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Posts Tagged ‘Cartoon’

India artist Raghava KK’s “magic carpet ride” at TED2010 – video

Posted by artradar on June 16, 2010


INDIAN ART ARTIST TALK TED CONFERENCE VIDEO PUBLIC SPEAKING

Raghava KK: Five lives of an artist (length of video, 17:56 mins) was recorded when Indian artist Raghava KK spoke at ideas conference TED2010 earlier this year. In the video, the artist tells an inspiring story of how art took him to new places, and talks about the different stages of experience which led him to become the artist he is today. He gives the viewer an insight into the concerns of today’s young artists and into the processes of contemporary art making. Raghava is a self-taught artist and who began his career as a newspaper cartoonist. At the age of 27, he is already one of India’s most celebrated emerging artists.

Raghava KK, Colossal Sleeper, 2008, acrylic on canvas, 60 x 60 inches. Image courtesy of the artist.

Raghava KK, Colossal Sleeper, 2008, acrylic on canvas, 60 x 60 inches. Image courtesy of the artist.

Raghava starts the talk by speaking of his childhood. He started his artistic journey during his second grade, but it was abruptly stopped when he was caught drawing a bust of a Michelangelo nude by a school nun. In the ninth grade, he started drawing again. Although afraid of getting caught, Raghava drew a flattering portrait of his school principal, which he gave to him as a gift. Following this, Raghava’s caricatures shot him to popularity within his school.

I think it was in my second grade that I was caught drawing the bust of a nude by Michelangelo. I was sent straight away to my school principal, and my school principal, a sweet nun, looked at my book with disgust, flipped through the pages, saw all the nudes. You know, I’d been seeing my mother draw nudes and I’d copy her, and the nun slapped me on my face and said, ‘Sweet Jesus, this kid has already begun.’

I had no clue what she was talking about, but it was convincing enough for me never to draw again until the ninth grade. Thanks to a really boring lecture, I started caricaturing my teachers in school. And, you know, I got a lot of popularity. I don’t play sports. I’m really bad at sports. I don’t have the fanciest gadgets at home. I’m not top of the class. So for me, cartooning gave me a sense of identity.

As Raghava continues with his story he mentions his family. He talks fondly of how much of an inspiration his mother was, how she taught him how to draw and how to love. Raghava also talks about his father’s holistic approach to living.

Raghava KK, Lady after bath, 2001, watercolor on paper, 22 x 30 inches. Image courtesy of the artist.

Raghava KK, Lady after bath, 2001, watercolor on paper, 22 x 30 inches. Image courtesy of the artist.

The artist eventually quit school to pursue a career as a cartoonist, which he felt gave him a sense of purpose. His popularity rose, he soon became a media star in India, and he caricatured hundreds of celebrities. For him cartooning was addictive; he was in love with the rush.

Of course, Raghava has known success and failures and he cherishes his failures the most. After drawing a cartoon about 9/11, he was banished from a cartoonists’ organisation in America, and it was with this that he realized there is a responsibility that comes with art.

The next slide I’m about to show you is a little more serious. I was hesitant to include this in my presentation because this cartoon was published soon after 9/11. What was, for me, a very naive observation, turned out to be a disaster. That evening, I came home to hundreds of [pieces of] hate mail, hundreds of people telling me how they could have lived another day without seeing this. I was also asked to leave the organisation, a cartoonists’ organisation in America, that for me was my lifeline. That’s when I realized, you know, cartoons are really powerful. Art comes with responsibility.

Following this “failure”, Raghava became concerned about his financial circumstances. He decided to quit his job and travel. Along the path he met an artist who inspired him to stop being a cartoonist and become a full time artist himself.

“He invited me to his studio. He said, ‘Come and visit.’ When I went, I saw the ghastliest thing ever. I saw this dead, naked effigy of himself hanging from the ceiling. I said, ‘Oh, my God. What is that?’ And I asked him, and he said, ‘Oh, that thing? In the night, I die. In the morning, I am born again.’ I thought he was cuckoo, but something about that really stuck. I loved it. I thought there was something really beautiful about that. So I said, ‘I am dead, so I need to be born again.'”

Raghava KK, Many sides of the mask, 2006, Venice-Suite, acrylic on canvas, 36 x 54 inches. Image courtesy of the artist.

