Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Beautiful Monsters

Whenever I watch any visuals with figures, the first thing that I notice is the costumes. I love creative visions on human bodies, whether it's clothes or make ups or prosthetics. There are two costume designers that I admire in the movie industry, Eiko Ishioka who designed costumes for Tarsem's The Cell, The Fall, Francis Coppola's Dracula and many theater and dance costumes. The other designer is Sandy Powell who does everything so well from Shakespearean dresses to rock stars' body suits. I would go see any movies that these designers are involved in no matter what the movies are about, just to get a glimpse of their creativity. 

I am a big fan of fashion as an art form, and the designers that I adore usually make fantastic clothes that are almost impossible to wear in real life, i.e. Alexander McQueen, John Galliano, Jean Paul Gaultier, and Viktor & Rolf. There is one fashion designer that caught my eyes this year. Gareth Pugh, a british designer who I didn't know much about until his fall 09 show. His show set itself apart from other designers by showing a video installation instead of models walking down the catwalk. Other designers have done videos in their shows before but Pugh's was a work of art on its own. I loved how surreal and animalistic his clothes are even though the silhouettes looked hard and machine like. I wouldn't want to wear his clothes unless the world war III happens and I need a protective haute couture to shield myself against dinosaur size mutant cockroaches on the streets. But I gotta give it to his explosive creativity, he might seem like a skinny soft spoken guy but he gotta have some balls to make clothes like these.  He gave such dark and interesting visions on female forms which I think is infinitely attractive.    

fiber castell PITT artist pen

I've been interested in drawing more simple loose fashion figures in urban settings. here's a drawing that I made over the weekend. I used faber castell  PITT artist pen which is the blackest, smoothest pen I've tried so far. 


I have been quite bored with digital photography for a long time. The good thing about digital camera is also the bad thing, Digital camera allows me to take almost unlimited shots which also allows me to take loads of careless, crappy photos. My fuji digital camera is super slow and I can't afford digital SLRs. I missed the more organic and instant joy of clicking an old manual camera. When I saw the playful, dreamy photographs taken by Holga online (a cheap plastic toy camera), I ran to B & H and got one. I got the one with flash which broke within weeks and this thing doesn't come with any warranty or replacement parts, so I guess I have to take photos only in bright sunlight with high speed films. 
I took this camera to Turks and Caicos island and had loads of fun taking photos. It's so light and simple, I even took it on a sail boat and took photos as I was waist deep in the ocean. The island was so beautiful that no matter what camera I had, the photos would have come out nice, but the holga added more nostalgic feeling to my photos (even though I just came back from Turks and caicos only a month ago, the photos tricks me to think it was ages ago... or maybe it's the dreary new york weather). I recommend Holga to anyone who's interested in photography, just don't get the ones with flash!

Star Trek

I had the pleasure of watching the new star trek movie last night. I don't know much about the original TV series with William Shatner but fortunately this movie didn't need the background knowledge to be entertaining (although it might have been more enjoyable if I was a fan of the original). I just realized Shatner's Captain Kirk was the inspiration for Captain Brannigan from Futurama, the  TV animation show I LOVE. I knew most of the characters in Futurama are based on cultural icons and stereotypes, but it was great to find a direct link.
Star Trek movie didn't wow me with a clever story line or the special effects although they were pretty good (in this day and age, you have to be extraordinary to wow the viewer with special effects) but what engaged me to this movie was the actors who played their characters with such earnest conviction, even the campiest and the most unrealistic moments became touching and exciting. Props to J J Abrams for rebooting the dying franchise with a charming group of young actors and the modern sensibility. 

my recent paintings

Eclips hair salon and day spa hosted my solo art show in McLean, VA on May 3rd sunday. I hadn't been painting much since college but this event gave me a good motivation to make big oil paintings again. I have been drawing only in small scale with marker and pencils for the last 3 years so it was a great escape to loosen up and just paint whatever I wanted  with colors that I like. The show was small but sweet, it was very encouraging to meet people who were interested in my art.