Dali’s Alice In Wonderland

Recently came across this article from Brain Pickings about Salvador Dali’s illustrated version of Lewis Caroll’s Alice In Wonderland book. I’ve always admired Dali’s surrealist artworks as his imagination can go beyond and his painting technique is great as well. I liked the vibrant and colours that Dali used for this Alice In Wonderland pieces. It really brings out the imaginative and fun world in this classic story.

Published by New York’s Maecenas Press-Random House in 1969 and distributed as their book of the month, the volume went on to become one of the most sought-after Dalí suites of all time. It contains 12 heliogravures — one for each chapter of the book and an original signed etching in four colors as the frontispiece — all of which the fine folks at the William Bennett Gallery have kindly digitized for your gasping pleasure:

Down the Rabbit Hole

Down the Rabbit Hole

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A Caucus Race and a Long Tale

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Advice From a Caterpillar

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The Queen’s Croquet Ground

Reference:

http://www.brainpickings.org/2011/11/15/salvador-dali-alice-in-wonderland-1969/

http://www.williambennettmodern.com/artists/dali/portfolios/alice.php

(visited on 9th January 2015)

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Money Revamp

By Margaret Rhodes

What if we used money “as an educational tool?” Purrington wonders. “And not to reinforce such a patriotic bond with the country, but more of a global bond with mankind.” For his master’s thesis at the Basel School of Design in Switzerland, Purrington (who is an American, from Idaho) gave US currency a top-to-bottom, front-to-back overhaul.

The familiar faces of Lincoln, Jackson and the rest are gone, replaced by a more colorful set of images. Purrington wanted to introduce imagery that had to do with systems, rather than dated iconography, because that’s really what money is about. It’s the connecting synapse between a huge number of systems that keep our country churning day by day. Each of the bills (Purrington’s redesign includes the $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100 notes) has two very different sides: one side is a muted, Escher-esque drawing of a technical or scientific subject matter. The other side has a colorful, real world manifestation of the black-and-white reverse.

For example: one side of the $10 note sports an illustration of a bucky ball. Its other side has a drawing of gleaming skyscraper. The $50 note has a labyrinthine drawing of a circuit board; flip it over, and there’s an astronaut’s helmet, reflecting a view of the space station. “I wanted to play on things that we might not always think about, like neurons being involved in farming or agriculture,” Purrington says of his $5 bill design. “As soon as you pull away and look at farms from a bird’s eye view you begin to see how intricate and detailed that decision-making process is.”

Purrington also did away with the basic layout of the American bill. “Every cartoon or pictogram you see of money is a rectangle with a circle and four denominations, one in each corner,” he says. His new notes look more like the Euro, or the Swedish krona. This makes sense given that early on, Purrington was inspired by Switzerland’s model for introducing newly designed currency every 20 years. “They give them a theme to work with and that changes every 20 years, so the money people have has more to do with spreading a message.” That 20-year interval is worth noting, he points out. It means every generation of youngsters grows up with new money.

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Reference:
http://www.wired.com/2014/11/money-designed-celebrate-science-instead-presidents/#x

[visited on 28 November 2014]

FAT1: Research

I’ve finally submitted my first assignment which was the Annotated Bibliography and Critical Analysis for Research & Enquiry subject about a month ago. It has been quite tough so far, trying to look for relevant references from different sources. Reading took a lot of my time as well since I had to know whether the content suits my keyword that I have chosen. Now that part has been done, it is time for me to continue on to my project for FAT1. Initially, I have an idea in designing postage stamps based on my keyword and also as a part to promote the indigenous tribe in my hometown but  after having a Skype conversation with my tutor, I have decided to change my idea and decided to design a mini booklet instead. My focus will on promoting the ‘authentic’ goods that can be found in the local open market. I will explain more about this in my next post.

But here are some design style preferences that I want my booklet to look like. In a way, I wanted it to look more ‘raw’ hence I still wanted to apply hand lettering and my own painting in the booklet. More progress to come!

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El Palauet Living Barcelona BY MARNICH.

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El Palauet Living Barcelona BY MARNICH.

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Festival de Jazz de la Garriga 2014 BY CHAPPARO CREATIVE STUDIO

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Express Your Sympathy by Natalie Balnova.

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Express Your Sympathy by Natalie Balnova.

References:

http://www.marnich.com/

https://www.behance.net/gallery/17718955/Festival-de-Jazz-de-la-Garriga-2014

https://www.behance.net/gallery/8677891/Express-Your-Sympathy

(visited on 28 November 2014)

Exoticism Research: Part 4

Interesting article that I read from The Star online on Sabah-based art activist Pangrok Sulap and their recent exhibition in Japan. What’s nice to know is that their artworks have gained interest out of Malaysia and that is such a great accomplishment seeing that they come from a small district, Ranau in Sabah. I also like the fact that their artworks that they have produced challenges the current issues that is happening in Sabah like political, economic and not forgetting their implementation of cultural heritage in their artworks, in this case the indigenous people in Sabah. 

Sabah-based art collective finds audience in Tokyo

(written Daryl Goh for The Star Online)

Pangrok Sulap, a Sabah-based art activist collective, is fast gaining a niche following abroad and attracting punk-minded kindred spirits.The collective’s DIY aesthetic, which combine art and social action, is predominantly voiced through woodcut prints, posters and banners. Pangrok Sulap’s work is the subject of an exhibition now on at the creative space Irregular Rhythm Asylum in Tokyo. The show, curated by Risa Tokunaga, a lecturer/writer from Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, collects 20 pieces of Pangrok Sulap’s woodcut creations made in the last two years. “Pangrok” means punk rock, while “sulap” means a farmer’s hut. Risa discovered Pangrok Sulap’s work late last year while doing research on DIY art scenes in South-East Asia. This year she made three visits – research and study trips – to the collective’s homebase in Ranau, a mountainous district situated at the foot of Mount Kinabalu.

