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ISSUE 19 January 2016

An independent magazine aimed at bringing the works of the young and talented to the whole world.


You WILL be rewarded a copy of Garde Magazine Anniversary Issue!


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

cleo.tse@gardemagazine.com natasha.chan@gardemagazine.com

Creators Wai Lok Cheung

Zimou Zeng

Contributors David Madsen

david.madsen@gardemagazine.com

Kalle Ă–stgĂĽrd ODKST

Special thanks Maria Evrenos


Content Zimou Zeng Designer Maker Harmony between body and jewellery

Wai Lok Cheung Photography

Painting with camera

Movie Review True Grit David Madsen

Story teller ODKST Kuro Ex Machina - Chapter 7


Zimou zeng designer maker

Harmony between body and jewellery


W

Zimou Zeng - Dysmorphia series I In order to explore the relationship between body and jewellery, Zimou’s research focus on the relationship between body, clothing and jewellery. He is also  inspired by body distortion. Zimou bases his works on the theories of reciprocity and attachment to explore the relationship between body and wearable jewellery. How body and jewellery interact? What interactions take place between the physical body and jewellery overlap? These are the questions he tries to answer in his creations.

ith a father who was a carpenter and mother who was a tailor, there is no doubt that Zimou Zeng’s background helped nurture him into the passionate jewellery designer he is today. The grand direction for Zimou was clear – he was going to make beautiful things. This has always been an important part of his life. Yet his journey towards his dream has been rather misty and ambivalent. “I chose interior design as my bachelor degree by accident. I did enjoy the course but I knew interior design was not my cup of tea after some time in the industry, so I decided to come to the UK and studied the Designer and Maker course,” said Zimou. He figured out his true interest due to possibilities and experiments in the courses, which allowed him to work out different ideas through

materials and processes. “I have been really good at handcrafting since I was young. I gradually found out jewellery design is a perfect combination of my interests and is my strength.” After staying in London for two and a half years, Zimou benefited from the open-mindedness of the city and various experiences; his perspective of creativity has ultimately expanded. With newly equipped skills that were molded and developed in London, as well as his deeply rooted Chinese culture, Zimou said, “my work combines Chinese modesty and Western boldness.” He prefers to be labelled a “designer and maker,” or a “jewellery artist.” Zimou, like many imaginative artists, is easily inspired by daily life. From a fantasy photo online, to any objects and details in real life, sparks of creativity develop


“Jewellery has lots of possibilities which are worth exploring. As a young jewellery designer, I am really passionate about it and I will definitely keep working on it.”

in his mind. “I just need to open my eyes a little bit to see inspiration all around me. When I am feeling uncreative and blocked, I would go travel, which always works well for me.” For his graduation project Dysmorphia, Zimou studied the relationship and interaction between body, jewellery and clothing. The movements and distortion of bodies are two of the concerns that are put under consideration. Starting with theory and visual researching, ideas and thoughts has pushed

Zimou’s critical thinking. Experiments on form, material and techniques enhanced the possibility of his project to come true. “The two series of works are all made by resin and gold plated brass. I work with both precious and some less precious materials all depending on the best suitability of my design and final product result,” said Zimou. He added that jewellery designing is like treasure being found by a hunter – once found then it becomes precious.


“Jewellery has lots of possibilities which are worth exploring. As a young jewellery designer, I am really passionate about it and I will definitely keep working on it,” said Zimou. Looking towards the future, Zimou’s next project is going to be a series of head pieces that are based on his Master’s research on body distortion. He revealed that some unusual but inexpensive materials will be used. “I will try to work as a creative director in my dream company in the next few years. After that I will start to work with my own brand and set up my own studio,” said Zimou. “I have a lot of ideas in mind and I hope to make them out one by one. That would be a really cool thing!”


Zimou Zeng - Dysmorphia series II


WAI LOK CHEUNG photography

painting with camera


W H

hat your creation is about? My creation uses photography as the main medium. It concerns the people and surroundings of Hong Kong and brings forward thoughts about its possibilities and nature. ow is your creation process like? I put my emphasis on observation – I mark down my imagination and developed thoughts from things I saw on streets or texts I read that stimulated me. Then I think about how to use photography to express what I want to convey. I choose to use the uniqueness of this medium – like monochrome, colour temperature, usage of darkroom and illusion etc to enrich my works.

W

hy do you use ‘Life Drawing’ as the theme of your exhibition when it has more connections to painting than photography?

The exhibition ‘Life Drawing’ is about urban planning and development. All works were produced in the past three to four years. They are about some very special (and even ridiculous) space. The process of creation is a bit similar to life drawing. I observe and discover what I want to catch and then go back to where I capture it with my camera. On the other hand, I realised that my works were reflecting my emotions and status of living, which has the meaning of writing my life.


