FOCUS THREE: EXHIBITIONS

CONTENTS

1     FUTURE BEAUTY: 30 YEARS OF JAPANESE FASHION, BARBICAN

2     LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBITION, NATIONAL THEATRE

3     STEET ART EXHIBITION, SOHO

4     LECTURES:  A MODELS & STUDIO WEAVE

 

 

 FUTURE BEAUTY: 30 YEARS OF JAPANESE FASHION

I don’t know what it is about the Japanese but they do design so well! I was lucky to get the chance to see this exhibition at the Barbican.

The exhibition entitled Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion showcases avant garde fashion from the early 80’s to now. Here clothing becomes something else,an art form perhaps.

The exhibition, nicely presented, leads you through up and coming Japanese designers including Junya Watanabe, Jun Takahashi and Tao Kurihara.

The garments are made from flawed or aged fabrics which relate to Japanese tradition of ‘Wabi-Sabi’. This concept find beauty in imperfection. Another notable theme of the exhibition was the reference to ‘Ma’ which sees garments where abundant material cocoons the figure creating spaces between body and cloth.

There is a sense of deconstruction which was most evident in the Issey Miyake room. Miyake born in Hiroshima studied graphic design and later worked in Paris and NYC. In the 80’s he began experimenting with pleating which has become his trademark style.

Miyake’s experimentation continues and here I got to see some of his ‘flat pack’ clothing. The mannequins wore the clothes and next to them sat the dress as a flat piece. It reminded me of those chinese lanterns which transform once you extent it.

The garments when in their flat state look architectural. The colours are muted. The style simplistic yet complex in construction.

LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY AT THE NATIONAL THEATRE

(photographs taken by Alice Hankin)

This small exhibition takes place every year at the National Theatre. Its a photography competition for landscape photographers. I went last year and noticed this year the interputation of what landscape is seemed to differ. There were alot more conceptual photographs and also many of the images were less cliched and more imagnative.

Most of the photographers choose to use effects from photoshop. The curves feature seemed popular. My favourite image from exhibition is below. This infact was the young persons entry. I loved the way it captures what is earthy London for me. The view from this Cafe sees an old steam train cross the urbanscape. The composition,  a fry up still life shows a tasty english breakfast ready to be eaten. I enjoy the documentary feel to this picture.

 

SOHO STREET ART EXHIBITION

This was a small thrown together type exhibition in the ground floor of a new apartment building in Soho. It featured a mix of street graffiti artists including the famous Banksy.

There was a real sense of been observed in this exhibition. As we live in  a CCTV, social networked and near automated society this is reflected in the art of rebel street artists. What I found interesting about this exhibition was how clever many of the slogans and captions were.

Often the artist was taking mundane objects ie.. a cardboard box and using it as a canvas.

A personal favourite, love the play on Marks & Spencers. Interesting to see how people can look at everyday objects in a new and exciting way. Its trendy now to have shopping centre bags as almost a fashion item. This is an interesting play on this idea.

The exhibition also had a basement which was creepy to say the least. There was a little hut which was kitted out like someone’s weird little study. As you turn the corner you can peep through a window or door and see a little boy with his back towards you, sat in a chair. He wore a red hoodie and is busy writing.

This image reminds me of horror film, The Omen. There is always something very creepy about a little kid who is someone distorted with adult problems.

Infact I have seen a similiar installation at the Surreal House exhibition last Summer. As you turn a corner you are faced with this hooded boy. In Surreal House the boy has a pencil impaled in his left hand. Creepy but intriging.

I recently took a walk through Hampstead Heath and managed to capture a similiar image.

VISITING LECTURES AT UNI

Recently we were lucky to have some creative professionals come visit our University.

The first gentleman was Christian Spencer Davies who is the Director of AModels. They specialise mainly in Architectural Model Making.

One of their biggest clients is Zaha Hadid. This was a model they made for the Ordrupgaard Museum extension.

Christian had a confident and clear outlook on what his work is. His philosophy is to create interesting, beautiful models. He is very interested in pushing the boundries of material and representation. He showed a series of slides which looked at how they expressed trees in model form. I found this quite inspiring as trees in particular are hard to get right.

Model making from a landscape point of view can be effective but yet challanging. It seemed that Christian is not interested solely in the traditional form of architectural model making but likes to be more creative. It also struck me how much artistic freedom he seemed to be able to demand.

Here is a model he made for the small cafe pavillion which is situated at More London next to Potters Field.

Christian also talked about a colour scheme he liked. It was the stylish look of black and gold.

At the time I was working on my own model of a futuristic building in London. As I had not completed the model I took inspiration from this lecture and decided to go for a similiar scheme. My approach was a little more arts and crafts but the effect once photographed was effective.

The second lecture I found interesting was STUDIO WEAVE. They are an architectural pair who create a wide range of projects. One of their notable commissions was for the Longest Bench which is located at Littlehampton.

The main project they dicussed was for a small cabin installation they designed at Kielder Water in Northumberland. They came up with this unusal but somehow engaging idea to inform their project.

They decided to create a philosophy in the from a story which would inform the entire ethos of the project. The story they created was based around two fictional characters who lived on either side of the lake. Freya on one side and Robin on the other. In order to entice him over Freya set about building a golden hut. It was the basis of this story which explained the creation of the structure.

Studio Weave talked in detail about a thought process they used for their projects. Not every project had a story like the one for this golden cabin but they certainly were not shy of engaging their inner child. As I listened to their stories I was fascinated yet not entirely convinced. Never the less a very interesting pair of designers.

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