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.

In our visual journeys around the globe, we have come across some talented African designers that we would like to share with you. Bulldoff, for example, features clothes and accessories in patterns and colors that stray far from the usual western palette. Another, called Adama Paris, takes an equally fresh approach to what we wear. Be sure to check out her collections. A third, called Mantsho brings her vivid imagination to runway shows and stores.

Fuko Ito is a young Japanese artist who was raised in Kobe. She introduces us to a soft, gentle world filled with plush creatures called fumblys. Her work is filled with delicate undulations of pastel forms that relieve us from the harsh aggressiveness of much art today.

Undulations of a different sort reside in the nudes of Sanyu. One of the first Chinese artists to study abroad in Paris, Sanyu approaches the unclothed body with fluidity and grace.

Organic, wavy forms also appear in recent theater design, as seen in the aesthetics of this renovation in Atlanta, Georgia. Trahan Architects combined a centuries-old wood steaming process with laser scanning, both used in a spirit of intimacy. A fabrication company not intimidated by complex geometries completed the team. Be sure to check out the elegant forms of furniture designer Matthias Pliessnig as well.

The United Nations tells us that out of 7,000 languages recognized on our planet today, more than 2,680 are in danger of vanishing. On this Google Earth site you can hear native speakers using over 50 indigenous languages which they are hoping to preserve.

Since her untimely death three years ago, Dame Zaha Hadid has contined to cast her strong aesthetic upon architecture and home furnishings. Her firm is about to open an airport terminal in Beijing, China, next month. Specifics of this expansive travel hub can be seen here.

Erin Lawlor treats us to broad, sensuous swaths of color in her oil paintings on canvas, Lawlor was born in the U.K. in 1969 and received her art education at the Sorbonne in Paris.

Natasha Wright gives her fierce attention to the power within all women, with an unflinching abstract eye on what we are, rather than what we are expected to be. She writes: "I'm interested in turning what has been described as the male gaze back on itself. By this I mean the notion that historically the female body has been used as a vehicle for the male artist's creativity. I'm interested in turning the tables on that idea."

The Royal Academy in London has mounted an exhibition of nudes, with an equal number of females and males. The exhibition is accompanied by a discussion of the nude body in art, comparing for example the European fascination with naked bodies to the lack of such obsession in other cultures. Touched upon is the current rage of women at the power of patriarchy to control the lives of females, as well as the current ambivalence toward nakedness in general. One interesting comment comes from John Berger: "Men look at women. Women watch themselves being looked at."

Ai Weiwei will conduct a contemporary version of Puccini's opera "Turandot" at the Teatro dell'Opera di Roma in Italy next Spring. He will also design the costumes and sets. The story will reflect the struggles in Hong Kong as the artist/activist continues his pattern of immersing his art in today's political turmoils.

Jacob Dahlgren creates outdoor sculptures as well as indoor exhibits with a sense of playfulness and pattern. His "Art is Life" installation for Copenhagen Contemporary 2019 is irresistible.

Kevin Bray likes to mingle sculpture, painting and drawing in his compositions. Check out his instagram pages for more examples.

Watch the Flow Series of Benjamin Shine to see how he uses floating panels of tulle to suggest impermanence and fragility. He has worked with fashion designer John Galliano to add mystery and surprise to contemporary fashion.

In the right hands, 10,000 feet of rope can become a massive installation inviting the public to climb inside and become children again. The Weave Project was combined with a cafe and a store in a warehouse as part of London Fashion Week.

As we watch sculptors navigate unusual materials in their work, we come upon Suzanne Jongmans who weaves recycled packing materials into Renaissance costumes. She then photographs the outfits on models imitating portraits from famous 15th, 16th, and 17th century artists. Recycling takes on new dimensions in the hands of this skilled artisan.

Australian artist Gareth-Samson has worked for over 50 years in a variety of media. In the 1960's he was known as a "radical convention-breaking painter". He was Head of Painting, then Dean of the School of Art, at the Victorian College of the Arts between 1977 and 1991, when he retired to concentrate on making art. In this celebratory exhibition are found over 130 works, many that have not been shown before.

c. Corinne Whitaker 2019