ISSUE 10 February 2015
An independent magazine aimed at bringing the works of the young and talented to the whole world. Believing in ideas, thoughts and concepts, Garde Magazine follows the principle of simplicity and honesty.
Founders Cleo Tse Natasha Chan
Copy Editor Marie-JosĂŠe Kelly
Creators Evdokia Savva William Costelloe
Maren Reese Bastian Gerner
Contributors Tammy Ha David Madsen
Special thanks HKwalls Karl Ă–stgĂĽrd Nice Gallery Roots Project Rosie Connolly
Editorial We personally quite like the editorial part because this is the actual part we get to write what we think…not. Let’s be honest here, it’s interesting to write editorials because on one hand, we’re trying to be welcoming and on the other hand, we’re really wondering whether viewers read this part. (Come on, admit it. This is the driest part of the magazine). But unbelievably, we’re on issue 10! TADA! Time flies - we know, this is very lame to say but it is also very true. It means we have been publishing for 10 months. It also means that we have promoted a bunch of creators. Are we doing our job very well? We want to do better! We are very honoured to have creators and contributors sticking with us through our 10 issues, even though we aren’t paying them at all. It’s our pleasure to work with them and see so many interesting works, as well as learn from them. One probably doesn’t realise how valuable they are. The values always come with the idea, concepts and thoughts (look familiar, eh?) Sometimes we wonder if we even need to explain what we are having in this issue since you are predictably going to flip to the next page (content) no matter what. Also, with such a small font, who is happier to blind their eyes than gaze at interesting images?
For the very first time, we have more features than creators, which is very interesting for us to write and create layout for since they are actually some pretty amazing features. HKwalls, Hong Kong street art group; Roots Project, a group of students studying in the UK aiming at finding their origin; Nice Gallery and a creator who created a creative space for more creators with creativity. Another new exciting addition (be sure to check out the left hand side of this droll editorial) is a home grown local artist who goes by the name Onion Peterman and specialises in screen-printing and illustration. Let’s also not miss out on our 101 lesson with Rosie Connolly and movie review from our Danish movie-holic David Madsen. For creators, we welcome our second architecture creator, Bastian Gerner, and also ceramics designer, Evdokia Savva, from Cyprus, who uses traditional terracotta to develop her ceramics collection. And as usual, this issue contains fine art, which is quite popular among the public but not thoroughly understood. As usual, we hope you enjoy this issue. Let us know if you have any comments, compliments and criticisms. We are glad to hear from you, no matter what. Happy reading!
Sorry, we don’t mean to be editorial bitches. Hehe.
Cleo & Natasha
Up and Coming HKwalls
Creative Happening Roots Project
CONTENT Bastian Gerner // Architecture
The altruistic planner of cities
Evdokia Savva // Ceramics Design A warrior of ceramics
Maren Reese // Fine Art Mind over matter
William Costelloe // Fine Art Finding refuge in art and music
Up and Coming Nice Gallery
What is it... Sculpture Sculpture 101 by Rosie Connolly
Movie Review 2014 year in review II by David Madsen
The altruistic planner of cities Bastian Gerner Architecture
1. From your perspective, can you define “architecture” for us? I think architecture is the Art of creating space through a specific placing and composing of material in an immaterial context. This immaterial context is not just the surrounding physical environment, like landscape or city-scape. It is also about the immaterial presence in form of societies, various layers of infrastructural systems and different climates. Successful architecture achieves to create a space or spaces that enable people to act freely and autonomous in a functional environment. It [architecture] is therefore highly contextual and conceptual. 2. How did you decide to study architecture? I started to think about architecture quite early, maybe when I was fifteen years old. I didn´t consider it to be a thought about architecture but more a thought about the environment we are living in and how we are dealing within those spaces. Before I started to study architecture, I worked as a carpenter for three years. In many ways the knowledge I achieved there and the ability to think about spaces in its different elements drove me to think about architecture and urban planning. 3.
What is your dream project? I don´t think I have a dream project. It
would be a huge honour to plan and build only one “building” that would last for a decade or so. Leaving the scene with one built structure, that works in terms of functionality and enables peoples’ daily lives to be better in the future that would be my dream and goal. My aim is to build at least one physical building that serves the public and enhance a public and urban life. 4. For you, what processes are involved when you receive a project? I think the first and probably most important process after receiving a project-brief is to understand the site and its conceptual context. I am quite convinced that an architect can´t solve a problem without understanding it. And the problems and potentials mainly occur through the location and the setting of the projects site. These problems or potential can be super obvious but sometimes also be hidden and complicated to understand. The next step is mostly to understand how to connect the given site and its problems with the expected program of the project. How can and will those two influence each other. I also like to think quite early in the design process about the atmosphere and mood that will occupy the built structure. It gives a certain mystic to the further processes. 5. What is the most difficult part for you when you start a project?