Raghava KK, Many sides of the mask, 2006, Venice-Suite, acrylic on canvas, 36 x 54 inches. Image courtesy of the artist.

His early painted works demonstrate a complete break with his cartoon career. He painted watercolors on canvas using both his hands and feet and during his talk he shows footage of the making of several artworks. Later he moved into performance art and, wanting to make his pictures come alive, he asked his friends to paint their bodies and dance in front of the paintings.

“I had this crazy epiphany at two in the morning. I called my friends, painted on their bodies, and had them dance in front of a painting. And, all of a sudden, my paintings came alive. And then I was fortunate enough to actually perform this in California with Velocity Circus. I sat like you guys there in the audience and I saw my work come alive. You know, normally you work in isolation, and you show at a gallery, but here, the work was coming alive, and I had some other artists working with me.”

Raghava’s later artworks were darker than his previous paintings, due to his mother’s illness. In his own words, his art work “turned ugly” and he lost his audiences. Some of his works became autobiographical. When a friend’s sexuality was criticized in India he began to create violent and political artwork.

“So, after this, my works turned a little violent. I talked about this masculinity that one need not perform. And I talked about the weakness of male sexuality.”

After witnessing what a huge impact art can have on society, Raghava made the decision to stop painting and performing. He had lost collectors and was constantly being threatened by political activists. He decided to move back to New York where his artwork changed, even hinting at street art influences.

“Everything about my work has become more whimsical. This one is called What the Fuck Was I Thinking? and it talks about mental incest. You know, I may appear to be a very nice, clean, sweet boy. But I’m not. I’m capable of thinking anything. But I’m very civil in my action, I assure you. These are just different cartoons.”

Raghava KK, Blow me kisses, 2009, acrylic on canvas, 48 x 36 inches. Image courtesy of the artist.

Raghava KK, Blow me kisses, 2009, acrylic on canvas, 48 x 36 inches. Image courtesy of the artist.

Over the years, Raghava has reinvented himself using several different mediums. He professes to having a greater sense of responsibility and a knowledge of arts’ ability to affect peoples’ lives. For him, his art is a magic carpet ride and he wants everyone to ride with him.

Watch the video, “Raghava KK: Five lives of an artist” (length of video, 17:56 mins).

