Your eyes and ears on the world of art and culture. We remind you that 16 years of back issues of eMusings can be found on our archives page.
A mainly underground cultural park museum complex has been designed on a waterfront locale in Shenzhen, China. Created by the architecture studio MAD, it features two buildings on top meant to look like giant stones. The stones sit in a large park, adding a sense of the timelessness of nature among the bustle of a busy city. Underground, the complex will include two sections: a Creative Design Hall and the Shenzhen Science and Technology Museum, with an auditorium placed between the two. Also planned are galleries, reception areas, and cafes, all arranged around sunken pools. Other designs by the MAD group include a Bubble roof-top design atop an ancient building and a wavy facade of terraces for an apartment building in Paris.
Unless you have planned to go deep-diving underwater sometime soon, you will not want to miss this video called Dakuwaqa's Garden. It offers an exquisite view of the vibrant creatures and reefs living under the sea in Fiji and Tonga, in one of the most spectacular productions I have seen.
He is known as Abel Rodriguez, although he was born Mogaje Guihu in the Colombian Amazon. He learned about plants from his uncle, a sabedor (man of knowledge), and so Rodriguez himself is called el nombrador de plantas, the namer of plants. His finely detailed botanical drawings come from memory, learned by oral tradition. He has earned his living by sharing that knowledge with nonindigenous people outside of Bogota, as others began to recognize the artistic value of his illustrations. Rodgiguez does not see his work as art. He comments: "We don't really have that concept, but the closest one I can think of is iimitya, which in Muinane means 'word of power' - all paths lead to the same knowledge, which is the beginning of all paths". Be sure to watch Abel the film in full screen.
Jim Dine is well known for his prints of robes, tools, and hearts. A new group of prints called "Painting wih the Carver", made with master printmakers from Austria and Germany, is now on view at the Cristea Roberts Gallery. Dine calls these "autobiography through objects". Dine adds, "I am now going into my 85th year and I wanted to make bath robes that I've been making since 1964. But they're quite different, like I am."
Paul Smith lives in a nursing home , a survivor of severe cerebral palsy. He creates art using an old-fashioned typewriter, and achieves results that people without his limited movements would envy. Smith's story is one of incredible courage, determination, and vision, refusing to let his disability define him or restrict his creative instincts.
Masayuyki Takayanagi, a Japanese musician, has been described as Japan's "eternal revolutionary". Reissued from a 1975 studio recording called April is the cruelest month, his music seems as radical now as it did then. These are sounds that disrupt and electrify our concept of line and progression, breaking apart our ideas of what music means. By comparison, you might listen to "The Cappucino Kid", which I composed two years ago using Artificial Intelligence.
Hannah Hoch used newspaper clippings and found objects to create her political photomontages. Born in Germany in 1889, she became known as a German Dada artist, one who rejected the traditional housewife description of women. Dada itself was an art movement that originated in Zurich, Switzerland as an answer to World War I. Hoch's art was called "degenerate" by the Nazi's and thus forbidden to be exhibited.
Translator and opera singer Nanette McGuinness has been interviewed about her work translating graphic novels. McGuinness describes her fascination with languages, and her desire to study 10 - 12, many of which she has used in her singing career. With a Doctorate in Musicology and a Master's in Vocal Performance, she brings an extraordinary capabililty to the field of translation. Addressing specifically children's literature, McGuinness tells us, "Children's books in translation help shape children's minds, insidiously influencing tomorrow's adults. In what other forum can an artist have such an impact and cast such a long shadow". ( Note: McGuinness is my daughter.)
Ann Getsinger grew up in Watertown, Connecticut, as the youngest of 5 children. She admits to a sense of timelessness and mystery in her work, which includes landscape, figures and still life. In an upcoming show called "Imaginarium" in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, fantasy and reality co-exist beautifully in her oil paintings.
c. Corinne Whitaker 2020