Bastian Gerner The Catalyst Studio GEKO 1st Prize, Competition, Miami
The most difficult part for me is probably to translate the idea into a physical structure. As soon as the analysis, research and concept phases are done and the detailing starts, that’s a tough job. 6. Which city do you want to have your buildings in? I would love to build or plan in various east-German regions. In Germany, we are lacking an interconnected social network and infrastructure mainly in the eastern regions. After the wall fell, we gradually forgot about the development of the rural suburban and peripheral areas. We are lacking social infrastructure like daily retail possibilities or restaurants, bars and coffee shops. We need to rethink the whole strategy for these areas otherwise they will completely disappear. 7. What are you afraid of/hate the most in architecture? I don´t really like the term “stararchitect” (or starchitect). From your project… 8. How did you solve problems when your project concerned places you don’t live in? i.e. Miami. That’s an interesting question! I think it’s important to think about this specific issue, we asked ourselves the same. Well, first of all we do live in a time with an incredible amount
Bastian Gerner Relink Aarhus Ø School Project
of knowledge spread over the Internet. Also a lot of shit but it can be very helpful for a certain degree of research. Like I said before, I think it is important to understand the problems and potentials of the specific area. Most of the information can be found through newspaper articles, books but also from “reading” images. “Street view” gives us the possibility to walk in the streets of Miami while sitting in Berlin in the park. That’s amazing. And these images can give us so much information, like traffic and infrastructure, building scales, safety etc. 9. Your project seems like its conveying different times and seasons in different cities. How is that related to architecture?
I am very interested in the idea of an immaterial architecture. Meaning of the spaces are created and framed through different architectural elements but also defined and characterised through a certain atmosphere. With atmosphere I mean the mood of a certain space that is mainly created through climatic impacts like light or rain. I think it is important to think about the context the architecture will be placed in. As a consequence, an architect should and must know about the climate and the moods at this certain place. Not just for “sustainable” issues but also to understand these atmospheres as part of the future building and the space surrounding it. It is always an important tool in the design process to me.
I am really inspired by the Nordic landscape. The different atmospheres and moods I can find here are unique and special, therefore very inspiring. In my visuals I always try to show architecture in a very special atmospheric context. 10. What is your next project about? (If it’s okay to tell us) I am currently doing my Masters Project together with Pola R. Koch. We are investigating the relation between the City, the River and the potential for the future. In this specific case, we try to rethink the urban relation between the Spree (a river in Germany that runs through Berlin) and Berlin.
Bastian Gerner Ørestad Urban Developement TRANSFORM Architects 1st Prize, Competition, Copenhagen, DK
A Warrior of Ceramics Evdokia Savva Ceramics Design
Ceramics designer, Evdokia Savva, from Cyprus, knows clay better than the back of her hand. “I love all the different qualities of clay,” she says. “How it is transformed from something soft, to something strong once fired. I love its colour changes, from the bone dry stage to the glazing stage.” She thoroughly enjoys working with clay every time she creates something. “My mind switches off instantly and I just enjoy the making process and all the transformations that happen during this journey,” she says. Evdokia’s current interest lies in the revival of crafts in general. “I am interested to see how other makers/designers approach this theme, ranging from furniture, and basketry to jewellery and ceramics.” In her spare time (which she admits is rare), Evdokia enjoys drawing. “Since I was at school, my favourite drawing tools were soft pastels. I love the colour ranges and how easily they blend together, creating a fine composition,” she says. “I do not feel restricted as of what I can do with them. I find that if you know how to work with soft pastels, then whatever you draw will look pretty much realistic.” Evdokia’s Masters Project is called the Undercut Terracotta Tableware series. “The aim was to sensitively revive our traditional Cypriot tableware with a new aesthetic approach,” she says.
She gathered inspiration from ancient traditional Cypriot terracotta tableware and the traditional motifs and patterns used to decorate the traditional ceramics. “I had to do lots of research, read lots of books and try to understand how ceramics differed from one period to another in order to be able to grasp the history of Cypriot ceramics,” she says. “I also had to visit museums, ceramics factories that are still in use in Cyprus, I had to carefully observe their pieces and making methods and see if they made any significant changes in ceramics over the years.” A key inspiration to her was the use of handles on ceramics bowls during the B.C. times, she says. “I was very intrigued by that. After lots of experimentation, that is when I realised that you do not always have to add a handle on to something, but you can take something away from an object and still create a handle. Thus, that is where the idea of the ‘undercut’ was inspired from.” “The signature of the Undercut Terracotta tableware series is of course the undercut. That is the key element of the dishes. It is inspired by the notion of the handle, which is why the undercut works both as a functional as well as an aesthetic element.” After establishing the idea to use terracotta for her ceramics, Evdokia quickly decided that she wanted to leave the exterior side
Evdokia Savva - Undercut Terracotta tableware series It aims to sensitively revive the traditional terracotta tableware of Cyprus with a new aesthetic drawn from the traditional context. This project introduces a contemporary terracotta tableware range for the everyday, for the domestic Cypriot market and the newly engaged international diasporas. Inspired by the traditional motifs, I have created contemporary surface patterns that compliment the shapes of the dishes and create a fine composition.
