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ray magazine

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raynsight i

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bad girl effect

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yokohama triennale 2011 exhibition report -page 31

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interview with Mingqiao Lian

aedas-10 years on architecture enterp

postcards fom toky

o inspiring


trip to Japan

what do you looking for artist portfolio by Xiaoyi

-page 72

rachael lorrain

e iles

fashion design

er profile 1∞



BAD GIRL EFFECT Deviant Emotional Young Photographer




Lian Mingqiao, a fashion

photographer with imagination beyond her age, and exceptional creativity, works in the fashion industry. She shoots pictures of women, either models or herself, that expresses deep and natural, breathtaking beauty and reserved sexiness. The photographs are filled with a hidden romantic temperament and a strong visual impact, they are really memorable. Her works have been published in many professional photography magazines in China, such as “Today Studio”, “Photographers’ Companion”, “Portrait Photography”, and some fashion magazines like “HIG-LIVE”, “1626”. Lian Mingqiao is the most talented young female photographer to appear in the public eye in recent years.




orn in a city of southwest of China in 1991, Lian Mingqiao always felt very lucky, because her mother had great foresight and sent her to primary school when she was three years old, and then suggested that she skip a grade in high school, so she graduated from college at just seventeen-years-old. She said because of this she had more than four years than other people to create many things. When she was a minor, she did many jobs like nanny, newspaper sales, street vendor, restaurant waitress and so on. With a phone, a card machine and an entrylevel SLR camera, she began her photographic path. Her first camera was an NV11, a card machine is bought with the proceeds of her part-time job and with her mother in a joint venture. To find a editorial job when she was only seventeen years old, she was brazen-faced and shameless to send seven copies of her CV before she got it. She gave up the favourite things of women, such as clothes, shoes, favourite hat and scarf. If there is no participation of female photographers, photography in this area will become bland and boring, photography will become a purely technical s k i l l . Re b e l l i o u s f e m a l e p h o t o g r a p h e r s g i v e photography a different art form, they let us see the new challenges and problems. Lian Mingqiao was unwilling to be ordinary, and made photographs with another kind of beauty.




ian Mingqiao lets the viewer feel more emotion in the photograph, she does not just present a superficial image. Photographers need to communicate with their models for a long time, often the time of communication is longer than the photography, this makes the model perfectly understand the sense that the photographer wants to capture. Her ultimate goal is to express the world that she sees or imagines, she touches her own soul, her own experience, and thinks about what kind of person she is. She has the ability to highlight the personality of the model, this is her unique style, and never outdates. The real charm of fashion photography is the personality, especially the exchange between photographer and model. Lian Mingqiao used the camera to record the tension between emotions, it is real and attractive. Mingqiao Lian once said she was a patient suffering from delusions, and photography is undoubtedly way that her give vent to the export. She likes solitude, adhere to the self. Often when in the lonely journey, or late at night in the city of tall buildings, or in the noisy of the busy urban areas, emotions come from her fantasy, then she put the camera in a suitable location, setting the correct exposure time, and began to enjoy shooting herself. She honestly said that she do not care about others puzzled eyes. Since she was a young girl , she has wanted to be an academic. The knowledge structure and aesthetic orientation needs a long and comprehensive training. Her photography is for her own interest, rather than to make a living. She still insists on self portraits, and insists that every time she shoots she will change and experiment.



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XY: Beginning of your career in photography, what inspire you to develop your own photography style? MQ: When I was in college, the interest of photography started from a type of card camera. After graduating, my job that involved words, sometimes I find it very boring, so in that time after work I take picture for myself in my accommodation. Taking the portrait for myself is the first step to photography, I as a model to explain my own expression on the screen. If now, then may tell the model how to do, such as I described a emotions that particularly difficult to understand, she will be very confused, and I asked her if she did not understand, so I would show-how to her, like facial expressions, actions, and emotions. XY: In your opinion, what factor is the standard to measure for a portrait photography? XY: You have a solid grounding in image processing, so do you think the image processing is an indispensable part of portrait photography?

MQ: Emotions, the most attractive pictures must be emotional. XY: We know you are a professional photographer, so what is the difference between shooting at work and private self-timer? MQ: The work of photographer is a job that others give to me to support my daily life, so the work just make other people satisfied. The self-portrait is all for myself, I feel satisfied for myself all the time.

XY: From the color and abstract theme of your photo works, it can be seen that you are very emotional, whether this is a factor that let you take shoot for yourself?