Cheung Wai Lok - Tree Shadow at the Gridline Tree Shadows on the Gridlines (2012-2013) is about In capturing shadows of trees with artificial lighting, the tree shadows images counteract the monotonous orderliness of the city, pointing out the ambivalent relationship between humans and nature.


H

ow does art affect your life? Rather than saying ‘affecting my life,’ I think living emotions are reflected in my works without any intention. I have a set of earlier work ‘ 張的照片’ in which I discuss photography, myself and contemporary electronic medium. I was inspired by the popularisation of mobile phone photo-shooting and social media. There was also a time when I suffered from claustrophobia for a while, that is why I am very sensitive to spaces and started to shoot spaces in the city. In the series of ‘Tree Shadow at the Gridline,’ I was shooting walls in the city and shadows on the wall. This presented the contrast between straight lines, horizontal lines, highly artificial patterns and tree shadows that frequently appeared in the city.


Cheung Wai Lok - Tree Shadow at the Gridline

W

hy did you say ‘creation is needed in daily life?’ I liked to watch movies when I was young and I was a team member of the school I.T. team. I had a lot of chances to get in touch with different shooting equipment, hence I started shooting. I realised that movies had to tell stories through camera and I felt more and more interested. Then, I went to study photography and went to the Hong Kong Polytechnic University to study photography courses every weekend. After three weeks of studying at the Sixth Grade, I thought I was wasting my time. I stopped it and went to study an art course. That was the start of art existing in my life. Then I realised that movie shooting required a big team for production, which I thought didn’t really suit me. I realised photography fitted more and ever since, I’ve been addicted to it.


Cheung Wai Lok - Constructed Tree

W

hat difficulties are there for creation? Actually I think the process of creation wastes a lot of materials. Sometimes no one knows how to handle materials derived from creations. I have been thinking about this issue recently – I wish I could do something to make the world better through photography.

A

ny artists you appreciate the most? Luke Ching. He is a godly figure, who can use humorous ways to express heavy topics.


movie review true grit by david madsen

T

he Western genre would seem to have gotten somewhat of a revitalisation these past couple of years. With the newly released The Hateful Eight and The Revenant both being high profile films directed by critically acclaimed film directors and with plenty of smaller films being released such as the Danish produced Salvation and the upcoming Jane Got a Gun, the Western genre seems to have gotten back into the conversation. These films, especially Tarantinos’ three modern takes on the genre – Inglorious Basterds, Django Unchained and The Hateful Eight – seem to take their inspiration from a very specific subgenre of the Western namely the Spaghetti Western popularised in the late 60’s and 70’s by Italian films such as Once Upon A Time in the West, Django and the

Rating

******

“With True Grit the Coen-brothers have managed to revitalize a long dead genre with their trademark jovial dialogue and colorful characters.”

Dollar trilogy. These films were revisionist reconstructions of the almost mythical American idea of the Old West as it was shown in novels, films and TV-series from the 30’s to late 50’s. They were nihilistic, violent exploitation films in which tyrants were allowed to abuse the lack of governmental supervision and the legendary gunslingers and cowboys were shown as being flawed, compromised individuals and were backed up by the operatic score of one Ennio Morricone and shot in the barren plains of tax free Spain. In this respect, True Grit (2010) written and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen is somewhat of an outlier. Far less violent and socially scathing than the likes of Sam Peckinpahs The Wild Bunch or Sergio Leones The Good, The Bad, The Ugly, True Grit has much more in common with the John Wayne-


True Grit (2010), Skydance Producetions. Directed by Coen Brothers. Amazon.com


starring Western films which were more a tribute to Americas very own ‘Golden Age.’ That’s somewhat fitting seeing as how the film is a remake of the John Wayne-starring film of the same name from ’69. Like the original, True Grit follows the 14-year old farm girl Mattie Ross seeking revenge for the death of her father killed by the criminal Tom Chaney. Finding reluctant aid in the drunken, one-eyed bounty hunter Reuben ‘Rooster’ Cogburn (Jeff Bridges) and the arrogant Texas marshall LaBeouf, played by the always excellent Matt Damon, she gives chase to the criminal and his band through the Native American territories of Arkansas.

This naïve outlook on the Old West is somewhat of a risky move in the more progressive time of today than when the original came out in 69. Plenty of modern Westerns have stirred some amount of controversy such as Django Unchained’s cartoonish characters and violence contrasted with its serious thematic backdrop. However, most have chosen to depict the Confederate States as villains and address the issues of the day – in particular the abhorrent racism towards African-Americans and Native Americans – upfront. True Grit, however, steers almost completely clear of these issues. They are clearly pushed to the background adding flavour and believability to this period film more than they are here for thematic purposes.

