Category - Art

Florentijn Hofman’s art challenge: Rubber Duck vs The World

The world of art is an amusing one. It is full of contradictions and surprising turns. While the audience is no longer shocked or astonished by a sight of naked body or extreme violence, it turns out that the modern viewer is very disturbed by a huge yellow rubber duck. Sounds wierd, but that’s the reaction to the worldwide tour of Florentijn Hofman’s trademark work.

600 This Dutch artists focuses on the public art and huge installations embodying animal characters. Giant rabbits, pigeons, dogs, teddy bears, and,of course, the Duck appeared in many locations around the world. Immense installations evoke a stir of emotions, ranging from admiration and excitement to frustration and destroying intents. During Duck’s stay in Belgium, it came under knife-attack and was stubbed 42 times. It has been criticized for demolishing the environment around the work, which goes against the principles of public art, as it suppose to underline and define the surroundings, existing in a harmony with the public space. khvgb8898 hgbiltg565765iv On the other side, the Rubber Duck is a universal symbol, that is familiar to almost anybody in any culture of the world. Hofman himself states that the Duck is a symbol for peace and tolerance with no boundaries. While the audience seems to embrace this concept, many people felt that the whimsical installation turned into a commercial entertainment event, including the author of the art work.

gfvuk768tvas It is hard to say whether the issue is relevant and who’s fault it is; the idea of a benign character uniting the world with a humorous note and a great deal of flamboyance (literally) is worthy of respect. Negative comments have some validity, but also revel that people are very dependent on the “normality” of their surroundings and become stressed when something unusual intervenes their comfort zone. eca86ba054941570caf118

While Rubber Duck is a universally recognizable phenomenon, Hofman produce works that are much more local. For instance, his project ‘Moon Rabbit” is situated in Dayuan Town Naval Base in Taiwan and based on the Asian folkloric story about the bunny that lives on the moon. Somewhat dreamy and adorable installation contrasts the military background, starring at the moon and attracting a lot of visitors. Such methods of contradicting the environment are simple, yet effective tool in the identification of urban and public space. Incorporating more local topics into his art, Hofman is able to create something site-specific; at the same time the cartoonish animals are relatable to many, thus making Hofman’s art works speak with a globally recognizable language. Isn’t it a modernist’s dream?

These surreal paper collages will send you to another dimension

If you’re looking to escape reality for a moment, there’s no need to pick up any mind altering substances. Simply take a peek at Eugenia Loli’s surreal collages for a mind-bending adventure into another dimension. The California-based artist, illustrator and filmmaker specifically chose her poppy, whimsical subject matter over something more serious to ensure viewers got that needed escape they’re looking for. Eugenia-Loli-02 Using images cut from donated magazine pages, Loli begins with a base image and builds from there. Whether it’s a field of poppies, the planet Saturn or a women smoking a cigarette, these main images compel a story to follow in their wake. In one a particularly surreal collage, a black-and-white group of museum goers are presented with colorful 3D plant life that has a fantastical, otherworldly vibe to it. [h/t] Eugenia-Loli-03 Eugenia-Loli-07 Eugenia-Loli-09 Eugenia-Loli-10 Eugenia-Loli-11 Eugenia-Loli-12 Eugenia-Loli-13


The world of our future: Nature and Technology unites in AUJIK video works

Our vivid, contemporary reality constantly offers new visual materials with unexpected concepts. Modern audience seems to be prepared for all kinds of artistic encounters. But still the multilayered approach and skillful representation of the work of the mysterious group that operates under the title AUJIK is a jolt of fresh air. Their mesmerizing video works are pieces of art which balance between science fiction, architecture, biology and spirituality. It is rather hard to classify, so the best thing is to see it with your own eyes.bldg-2 bldg-3

The video “Spatial Bodies” is  accompanied by soft enigmatic music and definitely gives a “megalopolis” vibe. When we think of modern urban craziness and sky-high buildings, inevitably Japan comes in mind. Indeed, this short film is based on an actual Osaka skyline, which is merged in weird bionic structures resembling an autonomic organism with its own rules of existence. Moreover, the main person behind AUJIK, a Swedish-born filmmaker and digital artist, now lives in Kyoto, Japan. The group claims to have several more active participants, who descends from Japanese monks who “strive to reach a higher consciousness by transcending with technology and nature using themselves as a catalyst between these elements.”AUJIK-spatial-bodies-video-designboom-01 Screen-Shot-2014-10-09-at-4.46.38-PM Clearly, AUJIK is building a kind of hodiernal myth that would incorporate their unique technocratic/naturalistic philosophy and express their ideas with a pinch of esoteric aftertaste. They have divided nature into refined and primitive; where the first consists of robotics, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, DNA-manipulation, augmented reality, body enhancements, carbon nanotubes, synthetic photosynthesis; and the second combines trees, plants, soil, organism, stones, metals, minerals, foliage. AUJIK views all inventions and technologies as nature that has evolved; in fact they perceive AI as the next step in human evolution. 9states pic1 410 By interlacing refined and primitive types of nature, they are basically trying to reconcile our pagan origins with technocratic and scientific progress. Unifying these polar opposites, they are hoping for a balanced harmonious reality that would benefit all.

These multi-media works reflect possible futuristic mythology of our progressive society, literally and figuratively. It poises between outer visual representation and self-expression mixed with contemplation.

This video titled “Yuki” shows us weirdly dressed kids playing with robotic trees; artwork reflects upon the interaction between organic and artificial, questioning the authority of each party. In “Plasticity Unfolding: wiggling word” we observe the collective consciousness of 4 AI’s, that imagined themselves in a landscape with a river as a nervous system; each AI has its own task and field working together efficiently. The work gives us an emotional map of artificial minds with a great deal of surrealism and biological references.

The Ishiyama Excursion” shows us a green forest filled with all kinds of nature, robotic nature. Creatures seem to be perfectly fit for the environment and resemble regular forest dwellers. This piece, again, refers to the joint worlds of refined and primitive nature.

AUJIK concept, esoteric and technocratic all together, is an intriguing one; we can surely note an influence of the Japanese culture. Interest towards robots and machinery, combined with human-line qualities and even AI, unites with longtime traditions of nature veneration and its acknowledgement as an essential part of human life, spiritual as well as physical. While their video works are perplexing and unconventional, AUJIK’s theoretical basis dazzles even more. Who knows how accurate their concepts are – the only way to find it out is to see whether AUJIK ideas stand the test of time. We might be the lucky witnesses of new unique art and life philosophy being born.

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