MQ: I admit that I was emotional, this kind of emotional XY: The subjects are almost the women in your let me have some blurred. I began to imitate when I was many photography works, so are you consciously young, firstly visualized a frame of picture in mind, and doing that? then to imitate, mimicked the action and the emotion. So I have always considered myself would be an actor, but later I The woman is the beauty things of God left the world, MQ: found that became the actor is much more difficult than my I simply think the woman is beautiful, it is a extraordinary imagination. Photography is not the same, as long as I have pulchritude. a camera, as long as I have my own! It can present time and time again, even without an audience, at least to meet my XY: When you take shoot for other people, how to own. guide models generally? How do you catch the XY: For the fashion photographer, himself or natural feelings from the strange girls? herself must be best model for they own work, do MQ: In fact, I was a bit worried about when in contact with you think so? the girl, so I often also with each other pretending to a very familiar look. It is seem as the first time we met like long- MQ: It doesn’t matter. Go or not to perform is not important, awaited reunion, and then began to tell her, if she was not the more important thing is head inside to stored the images and emotions. doing well I will do to her and let her understand directly.

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MQ: I can not say that the portrait or fashion photography must be post-processing, but the advantages of digital photography is to use the computer techniques to present these ideas, why we put such a good feature set it aside?

XY: Would you talk about the most memorable experience in portrait photography? MQ: Last year, shooting portrait photography on a 27-floor roof in Shanghai on 6:00am. Three models forced naked, wearing only a transparent clothes standing on the roof. For the effect of photography, where there are blower with sprinkler blowing into the model, that is winter! The early morning temperatures may be just 1-2°, the models were very dedicated, shivering and did not complain. Of course, the reason why they do not complain is the photographer also naked with them to suffer through the cold. well, once, I brought a lot of photographic equipment had been detained at the Seoul Airport, finally, I can only use the internet to find some photographer friends in Seoul, contact and rental of photographic equipment immediately. XY: Then, do you have any work plan for the future? MQ: Well, the last question let me suddenly silly, I don’t know how to say for this. Now, life is good, at least in the state which I still want to make and find. In fact, I don’t want to earn too much money, I don’t have too much planning for my photographic career, just simply thought: shoot it, and so one day I want find the other way for my life instead of taking camera, may be gave birth to my own children, and then find a point of other things doing. Life is need live under the present.

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YOKOHAMA TRIENNALE 2011 Our magic hour | How Much of the World Can We Know? by tom shibata

Yokohama International Triennale of Contemporary Art exhi-

bitions started in 2001. First edition gathered impressive group of artists, such as Damien Hirst, Max Ernst, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Alexander Rodchenko, Meret Oppenheim, and Man Ray to name a few. It proved to be a big success and received very good critics’ reviews. Unfortunately three years later when everyone was waiting impatiently for the new event coming up, appointed artistic director Arata Isozaki resigned after six months in his role. His successor Tadashi Kawamata, despite great efforts, couldn’t organise the art showcase on time, hence the next “Triennale” opened to the public in 2005. After initial slip-up Yokohama Triennale regained its high position on the artistic world’s map and attracted even more viewers in 2008. Organisers of YTCA 2011 leaded by director Miki Akiko once again had to fight against the odds in the aftermath of Great East Japan Earthquake. This time everything went according to original schedule and on 6th of August exhibitions were open in two spacious venues: Yokohama Museum of Art and BankART Studio NYK.

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Massimo Bartolini: Organi, 2008.

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year’s event has enigmatic and intriguing title: “Our Magic Hour: How Much of the World Can We Know?”, which rather accurately reflects character of exposed art. Over 300 works from 77 participating authors were displayed ranging from sculpture, installations, oil paintings, photography, to video animation. Although, at the first glance, way the exhibitions seemed somewhat eclectic, there was an order among the chaos. Curators carefully selected artworks to emphasise impression of diversity and stimulate viewer’s perception by as many mediums as possible. Combining them together into a metaphor of universe, where spirits, mythology and human’s life co-exists. Outside the entrance to Yokohama Museum of Art, twelve huge, monster alike, faces greet visitors with friendly smiles. These sculptures called Moonrise East represent each month of the year and were created by Swiss-born Ugo Rondinone. In the main hall Yoko Ono situated her Telephone in Maze, a telephone box surrounded by maze of acrylic glass. Once you got across tangled and quite claustrophobic corridor, with the stroke of luck you could speak to Yoko herself, as she made infrequent calls to the box in Yokohama. In another room we could see Organi by Massimo Bartolini, a massive pipe organs made of scaffolding elements and barrel mechanism that produced series of psychedelic sounds. It corresponded well with located in the same room Damien Hirst's Butterfly Works resembling church stained-glass windows, generating religious atmosphere of gothic era juxtaposed with such an ordinary object as scaffolding.