The key aspect of the series is the undercut, which works both as a functional element as well as an aesthetic feature; in addition it lifts the dishes off the surface. The Undercut Terracotta Tableware Service exists in two ranges: Simple Classic Undercut White and an evocative range of subtle changes in the Undercut Colour Gradient. Each range echoes the cultural cuisine of Cyprus encouraging socializing and generous hospitality with four dish sizes: for sauce, meze, sides and a large dish.
of the dishes unglazed in order to reveal the nature of the clay, she says. “I would have a glazed interior, creating a nice contrast between the earthiness of the clay on the outside and the smoothness of the glaze on the inside.” Although Evdokia has a strong passion for ceramics making and design, she also had some difficulties as she questioned whether her work would appeal to people. “At the beginning I was a bit hesitant in using terracotta because I assumed that it would not attract people, especially the younger generation who I was really interested in bringing closer to our culture, traditions and history,” she says. “I assumed that terracotta would be presumed as something old, rustic and folksy, something entirely opposite of what I was trying to achieve, but after lots of discussions with my tutors and after seeing that other ceramists have managed to use terracotta in a contemporary way, that is when I became more open minded and realised that if you use the material in the right way, then you can avoid making something that looks rustic,” she added. It took Evdokia two yours during her Masters to complete her project, which she fully dedicated herself to. “The actual making started in the second year, since the first year was mostly research based. In order to end up having the final pieces and shapes, it took me around four months from production to completion,” she says. Currently, Evdokia has her own studio and has finished a big order of the White Undercut Terracotta tableware from a big London design store, she says. “I am really excited to see people’s response once they are displayed!”
Having completed her terracotta project, Evdokia is thinking of exploring the idea of ceramics with painted birds on the mirrored image of the undercut inside of the dishes as she was reminded of birds and seagulls during the creation process and now wants to create a connection between the two.
About her future goals, Evdokia shares with us that she hopes to â€œone day be able to live just from this [ceramics design] profession, without having to do something else for a living. That would be amazing and a dream come true after all these years!â€?
Secondly, she would like to spread
the appreciation of handmade designs to people. “Through my own designs and tableware, I would like to make people appreciate and understand our culture and traditions better.”
ue introducing new lines to the series. “I would love to work and experiment more with the traditional patterns and motifs, and translate them into something contemporary,” she says.
Although this particular series is finished, she is still keen to explore and revive the Cypriot tableware and contin-
“Fortunately, my source of inspiration is unlimited, so I am open to anything new and challenging.”
Mind Over Matter
Maren Reese Fine Art
By Tammy Ha
This is a game of first impressions. I list out a prompt object, you visualise it and immediately come up with the first thing that pops into your head in association with the object. Easy. Go. A can of coke— _____________ ? A pineapple— _______________? Palm trees— _______________? At this point, I suspect there’s a good chance you’ve noticed a recurrent theme in the objects listed. There is no model answer to these questions, but I would think that many like me would have a relaxing beach day with the warm sun hitting our backs and the colours of the sky and ocean blending into each other scrawled across our minds, as the objects listed above and their associating matters unravel in our heads. For the Norwegian fine artist currently based in South London, Maren Reese, these are the objects of her interest— No, not blue skies, sandy beaches and a good time at the bay. (Come on people, fine art is more substantial than just that.) In her work, the imageries are all means to express her thoughts on culture. Her answers were the sunset, beaches and roadtrip, as well as more beaches and sunsets. Instead of being abstract, distorted and/or containing an array of colour palettes meshed together, Maren’s paintings are simple and centrally feature two objects or matters that are generally perceived to automatically associate with each other in our culture today.
Best explained by Maren herself— “My main agenda is to highlight perceptions of culture, either specific to a geographic location or social signifiers and how this is utilised in marketing. I want my work to be read as intentionally naïve or direct to emphasise the simplified visions we hold of cultures that we perceive as other than our own.” The choice of objects in her expression, Maren is well aware, are based on her upbringing in the West in Northern Europe, Norway. Nonetheless, this does not seem to hinder many people from acquiring understanding to the associations between the objects, in part, due to globalisation or more importantly, the message behind it— “If anything, I think my work reflects a historic appropriation and exploitation of culture that is not your own.” Maren is referring to the generalisations people make of items— the single-minded impression of the items imprinted on people’s minds that are still rooted in society. Young people, nowadays especially, have much greater access to information worldwide and easily adopt foreign cultural preferences or habits without truly appreciating them or resonating with them, though the artist does not regard the paintings as targeting against youths specifically. It is a strong message to make and some of her other artworks clearly don’t fall under the “intentionally naïve” category. For example, one of Maren’s seemingly favourite objects: palm trees, was drawn next to a puffing factory and against a gloomy background of pollution in an untitled piece. Maren Reese - Islands 2015 Polymer clay, wood and glass, 14 x 20 cm
I have taken the brave-but-potentially-embarrassing-if-I-get-it-wrong liberty of
Maren Reese - Totem 2014 Oil on canvas, 120 x 90 cm
interpreting it as an attempt to draw contrasting elements together so as to shock audiences and indicate the sad reality that there is no perfect paradise. But it feels like I have only scraped a small surface of the possible interpretations one can make of Maren’s painting. Though they are well-crafted and simply presented, her paintings invoke strong stimulation to the mind just as much as they do to the eyes. Through her artwork, Maren wants to communicate a message to her audience. I guess similar to how much every writer values good structure to their writing, Maren loves basing her creations of art on a
framework she produced. The importance of the framework seems to be more important to her than the art itself, as she may even steer away from certain ideas because it doesn’t incorporate well into the subject matter. It is in fact, her thought process and immaculate incorporation of it into her work that sets her apart and creates the authenticity an audience needs to connect to her. It is how she breaks away from the mold and creates something new which she is aware can be difficult with the great breadth of art created since the beginning of time.
