Saturday, December 13, 2014

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Civil Dawns.

The Civil Dawns. By Darren Almond. Designed by Yoshihisa Tanaka. Torch Press, 2014. 84 pp., illustrated throughout, 21x29,7cm. With English & Japanese text. Edition of 500 copies. Images from here.

Book description:

"British artist Darren Almond has been known for his works using variety of media, including sculpture, films as well as photography.

This 'The Civil Dawns' consists of 2 photographic series.

'Civil Dawn@Giverny' is a series of photographs taken in the Claude Monet’s garden at Giverny in the winter and summer, while 'Civil Dawn@Mt. Hiei' photographed foggy Mt. Hiei. Images of both series are captured by exposing to the momentary light of the break of dawn.

Releasing its brilliance, 'Civil Dawn@Giverny' depicts momentary, spontaneous faces of flowers in Monet’s garden at the very moment a day breaks. Those pictures, photographed with large-format Polaroid, which apparatus is discontinued already, seem like homage to the Impressionist.

'Civil Dawn@Mt. Hiei' is a series produced in Japan, where Almond has taken particular interests in its culture and drawn his inspiration to works. He has visited Japan several times since 1990s and created numbers of works adopting the ideas he got through sceneries seen and incidents encountered during his visits.

The morning twilight Almond pictured charms us with its gentle lights, recalls our nostalgia, although no humans are appeared in the pictures. Time is unchanging and eternal - while his masterwork, installation of timepieces, symbolically implies accurate passage of time, Almond contrarily sheds light on the twinkling of momentariliness in these series."

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Rest in Peace Lauren Bacall

Saddened by the news of the passing of Lauren Bacall - a seven decade (!) acting veteran, film noir legend - and an absolute favourite screen-presence of my mine. Rest in Peace.

(more, more, more, more)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Rest in Peace Robin Williams

Robin Williams 1951-2014 - Rest in Peace.

(more, more, more, more)

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

#NoMoreHiroshima (Orizuru Paper Crane for Hiroshima Day)

My Orizuru Paper Crane for Hiroshima  - May there be Peace.

"Orizuru - the paper crane - is the symbol of peace.
Do it on August 6th in dedication to the Victims of the Bomb, repeating to yourself and to the world NO MORE HIROSHIMA as you do it.

Then the folding of the paper crane, you will realize will become a meditation you share with the world.

You can bury the orizuru you made in your back yard, hang it in your room, keep it inside a book you love to read, or send it to a friend."
- Yoko Ono (link)

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Places, Strange and Quiet.

Places, Strange and Quiet. By Wim Wenders. Hatje Cantz, 2011. 124 pp., illustrated throughout, 17,1x20,5cm. Images from here.

Book description:

'You only find what you’re looking for'.

" 'When you travel a lot, and when you love to just wander around and get lost, you can end up in the strangest spots. … I don’t know, it must be some sort of built-in radar that often directs me to places that are strangely quiet, or quietly strange'.

Wim Wenders - painter, actor, writer, and one of the most successful contemporary filmmakers around - has assembled a fascinating series of large-scale photographs taken from 1983 to 2011 in countries all over the world.

From his iconic images of exteriors and buildings to his panoramic depictions of towns and landscapes, this book presents the full range of Wenders’s photography."

Friday, June 20, 2014

Glad midsommar!

 Midsummer images from here.

Glad midsommar! (Happy Midsummer!).

"In modern Sweden, Midsummer's Eve and Midsummer's Day (Midsommarafton and Midsommardagen) [...] is arguably the most important holiday of the year, and one of the most uniquely Swedish in the way it is celebrated, even if it has been influenced by other countries long ago.

The main celebrations take place on the Friday, and the traditional events include raising and dancing around a huge maypole. One typical dance is the frog dance. Before the maypole is raised, greens and flowers are collected and used to cover the entire pole.

Raising and dancing around a maypole (majstång or midsommarstång) is an activity that attracts families and many others. People dancing around the pole listen to traditional music and many wear traditional folk costumes. The year's first potatoes, pickled herring, sour cream, and possibly the first strawberries of the season are on the menu. Drinking songs are also important at this feast, and many drink heavily.

Because Midsummer was thought to be one of the times of the year when magic was strongest, it was considered a good night to perform rituals to look into the future. Traditionally, young people pick bouquets of seven or nine different flowers and put them under their pillow in the hope of dreaming about their future spouse. In the past it was believed that herbs picked at Midsummer were highly potent, and water from springs could bring good health. Greenery placed over houses and barns were supposed to bring good fortune and health to people and livestock; this old tradition of decorating with greens continues, even though most don't take it seriously."

To learn more about the Swedish Midsummer traditions continue reading here or here for example.