As with other, older Westerns these lone gunslingers are shown as just in their cause and while both Cogburn and LaBeouf are flawed characters they are ultimately both sympathetic and wholly skilled at their profession only held back by the restrictions of governmental agencies.

This balancing act of not antagonising the Confederate States but at the same time not appearing wholly ignorant of the issues present is perhaps the film’s most successful feat. This is mostly due to the Coen brothers’ trademark ability to make relatable, goodhearted and funny scenarios out

True Grit (2010), Skydance Producetions. Directed by Coen Brothers. Mubi.com


of the most oppressing of situations and unsympathetic characters. Even Tom Chaney and his band of misfits are shown to be nothing more than desperate cowards and dimwitted fools caught up in a bad situation.

True Grit (2010), Skydance Producetions. Directed by Coen Brothers. Netflix screenshot

The film also manages to at least make it seem like the three protagonists in general aren’t wholly unsympathetic and racist as they are all shown to be respectable towards minorities as is the case when Mattie has a brief conversation with what is clearly the family’s house slave. In general, the young Mattie Ross absolutely steals the show. Her pragmatic and intelligent demeanor

contrasted with the brutish men of the picture is a delight. It’s a very different take on a protagonist in a genre that is almost exclusively populated by the kind of thugs and murderers which Cogburn in many ways represents. Hailey Steinfeld is excellent in the role as she is capable of the steely-eyed determination needed to make this peculiar character believable. At the same time though, she shows an impressive range for such a young actress making the emotional scenes have a much greater impact. Other than the delightful characters and flavourful dialogue that comes expected with most of the

Coen brothers’ filmography, their love of goofy, offkilter characters, slapstick humour and awkward one-off situations are all present, though a bit less frequent than in some of their previous work such as Raising Arizona and The Big Lebowski. While infrequent these situations, such as a random meet-in with a softspoken Native American dentist help to make Mattie, LaBeouf and Cogburns trek through Arkansas’ backhill mountain areas feel more like a jovial road movie than a serious revenge tale. This again helps alleviate some of the tension that naturally comes from the fact that the film is rather old school in its depiction of The Old West.


True Grit (2010), Skydance Producetions. Directed by Coen Brothers. Imageevent.com


True Grit (202), Skydance Producetions. Directed by Coen Brothers. Joblo.com


Story teller

KURO EX MACHINA by ODKST


CHAPTER 7 CLARITY

“I can’t decide which one of us is dreaming tonight.” She kept her face pushed into my chest. I didn’t know what to say. Maybe with the warmth of my sister’s body, her weight, the wetness of her hair, and the quiet gloom of the living room, with its only illumination, the white specter of the TV set, it all seemed to have an almost predetermined point to make, as if it was all an elaborate part of a whole, no seemingly meaningless detail was there by accident, it all added up to something, something I couldn’t grasp in my present state of mind, hungry and sleepy-tired despite having just slept, and with a strange sense of loneliness, although I wasn’t alone. I kept ruffling my sister’s hair with one hand, observing her, trying to make sense of it. She appeared to be sniffing the folds of my shirt, although it was possible that she was only breathing, not intending to … She looked up again, catching my eye. I stared back through half-open eyes. “Is it real?” she said. Once again, I did not know what to reply. Nothing about the situation felt very real, and her question only made me all the more conscious of it. I finally said, “Do you feel like it isn’t?”


She looked back down into my shirt. “I don’t know. The more I think about it, the less real it seems. I think I’m crazy. I must be crazy.” I wanted to comfort her, so I said: “I don’t think you are. You are only thinking too much about it.” It wasn’t much of an explanation, but I thought, maybe I imagined it, that her body relaxed just a bit. Then came her muffled voice again in my shirt: “It’s like a dream.” “Do you think it is a dream?” I said without thinking. “Maybe. I don’t know. Maybe it is. But I don’t want this to be a dream. I really don’t.” “Then let’s choose that it isn’t.” She looked up again and smiled. Before I could react, she pulled herself closer and kissed me. Her tongue was warm and small. I kissed her back, my hand remaining on the back of her head. I shut my eyes for a while and focused on the warmth of my sister’s body and tongue. As we kissed, the silence around us seemed to intensify. With my eyes shut and my sister’s warm weight pressing down on me, I became even less clear in my mind. I saw black and felt warmth around me. Finally we opened our eyes again. We were both breathing heavier. Everything looked the same as before, but I could only see her face, everything else seemed less than peripheral, as if it really didn’t exist, although I could still make it out in the corner of my eyes. She was no longer smiling but studying me closely, her facial expression hard to read.


