Posts Tagged ‘art’

Biomorphic Sculpture, 1970's, Switzerland. Courtesy of Rayon Roskar.

Biomorphic Sculpture, 1970’s, Switzerland.
Courtesy of Rayon Roskar.

Steel Sculpture, 1970's, Switzerland. Courtesy of Lost City Arts.

Steel Sculpture, 1970’s, Switzerland.
Courtesy of Lost City Arts.














The pair of sculptures shares the same creative principle in large exploring the form of abstraction. They are also from the same period, 1970’s, and the same region, Geneva, Switzerland.

However, the juxtaposition of the two sculptures reveals a very interesting visual language of opposites; while the Steel Sculpture poses a solid shape piercing the space, refusing any traces of human hand (in a way this is what humans do, removing the trace of hand-made but seeking for a machine-like perfection in the modern world), the Biomorphic sculpture is burgeoning from inside into an organoid shape, the abstract form originating from an observation of nature. The traces of carving proudly but present the hand of creation.

Biomorphic Sculpture (detail), 1970's, Switzerland. Courtesy of Rayon Roskar.

Biomorphic Sculpture (detail), 1970’s, Switzerland.
Courtesy of Rayon Roskar.


Interestingly enough, the seemingly aggressive Steel Sculpture embraces the void within whereas its biomorphic counterpart holds solid mass.

In this case of these two sculptures, the antithetical nature and yet the creative principle within in turn ties them into a bigger idea of artistic creation.


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noun \ˈbrand\

: a category of products that are all made by a particular company and all have a particular name

: a particular kind or type of something

: a mark that is burned into the skin of an animal (such as a cow) to show who owns the animal

The world seems crazy about brands or branding. Not to mention the craving for the “named” brands over “no name” brands in a market place, the notion of brand, or branding, is deeply penetrating into our daily life.

Art world is one of the places where the notion of brand plays a powerful role. People seem to feel more trusting when there is a name attached to an object. Of course it is understood and even forgiven when old stuff doesn’t have a name (of designer, creator, producer, etc.). But when it comes to a modern era certain information is expected, like who made this, how he/she made this, why he/she made this, and so on. However, in reality not all modern objects can have a clear label attached to them. Are they, if they don’t have name with them, not noteworthy or less noteworthy?

Many eminent people and their works are recorded in the history. In many cases, however, people invert this logic. In other words, if there is no name left in the history it is not important. This is the premise that I want to re-evaluate.
There were so many creative minds and still are. The creativity is smeared into all creation, in different level, whether the artist is known or unknown. And at some point all creators have their names. It just that we don’t know it now, or just yet.

So this venue, the Book of Anonymous Design, is dedicated to the objects of “no name brands” that are underrated, under-appreciated, and sometimes forgotten. Do you want the name of artist? Do you need a brand to appreciate the beauty? Here it is; these are by “nemo.”

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With all due respect to the premier contemporary art gallery, Gagosian, it seemed like an unadventurous statement to display only one sculpture by John Chamberlain in their booth at Art Geneve.
I would much appreciate the naïveté to believe it is the sense of discovery and trust in creativity pushing the envelope that really expands the horizon of art and broadens human mind.

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We are living in the world where a lot of people are so well informed about art that even the weirdest materials or the simplest form would not surprise them. Or at least they are sophisticated enough to pretend as if they were not surprised.
I admire people who can bring their ideas into tangible object. They bring about certain feelings in the viewers’ mind. They make something from nothing. Even a simple stroke deserves a certain degree of respect.
However, it is not easy to find a work of art that really hits me to say, “it is really well-made!” these days. There seem to be a lot of words, but not much of craftsmanship. Maybe what we need in today’s world is a true skill (no offense to anyone in the art or in the crafts!) that gives a form to an idea and that is so prevailing that the feeling is just naturally transmitted to the people who appreciate the work.

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It was an interesting coincidence that I encountered Art Geneve right after Gallery Seoul (they even make a rhyme).
It seems now internationally accepted that design galleries are participating art fairs which used to be dominated by more fine art-focused galleries. One of these new risers at Art Geneve was teo jakob. The booth was large and beautifully arranged with new designs and reproduction of old ones. Their catalogue was filled with modern day classics; Eames, Henningsen, Noguchi…to name a few. As amazing as they look, however, mass-produced reproduction of 50-year old designs look a bit sad probably because they lack a history of themselves (not the history of the archetype but the one of each piece). They also left me with a question: are we living on the great debt to the past? Of course these designs still have a strong appeal to the current taste (in other words, that’s why they are “classics”). But would would be the next Eames? Can we only find out after 50 years?

For more information of teo jakob, please check out their website: http://www.teojakob.ch

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Horim impressed me with its new exhibition rooms (although they were cold and dark)

It’s worth visiting when you are coming to Seoul!     


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It was the 30th anniversary of the Horim Art Center in Seoul.
I remember I went to that museum 11-12 years ago; only thing I could remember is the freezing room in the museum. They opened a new building in a busier part of Seoul, nonetheless it is still cold.

Today we are so used to simple, stream-line, minimalist designs that even the 1,500 year old “crude” stone wares look fairly satisfying.
Of course one thing to keep in mind is that most of those objects were not used everyday, if used at all. Products made with this much endeavor were mostly used for rituals and often buried with the corps. That is why lots of those ritual vessels have forms like birds or boats — things that “carry” things (and ghosts!)

Considering what people may have thought of when making these vessels, they look so much more humane than just cold stone…

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