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Massimo Bartolini: Organi, 2008.

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Other artwork by Hiroshi Sugimoto, titled Lightning Fields 128

also refers to spiritual nature of the world, but this time is more primeval. His photograph produced by applying electrical charge directly onto light sensitive material which created an effect of a thunder lightning, was presented next to an ancient figure of Raijin (Japanese god of thunder) made by unknown artist in Kamakura period. The powerful compilation gives us an impression of witnessing the god’s anger. Some creators referred to social connections between people, seeing world as a “global village”. Mentioned before Yoko Ono and her phone calls to Yokohama or Tobias Rehberger who hanged 56 lightbulbs connected to a remote child’s room by the internet, every time when light in child’s room gone off it lit up in the gallery. Vast amount of space in the gallery and surrounding areas gives unlimited flexibility for artists, and makes the visitors’ experience even more fascinating, on the one hand we could see gigantic structures which impress only by its size, but also focus on tiny almost microscopic details. Many of these works simply couldn’t be displayed elsewhere. Entering each room or strolling around museum grounds was like taking a journey into mysterious but yet strangely familiar world of imagination. These exhibitions brought many emotions and memories, going as far as my early childhood. I’m certainly looking forward to the next Yokohama Triennale in 2014.

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Wilfredo Prieto: One., 2008 Hiroshi Sugimoto-Lightning Fields 128, 2009.

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ten years old

“Capitalism without bankruptcy is like Christianity without hell” 31 ∞

During the Last 4 years of a troubling financial climate with consumer and business alike pushing to make every penny count, you would expect very little growth in all aspects of commerce. And especially in the construction and design sector which is one of the worst hit by the recession as property values have tumbled sharply and projects have been put on hold. Because of this it has been a very tough period to be an architect, with a growing unemployment rate within the profession and the lack of adequate financial investments you would not expect much in the way of advancement.

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In the words of astronaut turned business man Frank Borman ‘Capitalism without bankruptcy is like Christianity without hell’, fitting that it takes a man who has circled the earth to put things in perspective. But despite all the ‘doom’ and ‘gloom’ there is one shining beacon of hope, as of the beginning of this year there is a new number one global practice. The firm in question, Aedas, has topped the global ranking by being the most prominent and fastest growing in the industry with projects ranging from U-BORA TOWERS (UAE), TAHKO RESORT AND SPA (Finland) to smaller projects such as SpringGardens (United Kingdom).

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They have been given refurbishment contracts on two iconic builds in London The TATE and Kensington Palace. Aedas was founded in 2002 after merger between two prominent UK and Hong Kong based architectural practices. In the past decade since its inception Aedas has opened new offices throughout Asia, the Middle East, Europe and North America and now offers 32 offices in 20 countries. This instantly gave Aedas with its now 2000 strong work force a global advantage allowing the unrivaled understanding of markets and economies the world over. After the merger they were able to compete for larger contracts against larger

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firms such as Atkins worldwide (Who are the official engineering design services provider for the 2012 Olympic games in London) and expand their portfolio to include a greater range of building type such as transportation, sport and healthcare. The question still remains, how did this company come to such success in a less than perfect climate? Aedas have a very cleaver business strategy which involves simply if they see an opportunity in a particular place or a sector they move into it. Rapid expansion and number of jobs completed is the name of the game. The age of celebrity designers and high profile developers is com-

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ing to an end, with the new breed of post recession industry being much more to the point. Regardless the quality of building has never been so diverse and unique. Aedas saw a boom coming in commissions for schools and other public buildings under the now infamous private finance initiative, and positioned themselves to take full advantage. The large architectural practice is not a new concept, in the 1970s during Margaret Thatcher’s reform of the British economy, which saw the public sector practices disbanded. Which still to this day left a gap in the market that the likes of Aedas have soaked up. In 2007 Aedas completed

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construction of Bridgewater place (Leeds, United Kingdom) a 107-metre tall mix use high-rise that is set on the banks of the Leeds – Liverpool canal. Upon its completion it became the second tallest building in the north of England, second only to Beetham Tower (157m) in Manchester. Other notable tall buildings were approved for addition to the rapidly changing Leeds skyline, these such ‘Lumiere’ that promised to be western Europe's tallest residential skyscraper have either been suspended or completely abandoned. Thanks to Aedas’ smart tactics it allowed them have the revenue to complete projects and keep the ball rolling.