5 seconds passed. I could feel our hearts, hers faster than mine, pounding hard. “This is bad”, she whispered. I agreed, but did not speak or move, just kept watching her face, so close to mine. A sound came from the hallway, breaking the spell between us. It was a thin, almost imperceptible sound, but in the silence of the apartment it was impossible to miss. “What was that?” Dawn’s eyes were searching, turned to their left. “I don’t know”, I said. A moment passed. Dawn carefully rolled off my chest and stood up, adjusting her purple T-shirt round her hips. With small, quiet steps, she disappeared out of the light of the television and into the dark. I lay still on the couch, barely breathing. For a short while, I could neither see nor hear her. Then she was suddenly back, appearing in the pale light, her bare legs advancing her, one foot in front of the other, slowly, deliberately, toward the couch. She was holding something, which she was investigating as she walked. It appeared to be a letter, wrapped in a tan, rectangular envelope. My sister came to a halt right next to the bed, still not looking at me. She handed me the envelope. I took it and saw that it was addressed to me, sealed with a dark blue insignia. I looked up from the letter to find her staring questioningly at me.


“What’s this?” she asked. “I don’t know.” I put the letter to the side. Trying my best to sound casual, I asked, “Aren’t you tired? We should go to bed. Tomorrow we’ll both feel better.” She nodded, her eyes avoiding mine. “I’ll see you tomorrow”, she said after a pause, turning around slightly. “Yes, I’ll see you tomorrow.” She started heading for her room as I sat up in the couch, stretching and yawning. I really was tired, and in no mood for mysterious letters. I took one last look at the TV screen – some woman was talking again, looked like a newscaster although I had never seen the show – then turned it off. I got to my feet and walked through the dark living room. It was completely silent around me. All I could hear was my own breathing. I went into my room, closed the door and flopped onto the bed. I didn’t turn on my nightlight. The darkness felt safe in here. I curled up on top of the bedsheets, trying to clear my mind. I could hear water running in the bathroom, then the toilet being flushed. I sighed and pulled off my pants and shirt, crawling into bed in my underwear. I thought of the dream I’d had, trying to see the images clearly in front of me, but all that really appeared in the dark was the strange, huge, pale white sun in the middle of the purple sky. It was larger than our sun, motionless, and in the middle there was a black dot, like a pupil, from which


a long stream of white, ethereal … something grew, all the way down to the horizon, like a totem pole or ladder connecting us to it. Had this stream of white been there before? Was I constructing it now, in my semi-conscious state? Why did it matter? “Brother.” I opened my eyes, looking around in the dark. I hadn’t heard her come in. “Dawn?” I asked into the void. “I can’t sleep.” It sounded as if she was right next to the bed. “Why can’t you sleep?” I asked dumbly, trying to snap awake. My mind was still on the sun in my dream. “It’s creepy in my room. I’m thinking about the letter.” “It’s nothing to be afraid of ”, I tried. “What if it was a murderer?” I sighed. “Can I sleep here?” I didn’t feel like arguing. I lifted the bedsheets slightly and could feel her crawl in beneath them almost instantly. She was shivering, curling up next


to me. She put one arm around my chest, pushing up to my side, one leg around mine. I realized that she was naked. “Dawn … “ “It’s okay, brother. Now we’re both fine.” We didn’t speak from then on. For a while we just lay there. I couldn’t see her, only feel her body against mine, and hear her small, strange breaths, like some hunted animal. I was getting an erection. I couldn’t think. Was this real? Was I asleep? Was she? Her small hand went down my stomach, stopping for a while by my belly button, then continued down onto my crotch. I could feel her heart beat harder as she felt it. She pulled off my underwear, still clinging to my side, not moving. I felt, somewhere in the back of my mind, that I ought to question what was happening, but it all came so naturally, so freely, without a single doubt. She slid on top of me and I pushed inside her. She was warm and tight. She barely made a sound as we lay there. Strange things flew across my mind, I was present and yet far away, it was the dark maybe, mixed with the heat of my sister’s body and her smell, or rather scent, as she slowly pressed down on me, letting me fill her, that gave birth to the strangest images in my mind. There were eyes hovering in a purple haze, music playing somewhere too far off to be distinguishable in detail, beings that had my sister’s shape, although I could never focus completely on them, only sense their likeness. There were mountains that did not seem to be made of rock or anything that could be found on Earth, rivers the color of blood that flowed too slow


to appear to be moving. I grabbed on to my sister’s back and pressed her against me, she moaned and I let go completely, her heat for a second taking the place of everything. In this warm, pitch black void, we both disappeared, momentarily deaf, blind, and dumb, momentarily not even human. Her moist hair pressed against my chin as we came to again, breathing hard against each other, empty and full at the same time, too tired to think at all. She crawled off me and kicked away the covers, letting our bodies breathe. For the longest while we just lay next to each other, feeling cool air on our trembling, soaking bodies. I listened to her breathing in the darkness, feeling a tremendous calm fall over me.

To be continued.


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