FUTURE After leaving her home in Norway and moving to London to study fine arts years ago (that exuberant city where even though competition was fierce and stakes were high was all worth it because of the “potential” she saw in it) Maren looks to moving again— this time to America. “I think it can be extremely valuable to test your work in new places and remove yourself from your regular rhythm of creating work and this is what I aim to achieve this year.” This girl sure loves a good challenge.
Finding refuge in art and music
William Costelloe Fine Art
William Costelloe’s primary passion since he was young has always been fine art and music. He says he’s lucky to have two very expressive mediums in his life. “Fine art, especially when I am painting, is such an inward expression for me, while singing and playing French horn on the other hand are very outward expressions. I love experiencing both types,” he says. William paints mainly using oil on canvas and has recently
begun experimenting with video work that explores movement in boxing clubs. He also observes these environments in the view of a spectator, which has given him inspiration to develop his work further, giving it an “extra layer of interpretation and depth,” he says. Born in Dublin and moving to London with his family, he completed his Bachelor of Arts degree at Camberwell College of Art while studying under Daniel Sturgis. “I really wanted to continue creating artwork
and developing my practise and understanding of fine art after my academic schooling, so it was very important to me to go to art school,” he says. With his father working in fashion design and his late uncle Robert Costelloe a very accomplished sculptor, it’s no wonder William was inspired to join the colourful world of art and creativity with an optimistic and imaginative mind. Aside from these two influential people in his life, William says it was Da Vinci’s Lord Supper in Milan
William Costellor - Absence and Presence Series In my ‘Absence and Presence Series’, I explore the relationship of what makes an absence present and a presence absent. The series focuses on pubs, cafes and old brasseries. The central theme to the works are the objects which are associated within these interior spaces such as empty pint glasses, leather sofas and beer stained tables. I focus on these objects to infer that a ‘being’ or ‘presence’ was present within the space, creating a remote and isolated atmosphere. I deliberately did not use figures within the works as it developed a tension between the work and the viewer. Therefore leaving the paintings to a viewer’s interpretation and questioning what is in the work and can a relationship between painting and viewer be created looking at objects? I develop this idea further using a muted palette to enhance the atmosphere and depth living within the works. William Costelloe - Boxing Club (on the next page) I construct my ‘Boxing Series’ works using a complicated painting and drawing process which unites the figures within the boxing club surroundings. The series is more of an exploration of visual surface and texture. The paintings focus on movement and the objects within a conventional boxing club rather than the pure act of boxing focusing on the boxers. I instead create a suggestive ‘tension’ or ‘fight’ using different mediums; in other words, letting the mediums battle it out on the canvas. Composition, which is integral to my work, is shown with formality and balance that underpins the energy of the boxer’s movements. In the boxing ring, which is contained by ropes and a referee, the composition keeps the movement within the canvas creating an even greater tension. Even though the figures are not the central point to the piece, they are vital to ensure presence and vitality is maintained within the paintings.
that inspired him to embark on becoming a professional painter. “Whenever I am looking to find some inspiration and I am suffering from what I am sure all artists get is ‘creative block,’ I always look to Cezanne and Degas, these two artists have always inspired me. For me, they will always be my favourite artists,” he says. His works Asked about where he retrieves his ideas for his art pieces, William replies: “galleries, museums, theatres, films and making sure you are aware of all of your surroundings. You never know when you’re walking down a street and you find a sudden moment of inspiration. It’s always a thrilling experience!” Although William enjoys painting surrounding landscapes when he goes on holidays around Europe, in his Boxing Series of works he particularly enjoys painting people. “It’s a challenge but painting people in movement or in ‘action’ always gives a great sense of life to my work,” he says.
He currently has six paintings for his boxing series and is currently working on another. “I have no idea how many drawings I have as I constantly draw whenever I have any spare time, but if I had to guess I would probably say I have about 50 drawings that I made from my boxing club visits and drawings for analysis and compositional purposes.” William says with his works, he always strives to give his audience a sense of something they personally have never experienced before. “In regards to my boxing club series, I want to encourage the audience to view my work visualising that they are the spectators watching what is going on in the club and therefore really engaging in the space. “From my inspiration of Degas’ work, I create my boxing paintings in a panorama-like design, stepping into a large space that is notably broad and narrow. I aim to actively encourage the scanning response in several ways, for example seizing the attention with some feature
or ‘happening’ in the foreground. I want to keep the audience looking and scanning,” he says.
objects associated within the environment and the movement I am exploring in a boxing club.”
What makes his work unique is the topic and concepts he is currently working on with his boxing club series, he says. “There have been lots of works created by many artists on ‘boxing’ such as George Bellows – mainly the boxing match, boxer fighting boxer. However, my work on the other hand explores a different field of boxing, the boxing club environment, the
The way William paints and draws is always in figurative style. “My drawings are quite contrasted in terms of my lights and darks but my paintings are a little more subtle,” he says. “I do lots of drawing of where I am visiting and creating work on. It helps me see what I am visualising in a quick manner. For me, drawing is the best
way of seeing ideas and it helps me with composition and analysis of what I hope will be the final painting,” he says. “It never ends up what I am visualising; it always changes and turns into something new and unplanned. That’s what I love about painting!” William says one of the main challenges to any idea you have in order to create work is that there is always doubt. “I take it in a positive way and try and push myself to create some-
thing unique and exciting as the George Bellows work was for me.” Plus, the upside always outweighs any downside he faces. “Everything about my work is enjoyable. I love it. I’m very happy to be working as an artist and not being stuck in an office working from nine to five. I enjoy the sense of freedom and creativity and I hope I can do this for the rest of my life,” he says.