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Bridgewater has been in the news for a much more unsavory reason. Almost a year after its construction Leeds City Council had received numerous complaints about unusually high wind speeds occurring around the base of the building. Its completion was delayed by winds, which made it difficult to use the conventional method of having tower cranes complete the upped floors. As part of the original planning application, a wind assessment was carried out on behalf of the developer and this indicated that the impact the building would have on wind speed would be minimal. Despite these claims nothing was done to counter the

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problem until in March of last year the tragic death of a 35-year-old man when an articulated truck was blown over. Since this happening a proposed 'vertical porous baffle' that will be made up of several columns around the base of the building, which will force the air flow into a vertical rather than horizontal direction. This could be said to be to little to late as some of the bodies involved in the design and construction (including Aedas themselves) could face corporate manslaughter charges.

edge and widespread expertise the sky is the limit. But as with many things in the architectural world history does repeat itself. by Ben Waterhouse

Despite this the future looks bright for Aedas and with it the future role of multi national design syndicates, with their superior knowl-

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In August last year I visited to Japan

for the first time. The reason for my journey was rather personal, but I knew that I couldn’t miss a chance to document it on my photographs and share them with readers. Working on Postcards from Tokyo series I didn’t have any particular story in mind and aimed to stay unbiased by any cause or limited by the subject. “Street photography” style, which is one of my favoured, seemed to be most appropriate in this case. I tried to capture life as it goes by and allow viewers to take part in my experience of this fascinating city. 44 ∞

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For many people Japan still remain a remote and unknown land of mysterious culture, strong economy and technological innovations. Because it’s so far away from most of western countries and for long time resisted any foreign influences, Japan became an object of countless stereotypes, which often have a grain of truth but mostly are just simplified and distorted images. Going beyond the clichés and pigeonholes I decided go out and record everyday reality. Tokyo is the biggest metropolitan area in the world, with population of over 13 million. As you may expect this it’s busy, crammed with buildings and crowded.

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It is also full of contradictions and I think to some extent reflects the whole Japanese society. It’s modern and constantly evolving, yet very traditional. You can hardly find any historical architecture there apart from old Buddhist shrines tucked between houses in residential areas. Streets are bustling and full of life throughout the day and night, overwhelming by variety of details. Walking across the city is like exploring many microcosmic worlds one by one. Surprisingly it is not as hectic as most of other mega cities, crowds are immense but flow steadily.

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Most of Japanese nation is highly organised and structured, believing that general public interest is more important than individual. It may appear that everyone have assigned role and there is not much space for creativity, however among the stream of black suits there is many people who are trying to express their own identity sometimes even more than on the streets of London, Berlin or New York. In recent decades impact of western culture (U.S. in particular) is much stronger than before. However Japanese people adapt and recreate western trends in their own unique way, rather than blindly follow them.

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Nowadays artistic world is slowly shifting towards Internet based media, but in Japan more old-fashioned forms are still appreciated. Printed magazines, books and CD albums sell exceptionally well. And what really pleased me is constant popularity of analogue photography there. If we look closer at cultural scene it will quickly become apparent how diverse and vibrant it is. From big establishments such as Tokyo Museum of Arts or Tokyo Museum of Photography to small, private galleries and makeshift theaters all of them offer great quality of art.

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There is a wide range of creative collectives, which are incredibly active and welcoming to new artists. It was very refreshing and inspirational, and surely not my last visit to Tokyo. by Tom Shibata

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What Are

U Looking For? BY XIAOYI CHEN 60 ∞

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Rachael Lorraine Iles fashion designer

Age: 21 Hometown: Bristol, United Kingdom She is currently studying Fashion and Innovation at Leeds College of art and design before that attended Bath City College. Now working as an independent fashion designer retailing homemade garments under her brand ‘Sforzando’. Rachael draws inspiration from sound and vibration combining it with contrasted colour to create a distinctive style. The new range of avant-garde dresses are to be showcased at private show in Leeds later this month.

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Ray magazine