele

“Waterdrops” (1986), India Ink and oil on canvas, 32 1/2 x 32 1/2 inches. Image © The Estate of Kim Tschang-Yeul, courtesy of the estate and Almine Rech, photo by Rebecca Fanuele

Left: “Waterdrop” (2017), oil on canvas, 46 1/8 x 19 3/4 inches. Image © The Estate of Kim Tschang-Yeul, courtesy of the estate and Almine Rech, photo by Rebecca Fanuele. Right: “Waterdrops” (1996), oil and acrylic on canvas, 21 5/8 x 18 1/8 x 3/4 inches. Image © The Estate of Kim Tschang-Yeul, courtesy of the estate and Almine Rech, photo by Rebecca Fanuele

Detail of “Waterdrops” (1985), oil and Indian ink on canvas, 76 3/4 x 63 3/4 inches. Image via Almine Rech

(2011), oil on canvas, 15 by 17 3/4 inches. Image via Sotheby’s

“Recurrence” (1994-2017), oil and Indian ink on canvas, 35 x 57 1/8 x 7/8 inches. Image © The Estate of Kim Tschang-Yeul, courtesy of the estate and Almine Rech, photo by Matt Kroening 

 

 



Photography

A Stunning Shot of Sharks Cruising Under a French Polynesian Sunset Wins the 2021 Underwater Photographer of the Year

February 10, 2021

Grace Ebert

Category Winner. Underwater Photographer of the Year 2021 © Renee Capozzola (U.S.) /UPY2021. All images courtesy of UPY 2021, shared with permission

An exquisite shot of blacktip reef sharks circling underneath a jewel-toned sky in French Polynesia tops this year’s Underwater Photographer of the Year contest (previously). Captured by California-based Renee Capozzola, the winning entry frames a pair of the white-bellied fish and airborne seagulls, forming a serendipitous composition that combines air, land, and sea. “I dedicated several evenings to photographing in the shallows at sunset, and I was finally rewarded with this scene: glass-calm water, a rich sunset, sharks, and even birds,” she said.

This year’s competition received more than 4,500 entries from photographers in 68 countries, including images of wrecked barges, frogs peering out from a muddy pond, and two ornery blenny mid-tussle. Capozzola is the first woman to ever win the U.K.-based contest since its inception in 1965.

We’ve gathered some of our favorites below, but you can see all of the winning shots and watch interviews with the photographers on the contest’s site. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

 

Winner. British Waters Wide Angle, My Backyard © Mark Kirkland (U.K.)/UPY2021

Third Place. Up & Coming Underwater Photographer of the Year 2021. © Danny Lee (Australia)/UPY2021

Runner Up. Behavior. © Jing Gong Zhang (China)/UPY2021

Left: Winner. Portrait. © Ryohei Ito (Japan)/UPY202. Right: Runner Up. Portrait. © Keigo Kawamura (Japan)/UPY2021

Winner. Wrecks © Tobias Friedrich (Germany)/UPY2021

Runner Up. Macro © Steven Kovacs (U.S.)/UPY2021

Third Place. Underwater Photographer of the Year 2021 © Oleg Gaponyuk (Russian Federation)/UPY2021

Runner Up. Wide Angle © Martin Broen (U.S.)/UPY2021

Third Place. British Waters Wide Angle © Kirsty Andrews (U.K.)/UPY2021

 

 



Photography Science

A Remarkable Short Film Dives into a Vancouver Lake to Document Tadpoles' Evolution

February 5, 2021

Grace Ebert

During the course of four years, Maxwel Hohn submerged himself in a remote lake on Vancouver Island to record the otherwise unseen life cycles of western toads. The hours of stunning footage culminate in the award-winning short film, “Tadpoles: The Big Little Migration,” which chronicles the tiny amphibians’ evolution from bulbous swimmers—Hohn notes how the critters look like they’re smiling constantly at this stage—to fully formed toads.