The future William is currently working on video and film about boxing clubs, which he is very excited about. He also hopes to do as much as possible in the future and continue with his singing and French horn playing. “Having a solo show in a very respectable gallery would be a massive dream for me and being able to support myself financially through my artwork would of course be another dream and hopefully a very able goal. I will just have to wait and see. As long as I can
keep creating artwork and keep enjoying what I do, I hope to do it for the rest of my life,” he says. William is currently based in London and completing a Masters course at Chelsea College of Art. “I have exhibited my work in galleries in London and Dublin and currently have work showing at the Clyde and Co Global law firm Head Offices in London as part of the Clyde and Co Art Award selected artists group.”
up and coming
Meet HKwalls, Hong Kongâ€™s very own street art group that was formed due to the lack of art spaces in the small and bustling financial city. This group of talented artists are prepared to push the art scene further by colouring the walls of Hong Kong (with the happy consent of building owners) in order to create something lively and aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
Dexter and Cone
Hong Kong is a difficult city for arts and creativity to develop â€“ the government cares a lot about laws and regulations; there is not enough support for artists and creators and the general public is intimidated by high prices of artworks. Most importantly, artworks are not as accessible as buildings in this city. Yet, there are still budding organisations trying to strike for survival in Hong Kong. Using the most primal ways to showcase their arts, HKwalls has chosen one of the canvases Hong Kong has the most of: walls. â€œMe and my partner love arts in the streets. After seeing so many successful graffiti/street art festivals around the world, we thought maybe we can start doing one in Hong Kong,â€? said Stan Wu, one of the founders of HKwalls.
So HKwalls started with two artists in 2013. Stan and Jason Dembski, another founder of HKwalls, began to recruit other artists with common interests through emails and mutual friends. “The graffiti/street art scene in HK is fairly small so we kind of know most of the local guys,” said Stan. Thanks be to the international art event, Art Basel, which gathered a lot of foreign artists in Hong Kong. You will be able to see most of the HKwalls works in Sheung Wan, which is quite a hub of local and international galleries. “The low density of buildings and high density of blank walls give
us more room to do our job. It is also easier to ask owners of walls to grant us permission to paint.” Even though understanding could come from owners, it may not be generated from neighbours. “There was a wall that we had complete permission to paint. When we were painting the wall, a neighbour came to us and told us to stop. We did whatever we could to explain that we had the permission, yet he decided to call the police. The police came and even helped us to talk this guy out.” Things do not always go smoothly especially because HKwalls is not painting privately but in public areas, which are walls that don’t belong to them, but others. “We receive complaints from time to time. We respect everyone’s view, but we just can’t make everyone happy.” Luckily, wall owners who grant permission are mostly satisfied with HKwalls’ works. “Some people are doubtful of what we’re doing which we can totally understand. People might not know if they should give their wall to us or not and some might find it offensive when they see the final artwork. Little incidents like that. Nothing too serious, I’d say it’s pretty okay so far.” Although HKwalls itself is not a very ‘Hong Kong’ concept, its characteristics are very local: flexible, efficient and quick. “The time and number of artists taken for a piece of street art depends on the size and what the artist wants to do. It can take from a few hours to a few days. We try not to limit creativity of the artists and let them decide what they want to do themselves. But of course, we want the public to enjoy it so topics like sex and violence is not going to happen.” In March, HKwalls is going to organise the second year of the Hong Kong Street Art Festival, which will take place from the 9th to the 15th. If you are interested to be a part of it, you can support them via their crowd-funding campaign and join them between the streets of Sheung Wan and Central.
Parents Parent in progress
â€˜Rootsâ€™ is a crafting project aimed at defining and expressing how each participant thinks and feels about their roots and origins. The project used the writing relay process, where only one document was used for every participant to add their definition of their roots to. Once someone finished writing their information, it would be passed on to the next person and so on. As for the art part, each participant created the object with the information they were given at that moment. And as the information builds up and the more it is passed down, the more information later participants have to include into their artworks.
Who are you? Chiaki Matsumoto What about you? I grew up in Japan and spent nearly twenty years of my life there, while having American education after high school. I then moved to the U.K. to continue my university studies. Up to now, my way of thinking is influenced by western ways, but my cultural background is totally Japanese. So I feel the mixture of east and west and now enjoy looking at Japan and its society objectively, making comparisons with other countries' cultural norms.
The definition of my roots is ‘my childhood memories of my family.’ My artwork consists of two pieces: one is a projection on white cloth hung from the wall and the other one is an antique medicine box that used to belong to my grandfather, which is full of amber glass bottles. The projection shows texts that describe a struggle of my mother and my grandmother. My grandmother suffered from dementia and the cloth, faintly moving with the wind, indicates the fragility of memories; the symptom of dementia and the fact that we just keep forgetting. On the other hand, the medicine box contains amber bottles that keep slips of texts that I remember about my grandfather. Those are sad memories as he was the first person whom I lost among my family when I was 7. That was something I wanted to keep secret for 20 years, but by disclosing the drawer of the box it means ‘I am ready to share my experience with others.’
