Category - Architecture

Cui Jie and the Collision of Sound and Art

From a very early age, Cui Jie was obviously a very gifted artist, and she continues to develop her style now that she is in her mid-30’s. Jie was born in Shanghai, China and eventually ended up studying and honing her craft at the China Academy of Art in the Oil Painting Department. While she now lives in Beijing, China, she is not a total unknown to the Western world, with the Wall Street Journal going as far as to describe her as one of “China’s rising art stars.”guyv7Over the years, the style and subject matter of Jie’s work has changed a little, with her latest work perhaps being the most intriguing. She has spoken about synesthesia, which is essentially when people see a color when they hear a specific sound. She is looking at introducing that idea into her current way of working as opposed to going off on a totally different tangent to explore the connection between sound and visuals. tgbjkh6People unfamiliar with the work that Jie delivers may be interested to hear about how she comes up with her ideas. The art for which she is best known involves looking at sculptures and buildings within the parts of China where she has lived and worked, and then creating a painting of those structures, but from a very different viewpoint than what you would get from looking at them at street level. She often talks about the texture and surfaces of the structures and buildings in question, but rather than taking a hands-on approach, Jie will let the reflections off these surfaces, and the feelings and emotions they invoke, guide her once she decides to put paint to canvas. kbyu7The end result of this truly Modernist approach to art are pieces that are stunning to look at. With your first look, you can clearly see the sculptures and buildings as separate pieces, but the more you look, the more they seem to merge and become one and the same. There is a familiarity there, especially for those who have been to those cities and seen the subjects, yet you also feel as though you are viewing these pieces from an angle that you couldn’t get to in the real world. CaptureJIe is of the belief that architecture experiences the passing of time in much the same way as humans do, so she sees here take on the structures that she uses in her art as a way of re-shaping that history. It’s an incredibly exciting concept that very much shines through in every piece that she creates. Given her past, we can certainly expect her to start incorporating new styles and techniques in the future, which is a truly exciting thought for lovers of her art.    ygvy6

Wat Rong Khun: The mesmerizing White Temple of Chiang Rai

There is a temple in Thailand, in the Chiang Rai Province that stands out from all other temples in the country. This stunning architectural masterpiece is known as the Wat Rong Khun and it was built by the artist Chalermchai Kositpipat. His intention was to build a temple where people can practice meditation and learn about Buddha and his teaching. All around the world is dubbed as The White Temple because it is built from white plaster mixed with thousand little glass pieces inside that sparkle in the sun. 1024px-Chiang_Rai_Thailand_Wat-Rong-Khun-02 1280px-Chiang_Rai_Thailand_Wat-Rong-Khun-01 It is different from the other Thai temples first of all because it’s white and not golden like it should be traditionally, and it was built by an artist who used his own imagination to create his own visual understanding of the Buddha teachings. To date, the temple is not finished and Kositpipat is still adding parts to make it even more stunning. It is considered more like an art exhibit because there are so many unusual things to be seen inside and around the temple which make the visitors’ tour even more interesting. 1024px-020_Disciple_(9214657134)Chiang_Rai_-_Wat_Rong_Khun_-_0002The main building is known as the ubosot and it can be reached by crossing a bridge installed upon a small lake. The bridge is dubbed as the cycle of rebirth and in front of it is one of the most bizarre art pieces in the place. Hundreds of hands are reaching out trying to grab something. This piece represents the suffering souls in hell who were greedy during their lifetime. After crossing this remarkable scene the visitors stand in front of the ubosot and have to cross the “Gate of Heaven” to enter. 006_Purgatory_(9214719914)Wat_Rong_Khun_o_el_Templo_blanco_de_Chiang_Rai,_Tailanda._(17199615247)The most unexpected and fun part begins when they go inside. There are many murals that depict famous people and fantasy characters. Michael Jackson, Harry Potter, Neo from The Matrix, Captain Jack Sparrow, Hello Kitty, Elvis, Superman, and even Freddy Krueger are gathered together on the walls which makes the temple even more unusual. Kositpipat decided to add his favorite characters in the temple because they are also a part of who he is. His plan is to add more buildings around so they will be nine when he finishes the place completely. One of the planned buildings will be reserved for Buddhist monks who can use it whenever they come to visit the Chiang Rai Province.1024px-025_Dragons_(9214634354) 1024px-White_Temple_IOn 5th May 2014, the temple was damaged by an earthquake and Kositpipat wanted to close it indefinitely for safety reasons. But, after a team of engineers came to inspect the place and confirmed that the structure was not that damaged from the quake, he continued with work as before. Some buildings are still not open to the public like the ubosot, but the owner allows visitors to come and see it from the outside. Hopefully, he will finish his project as planned and it will be even more exciting to visit.White_Temple_III
images: commons.wikimedia.org

The Dancing House: The most unusual office building in Prague

There is a movement in the postmodern architecture known as deconstructivism. It is a very unique style that in some way combines architecture with abstract art. This is because of the absence of symmetry and harmony in the shape of the buildings which became very popular in the past 30 years.800px-The_Dancing_House_in_Prague  In Prague, a building was made in this style which is known as The Dancing House. It was designed by the architects Vlado Milunić and the famous Frank Gehry. The construction started in 1992 and it was finished in 1996. In that time, it was a surprise for the people of Prague to see that kind of building that literally popped out from every other building in the city. It is a single construction of that kind that over the years became a very popular tourist attraction.1024px-Dancing_house_windowsThe Dancing House sets on a property of a previous building that was destroyed in 1945 during the bombing of Prague. Until 1960, it set in ruins and there were no architectural plans for that space. After 30 years, the land next to the building was owned by Václav Havel who was a very popular leader in the country. When he became the president of Czechoslovakia, Milunic came to him with the idea and his plan was gladly accepted. Havel always wanted to do something creative with that space and was hoping that with this unusual building he will attract many tourists along the Vltava river. Dancing_house_green_lightThe house was originally named Fred and Ginger after the famous dancers Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. The shape resembles the two dancers holding each other, the curved shape of it represents the female and the other column represents the male. It was named by Gehry who later requested that the name should be changed because he didn’t want Prague to have a building that was inspired by Hollywood famous film couple but instead to have a name chosen by the citizens of the city. The name Dancing House still stands as an inspiration from Gehry’s idea because the shape really looks like a dancing couple.Prag_–_Das_Tanzende_Haus_-_Fred_und_Ginger_-_Tančící_dům_-_Fred_a_Ginger_-_panoramio1024px-Dancing_House_(7154386345)This magnificent structure is located in the center of Prague, on Resslova Street next to the Vltava River which is very close to the metro station Karlovo Námesti. The top floor is the only one open to the public where visitors can enjoy the magnificent view of the city from the Ginger and Fred Restaurant. The other floors are mainly offices which make the Dancing House the most fascinating post-modern office building in the country.Prague_1,_Czech_Republic_-_panoramio_(62)