Kunihiko Nohara creates lofty sculptures whose subjects hover between the earth and sky. Using a single piece of wood for each of his pieces, Nohara replaces clothing with clouds making his figures seem ready to take flight in a hot air balloon.
Nohara’s works have earned him the name “The Cloud Man” in Taiwan. But while this name visibly connects him with his works, the clouds also mean something else to Nohara. In interviews he says that clouds are emblematic of his practice in that he often feels “blurry” within his own thoughts. Dealing with this space of fuzziness between thoughts and dream, he further says that his “creations are not necessarily based on fantasy, but neither are they overly grounded in reality – they’re just reflections of my experiences of the world.”
Despite the delicacy and softness of these sculptures, Nohara works entirely in wood and, more notably, only uses one piece for each work. His preference for wood emerged in school but he also believes the use of material aligns his work with Japan’s propensity towards wooden objects, like houses and furniture.
Nohara’s works were recently shown at “Laissez Faire,” a group show presented by Gallery UG at the Luxe Art Museum in Singapore. His sculptures were included with works from 17 other Japanese artists.
Karen Ann Myers’ latest series of paintings study the vulnerability of women. Through a series of motifs showing women lying down on beds or in different sexual acts disguised within a pattern, she examines the feminine form in its most naked form. What she offers is a voyeuristic look at womanhood. By taking the girl next door and putting her in subjective, fetal-like positions we see how the packaging of the fairer sex becomes more about mood and positioning than the actual model. The atmosphere and attire become the most important elements in her psychological study. It cleverly examines women’s submissive behavior in advertising and brings forth what society is shown as desirable.
In large sized paintings, Myers purposely places vibrantly colored rugs and sheets next to her subjects commenting on the fact that women are seen as beautiful pieces of furniture used to adorn a room. They become objectified and meld into the foreground. Her message is subtle disguised through a series of striking images that recall Alex Katz and David Hockney.
Her wallpaper drawings of various sexual positions disclose the powerful nature of women’s sexuality. Hidden from direct view in the design’s make up her project speaks to the meaning of subliminal messages. As the pattern dictates, the true nature of women’s sexuality should remain secret as media and advertising suggests. Her prowess as a painter and designer is only matched by her strong desire to speak about these important issues.
Roberto Calbucci, an Italian en route to Toyko, is a graphic designer and artist. His website/blog is dedicated to his drawings, as he explains:I have been working as an artist (painter) and graphic designer for many years. and until recently I never started a website to show my work. Now I have decided to start displaying some drawings online…so I started a blog, where I don’t post my paintings or my (concrete) graphic design work (cds, packaging, magazine work, advertising, logos, etc./business)…BUT ONLY MY EXPERIMENTAL DRAWING AS RESEARCH OF THOUGHTS…”
Christopher Janney’s work often activates multiple senses simultaneously, using both visual and auditory stimulation to evoke emotional responses to viewers. Calling it a ‘sonic portrait’ of Miami, his work Harmonic Convergence combines sound, light and interactive elements to emulate a positive experience of place in an otherwise sterile airport environment.
Located in a pedestrian walkway leading from the car rental buildings to the airport proper, Janney replaced the existing windows with a prismatic arrangement of colored glasses. Columns and design elements were also repainted white, to better catch the sun’s lights streaming through the colored glass. This was Janney’s second installation at the airport, succeeding his previous piece, Harmonic Runway.
Like most of his work, sound plays an important part of this installation as well. According to Jenny Filipetti at Designboom, “Speakers installed at regular intervals along the walkway create a continuously changing ‘sonic portrait’ of South Florida as they play the sounds of tropical birds, thunderstorms, and other environments native to the region. Video sensors at either end of the passageway track visitor movement, causing changes in the density and composition of the sound piece relative to the number of passengers in the space.” (via designboom)
Oscillate is the MFA thesis project of digital artist Daniel Sierra. The animation begins with a simple rolling sine wave. However, things quickly get complex. The waves fling dust, begin to smoke, and seem to catch fire. The waves multiply and mutate. Oscillate is an impressive animation by any standard, especially considering it is a school project (albeit an MFA thesis project). Also, you’ll notice the credits are especially short. While such animations typically have a staff of several, Sierra animated and composed the music entirely on his own. [via]
Alva Bernadine is a British photographer known for his color-saturated, surrealist style and subversive content. Contained within his oeuvre are several series of unconventional nude photographs; from conjoined torsos to uncanny perspectives to disembodied legs and fetishized footwear, his works are story-filled portraits that engage and entice as often as they confound (or even repulse). Inspired by surrealist artists such as Rene Magritte and photographers Cheyco Leidmann and Guy Bourdin, Bernadine’s works contain elements of absurdity mixed with eroticism, glamour, mystery, and oftentimes humor.
This particular series incorporates mirrors to attain Bernadine’s signature stylistic effect. He was inspired to create these images when he bought six small mirrors in a £1 shop. “I have used mirrors before in my work but never in multiples,” Bernadine explained in a statement provided to Beautiful/Decay. “After initially trying to get as many into an image as possible, I then started thinking up different permutations, finally working my way back down to one mirror […]. As the mirrors were so small, you can only reflect a small portion of the body with one, which led me to try to reconstitute a woman with several.”
The results are provocative, to say the least. From playful self-examinations to fragments of orgasmic bliss, the images entice us with a unique — but not wholly transparent — form of voyeurism. We can see the nude models engaged in acts that hover between private intimacy and exhibitionism, but we are not given the whole picture; we are never truly certain of what is occurring in the room behind the camera. This ambiguity heightens the erotic effect by taking some control away from the viewer/voyeur in their engagement with the photos. Speaking of his work generally, Bernadine expresses how he is consistently trying to “produce a sort of unresolved picture, an inconclusive narrative, that the viewer has to finish for [him]” (Source). Thus, instead of passive consumption, Bernadine’s images stimulate the imagination, engaging us on both cognitive and erotic levels.
Bernadine’s work has become deservedly well-recognized over the years. He worked his way up as a self-taught artist and collaborated with magazines. He eventually won the Vogue Sotheby’s Cecil Beaton Award for young photographers for The Fetish, a series of photographs showing a high-heel shoe in a variety of strange contexts. In 2001, Bernadine published Bernadinism: How to Dominate Men and Subjugate Women, which won him the Erotic Photographer of the Year in Britain (2002). Another book, titled Twisted, recently came out in 2014. Visit Bernadine’s website and Facebook page to follow his fascinating, creative, and unconventional work.
Croatian-Austrian design studio Numen/For Use has built a large string supported jungle gym that is described as a “prototype of a self supporting inhabitable social sculpture.” Known for their large-scale tape and netting installations, “String Prototype” represents the studio’s first “large geometric inflatable object” installation. Thin ropes are tied on opposite sides of the form’s volume, keeping them parallel. When the object is inflated, the ropes are pulled and tightened into a structure that can support multiple human bodies. “Bodies entrapped in 3D grid, flying in unnatural positions throughout superficial white space, resemble Dadaist collages. Impossibility of perception of scale and direction results in simultaneous feeling of immenseness and absence of space.” (via my modern met)
The project is currently installed in the Viennese countryside, where it is still in development.