Who are you? Liu Hsiao-Han, initiator of the project What about you? During my higher education studies, I've been changing different subjects (four different courses in four years) and environments (three countries). Being in an international city, I started to think about who I was as a Taiwanese and whether that meant anything to me. Somehow I discovered the people I met in this journey had a lot of impact in both my career and life. Therefore, I developed the initiative to implement the idea of journey into the design process for the Roots project. As the definitions of peoples' roots and origins are passed on from one to another, it creates the connection and chain reaction between people, and eventually inspires others thoughts or works.
lage tells people about how I understand Taipei city, its industrial outline, rich traditional culture and colours and the hidden narrative that goes around the city. The city trains me to become a person who likes to reveal things and always look for truth underneath the surfaces. The letters dangling around the room are the messages that come from different conversations I had with people in Taipei, contributors including my mentor, friends or just strangers I met around a corner in the city. The quotes or stories relate to different topics from life philosophies, anger, love, anxiousness, courage etc. Itâ€™s a mini version of my daily thoughts, which have influence me to be who I am now, as well as how I see the world.
My roots are ways of thinking developed from the daily experience in my hometown. I Come from a modern chaotic small cityâ€”Taipei. I spent a lot of time observing and understanding the interesting stories that happened in the buildings that surrounded me, down the street, upon terraces or on balconies. The complex col-
Who are you? Jabba Juneida What about you? As a Canadian citizen with an Indian ethnic background, born and raised in Dubai and completing higher education in London, I can sometimes feel like I don't belong anwhere torn between countries. However, being exposed to all these different countries, I have formed a culture where its roots spread to all these different places. I am creating my own sanctuary and collaging my roots together, picking the best parts of each country.
When my family and I travel back to India from Dubai, traditionally we would pack our gifts, sweets, spices, souvenirs and knickknacks in reused cardboard boxes, taped up, with addresses and names printed on top. Once we would reach India, friends and family would gather around the boxes on the floor, prying it open , commotion ensuing with laughter of stories and cries of excitement from children when they see the receive the sweets. In India and Dubai, life was always experienced on the ground: we cook, eat, play, even socialise on the ground. For my piece, I created a suitcase similar to the cardboard box we would take to India, in which I have filled with several objects that portray my version of my roots; the grounded lifestyle that I grew up with, both literal and metaphorical.
As he believes roots are multi-existing, created by surrounding environments such as people, places, music, movies, and games and so on, his works represent his definition of roots. The calligraphic brush shows him, the notebook stores memories that show his characteristics and the bag is a representation of belonging. The hair of the brush is made from his own hair. Keeping hair is a symbol of oneself in Japan. There are 2 sections in the book. The first half of the book is burned due to the collection of memories which ware bounded to the book, just like when a CD was burned. The other half is filled with white blank pages representing an empty disk, where people can draw or write using the calligraphic brush. This process is an interpretation of how Yuki thinks his roots were created. Having people add something on to his notebook using the brush (himself) to form himself.
Who are you? Yuki Teraoka What about you? Yuki Teraoka was born and raised in Japan. He always wanted to study abroad since he was young. Consequently, he studied in New Zealand for high school and now he is in London studying interior and spatial design at the University of Arts London. Meeting people around the world made him think about how each individual becomes different yet has the same biological structure. This is the reason he participated in this project.
up and coming
A creator creating space for more creators. How creative is this? Rosa Nussbaum does not only have her own projects but also wishes to give chances to others, which is why she started a place called Nice Gallery for chosen creators with representable works who are also wishing for more practice. Everything started at a whim and then came a lot of hard work and action. Now, everyone loves it! Garde Magazine is happy to introduce Nice Gallery in this issue and the next in order to let you know more about the founder, the palce and the resident artists.
Nice Gallery is a ninemonth artist residency program for emerging artists in South West London. Beginnings It all started about a year ago, sometime in January. It was cold and a couple of friends and I was having a beer in a pub somewhere near Kings Cross. It was here where the epiphany exploded into action: How great would it be to have a gallery in Tooting representing the artists we liked, hosting art shows and creating a local art scene? We all went to Wimbledon College of Art, with most of us living locally (Tooting, Bal-
ham, Haydons Rd). This meant we had to go north or east or both to see or put on an exhibition in any venue marked out on any art map. So it started: we began planning what would we need, who we would represent, where the money would come from. It was all just mind palaces until I heard about the Wandle Studio Prize. This consisted of a space for us to use for a year, £3000 and mentoring for an art related project. Funding was provided by SEE (Student Enterprise and Employability) through the University of the Arts London and Wimbeldon College of Arts. London Argyll
are the property developers/estate agents who manage a bunch of properties in Colliers Wood. I applied and got an interview with the panel at Wimbledon. I told them what I was going to do with the space and they ended up choosing my proposal! So after graduation I started to set up Nice Gallery with the help of the lovely artist, Helga Fannon, who does our PR, graphics and marketing. Context At the time all the graduates I knew who hadn’t gone into an MA straight out of university were working at Top Shop, the reason being “it’s money,” at an
indie coffee place, the reason being “it’s really not that bad” or had moved home “ugh. The question “what are you making?” was met with a squirm and a scowl or wistful look. With MAs now costing north of £18,000 and London living costs steadily climbing, there is a crucial time after graduating where financial bottleneck not only makes paying rent and sustaining a practice hard, but also puts a strain on your art network. It’s like a long drawn-out hazing to join a rather questionable club. There are many formal and informal initiatives to fill that void. There are projects like Chisenhale’s into the wild; bringing together recent graduates and helping them develop projects in a very hands-on way. There are also critic groups and meet-ups like the MFI Group, which are more about just talking about art. Collaborators I am very drawn to the social aspect of art making. Not the schmoozing at private views but the genuine community of makers and enthusiasts. The acknowledgement that on some levels your work exists for and because
of your friends. As Nice Gallery has developed, we’ve been talking to more and more people who feel the same way. This February we’ll be running a couple of collateral events with Sophie Chapman and Helen Savage. Helen will put on a show titled ‘Zero Hours’ exploring the precarious provisional lifestyle that being an artist in London entails. Helen is herself a practicing artist and cor uns Cheap Drinks, an exhibition/events series (that is also a publication). Sophie is part of a group of artists called Cultures of Resilience who are in-
terested in sustainable practice. Exploring merchandise and other alternate income streams, they try and break away from traditional funding models. Sophie ran a small works exhibition at Nice in September and we have invited her back to explore her interests this February. The Artists The artists I have chosen to represent are very good at what they do, but are still exploring and developing their practice. There is no overarching theme as such. I just looked for people who had a genuine interest and whose work went beyond trends and fashion and was the manifestation of a genuine enquiry.
