Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Hong Kong

On our way back to Jakarta we stopped in Hong Kong for a few days. This place was intense (although nothing compared to Tokyo). Due to the crazy integration of high-tech, old China, and lush foliage growing out of cement encrusted hillsides, we found ourselves making constant references to Blade Runner and Terry Gilliam's Brazil.

During our stay the weather was perfect, the shopping was great, but subculture seemed quite illusive. In such a dense metropolis, there must be more to it. Every now and then we caught a glimpse of something intriguing, like the design meeting spot, AfterSchool Cafe. It's definitely worth a trip back, just to find out what else is going on. If anyone has suggestions for good art/ design/ music stuff in HK, please post them in the comments!

The view from our friend's apartment

These bridges run from building to building through several parts of the city. There's one section that has an 800 meter outdoor escalator connecting several neighborhoods on the side of a steep hill.

an interior view of the bridge

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Beat Streuli

Here are some shots of an installation by another one of my favorite photographers, Beat Streuli. This is at the MCA in Chicago.

An interior view.

The sunlight coming through made a great projection.

Vic Muniz

Just before we left Chicago, were lucky enough to catch a great lecture at the MCA by Brooklyn-based artist, Vic Muniz. His work is often an appropriation of iconic images, temporarely recreated with common materials like salt and chocolate syrup, which he then photographs. The lecture was a casual look at his career, from his beginning as a sculpture to his role in developing a new school in Brazil.

I was extremely happy to hear him talk about two of my favorite series: Pictures of Dust, monotone drawings of minimalist art installations made with dust collected from the Whitney Museum’s floor; and Pictures of Color, reproductions of famous artworks made with Pantone swatches. Muniz also touched on several key issues in contemporary art from the importance of drawing to the fear of the pixel.

A couple years ago, we had the luxury of seeing lectures by Richard Prince and John Baldessari, two of the most acclaimed artists in the realm of image appropriation. In comparison, we found the talk by Vic Muniz to be insightful and entertaining. His positive look at art and lack of pretentious intellectual jargon was quite refreshing. It was, by far, one of our favorite lectures to date. To hear a recording of the lecture, visit Chicago Amplified.