Because the ecosystem is incredibly fragile, the Canadian videographer details his precautions to not disturb the environment, which include passing through lily pad trails made by beavers and floating at the surface to keep the silt covering the lake’s bottom from clouding the water. “To see these aquatic tadpoles evolve into terrestrial animals before my own eyes was humbling and heartwarming,” he says.

To watch more of Hohn’s captivating projects, including footage from freshwater dives and a documentary on the sea wolves populating western Canada, check out his Instagram and YouTube.

 

 

 



Food Science

Dry Out: A Timelapse Chronicles Dozens of Leaves, Fruits, and Organisms As They Shrivel

January 7, 2021

Grace Ebert

Dry Out” plunges into the minute details of the evaporation process through a dramatic series of timelapses. Shot with macro-lenses and microscopes, the grotesque short film by Christian Stangl reveals water droplets, leaves, and succulent fares, like berries and even whole fish, transforming into their gaseous counterparts during the course of days and weeks. Watch more of Stangl’s films that dive into the lengthy processes of the natural world on Vimeo, and check out stills of the process on Flickr.

 

 

 



Photography

Tides and Tempests: Photographs from the English Coastline Document the Rhythms of a Tumultuous Sea

January 5, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Clearing Fog.” All images © Rachael Talibart, shared with permission

To introduce her new body of work, Rachael Talibart writes that “the rhythm of the tides, tethered to the waxing and waning of the moon, shapes our very sense of time.” The U.K.-based photographer captures the ebb and flow of the English coastline through photographs that frame both erupting waves and the days surrounding violent storms. An extension of her previous collection that framed what appears to be otherworldly creatures jumping from the water, Talibart’s recent work has culminated in a book titled Tides and Tempests.

While her subject matter is similar, she shares with Colossal that limiting herself to southern coastlines has been fruitful. “I think that what at first may seem like a restriction has actually made me more creative—it has forced me to dig deeper and look for images where I might perhaps not have found them if I was more of a generalist,” she says.

While Tides and Tempests at times displays the mythical qualities and creatures of the water, it also includes the quieter moments. Talibart writes that this broader focus has taught her patience and to find as much interest and delight in the slow sunsets and discarded shells as the frenzied storms. She expands on how the lengthy and varied story of the ocean has shifted her view of time:

The tidal cycle, the sound of waves, the shapes carved by wind and water on the shore, the call of sea birds, the curl of seafoam around a pebble, the shape of a shell, these all have a rhythm or pattern that I find both energizing and soothing. But they don’t always reveal themselves to you straight away—you have to be willing to invest time.

If you’re in the U.K., Talibart teaches photography workshops that focus on various aspects of her coastal subject matter. Otherwise, pick up a copy of Tides and Tempests, which features more than 120 images, from Kozu Books, and follow Talibart on Instagram.

 

“Apollo”

“Etain”

“Jade”

“Makara”

“Fringe II”

“The Lost World”

“Surf Study”

“Touch”

 

 



Animation Music

Abstract Shapes Flow Like Water in Ho Tsz Wing's Psychedelic Animation

December 21, 2020

Grace Ebert

In the hypnotic realm of “Catgot,” bubbles explode into kaleidoscopic droplets, and beads of water bounce across the screen. Created by Ho Tsz Wing using Photoshop, the two-dimensional drawings mimic the look of a hand-painted animation. They’re set to an electronic track by ISAN and gracefully follow a series of fluid, synchronized movements. Downbeats correspond with abstract shapes that flow from one scene to the next in a psychedelic fashion.

The Hong Kong-based animator and illustrator writes that the textured drawings highlight “the beauty of the colors, composition, and transformations of the objects in the scene” and are inspired in part by artists Masanobu Hiraoka and Matt Abbiss. To watch more of Ho Tsz Wing’s mesmerizing animations, check out Behance, Instagram, and Vimeo.