Our first artist was Miroslav Pomi-
chal. He is this crazy romantic, who should have been born in the enlightenment era Germany. He primarily works with oil on canvas, with excursions into sculpture and consciously naive digital work. His work is rich in colour, texture and history and sits on the brink of abstraction. Miroslav showed the work he created during his residency with us in December. Next came Nancy Allen. Nancy is a sculptor who makes decidedly fun work: subtly anthropomorphised constructs full of form, colour and flobberieness. Her work explores flatness, surface and depth and the underlying physical mechanics of sculpture: clamping, supporting, stretching all overtly exaggerat-
ed. Our current resident Artist is Peter Bellamy. Pete still has that childlike sense of wonder: of magic that underlies some of our most profound experiences with art. His work is at its best when it is at its most immediate. Coming up we have Victoria Grenier, Sean Mullan and Kaajel Patel with whom I am all very excited to work with. Victoria has just had her work shown at New Contemporaries and has presented a new work in progress at a Nice Gallery film screening. Her work is whimsical and fresh and I think unselfconscious. Working on the intersection of sculpture, film and performance, Victoria’s work evidences sensi-
tivity to the absurdities of narrative. Recently selected for the Catlin art guide, Sean’s work is intelligent, often understated and frequently funny. It’s the kind of work you wish you’d thought of. Sean is a site sensitive conceptual artist with a fascination for film and a strong foundation in sculpture. Kaajel, who like Sean, is part of the Into the Wild group, has a practice that spans painting sculpture and performance in a way that makes you wonder why you distinguished between them in the first place. Colour is central and her work is very responsive to its context and surroundings.
What is it.. Garde Magazine is very honoured to invite creator Rosie Connolly from issue 7 to give us a lesson on sculpture. She is going to share us her tips and trick on making her work - one of the swans of her triptych.
First, after making some rough drawings, I started by shaping all the different components of the sculpture. I made the wings, head and tail feathers separately to the main body, as these pieces needed a lot of detail adding to them.
To create the feathers, I drew the outline of the shapes into the clay, before starting to carve into the wing. I carved away the clay to create graduating levels in the feathers, making them feel more natural and realistic.
Now comes a tricky, but very important bit. Before putting clay into the kiln to fire, I have to cut the thicker parts into sections and hollow them out. Not only does this speed up the drying process and make the overall sculpture lighter to move, first and foremost it reduces the risk of air pockets in the clay. If clay goes into the kiln with little bubbles of air hidden inside, this can cause cracking or even explode the piece!
The air gets heated up in the high temperatures of the kiln and needs an outlet to escape, so forces its way out of the clay, however it can. This can lead to big disappointments opening the kiln! So I hollow out the pieces and bore a small hole underneath the sculpture where it cannot be seen. This means that the air inside the carved out form can easily escape.
When all the different sections have been hollowed, it’s time to join them all back together again. To do this, I use clay slurry, a mixture made up of the same clay I’ve been using on the sculpture, and water. This forms something a bit like glue and softens the edges of the different pieces so they will blend together without those tricky air bubbles! Using a knife tool, I score along the edges and generously cover them with the slurry, before pushing the pieces together. You need strong arms, as you have to really press them together to squeeze out any air. You know it’s going well if the slurry is squirting out from between the join!
After putting everything back together, I smooth the joins and add the wings and other details using the same scoring and slurry technique. Iâ€™ll keep adding bits of clay and smoothing out the surface until Iâ€™m pleased with the overall look.
To add the colour to the piece, I paint on some grey slip. This is a mix I’ve made up from some powdered clay, grey stain and water. It’s basically liquid clay, so when it’s fired it will have the same matte surface as the clay used to make the sculpture, but a different colour.
This is when I start to create the texture. Using a wire loop tool, I carve little strokes into the grey slip, revealing the creamy white of the clay underneath. This takes a long time, but it adds so much movement and detail to the sculpture.