“There is a growing interest towards the DIY art scenes and underground communities in South-East Asia (especially Indonesia, Malaysia) in Japan. Themes of empowerment, education and giving voice to the marginalised communities are universal in nature and they resonante with a wider audience despite language barriers,” says Risa in an e-mail interview.

Pangrok Sulap’s core members include artists/designers Jerome Manjat, Rizo Leong and McFeddy, while a loose collective of members help out with its outreach programmes through the small towns of Sabah. Risa documented the group’s work and the process behind it (through art and short film) for this Tokyo show.

“What I am trying to do is to translate and articulate Pangrok Sulap’s themes to a Japanese audience. The group’s work is something that people in KL or Tokyo need to listen to. Be it marginalised communities in Sabah or Okinawa, we have to take notice of their struggles,” she adds.

Risa says that Pangrok Sulap, which was formed in 2010 in Ranau, has made significant strides as a DIY movement which balances community engagement and social protest.

“Through its poster art, Pangrok Sulap has promoted debate, questioned (Sabah state) policies and advocated change. They have made themselves relevant to the times as their culture and surroundings start to change with modernisation,” says Risa.

At this exhibition, a Tokyo-based woodblock print collective Anti-War, Anti-Nuclear and Arts of Block-print Collective (A3BC) has expressed interest in a collaboration with Pangrok Sulap. Risa also mentions the importance of Indonesian art activists like Marjinal and Taring Padi, both have inspired a new generation of woodcut artists with a social awareness in South-East Asia.

For the Japanese audience, as Risa mentions, it will be very exciting to see how they relate to topics like Sabah locals priced out of climbing Mount Kinabalu, mega-dam projects that threaten to wipe out communities, the “IC Project”, the loss of culture, sigup (rolled-up cigarette) sellers overtaken by illegal cigarette traders, Kaamatan festivity, Borneo beads and why the language of unity remains central to Pangrok Sulap’s mission.

In a separate interview, Pangrok Sulap’s Rizo Leong says, “We never thought that anybody outside of Ranau would be paying attention to what we do. It’s great to find supporters of our work outside of Malaysia. Ours is a struggle that will continue and our art will tell the stories of rural Sabahan life and her people left in the margins … that they must not be forgotten or ignored.”

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This recent Pangrok Sulap woodcut print, which is on show at an exhibition in Tokyo, addresses the plight of the indigenous Dusun people in Ulu Papar, a community of small villages near Kota Kinabalu in Sabah.

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Tingaton in dusun language is a betel leaf that is usually sold by the old folks people in Sabah. Clever usage of wordplay between ‘climbathon’ which is a Mt. Kinabalu race that is held every year and also the word Tingaton.

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Endangered animals.

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The effect of illegal logging towards wildlife.

References:

http://www.thestar.com.my/Lifestyle/Entertainment/Arts/Frame-Up/2014/11/05/Sabahbased-art-collective-finds-audience-in-Tokyo/ (visited on 5 November 2014)

Image source:

https://www.facebook.com/PangrokSulap?fref=ts (visited on 5 November 2014)

Neil Gaiman Reimagines Hansel & Gretel, with Gorgeous Black-and-White Illustrations by Italian Graphic Artist Lorenzo Mattotti

Read this article from Brain Pickings on Neil Gaiman’s dark version of Hansel & Gretel and this wonderful graphic illustration is done by Lorenzo Mattotti. I like the fact that Gaiman is bold enough to create this dark version of this fairy tale that is catered to kids. I find that it is very useful for kids to be exposed into something different other than only understanding the ‘happy endings’ in a story.

I think if you are protected from dark things then you have no protection of, knowledge of, or understanding of dark things when they show up. I think it is really important to show dark things to kids — and, in the showing, to also show that dark things can be beaten, that you have power. Tell them you can fight back, tell them you can win. Because you can — but you have to know that.

And for me, the thing that is so big and so important about the darkness is [that] it’s like in an inoculation… You are giving somebody darkness in a form that is not overwhelming — it’s understandable, they can envelop it, they can take it into themselves, they can cope with it.

And, it’s okay, it’s safe to tell you that story — as long as you tell them that you can be smart, and you can be brave, and you can be tricky, and you can be plucky, and you can keep going.

J.R.R. Tolkien memorably asserted that there is no such thing as writing “for children” and Maurice Sendak similarly scoffed that we shouldn’t shield young minds from the dark. It’s a sentiment that Neil Gaiman — one of the most enchanting and prolific writers of our time, a champion of the creative life,underappreciated artist, disciplined writer, and sage of literature — not only shares, in contemplating but also enacts beautifully in his work. More than a decade after his bewitching and widely beloved Coraline, Gaiman returns with another terrific embodiment of this ethos — his adaptation of the Brothers Grimm classicHansel & Gretel (public library), illustrated by Italian graphic artist Lorenzo Mattotti, the talent behind Lou Reed’s adaptation of The Raven.

The fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm have attracted a wealth of reimaginings over their long history, including interpretations as wide-ranging as those byDavid Hockney in 1970, Edward Gorey in 1973, and Philip Pullman in 2012. But Gaiman’s is decidedly singular — a mesmerizing rolling cadence of language propelling a story that speaks to the part of the soul that revels in darkness but is immutably drawn to the light, that listens for the peculiar crescendo where the song of the dream becomes indistinguishable from the scream of the nightmare.

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Read more here

References:

http://www.brainpickings.org/2014/10/28/neil-gaiman-hansel-gretel-lorenzo-mattotti/

(visited on 4/10/2014)