JAS/KN

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Raghava KK: Five lives of an artist
In this video “Five lives of an artist”, Raghava KK tells
the story of being an artist, how art took him to new
places and the different stages of experiences, which
led him to what he is now. Raghava is a self-taught
artist and who started his career originally as a
newspaper cartoonist. At the age of 27, he is already
one of India’s most celebrated, emerging artist.
With endearing honesty and vulnerability Raghava captured the TED audience’s attention. He did
nothing more than tell his story, a tale of several lives wrapped into one. Raghava starts his
journey by telling a little bit of his childhood. Everyone’s life starts with school seasons and with
inspiring teachers. Raghava started his artistic journey during his second grade, but it abruptly
stopped when he was caught drawing a bust of a nude by Michelangelo by a school nun. In the
ninth grade, he started drawing again. Drawing a flattering portrait of the school principal that he
gave to him as a gift, Raghava soon became popular with his caricatures.
“I think it was in my second grade that I was caught drawing the bust of a nude by
Michelangelo. I was sent straight away to my school principal, and my school principal, a sweet
nun, looked at my book with disgust, flipped through the pages, saw all the nudes — you know,
I’d been seeing my mother draw nudes and I’d copy her — and the nun slapped me on my face
and said, “Sweet Jesus, this kid has already begun.”
I had no clue what she was talking about, but it was convincing enough for me never to draw
again until the ninth grade. Thanks to a really boring lecture, I started caricaturing my teachers
in school. And, you know, I got a lot of popularity. I don’t play sports. I’m really bad at sports. I
don’t have the fanciest gadgets at home. I’m not on top of the class. So for me, cartooning gave
me a sense of identity. I got popular, but I was scared I’d get caught again. So what I did was I
quickly put together a collage of all the teachers I had drawn, glorified my school principal, put
him right on top, and gifted it to him. He had a good laugh at the other teachers and put it up on
the notice board. (Laughter) This is a part of that. And I became a school hero. All my seniors
knew me. I felt really special.”
As Raghava continues with his story he mentions his family. He tells fondly of his mother and
how she taught him how to draw, but also how to love. About his father’s holistic approach of
living and moreover about how he quit school to pursue a career as a cartoonist. Cartooning gave
him a sense of purpose. His popularity rose and surely caricatured over hundreds of celebrities. It
was addictive and being in love with the rush, he soon became a media star in India.
Raghava has known success and failures, but he cherishes his failures the most. After drawing a
cartoon about the 9/11, he was banished from the cartoonists’ organization in America. It was
from that moment that he realizes the responsibility that comes with art.
“The next slide I’m about to show you, is a little more serious. I was hesitant to include this in
my presentation because this cartoon was published soon after 9/11. What was, for me, a very
naive observation, turned out to be a disaster. That evening, I came home to hundreds of hate
mails, Hundreds of people telling me how they could have lived another day without seeing
this. I was also asked to leave the organization, a cartoonists’ organization in America, that for
me was my lifeline. That’s when I realized, you know, cartoons are really powerful, art comes
with responsibility.”
Giving us an insight into the concerns of today’s young artists and processes of contemporary artmaking,
Raghava was concerned of his financial lifeline. Not only has that, but also of the works
that exposes a range of issues relating to the society and the world. The next step he takes is
quitting his job and decides to travel. Along the path he meets an artist who inspires him to
become an artist.
“He invited me to his studio. He said, “Come and visit.” When I went, I saw the ghastliest thing
ever. I saw this dead, naked effigy of himself hanging from the ceiling. I said, “Oh, my God.
What is that?” And I asked him, and he said, “Oh, that thing? In the night, I die. In the morning,
I am born again.” I thought he was koo koo, but something about that really stuck. I loved it. I
thought there was something really beautiful about that. So I said, “I am dead, so I need to be
born again.”
His early work as a painter made a complete break with his cartoon career. He painted
watercolors on canvas using only his hands and feet. Showing videos of making several art
works, the scene later changes to how he suddenly works with performing arts. Wanting the
pictures to come alive and dance, he asks his friends to paint their bodies and dance in front of
the paintings.
“So I decided — I had this crazy epiphany at two in the morning. I called my friends, painted on
their bodies. and had them dance in front of a painting. And, all of a sudden, my paintings came
alive. And then I was fortunate enough to actually perform this in California with Velocity
Circus. And I sat like you guys there in the audience. And I saw my work come alive. You
know, normally you work in isolation, and you show at a gallery, but here, the work was
coming alive, and it had some other artists working with me.”
Raghava’s later art works were darker than his previous works, due to his mother’s illness. Along
the road, he decided to explore the darker side of the human mind. Because of it, his art work
turned ugly and he lost his audiences. Some of his works became autobiographical. It also
became more violent and political, due to a friend’s sexuality that was criticized in India.
“So, after this, my works turned a little violent. I talked about this masculinity that one need not
perform. And I talked about the weakness of male sexuality.”
Having experiences of how an art can have a huge impact on the society, Raghava had to stop
with his productions. Not only losing his collector, he was also banned and threatened by political
activist. He decides to do something different and thus tells us of his last steps of being reborn.
Just becoming a father, he also got the news of his mother recovering, as well of the election of
India’s new president. Upon the decision of moving back to New York, his art work changes and
becomes whimsical.
I moved back to New York, my work has changed. Everything about my work has become
more whimsical. This one is called “What the Fuck Was I Thinking?” It talks about mental
incest. You know, I may appear to be a very nice, clean, sweet boy. But I’m not. I’m capable of
thinking anything. But I’m very civil in my action, I assure you. (Laughter) These are just
different cartoons.
Over the years, Raghava would reinvent himself to use several different mediums. Coming back
to art, you learn of having a greater sense of responsibility and knowing its ability to affect
peoples’ lives. To that Raghava finishes his speech off with,
“For me, my art is my magic carpet ride. I hope you will join me in this magic carpet ride, and
touch children and be honest. Thank you so much. (Applause)”
Watch the Raghava KK: Five lives of an artist here. (Length of video, 17:56 mins)
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Posted in American, Cartoon, Children, Drawing, Emerging artists, Family, Indian, Installation, Painting, Street art, Videos | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Internationally renowned Hong Kong fashion and film photographer Wing Shya returns to art – Saatchi