Here’s one I made earlier! After I finish the piece, I leave it to dry slowly over several weeks, as the clay has to be completely dry before going in the kiln. I fire the sculpture at 1100°C, climbing at about 25°C an hour to the top temperature, to reduce any thermal shock or distortion of the piece, then slowly cooling back down to the start temperature. It’s always a bit nerve-wracking opening the kiln after those couple of days of firing, so I keep my fingers crossed! But opening the kiln to see the finished piece is a great moment, seeing something go from a quick sketch on paper to an actual, physical thing! Sculpting in clay is a slow process and requires a bit of patience, but it’s one I love and gives amazing results!
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2014 Year in Reivew
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Welcome back to the second part of my 2014: year in review. This last part of the article will focus on two more contenders for my movie of the year and then some runners up. The LEGO Movie I expected to like this one from the word “go.” It had a great cast, great directors (the duo Phil Lord and Chris Miller made 21 Jump Street for crying out loud!) and the trailers were promising. What I didn’t expect was such a smart, hilarious take both on the classic ‘destiny’ story in which the main character is destined to save the world and the ‘odd-man out’ story in which a Han Solo style rogue ends up saving the world. Both tropes are horribly overused in mainstream films and both are lovingly deconstructed in this absolute gem of a movie. The main character, Emmet, is chosen as “The Special” for completely arbitrary reasons and is later found out to have no discernible skill sets or qualities. Plus, while he does very much want to save the world and get the girl, his utter mediocrity is
what saves the day in the end.
The movie also frequently references George Orwell’s 1984 and generally makes a mockery of LEGO’s oversaturation of theme-based packages, the very product line it’s based on. It also mocks LEGO Bionicles - something I laughed out loud over in the middle of a crowded theater.
The Raid 2 If I did have a favourite movie this year, that honour would no doubt go to The Raid 2, the direct sequel to the 2012 cult film The Raid: Redemption, which I highlighted in the November issue of Garde Magazine. Pretty much everything I said about the original holds true in the sequel, although with a clearly bigger budget and a 50-minute longer running time. This budget is used wisely, with some completely batshit insane fighting scenarios, such as 50 prisoners and policemen fighting in a muddy prison yard, a female assassin beating up about 10 henchmen in a train with hammers and a gunfight taking place in a dingy-looking apartment complex that would make both John Woo and John McTiernman blush.
Of course, the real show stealer is the visuals and oh god, the visual style of this film is one of the most brilliantly realised styles I’ve ever seen in any medium. It’s not just that everything is made of LEGO, it’s the fact that the animators have gone to such great lengths to make sure that everything animates like it was a stop motion picture and not a computer animated film. Everything looks real and there is a weight to the bricks that make them come alive in a way I didn’t think was possible with computer animation. The LEGO Movie (2014), Warner Bros. Directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller.
The film has not only improved in scale compared to the original, but also in scope. This is especially true in regards to the story which has gone from the originals’ boilerplate
The Lego Movie (2014), Village Roadshow Pictures. Directed by Phil Lord, Christopher Miller. Youtube.com
Die Hard-inspired plotline void of any sort of real twists or interesting characters, to a fully blown Infernal Affairs-type gangster drama. The twists are still pretty obvious, but with the longer running time and a more involved plot, the film manages to successfully flesh out an interesting cast of characters surrounding the still great Iko Uwais reprising his role as the almost silent protagonist, Rama. The Raid 2: Berandal, Pt. Merantau Films, Directed by Gareth Edwards. Bloody-disugusting. com That’s four strong contenders for some of the best the movie year of 2014 had to offer. Of course there are more highlights from 2014 than just those: both Captain America 2 and Guardians of the Galaxy were great additions to the ever-expanding Disney Marvel Universe. Gone Girl was a fantastic thrill ride, a smart deconstruction of gender roles in a relationship and was topped off with great performances from both Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike. I’ll be very surprised if the latter isn’t awarded with an Oscar for her performance in this film. Snowpiercer is a high-concept action film and the first American produced film from the South Korean director Joon Ho-Bong. It has some truly amazing action set pieces, stellar performances from everyone involved (Tilda Swinton deserves some kind of special award for her role in this film!) and is just in general way smarter than it has any god damn right to be. It proves once again how clever and ingenious the South Korean filmmakers are. As a last thing it should be said that since I wrote this article I got a chance to watch the 2014 Oscar contender, Birdman, by the Mexican director Alejandro G. Iñárritu known for such critically acclaimed films as Biutiful (2010) and Babel (2006). It didn’t impress me quite enough to get a spot on my list, but still comes highly recommended from yours truly. It’s a unique film that I will no doubt talk about in greater detail in future articles.
So like I said, there were some truly astounding highs in 2014, there just weren’t that many of them. 2015 looks to be a banner year though, both for big blockbusters and smaller releases. Though I won’t be highlighting the former – hey, big surprise, Terminator 5: Genesys and Jurassic World looks shit while the trailers for The
The Raid 2: Berandal (2014), PT Merantu Films. Directed by Gareth Evans. Forbes.com
Avengers 2 and Star Wars VII give me goose bumps every time I watch them â€“ I would just like to take a moment and ask you all to go watch the trailer for Mad Max: Fury Road. That film looks like it might potentially be another that will be dearly loved by critics and fans and ignored by the general public because of how many huge blockbusters there are coming out in the summer. Other than that, thatâ€™s about it, I think. Happy 2015!