Posted by artradar on November 9, 2008


 

Wing Shya Angel

Wing Shya Angel

PHOTOGRAPHY HONG KONG

Clad in jeans and a faded T-shirt, Wing Shya crunches on a taco and pushes his long black hair behind his shoulders. He thinks about my question. “My style? I don’t know what my style is..” Then grinning he looks at me through his thick-rimmed spectacles. “One night I was partying with friends but I had to get up early for a shoot so I told them I was leaving. They said no, no …stay…don’t worry about being tired tomorrow, your work will be even better …. it’s your style”. He chuckles gently. “They say it is cinematic”.

And his friends aren’t wrong. Think wet stone, dark corners, moody, woozy, languorous images with dramatic spots of light. Wing Shya creates a universe where forties movie glamour collides with a contemporary urban aesthetic and the resulting images tremble with unresolved tension. Like film stills, his static shots, taut with possibilities titillate us with the promise of significant encounters and epic struggles.

Internationally renowned for his award-winning work which spans commercial design, fashion and film, Hong Kong born photographer Wing Shya trained at the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in Canada. Initially he wanted to be a fine artist and, after winning the photography section of the Hong Kong Biennale, was selected to exhibit in Hong Kong’s Museum of Art. Shocked by poor attendance at the museum, he soon decided commercial work held more promise. His work as a graphic designer in the music business and running a radio station resulted in a life-changing meeting with the world famous film director Wong Kar Wai for whom he went on to serve as a graphic designer and photographer on several acclaimed films from In the Mood For Love to 2046. “After that everyone wanted me, the phone was always ringing”.

Since then his genius has been recognized with prestigious awards and numerous commissions by top brands including Dior, Louis Vuitton and Nike. His evocative “Pearls of the Orient” series of couture fashion shots was featured in the Victoria and Albert’s 2008 China Design Now show and he has been profiled by the Independent newspaper as a member of the ‘Hot List: China’s cultural movers and shakers’.

But now Wing Shya wants to take his work in a new direction. “I want to do more pure work. I want to do fine art again”. As a step towards his goal he is exhibiting a series of photographic works in his first solo Hong Kong show “Prevation: A Manga Story” at the newly-opened Ooi Botos Gallery.

The show was conceived in Japan in 2006 when Wing Shya came across the comics of the manga artist Tatsuyuki Tanaka, well known for his work on the anime classic Akira. “I was excited by cartoon drawing because there are no technical limits, it is free …you can use any angle. Photographers get into a habit of shooting from certain angles because technically it is easier.” Wing Shya’s passion for his work surfaces as his soft voice becomes more fervent. “I wanted my photographic images to be like a cartoon strip, the same angles. I want to stretch the boundaries of photography.”

He tracked Tanaka down and persuaded him to collaborate on a storyboard which Wing Shya has used as inspiration for a series of 38 pigment print images edited down to 17 for the show. “It is a simple story” he explains “it is about right versus wrong”. But don’t be taken in by his humility: behind the fun contemporary cultural references – the manga goddess-style superheroine, her kitsch fairy lights and feathers in Angel for example – there is a complex layering of unexpected elements.

The plot may be playfully B movie worthy but stand back and notice how- thanks to his long-time collaborator and former Wong Kar Wai film lighting gaffer- his work is lit like a full budget Hollywood blockbuster. Dissonances and surprises abound. The Bear and the Beauty reminds us of a cartoon strip …but without speech bubbles. Angel in Black recalls a fashion shoot in which fancy dress replaces couture. Emotional Wounds and Good Evening bring to mind movie stills which, though inert, seem to pulsate with suspended tension.

Thanks to his work off the set and before the shot Wing Shya transforms his simple story into a cipher for the heroic battle between the vigorous forces of good and evil, a grand drama of love and hate played out in a surreal urban world by absurdly-costumed yet archetypal misfit lovers.

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Posted in Cartoon, China, Gallery shows, Hong Kong, Hong Kong Artists, Manga, Photography | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Manga, ink and new generation Chinese – Top ten shows in Hong Kong September 2008 part 1 – Saatchi Online

Posted by artradar on September 4, 2008


EXHIBITIONS HONG KONG
Yoshitaka Amano 'Deva Loka Bleu'

Yoshitaka Amano

Yoshitaka Amano – New Works

Art Statements Gallery
30 August to 10 October 2008

Fans of Japanese cartoons and animations are in for a treat this September at Art Statements Gallery where legendary Japanese manga artist Yoshitaka Amano is presenting a solo exhibition of new works. No longer a subculture with a limited following, manga has grown into one of the most significant creative forces exported from Japan in recent history and its influence on mainstream popular culture in film, advertising, industrial design, fashion and graphic design is now regarded as nothing short of a phenomenon. Born in 1952 Amano shot to fame in the 1970s with his cartoon series ‘Gatchaman’ (G-Force) and since then has created many popular epics including the hugely successful video game series ‘Final Fantasy’. Featuring several 2 metre long aluminium panels depicting fantastical creatures, warriors, heroines and superheroes, this is a must-see show for manga buffs and manga neophytes alike.

Chan Yu 'Where is my childhood? no 9'

Chan Yu

Showcase 82 Republic!


Mixed media group show: Chan Yu, Liu Ja, Guo Hongwei, Wan Yang, Zhou Siwei
Connoisseur Gallery
1 September to 30 September 2008

September is going to be an exciting month for Connoisseur’s stable of young artists who will be exhibited in four locations across Asia. Known as the 82 Republic artists, this generation Y group of four painters and one sculptor was born in the eighties and incubated in their own dedicated gallery of the same name. Now ready for the world, their work will be shown in two of Connoisseur’s gallery spaces in Hong Kong – Connoisseur Art Gallery and Connoisseur Contemporary – as well as at the international art fairs at ShContemporary in Shanghai and KIAF in Seoul, Korea and in Connoisseur’s Singapore gallery as a parallel event of the Singapore Biennale 2008. Zhou Siwei’s cartoon-like character in ‘Infection – Astroboy no 7’ and the flat translucent shapes of Chan Yu’s ‘Where is My Childhood? No 9’ exemplify the new ‘spirit’ of this era which has been powerfully influenced by animation, toys and digital culture.

Xue Song: A Tale of Our Modern Time
Kwai Fung Hin Art Gallery
4 September to 27 September

An alarming accident was responsible for a crucial turning point in Xue Song’s art practice: “In 1990, a big fire broke out in my dormitory”. His books, magazines, newspapers, pictures and prints, damaged and burnt, were “released from their frames” leaving Xue Song with a new deeper understanding of the fragmentary, mutable nature of life. From these ashes emerged the embryo of his own significant unique visual language quite distinct from his contemporaries: a language of burning, restructuring, collage and drawing. The retrospective show exhibits Xue Song’s range of interests since the fire from his pop art-coloured Mao series made in the 1990s inspired by leader portraits, model operas, big-character posters (Dazibao) and Red Guards to his more recent preoccupation with modern Shanghai and the intriguing relationship between people and cities.

New Ink Art: Innovation and Beyond
Group exhibition
Hong Kong Museum of Art
22 August to 26 October 2008

“Ink has been part of our history for over 3,000 years,” says guest curator Alice King. “I want to show people how Chinese ink painting has evolved through the ages. It is no longer painted the way it was even twenty years ago”. Comprising 64 works by nearly 30 artists from Hong Kong and the mainland, this thorough survey places the increasingly popular Chinese contemporary ink genre in its historical context with a particular emphasis on the part played by Hong Kong master Lui Shou-kwan who, with his New Ink Movement, has inspired ink artists since the 1960s, amongst them Wucius Wong, Leung Kui-ting, Irene Chou and Kan Tai-keung. The exhibition looks to the future too with some controversial exhibits in the boundary-pushing section called “Is it Ink Art?” Some would say that works such as Cai Guoqiang’s gunpowder images, organic installations and digital works are not ink art at all. This show asks us to question our view of ink as a medium and to appreciate it as an essence, an aesthetic which can find expression in a variety of forms.

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Posted in Anime, Cartoon, Chinese, Collage, Cultural Revolution, Drawing, Emerging artists, Hong Kong Artists, Ink, Japanese, Manga, Mao art, Painting, Reviews, Yoshitaka Amano | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »