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The Festival of Smiles 这个城市微微一笑

August 16, 2019 2019年8月16日

MassKara is a celebration held every October in the city of Bacolod, on the island of Negros in the Philippines. Unlike the Venice Carnival or the National Mask Festival in Papua New Guinea, this mask festival isn’t steeped in centuries of history. It began in 1980, when a pair of artists, Ely Santiago and George Macainan, hit upon a creative way to address the region’s high unemployment rate: they thought they could help people make a livelihood by teaching them how to create and sell handmade masks. Jose Montalvo, the mayor at the time, liked the idea but thought they could take it one step further. How do you create a demand for masks? With a festival! The idea for MassKara was born.

With government backing, plans were quickly underway. But then tragedy struck.


MassKara 是每年 10 月在菲律宾内格罗斯岛的巴科洛德市举办的面具节。不同于威尼斯狂欢节或是巴布亚新几内亚的国家面具节,MassKara 并非一个有着几百年历史的节日。这个节日起源于 1980 年,当时两名艺术家 Ely Santiago 和 George Macainan 为了解决当地高失业率的问题,想出了一个创意:他们想教当地人手工制作和销售面具来谋生。当时的市长 Jose Montalvo 很喜欢这个想法,但认为他们可以更进一步:要如何增加人们对面具的需求?不如创办一个节日吧!于是举办 MassKara 的想法就诞生了。

在政府的支持下,这个计划很快就开展了。但随后发生了一件不幸的事件。

In April 1980, a ship bound for Bacolod from Manila, the MV Don Juan, collided with an oil tanker and sank. Over a hundred people died or went missing. In the wake of such devastation, the organizers considered canceling the festival. Yet Montalvo made the tough call to go ahead with the plans, reasoning that after such a tragedy it was more important than ever for Bacolod to put on a citywide event: he saw it as an opportunity to bring the residents some much-needed joy. So it was that an idea to jumpstart the local economy grew into something much more profound: MassKara became a symbol of Bacolod’s resilience, and the festival’s iconic smiling masks have become synonymous with the city’s nickname of the “City of Smiles.”


1980 年 4 月,一艘从马尼拉前往巴科洛德的船“MV Don Juan”与一艘油轮相撞并沉没,导致一百多人死亡或失踪。灾难发生之后,组织者考虑取消节日。然而,Jose 作出了艰难的决定,呼吁人们继续举办节日,他认为,在经历了这样的悲剧之后,更有必要在巴科洛德举办一次全市活动,为居民带来些急缺的欢乐。因此,MassKara 这个原本旨在推动当地经济发展的项目有了更加深刻的意义:它成了巴科洛德复原力的象征,而这个节日的标志性微笑面具也成为了这座“微笑之城”的标志。

The colorful festival has changed significantly in the intervening decades, with the masks and costumes becoming even more intricate and colorful. Events like parades, dance performances, concerts, and more now take place throughout the entire month of October. The highlight of the festival, a dancing competition between Bacolod’s barangays, happens on the fourth Sunday of October. In recent years, a separate nighttime event called Electric MassKara, with floats and masked performers decked out in neon and LED lights, has complemented the festivities.


几十年间,这个色彩缤纷的节日发生了巨大变化,面具和服装设计变得更加繁复和丰富多彩。在整个 10 月期间,还会举办游行、舞蹈表演、音乐会等活动。整个节日的亮点在 10 月第四周的星期天,那是在巴科洛德村庄间举办的舞蹈比赛。近年来,还多了一场名为 Electric MassKara 的独立夜间活动,霓虹灯和 LED 灯装饰的花车和面具表演者,让整个节日更加精彩。

MassKara is now thriving beyond the founders’ dreams, as tens of thousands of visitors flock to Bacolod each year to witness one of the most extravagant celebrations of the archipelago.

The 2019 MassKara Festival will mark the celebration’s 40th year and festivities will kick off on October 1st. To find out more about the event, visit the official website.


如今,MassKara 的蓬勃发展已经超出创始人的最初预想,吸引了成千上万的游客涌向巴科洛德,一同见证这个群岛上最盛大的节日之一。

2019 年,MassKara 音乐节迎来了 40 周年纪念,庆祝活动将于 10 月 1 日开始。要了解有关该活动的更多信息,请访问官方网站

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Websitewww.masskarafestival.ph

 

Contributors: Daniella Danuvy, Claudio Sieber
Photographer: Claudio Sieber
Chinese Translation: Olivia Li


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网站www.masskarafestival.ph

 

供稿人: Daniella Danuvy, Claudio Sieber
摄影师: Claudio Sieber
英译中: Olivia Li

Am I a Butterfly in a VR Headset? 你想按下现实与虚拟的开关吗?

August 9, 2019 2019年8月9日

 

无法观看?前往腾讯视频

A man begins speaking in Hindi as the video begins. “This footage looks real, isn’t it? You see people . . . are easy to believe what perceived by their senses [sic],” read the strange subtitles.“Because it’s easy, right? You see . . . when you start to question reality, you will start to feel like life is a video game, and you can shut down this machine anytime. So the final question is . . . do you have fun?”

In surreal fashion, the subtitles are completely unrelated to the actual audio, which in fact says, “Rooms are closed for an hour, did you know? That’s why America has technology that, when the room is left open for an hour, someone can record.” It is the first of many bizarre easter eggs for the viewer in this endlessly watchable, multilayered music video.


MV 开场,一个印度男人对着摄影机讲着奇怪的话,字幕上写着: “这段影像是真实存在的,对吧? 你看……人们都愿意相信自己生理上的直观感知。因为这是轻而易举的事,对不对?但……当你开始质疑现实,你会开始发现,生活就像是打游戏,你可以随时关掉游戏机。但最终的问题在于……这个游戏,你玩得开心吗?”

然而,字幕与印度男人的话没有任何关联,他实际上是在说:“你知道那些房间已经关闭了一个小时吗? 在美国有一种说法,当房门敞开一个小时后,你才能进行拍摄”。这种 “词不达字幕意” 的超现实主义表达方式只是 MV 许多彩蛋中的一个,而 MV 中多层次的寓意与内容,值得你反复观看。

“Tomorrow Can Not Be Waited” [sic] is the lead single to Howie Lee’s upcoming full-length studio album, due out this fall. It’s a bold introduction to an album: like much of Lee’s recent work, the four-minute track forgoes any kind of standard song structure in favor of a series of quick thematic shifts, never to be revisited, that push the narrative along.

The track’s peculiar title is a reference to a story in the Daoist classic known as the Zhuangzi. In it, a madman named Jie Yu comes to Confucius’s door and asks why the sage has come to the state of Chu, a declining power. “The future cannot be waited for, the past cannot be chased,” the madman says enigmatically. In the larger context of the teachings of the Dao, these words are profound, invoking the idea that worry comes from having one’s mind in the future, and regret comes from having one’s mind in the past. We can only live in the moment and take things as they come.


《明日不可待》是 Howie Lee 即将于今秋发行的全长录音室专辑中的主打曲目。其大胆张扬的风格为专辑代言:四分钟的歌曲长度,摒弃任何音乐的结构准则,取而代之的是一系列快速的主题切换,不会流连忘返,持续推进着故事。

歌名取自道教经典《庄子》里的一个故事。楚国狂人接舆在孔子车前走过时,问他为什么来楚国这个衰落的国家,狂人深不可测地回答道:“来世不可待,往世不可追也”。在道教教义中,忧虑来自人对未来的欲望,悔恨来自对过去的追思。我们只能生活在当下,既来之,则安之。

The idea of embracing the present feels apt for a track that asks listeners to revel in its unpredictability. Although the composition jumps from one dramatic moment to the next, it still seems to sit comfortably in whatever is its present. Yet existing in the now doesn’t mean that the now is something harmonious. A cheerful intro, recalling the awakening of a new day, soon crescendos into plucked strings that might sound pleasantly anticipatory were it not for the dark bassline looming beneath. The track is chock-full of such moments: a little good in the evil sounds, a little evil in the good ones.

The video released along with the track is rich with evocative imagery, emphasizing the cinematic nature of the song. Created by Teom Chen of Taiwan, it’s a fascinating contemplation of the constructed or conventional nature of any society, using the imagery of video games and virtual reality to question whether human beings are indeed free. “I believe that humans don’t have free will,” Lee remarks. “People are products of their social environment.”


这种拥抱当下的态度,很符合歌曲不断切换主题的概念,带听众领略不可预知的盛宴。尽管编曲方式接二连三地变换,但仿佛达到了某种随心所欲的自在境界。然而,活在当下也并不能意味着畅然自得。悦耳的序曲响起,仿佛唤起人新的一天;但很快,旋律随着传统弦乐的拨动而迅速上扬,而深沉肥厚的贝斯线条却让愉快的旋律也变得黑暗起来:邪恶与美好被交织混杂在一起。

与歌曲一同出现在大众视线范围内的,还有台湾视频制作人 Teom Chen, 他在充满令人回味的图像中,凸显出歌曲本身极富画面感的个性。视频中,Teom 用电子游戏般的画面与虚拟现实的影像,对人类的真实存在提出质疑,同时体现出他对社会构建与传统本质的深思。Howie Lee 提到:“我觉得人类是没有自由意志的,人只是社会环境的产物。”

Riffing on this idea, the video opens with what appears to be a standard fighting video game, with a pair of hands holding a gaming controller in the corner. But with a flick of a button, the whole world shakes, revealing that this pair of hands controls not just the characters but their whole environment as well. The figure on screen, his sword in mid-swing, disappears in a fizzle and is replaced by a shirtless Indian man.

A moment later, the frame zooms out to reveal that this man, and the hands on the video game controller, are on a screen, opposite the same man in a set of VR goggles. He is not holding the controller, which suggests that someone else is controlling what he sees. All this takes place in a small room floating in an ocean in another video-game world. As the frame floats away, the scene changes and settles on a screen showing a live-action version of the same man, now seemingly fully in control of himself, laughing maniacally. To create this surreal sequence, Chen gathered a series of images of humans, and fed them to an AI program. After learning how to distinguish humans from other objects, the AI program randomly found and selected the live-action footage of the Indian man. Chen then modeled his own rendering of the recurring character after this footage.


依照这个想法,视频以经典的格斗游戏画面开场,你会在角落里发现某人的双手,它们正操纵着游戏手柄 —— 但只要轻轻一按,整个世界就开始摇晃,这双手不仅控制着游戏人物,也在控制整个环境。屏幕上的角色挥舞着手中的剑,突然间他嘶得一声消失在屏幕里,恍然变成了那个光着膀子的印度男人。

过了一会儿,镜头向后拉远,男人和控制游戏手柄的双手都出现在屏幕上。相同的男人坐在屏幕前,头戴一副 VR 眼镜,手中的游戏手柄不再出现,意味着有人正在控制他眼前的画面。所有这一切都发生在汪洋大海中漂浮的房间里,存在于另一个游戏世界中。随着这个画面再一次漂远,场景再度发生变化,切换成大屏幕,播放着印度男人的真人实拍录像。而现在,他看上去像是一切尽在自己掌控之中,正疯狂地大笑。

为了创造这些超现实的系列画面,Teom 收集了许多人类图像,将它们输入 AI人工智能。在学会了如何辨别人物行为过后,人工智能系统随机搜索并选择了这个印度男人的真人录像,再经过 Teom 的渲染与建模,这个角色用另一种方式重新出现在影像中。

The video also cleverly interpolates footage from one of Lee and Chen’s joint live shows. In these performances, the two stand opposite each other, Lee performing the music with an array of MIDI controllers laid out around him, and Chen using custom controllers and a laptop to navigate and manipulate the world he’s created. Events in the virtual realm can be triggered not just by Chen but also by Lee’s instruments, syncing the music and the visuals even more closely. As with the Indian protagonist, both filmed and virtually rendered versions of the two performers appear throughout the video. The duo thus appears simply as additional characters in the larger story. “The virtual and the real are on a converging path,” Chen says. “When mind and matter are one, the virtual is the real, the real is a dream.”


短片还巧妙地插入了 Howie 和 Teom 一次联袂表演的现场镜头。表演中,两人背靠背站在一起,Howie 用面前的一系列 MIDI 控制器进行演奏,而 Teom 则操控着调配好的控制器(其中一些是他制作的)和一台笔记本电脑来,二人合力操纵着他们创造的世界。无论是 Teom 或 Howie ,他们都可以触发这个虚拟世界中发生的任何事件,紧密地同步着音乐和视觉之间的联系。与印度男人一样,两位表演者的录像和虚拟渲染版本在整个视频中交替出现。因此,二人只是这个更宏大的故事中的配角。“虚拟跟现实正走在趋同的道路上”, Teom 说,“只要心物合一了,虚拟即实境,实境即梦境。”

The layers in the video—filmed, virtual, screens within screens—lead the audience question not only the existence of free will but also the very nature of our reality. This too has deep roots in Daoist texts, specifically in Zhuangzi’s famous dream that he was a butterfly and his subsequent question: is he in fact a butterfly dreaming he’s a man?

The artists insert themselves as characters in their own video, suggesting that the reality we perceive is just one more layer: who’s to say which layer is real? Chen says that these days, the dividing line between the virtual and the real has become less and less clear to him. His work is a reflection of these growing uncertainties. “Yesterday I had a dream,” he says. “At the entrance to the dream I had my hand on a switch—all I had to do was press it and I’d wake up. What do you think: should I press it?”


短片中层层嵌入的不同维度——录像、虚拟、环环相扣的大屏幕,让观众扪心自问自由意志的存在,同时也在向我们所感知的现实世界发出质疑。这种质问深深扎根于道教文化中,特别是著名的理论 “庄周梦蝶”:在梦里,庄子变成了一只蝴蝶,他问道:自己会不会本来就是一只蝴蝶,只是在梦里变成了人类?

两位艺术家在视频中扮演着各自的角色,也侧面显示现实的对立面:视频里和现实中,究竟哪一边是真的?也正因如此,Teom 认为,当下的虚拟和真实之间的分界线对越来越模糊,而他作品也折射出这种日益增长的不确定性。他说:“昨天做了个梦,梦见我在梦的入口拿着一个开关,我只要按下去就能醒来,你说我要按吗?”

Like our stories? Follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

 

Instagram: @howieleeofficial | @teomchen

 

Contributor: Kiril Bolotnikov
Chinese Translation: Olivia Li
Hindi Translation: Rewant Prakash


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Instagram: @howieleeofficial | @teomchen

 

供稿人: Kiril Bolotnikov
英译中: Olivia Li
印地语翻译: Rewant Prakash

Little Mountain Press 在小山的这边住着两个艺术家

August 5, 2019 2019年8月5日

Little Mountain Press is a publisher of comics helmed by Xiao Mei and Mountain Dog, two Chinese illustrators who first met at New York’s School of Visual Arts. After working together at various art book fairs, in 2018 they decided to join forces and launch a press to publish their own work. Their illustrations portray women in everyday, slice-of-life scenes, enjoying a bowl of instant noodles, applying sunscreen, donning facial masks, or relaxing in a qipao with unshaven armpits. These artworks pull back the curtain on the intimacies of womanhood.


Little Mountain Press (“小山社”)是由 Xiao Mei Mountain Dog 两位中国插画家组成的漫画出版商,她们的第一次相遇是在纽约视觉艺术学院。在参加各种艺术书籍展之后,他们决定在2018年联合起来,成立一家出版社,出版自己的作品。她们的插画描绘着日常生活场景中的女性形象:吃方便面、涂防晒霜、敷上面膜,或者不刮体毛就穿旗袍。这些作品展露着女生之间的亲密状态。

Xiao Mei and Mountain Dog also refuse to shy away from sex. “When we first became good friends, we talked about everything, including dating and sex,” says Xiao Mei. “In our art, we wanted to show that talking about sex is as simple as talking about a good meal.”Their work isn’t all realistic, though. Mountain Dog in particular creates a fantastical take on the everyday. “My work is mostly about my life, even if things aren’t great, I want to create my own version of the world that is fun.”


 Xiao Mei Mountain Dog 也拒绝回避性话题。 “我们刚成为好友的时候,我们就聊了一切,包括约会和性。” Xiao Mei 说, “在我们的作品里,我们想表明谈论性就像谈论一顿好吃的一样简单。”但她们的作品并非都是写实的,尤其是 Mountain Dog 在日常生活中创造了一种奇妙的感觉。“我的作品主要是关于我的生活,即使它没那么棒,我也想创造一个有趣的世界版本。”

Color is a key element to their art. “When we create work, we think of how to incorporate color into the subject matter.” Xiao Mei explains. She and Mountain Dog primarily use risograph printing, a medium they were introduced to in art school. “We were instantly hooked by the colors and wanted to learn more. Now our goal is to get a new risograph machine for ourselves.” 

Little Mountain Press often has text in Chinese and English, as well as elements of Chinese culture. “There aren’t that many zines written in Chinese. Even Chinese artists only write in English,” Xiao Mei notes. “In America people usually buy the zines without asking us the meaning of the Chinese, which we find pretty incredible.”

While Xiao Mei works in New York City, where she’s lived since age 12, Mountain Dog moved to Shenzhen after graduation. “I think there is a lot zine-making in China, but it’s very underground. It’s kind of in a gray area,” Mountain Dog says. “It’s harder to find out about other artists there.” Still, she adds that art book fairs are very supportive communities in both countries.


色彩是她们漫画的关键元素。“我们创作的时候会想如何将色彩融入作品的主题中。” Xiao Mei 说,她和 Mountain Dog 主要用的是激光印刷,这是他们在学校学会的。“我们立刻被那些颜色吸引,并想继续了解。现在我们的目标是为自己买一台新的激光打印机。”

Little Mountain Press 里常有中英文双语,也有中国文化的元素。“独立杂志不太有很多中文版。即使是中国艺术家也只能用英语写作。” Xiao Mei 注意到这一点,“在美国,人们买杂志时常常不问我们中文的含义,我们觉得也挺不可思议的。”

Xiao Mei 从 12 岁就在纽约生活,目前已经在那里工作。而 Mountain Dog 在毕业后搬到了深圳。“我认为在中国有很多独立杂志,但形式是小众地下的,就像在灰色地带那样,很难找到其他艺术家。”不过她补充说,艺术书展在两国都很受支持。

Despite working in separate locations, their partnership remains strong, and they motivate each other to create while juggling full-time careers. “My recent zine, I Don’t Draw Anymore, is basically inspired by Xiao.” Mountain Dog says jokingly.

Laughing, Xiao Mei explains: “I  was yelling at her to go draw for a few months. And she finally started a zine about how she doesn’t draw anymore.”

Luckily for the duo’s fans, Xiao Mei’s constant encouragement worked. Little Mountain Press has been quite busy so far in 2019: they’ve expanded their catalog to include works from other artist friends, attended fairs like Unfold in Shanghai and AbC Art Book Fair, and are currently working on a series of new prints.

Prints and zines are available for purchase on the Little Mountain Press website.


尽管两人在不同的地方工作,但她们的合作关系仍然很牢固,在都有全职工作的同时,她俩互相激励着创作。“我最近的杂志《I Don’t Draw Anymore》(都不画画了)基本上是受到她的启发。” Mountain Dog 开玩笑地说。

Xiao Mei 笑着说:“我跟她咆哮,让她去画几个月的画。然后她画了一篇关于她不再画画的杂志。”

好在,对她们的粉丝来说,Xiao Mei 的不断鼓励起了作用。2019 年对 Little Mountain Press 来说是个忙碌的一年,她们扩大了出品范围,把其他艺术家朋友的作品也包括进来,并参加了 Unfold in Shanghai  和 abC 艺术书展,目前正在制作一系列新的版画。

目前,印刷品和独立杂志都可以在 Little Mountain Press 网站上购买。

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Website: www.littlemountainpress.com
Instagram: @little_mountain_press

 

Contributor: Megan Cattel


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网站: www.littlemountainpress.com
Instagram: @little_mountain_press

 

供稿人: Megan Cattel

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Street Art ≠ Graffiti 涂鸦 ≠ 街头艺术

August 2, 2019 2019年8月2日

On a wall wedged beneath an elevated subway station and above a major highway, Xeme gets quickly to work painting his blocky, pixelated letters. The white paint absorbs the orange glow of the Hong Kong skyline in the distance, visible here from an angle even locals never see. This is exactly the type of thing he excels at: instantly recognizable letters in high-traffic locations. He’s been one of Hong Kong’s most prominent graffiti writers for close to a decade, someone who’s helped propel the city’s graffiti scene into the international spotlight. 


在轻轨站和高速公路的夹层里,Xeme 正专注地在墙上涂鸦着自己的像素块字母。白色的颜料与远方香港天际线的橙色光芒相融,这里是当地人都很少留意到的地方。而 Xeme 极具辨识度的字母涂鸦,就被画在显眼的位置上。Xeme 是近十年来香港最知名的涂鸦艺术家之一,他既是香港城市艺术的受益者,也推动了它在国际上的关注度。

Riding around the city, you see Xeme’s name everywhere. Whether it’s six-foot-tall tags, quickly filled-in bubble letters, or a seemingly endless amount of stickers, it’s impossible to go far without bumping into his work. And while he started out as a vandal, this moonlit pastime has propelled him into the business and art worlds.


在香港这座城市里兜一圈,Xeme 的名字无处不在。无论是六英尺高的签名 tag、快速完成的“泡泡字”(bubble letter)或是看似无穷无尽的贴纸图案,每走过一段距离,就肯定能看到他的作品。虽然,最初涂鸦对他而言只是业余爱好,但在后来他却因为涂鸦而踏入商业和艺术创作的世界。

Xeme’s first experience with graffiti was the writing on a trackside wall that he would pass daily as a teenager walking to high school, a sight he would gawk at with awe and wonder. But Hong Kong has never been a city defined by its graffiti, which made learning anything about it very difficult, especially in the early-aughts. At first, he didn’t even know what to call the painted lettering he saw by the tracks. He experimented on hidden walls with tags using an Asian aerosol brand called Pylox, but really had no idea what he was doing.

“I was trying to figure out how to get magazines [about graffiti] and stuff, which was really hard,” Xeme recalls of those early days. “We had no resources, all I could get was the US rap magazine The Source, which had one page of graffiti per issue tucked all the way in the back.” A few years later he met people at a couple of local shops who would travel abroad and bring graffiti supplies back. There was Weed Time, which sold streetwear and did tattoos, and Ashery Clothing, where he met a lot of his crewmates, which sold German-made Belton paint. The internet age arrived not long after, opening Xeme’s eyes to the world at large and providing a global platform for graffiti from Hong Kong.


Xeme 第一次了解涂鸦是高中时期,他每天上学都会经过火车轨道边,那里有一面墙被画满了涂鸦,那让他很受震撼。但在香港,尤其是那些互联网兴起之前的年代,涂鸦并不是特别流行。他起初甚至都不知道该怎么称呼这些画作,更没有途径去学习创作它们。那时他就用亚洲的气溶胶品牌 Pylox 在一些隐蔽的墙上试着创作自己的签名 tag,但他其实也不知道自己到底在做什么。

回忆那些日子,Xeme 说:“我试过去找杂志之类的资料,但真的很难,我们当时根本没有资源。我能找到的只有美国说唱杂志《The Source》,它每一期后面都会有一页涂鸦专题。”几年后,他在当地的商店认识了一些朋友,他们在出国旅行时会帮他带回一些涂鸦用品,包括出售街头服装和做文身的 Weed Time,出售德国 Belton 涂鸦喷漆的 Ashery Clothing,他在那里还遇到了很多志同道合的朋友。在那之后,互联网兴起,Xeme 就在涂鸦的路上越走越远。

It was tags that Xeme began with, and which he still favors to this day. But it was burners—the colorful and detailed pieces that most of the world can appreciate—that turned him onto art. “I hated art back then, I would sleep during art class,” he laughs of his high school days. “Graffiti just looked cool to me, it was a very juvenile attraction. But as you learn more about it, you get into different fields. Graffiti taught me letters and introduced me to art. Once I got better at burners, art grew on me because that stuff is easier to associate with art. This was maybe ten years later after my start. I’m an art nerd now, and I read books on the Renaissance or Minimalism or Dadaism. Basically covering what I missed in school.”


Xeme 最开始创作的是涂鸦 tag(指“签名”),至今这仍然是他最喜欢的涂鸦风格。但当他接触到 burner(指“精制壁画”)这种大众喜欢,色彩缤纷、细节丰富的作品后,他开始将涂鸦转向艺术方向来创作。“我本来很讨厌艺术,我上艺术课时都会打瞌睡。”他笑着回忆高中时代,“一开始我只是觉得涂鸦看起来很酷,这是一种非常原始的吸引力。但随着你对它的了解加深,你会进入不同的领域。涂鸦让我学会字体创作,引领我走向艺术。当我的 burner 创作得越来越好时,我开始对艺术创作感兴趣,因为这类涂鸦本来就更容易与艺术联系起来。这距离我最初的涂鸦创作已经有十年。现在我成了艺术怪咖,会去读有关文艺复兴、极简主义或达达主义的书。基本上是在弥补我在学校里所遗漏的知识。”

While Xeme may consider himself an art nerd, he’s not too interested in street art. As that scene has grown in popularity, the large murals painted at festivals around the world have become increasingly distanced from their roots. Street art was originally started by graffiti writers who applied their aerosol skills in more commercially viable and accessible ways. But as artists from other walks of life have gotten involved, it’s become more difficult for graffiti writers to participate. It now takes a level of financial investment and professional networking know-how that were rarely necessary in graffiti. And some of graffiti art’s essential aesthetics, particularly the focus on lettering, are also often frowned upon today. As a result, many graffiti writers have turned their backs on what they consider to be a bastardized medium, painting over murals in direct rebellion against the changes they represent. Xeme doesn’t take it that far, but he’s not crazy about the current state of the scene.


虽然自诩艺术咖,但 Xeme 对街头艺术倒没有很大兴趣。随着它的流行,世界各地节日期间绘制的大型墙画已经越来越远离它们的根源。街头艺术最初是由涂鸦作者开始的,他们将喷漆以更可行和更易理解的方式应用在商业上。但随着其他行业的艺术家参与进来,传统涂鸦作家的参与变得越来越困难。现在街头艺术的门槛变得更高,甚至需要一定程度的金融投资和专业人脉,这在涂鸦中是很少需要的。一些涂鸦艺术的基本美学,特别是对字体的关注,在今天也经常遭到反对。因此许多涂鸦作家抛弃了他们认为已变劣质的媒介,直接在墙壁上画涂鸦,盖过之前的作品,以作为反抗。虽然 Xeme并没有走那么远,但他对现在的街头艺术圈不感兴趣。

“Street art wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for graffiti, so it still has a very important role,” he says. “Many of the artists leading the movement have strong graffiti backgrounds, and the street art with graffiti elements in it is what really catches my attention.” But overall, he just focuses on his own passions.

Graffiti also led to much of his business opportunities. He runs a sticker company called Egg Shell that’s globally renowned, and he helps get spray paint into shops across Asia. “I give all the credit to my city,” he says. “The fact that they don’t paint over much in the city means my name runs forever. And there’s so much room to paint here. There’s not much competition, either. My career is entirely thanks to my city and mostly to graffiti.”


“如果没有涂鸦,就不会有街头艺术,所以涂鸦仍然具有非常重要的作用。”他说,“在这场变革中,许多带头的艺术家都有强烈的涂鸦背景,带有涂鸦元素的街头艺术才真正是我感兴趣的。”但总体而言,他只是专注于自己的热情所向。

涂鸦也为他带来了大量商业合作机会。他现在经营着一个名为 Egg Shell 的全球知名贴纸公司,并帮助亚洲各地的商店获取涂鸦喷漆。“我要感谢香港这座城市。没有人遮盖我的作品,这意味着我的名字可以一直放在那。而且,在这里有很多地方可以涂鸦,也没有太多的竞争。在工作方面,我既要感谢香港这座城市,更要感谢涂鸦。”

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Website: www.xeme.co
Instagram:
@xememex

 

Contributor: Mike Steyels
Photographer: Mart Sarmiento
Additional Images Courtesy of Xeme


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网站: www.xeme.co
Instagram:
@xememex

 

供稿人: Mike Steyels
摄影师: Mart Sarmiento
附加图片由 Xeme 提供

We Are Neocha 你好呀,我是 Neocha!

July 31, 2019 2019年7月31日
http://vimeo.com/350891346

 

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Since the launch of Neocha Magazine, we’ve showcased countless stories from around Asia that celebrate culture and creativity. These are stories that entertain us, make us think, and most important of all, inspire us. As a quick overview of what we’re all about, we’ve put together a showreel that highlights the spirit of our magazine. 👆

As always, we’re committed to producing thoughtful, engaging stories. We believe those stories should be beautifully told and accessible to as many people as possible. That’s why we publish every article in English and Chinese and pair it with stunning visuals.

We also believe in the power of collaboration and are always interested in chatting with like-minded individuals (and even not like-minded). Don’t just read our stories, get in touch with us!

Think your art should be featured on our site? Write us at submit@neocha.com

Got a story to pitch? Write us at contribute@neocha.com

Looking for a job on our media team? Write us at jobs@neocha.com

Want to advertise with us or learn about our editorial offerings? Write us at hello@neocha.com


从 Neocha 线上杂志创立以来,我们展现了亚洲地区无数关于文化和创意的内容。这些故事带给我们娱乐、思考,更重要的还有激发灵感。为了让大家快速了解我们,我们组合拼接了一个视频,以重点呈现 Neocha 线上杂志的主旨所在👆。

和以往一样,我们致力于产出有想法、有吸引力的故事。我们坚信这些故事值得被好好阐述,并且让更多人看到。正因如此,我们所有内容都呈现为图文并茂的中英双语版本。

我们也相信合作带来的全新可能,并且很乐意和想法相近的人们(哪怕不相近也行)探讨。所以,不要止步于浏览文章,大胆和我们联系吧!

想自荐或者推荐报道?请邮件至  submit@neocha.com

想成为自由摄影师、摄像师、撰稿人?请邮件至  contribute@neocha.com

想加入 Neocha 线上杂志?请邮件至  jobs@neocha.com

想和我们有广告合作或者媒体内容合作?请邮件至 hello@neocha.com

In Cycles 逃不开的句点

July 29, 2019 2019年7月29日
Bloom (2018) / Oil-painted animation 《闪烁的光》(2018) / 油彩动画

A period marks the end of a sentence, but it can also be understood as signifying the beginning of another. This process of ending and beginning again is at the heart of Period, an exhibition by Korean animator Na Yon Cho held at the PonetiveSpace Gallery in Paju, South Korea. The show consists of both animated and still pieces spanning a wide range of media including charcoal, oil paint, visual effects. “The word ‘period’ states that there is a beginning and an end, but periods are also part of a larger timeline,” she says of the title.


一个句号,可以标志着一句话的结束,也可以被理解为新一句的开端。这种周而复始的结束与开始,正是韩国漫画家 Na Yon Cho 个人展览《Period》的主题。该展览于韩国坡州 PonetiveSpace 画廊举行,由动画和绘画作品组成,呈现了一系列丰富的艺术媒介,包括炭笔画、油画和视觉效果。“‘Period’这个词不仅暗示了开始与结束,更是指时间线中的一段时间。”她这样解释展览的标题。

Snippet from Detective Flower (2018) 截取自《Detective Flower》
Snippet from Detective Flower (2018) 截取自《Detective Flower》

Central to the exhibition is also the concept of saenglobyeongsa (생로병사), a Buddhist teaching that translates to “birth, aging, sickness, death.” Though Cho herself is not Buddhist, the concept has been important to her since she was very young. “It’s always been such a huge part of my understanding of the world because it kind of humbles us in a way,” she says. “As much as we like to believe that we’re beyond animals, or are a unique species, everything has a beginning and there’s always an end. Like flowers, we bloom, and then we die. Death is natural—it just proves that we’re part of a larger ecosystem.”


整个展览的另一个主题是“人生四苦”(即韩文“생로병사”),这是一个佛教用语,意即“生老病死”。虽然 Na Yon 本人不是佛教徒,但这个概念从小就对她影响很大。“这个概念一直影响着我对世界的认知,因为它会让我意识到自身的渺小,变得更谦卑。”她说,“尽管人类认为自己不同于其它动物,但每一个物种都不能免于生死循环。花朵灿烂绽放,随后枯萎,人生也如此。死亡是一件很自然的事情,它证明我们隶属于一个更大的生态系统中的一部分。”

Cho’s animation style, with its short, looping videos, is itself is cyclical. Compared to 3D-based animation, she prefers a traditional process of drawing the frames images in charcoal, animating them, and making corrections by hand. In conveying the concept of saenglobyeongsa, Cho explains that she wanted to highlight how animation is done.

Cho moves back and forth between organic materials and technology. In creating Flickering Light, Cho wet her hands, rubbed charcoal on them, and drew the flame with her fingertips. She then photographed her stills, transferred them to her computer, and animated them based on a reference video of a live flame.


Na Yon 的动画风格带有一种周期循环感,简短、循环。相比于 3D 动画,她更喜欢传统的创作方法:先用炭笔素描每一帧图像,再使之动画化,并手工进行调整。Na Yon 解释说,在表达“人生四苦”的概念时,她想强调动画的制作过程。

Na Yon 的创作在有机材料和科技之间徘徊。在创作《Flickering Light》(闪烁的光)时,Na Yon 用湿透的双手磨擦炭笔,再用指尖描画火焰。之后用相机拍摄下这些静止的图片,传到电脑上,根据真实火焰的视频,制作成动画。

Flickering Light (2019) / Charcoal Animation 《Flickering Light》(2019) / 炭笔动画

Like many other millennials who grew up surrounded by technology, Cho has ambivalent feelings about her relationship with it. In fast-paced cities, far from nature, it’s easy to forget that one is part of a larger ecosystem. On the other hand, technology has allowed us to better understand the natural world. “I’m not against technology, but I think our dependence on it can lead to an unhealthy cycle,” she says.

Upon moving back to Seoul, Cho became reacquainted with traditional Korean art, and especially the tradition of perfecting the drawing of a single orchid. Cho spent six months trying to perfect a single line. “I want to find the perfect line, and this line can’t be pretty — it has to have qi, or energy. I look more for this ‘energy’ than prettiness or façade.”


和其他在众多科技中成长的千禧世代一样,Na Yon 对于自己与科技的关系充满矛盾的感情。在远离自然、节奏快速的城市,人们很容易忘记,自己本是一个更大的生态系统中的一部分。在另一方面,科技又使我们能够更好地了解自然世界。“我不反对科技,但我认为人类对科技的过分依赖会导致一个不太健康的循环。”她说。

回到首尔后,Na Yon 重拾韩国传统艺术,尤其是在描画兰花时不断雕琢完善的绘画传统。她曾花了半年时间努力来完善一个线条。“我想呈现一种完美的线条,比起展现‘漂亮’或好看的表面,它更需要有‘气’、有‘能量’蕴含在里面。”

Details of Flickering Light 《Flickering Light》细节图
Details of Flickering Light 《Flickering Light》细节图
炭笔动画手稿《Flickering Light》
Details of Flickering Light 《Flickering Light》细节图
Details of Flickering Light 《Flickering Light》细节图

Cho’s favorite piece of the exhibition, A Day in the Life, is a standalone painting with no accompanying animation. The chaotic lines of red, orange, and white reflect the stray thoughts that go through everyone’s mind on any given day. They’re a visual interpretation of how important ideas mingle with peripheral memories and float into our consciousness. Cho enjoyed the process of releasing her thoughts by scribbling with pastels, covering the canvas in a layer of oil, and scribbling again. When asked how such a human-centered piece fits into the larger theme of her show, she says that this flow of thoughts is also cyclical in nature.


在展览的作品中,Na Yon 本人最喜欢的作品是《A Day in the Life》(生命中的一天),这是一幅独立的画作,没有附带动画。红、橙、白三色混杂的线条,反映出人在日常那些漫无边际的想法。它也是在以视觉的形式,说明重要的想法与周边记忆融合在一起,并漂浮进我们的意识里。她喜欢用粉彩涂鸦,之后在画布中涂上一层油彩,再继续涂鸦,以此来释放自己的想法。当谈到这样一部以人为中心的作品是如何融入她展览的大主题时,她说,这种思想的流动,在本质上也是循环的。

A Day in the Life (2018) / Acrylic on canvas 《A Day in the Life》(2018) / 布面丙烯

Cho doesn’t want to enforce a singular interpretation of her art, and audience responses can be surprising. At her exhibition, she noticed an older lady watching an animation replay for ten minutes. The lady then came to her and thanked her for the exhibit, explaining that her son had died years ago, but the video, in some small way, helped her to come to terms with it. “She said she felt comforted by the idea that yes there’s death, but there’s also always a bloom.”


Na Yon 不希望强行对她的艺术加上特有的注解,所以观众的反映常常令人惊喜。在她的展览中,她留意到,有一位年迈的女士在一个动画回放前看了十分钟之久。后来,这位女士走到她面前来感谢她。她说自己的儿子几年前去世了,而这段动画视频让她终于接受了这一事实。“她对我说短片的主题让她感到慰藉——死亡是不可避免的,但死亡过后,又是新生。”

Like our stories? Follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

 

Website: nayoncho.work
Instagram: @nacho.nyc

 

Contributor: Eugene Lee
Translator: Olivia Li


喜欢我们的故事?欢迎关注我们 Neocha 的微博微信

 

网站: nayoncho.work
Instagram: @nacho.nyc

 

供稿人: Eugene Lee
英译中: Olivia Li

Outsider Everywhere 局外人在说唱

July 24, 2019 2019年7月24日

 

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In his latest music video, Txmiyama is hanging out of the window of a bus and surrounded by his crew as he raps at the camera. The song he’s performing is a tribute to the city’s iconic minibusses, a local necessity for Hong Kong’s night owls, whether they be commuters on the night shift or nightlife denizens making their woozy way home. In another video, he’s rapping about Chungking Mansions, the infamous indoor complex full of street vendors, hostels, and much, much more hidden deep within its winding halls and 17 floors.

Most people are familiar with Hong Kong’s electrifying skyline and its reputation as a luxury shopping mecca, but the places and things that underground rapper Txmiyama focuses on represent a distinctly local identity.


在说唱歌手 Txmiyama 个人最新 MV 中,周遭围着一众朋友的他,半身探出车窗外,对着镜头喊麦。他所演唱的这首歌,旨在致敬香港标志性的小巴,无论是上夜班的通勤者,还是享受完夜生活醉熏熏回家的人,都仰仗于这个交通工具。而在另一个 MV 中,他把主题转向重庆大厦。这个臭名昭著的大楼里充满了各色街头小贩、廉价旅馆,还有更多隐藏在蜿蜒的走廊和 17 层楼中的故事。

说起香港,大多数人首先想到的是这座城市的灯火阑珊的天际线,及其作为奢侈品购物天堂的声誉,但对地下说唱歌手 Txmiyama 来说,他所关注的地方和事物却更具香港本地特色。

Yet, despite the love and knowledge of the city displayed proudly through his music, Txmiyama still doesn’t consider himself a local. He’s lived in Hong Kong since the age of 12, but both his parents are Japanese and he was born in Toronto. “I don’t even know where I’m from, and I’m comfortable with that. I’m just a stray,” he says with a very subtle Canadian accent slipping out through his Os. “All my friends are here, and I definitely feel like I have a home here. But when it comes to the local community, they probably won’t accept me. So it’s kind of like I’m an outsider everywhere.”


然而,尽管 Txmiyama 在音乐中骄傲地展示了自己对这座城市的热爱和熟悉,但他仍然不认为自己是一个地道的香港人。他出生于多伦多,从 12 岁起住在香港,但父母都是日本人。“我甚至不知道自己来自哪里,但我接受这一点。我只是一个流浪者。”他的英语回答微妙地泄露出他的加拿大口音。“我所有的朋友都在这里,我觉得这里就是我的家。但是对于当地社区来说,他们可能不会接受我,所以不管在哪里,我都像是局外人。”

He embraces that role through his music, most prominently in the song “Outsiders,” where he raps in Japanese, English, and a little Cantonese, with even a line in Tagalog thrown in for good measure. It’s this appreciation of different cultures that has led him to hold places like Chungking Mansions—a popular gathering spot for many of Hong Kong’s ethnic minorities, including South Asians, West Africans, Filipinos, and more—in high regard. “The cultural diversity reminded me of Toronto. It felt like home,” Txmiyama says.”The people are genuine there. They’re like underdogs. They’re coming here and dealing with prejudices from locals, but they have real stories.”


在《Outsiders》(局外人)这首歌里,他用日语、英语和一点粤语说唱,甚至还加插了一句菲律宾塔加洛语歌词。可以说,Txmiyama 是通过自己的音乐,学会接受自己的身份,正是出于对不同文化的理解,他才会对像重庆大厦——这类香港少数人种的聚集地,包括南亚人、西非人、菲律宾人等等——产生极大的尊重感。Txmiyama说:“这种多元文化让我想起了多伦多。让我有一种家的感觉。那里的人都很真实,他们也知道外界很多人对他们有负面的看法,来到这里,面对当地人的偏见,但他们有着真实的故事。”

Listen to to some of our favorite tracks from Txmiyama below:


点击即可试听几首 Txmiyama 的歌曲:

While cultural diversity is on the rise in Hong Kong, it’s largely due to migration from other Asian countries and Caucasian expats moving there for corporate gigs. Chungking Mansions represents a more truly global population, one that some people are unfortunately wary of. At the international high school Txmiyama attended in Hong Kong, other Japanese kids often commented about the people of color he surrounded himself with and shunned him, leading him to feel estranged from his Japanese roots.”They didn’t really like me because I would hang out with too many ‘brown people,’ and I thought that was fucked up,” he recalls. “So growing up, I had some animosity towards Japanese people at one point. I felt like they needed to step out of their comfort zone more. These are all good people, why can’t you just try to understand cultural differences?”


香港的文化多样性正不断扩大,但主要都是来自其他亚洲国家的移民和受企业派遣的欧美外籍人士。而重庆大厦却代表了一个更加真实的全球化人群,但不幸,有些人对此感到忧心忡忡。Txmiyama 在香港的国际高中读书时,其他日本学生经常对他身边的有色人种指指点点,并且有意排斥他,导致他感到自己与日本的根源逐渐疏远。他回忆道:“他们不喜欢我,因为我和太多‘深肤色的人’一起玩,我觉得这种想法太糟糕了。所以在成长过程中,我曾经对日本人产生过一些敌意。我觉得人们应该要多走出自己的舒适区。那些朋友都是很好的人,为什么大家就不能试着去理解文化差异呢?”

Even as an adult, Txmiyama often feels like an outsider among his peers, especially in the local rap scene. “There’s always a gap between international Hong Kong and local Hong Kong,” he explains. “There are people out here who won’t accept my music as Hong Kong music because I don’t rap in Canto or whatever.”

It’s an ironic situation, considering local promoters say that the more commercial clubs complain when they try and play Cantonese rap and prefer English-language rap. But it makes sense since rap’s always been infused with a heavy dose of hometown pride. Local rappers are reclaiming that lost element by showing a new preference for their own language. “I understand their perspective,” he adds, noting that some artists like Dough Boy and Young Hysan are working to bridge the gap between local and international Hong Kong. “The city is getting more diverse, with more cultures coming together. But it’s got some ways to go. We’re such a small city and I feel like we’ve all got to work together to put the city’s rap scene on the map.”


即使成年后,Txmiyama 也经常感觉自己是同侪,特别是在当地的说唱圈。“本地化和国际化的香港之间始终是不同的。”他解释说,“这里的人不认为我的音乐是香港音乐,因为我不会粤语说唱。”

这种情况其实很有讽刺意味,因为许多的当地活动团队说,当他们尝试在主流夜店推广粤语说唱时,对方却表示会倾向英语说唱。但因为说唱总是充满了强烈的故乡自豪感,这其实也有道理。当地说唱歌手对母语的优先运用,重新找回了歌曲中丧失的元素。“我理解他们的想法。” Txmiyama 补充说道。他指出,像 Dough BoyYoung Hysan 这样的音乐人正在努力弥合本地化和国际化的香港之间的差距。“香港现在环境越来越多元,文化之间越来越共融,但前面还有一段路要走。这个城市地域很小,我觉得大家应该携手努力,将香港的说唱发扬光大。”

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Instagram: @txmiyama
Facebook: ~/txmiyama852
YouTube: ~/txmiyama

 

Contributor: Mike Steyels
Photographer & Videographer: Mart Sarmiento


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Instagram: @txmiyama
脸书: ~/txmiyama852
YouTube: ~/txmiyama

 

供稿人: Mike Steyels
图片与视频摄影师: Mart Sarmiento

Auntie is Coming 大姨妈要来了

July 22, 2019 2019年7月22日

Puberty can be an awkward time in a teenager’s life. Proper sex education is vital to helping kids understand the changes they’re going through, but in many countries, such a curriculum doesn’t exist in schools.

Stacey Wei, a self-taught Chinese-American artist, recognizes the importance of sex education during adolescence. She recalls the confusion and apprehension that she experienced when going through puberty. “I’m not sure I knew what was going on,” Wei says. “And my parents and teachers never really addressed it.” To help girls today avoid what she went through, she decided to create educational content that can offer guidance during this tumultuous period of bodily change.


对青少年来说,青春期可能是他们人生中一段尴尬的时期。适当的性教育有助于他们了解自己正在经历的变化,但在许多国家,学校都没有提供这类的课程。

韦思莹是一位自学成才的美籍华裔艺术家,对于青春期性教育的重要性,她深以为然。回忆起在青春期经所经历的困惑和忧虑,Stacey 说:“我不确定到底发生了什么事。而我的父母和老师也从来没有真正去解决过这个问题。”为了帮助当代女孩避免她的遭遇,她决定创作教育性的内容,来引导正经历动荡的青春期的女孩。

Working with translator Yunqian Wang, Wei published Big Auntie is Coming, a Chinese-language booklet that tackles the subject of female puberty and menstruation with a lighthearted touch. The title is based on a common Chinese euphemism for menstruation, and it begins with Wei sharing a few more of her favorite euphemisms from other countries, such as France’s, les anglais ont débarqué (meaning “The English have landed,” a reference to the British Army’s red uniforms of the past), and Portugal’s sinal vermelho (meaning “red traffic light”).


韦思莹与译者 Yunqian Wang 合作,出版了中文画册《大姨妈要来了》,以轻松诙谐的风格讲解女性青春期和月经的问题。书名取自中国对月经的委婉表达, 韦思莹分享了她所知道的一些其他国家关于月经的委婉说法,例如在法国是“les anglais ont débarqué”(意思是“英语人已登陆”,因为过去英国军队穿的是红色的制服),在葡萄牙则是“sinal vermelho”(意为“红色交通灯”)。

As readers make their way deeper into the pages, the book stays on course with its silliness, a way of appeasing to the pre-teen readership that the book is meant for. To this end, Wei also opted for easy-to-understand language, a playful style of illustration, and a roster of zany characters who help push the story along: the menstrual cycle first appears personified as a superwoman dressed in pink, a bra-wearing toy poodle offers words of encouragement about breast-size insecurities, and girls striking Rosie-the-riveter pose reassure readers that leakage is common.

The result is that Big Auntie is Coming almost reads like a children’s picture book, though the content is meant for a slightly older audience. This approach gives the book a whimsical charm that makes the educational material fun and entertaining. “The book is a way of introducing menstruation in a less awkward way,” Wei explains. “It can hopefully alleviate some of the stigmas of talking about it so that a more in-depth conversation can be had.”


往下翻阅,整本书从始至终保持着幽默风趣的风格,迎合其针对的青少年读者群。为此,韦思莹还特意选择了简单的文字,搭配俏皮的插图,设计了一系列滑稽角色来推动故事的情节发展:月经的首次出现被拟人化成穿着粉红胸罩的女超人,一只穿着内衣的贵宾犬鼓励女孩不要因为乳房发育感到不安,还有主角摆着铆钉工人萝西的经典姿势,告诉读者,侧漏是很常见的事情。

《大姨妈要来了》读起来就像一本儿童图画书,但内容适合更成熟的观众,这也使得整本书充满着一种异想天开的魅力,让学习过程充满乐趣和娱乐性。“这本书以一种不那么尴尬的方式来介绍月经。”韦思莹解释道,“希望能减少人们对于谈论这个问题时的羞耻感,以鼓励更多深入的对话。”

This book is only the beginning for Wei. Seeing the positive reception to Big Auntie Is Coming has motivated her to publish more educational content that covers a breadth of health-related topics, including hygiene, male puberty, and mental health.

Auntie is Coming is now available in the Neocha Shop.


对于韦思莹来说,这本书只是一个开始。看到《大姨妈要来了》大受欢迎,她希望能创作出版更多教育性的作品,涵盖一系列与健康相关的话题,包括卫生、男生青春期和心理健康等。

《大姨妈要来了》现于 Neocha 商店发售

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Instagram: @sswei
Behance: ~/staceywei

 

Contributor: Daniella Danuvy
Chinese Translation: Olivia Li


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Instagram: @sswei
Behance: ~/staceywei

 

供稿人: Daniella Danuvy
英译中: Olivia Li

True Colors 下跪的艺术

July 19, 2019 2019年7月19日
National Anthem (San Francisco 49ers) (2019) 16.5 x 29 in / Watercolor on paper《National Anthem (San Francisco 49ers)》(2019) / 水彩, 42 x 74 cm

In September 2016, Colin Kaepernick, a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, began kneeling during the US national anthem at the start of each NFL game. He did this to protest systemic racism in the US, and particularly police violence against black men. President Donald Trump attacked him on Twitter, saying that this was disrespectful to the flag; other commenters countered that his actions were in fact an embodiment of the American spirit. Suddenly Kaepernick had become famous beyond the world of football, and discussions of the controversy led to a national reexamination of American identity.

Kaepernick’s actions, and the protests that followed, intrigued Kota Ezawa, a Japanese-German artist who resides in the US. His series of watercolors National Anthem, which was recently shown at the Whitney Biennial, explores these events. “A lot of protest happens through language or slogans,” says Ezawa. “The genius of his gesture is that it was non-verbal—it was just taking a knee. It said so much without saying anything.”


2016 年 9 月,NFL 球员柯林·卡佩尼克(Colin Kaepernick)在比赛前奏国歌时下跪,以表示对美国机构性种族主义的抗议,特别是抗议警察对黑人男性的暴力行为。美国总统特朗普发推说这是对国家和国旗的不敬;但有些民众说,这才是美国精神的体现。柯林一下在橄榄球界内外闻名,而关于下跪事件的讨论,也推动了美国社会对美国身份的反思。

卡佩尼克的这一跪,以及接下来的抗议活动,激起了常住加州的日裔德国艺术家 Kota Ezawa 的兴趣。他为惠特尼双年展创作的《国歌》系列,就探究了下跪事件的意义。“言语或口号是很多抗议活动的表达渠道。” 他说,“而柯林无声的举动却胜过有声的表达:他仅仅下跪而已,什么都没说,但这种表达却很丰富。”

National Anthem (Miami Dolphins) (2019) 10.5 x 19 in / Watercolor on paper《National Anthem (Miami Dolphins)》(2019) / 水彩, 27 x 48 cm
National Anthem (The Roar of the Jaguars) (2018) 13 x 23 in / Watercolor on paper《National Anthem (The Roar of the Jaguars)》(2018) / 水彩, 33 x 58 cm

When Ezawa was approached to submit work for the Whitney Biennial, he originally planned to create a piece based on Robert Frank’s iconic photography series The Americans. Yet after reading about the football controversy, he thought, why not do a piece on Kaepernick’s kneeling? “It rarely feels like I am choosing a subject for my work. More often the subject finds me, or an idea comes to me unexpectedly,” he says. This series was no exception.

Before the controversy made headlines, Ezawa had only thought of the national anthem that’s played before sports events as a moment for silence, and he had never given much thought to its patriotic or political significance. Yet Kaepernick’s decision to kneel showed him how powerful a moment it could be. “I perceived it as some unusual act of patriotism. If you stage a protest on such a large platform in front of millions of people, it can only be because somehow you care about the country that you’re supposed to represent.”

Recreated in watercolor, the news images have a surprising warmth. “In general, I try to incite some kind of conflict between the surface of the work and what‘s behind it,” he says. Here he takes what could be a passing story and gives it a certain permanence, while also making the events seem less distant—perhaps like actions that anyone could take.


当惠特尼双年展邀请 Kota 提出作品的时候,他原先准备基于罗伯特·弗兰克的典型照片集《美国人》作画。但他看了这次足球争议之后,突然被想法击中:为什么不以柯林下跪为主题呢?Kota 说,“我很少感觉自己选择主题,往往是主题找到了我,或者是突然间出现在我脑中。”这个作品就是如此。

在争议铺天盖地之前,Kota 只把国歌当做比赛前的一个静止时刻,从没想到这个固定程序背后的爱国情绪和政治涵义,但柯林的举动证明了这一刻的震撼。“我发觉,这是一种独特的爱国行动。如果你在这么大的舞台上、在上百万观众前反抗,那说明某种程度上,对你要代表的国家,你一定是关切至深的。”

他把原来的新闻图片形式重新创作,创造出浑厚圆润的水彩画。他说,“我通常会尝试造成表面和深层的冲突。”在这个系列中,新闻的短时效性转变成持久性的内容,同时抗议事件也更贴近观众——也许每个人都会如此行动。

National Anthem (Oakland Raiders) (2019) 13 x 23 in / Watercolor on paper《National Anthem (Oakland Raiders)》(2019) 33 x 58 cm / 水彩
National Anthem (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) (2019) 10.5 x 19 in / Watercolor on paper《National Anthem (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)》(2019) 27 x 48 cm / 水彩
National Anthem (Buffalo Bills) (2018) 11 x 15.5 in / Watercolor on paper, 《National Anthem (Buffalo Bills)》(2018) 28 x 42 cm / 水彩

Ezawa, who has lived in the US for over 20 years, was raised in Germany, the son of a German mother and a Japanese father, and he’s always had an ambivalent relationship to national identity. “I never felt a connection to this attitude of patriotism,” he explains. “I never knew which flag I should wave, the Japanese one or the German one. Now I’m a naturalized US citizen, but I never thought of myself as having these strong patriotic feelings about the US.”

Slowly, he’s begun to feel more American, and perhaps Kaepernick’s protest—with its brave and thoughtful patriotism, so different from the flag-waving variety—is one of the reasons. “Until recently, I thought of myself mainly as a foreigner and immigrant, but this perspective is slowly softening,” he says. Being selected as a representative of US contemporary art in the Whitney Biennial is a milestone for him. “At least in the eyes of the art world, it seems like I qualify as American.”

Still, he maintains distance from easy national identification. “I’m not so sure that my perspective is tied to any national origin. I once heard it said that an artist sees the world through the eyes of a tourist,” he notes. “I think that is my preferred perspective.”

To keep up to date with upcoming exhibitions or works from Kota Ezawa, visit the Haines Gallery website.


在美国生活了二十余年的 Kota 成长于德国,母亲是德国人,父亲是日本人,他对国家认同一直存有矛盾。“我从未对爱国主义有什么联系,每次都不知道自己该挥舞哪国的国旗,到底是日本还是德国呢。”他说,“虽然如今是美国籍,但从不觉得自己对美国有这种强烈的爱国情绪。”

Kota 现在慢慢开始感觉自己更像美国人,也许是柯林的抗议让他认同的原因之一——那种周密、勇敢、跟民族主义完全不同的爱国态度。“我之前觉得自己是外国人,是移民,但最近这个视角慢慢开始改变。” 他说。被选入美国当代艺术的代表惠特尼双年展,对他来说也是一个里程碑,“至少在艺术世界里,好像我已经被当成了美国人了。”

但无论如何,Kota 对流于表面的国家认同保持距离。“我不觉得我的艺术视角和任何国家有关。我曾听过一句话,说的是艺术家的世界观和游客一样,我觉得这才是我所偏好的视角。”

想持续关注 Kota Ezawa 的展览和作品信息,可点击浏览 Haines Gallery 官网

National Anthem (Cleveland Browns) (2019) 8 x 29 in / Watercolor on paper《National Anthem (Cleveland Browns)》(2019) 20 x 74 cm / 水彩
National Anthem (Tennessee Titans) (2019) 16 x 29 in / Watercolor on paper《National Anthem (Tennessee Titans)》(2019) 41 x 74 cm / 水彩,
National Anthem (Washington Redskins) (2019) 13 x 23 in / Watercolor on paper《National Anthem (Washington Redskins)》(2019) 33 x 58 cm / 水彩
National Anthem (Denver Broncos) (2018) 9 x 19 in / Watercolor on paper《National Anthem (Denver Broncos)》(2018) 23 x 48 cm / 水彩

Like our stories? Follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

 

Contributor: Jiang Yaling
English Translation: Allen Young
Images Courtesy of Kota Ezawa and Haines Gallery


喜欢我们的故事?欢迎关注我们 Neocha 的微博微信

 

供稿人: Jiang Yaling
中译英: Allen Young
图片由 Kota Ezawa 与 Haines Gallery 提供

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In Full Bloom 记忆的黑洞

July 15, 2019 2019年7月15日

 

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Memory can be a fickle thing, especially in old age.

Filmmaker Maegan Houang’s latest short, In Full Bloom, highlights the cruelty of age-related memory loss through a surreal story with no dialogue. The film centers on Cecile (played by Vietnamese-American actress Kiều Chinh), an elderly woman confined to her house by anxiety after the death of her husband.


记忆无常,尤在暮年。

Maegan Houang 的最新短片电影,《In Full Bloom》(《在盛开时》),通过一个没有对话的超现实故事,呈现了随年岁增长而记忆渐失的残酷。影片以 Cecile(越南裔美籍女演员 Kiều Chinh 饰)为主角。丈夫去世后,她因有广场恐惧症(agoraphobic)而被困在家里。

The agoraphobic protagonist continues to practice her favorite pastime, gardening, even if it’s just tending to potted plants in her poorly lit home. Hoping to grow a rare flower, she orders special worms advertised to help with the soil. But overnight, the worms—brought to life by stop-motion artist Jason Whetzell—escape the pot and burrow a hole under her couch. The ominous hole serves as a metaphor for dementia and the erosion of Cecile’s mental faculties, and as it grows larger and larger over the course of the film, it vacuums up everything she holds dear.


Cecile 为缓解焦虑,一直在学习园艺作为消遣,哪怕只是在昏暗的家里种下盆栽。为了种植稀有花卉,她订购了广告里说是帮助耕种土壤的特殊蚯蚓。但一夜之间,那些蚯蚓——由定格动画艺术家 Jason Whetzell 制作并“复活”的蠕虫——逃离了花盆,并且在她的沙发下挖了一个洞。这个不祥的洞,象征着阿尔茨海默症以及 Cecile 的智力衰退,它在短片电影中日长夜大,吸走了她所珍爱的一切。

Alone and frightened, Cecile considers packing up her things and leaving, but reaching the front door, she finds herself unable to overcome her fears of being outside. She’s stuck at home, she’s forced to face the ravenous chasm by herself.

Cecile secures what remains of her furniture and belongings with rope and retreats to her bedroom. But during the night, the unforgiving void continues swallowing her things at an even more violent rate, eventually taking one of her most precious possessions: a photo of her late husband.

The film’s sense of dread and helplessness encapsulates the feelings experienced by Alzheimer’s patients who watch helplessly as the disease robs them of everything. These emotions are all too familiar to Houang, who saw first-hand the effects of Alzheimer’s with her grandfather. In the later stages of the disease, he even forgot his wife had passed away.


受惊后的 Cecile 想收拾好东西离开,但到了前门,她发现自己无法克服出门在外的恐惧。她被困在家里,被迫独自面对那个贪婪的深洞。

Cecile 用绳子把她剩下的家具和财物固定起来,然后逃到卧室。可到了晚上,那可憎的空洞还在以更猛烈的速度吞噬着她的东西,最终夺走了她最珍贵的财产之一:一张她已故丈夫的照片。

影片里的恐惧和无助感,向观众集中展现了阿尔茨海默症患者的感受:他们无助地看着疾病夺走他们的一切。Maegan 对这再熟悉不过了,因为她亲眼目睹了阿尔茨海默症对她祖父的影响。在疾病的晚期,他甚至忘记了他的妻子已经去世。

Just like the stories of many Alzheimer’s patients and their families, Houang’s film doesn’t end on a happy note. In the morning, Cecile emerges to a completely barren home, save for the single flower that’s spawned the whole mess. The hole, now larger than ever, almost seems to taunt her. In the final scene, she approaches it, eases herself onto the edge, and lets herself slip in, disappearing into the darkness.


就像许多阿尔茨海默症患者和他们的家人的故事一样,Maegan 的电影并没有画上一个圆满的句号。早上,Cecile 从卧室出来发现,家里只剩下一朵孤伶伶的花。而那个洞此刻已经比以往任何时候都大,大到几乎像是在嘲弄她。最后一个场景里,Cecile 慢慢接近了黑洞,在它边缘平静地坐下,再之后就纵身滑进黑洞,从此消失在黑暗里。

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Website: www.maeganhouang.com
Instagram: @houangm
Vimeo: ~/maeganhouang

 

Contributor: David Yen
Chinese Translation: Chen Yuan


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网站: www.maeganhouang.com
Instagram: @houangm
Vimeo: ~/maeganhouang

 

供稿人: David Yen
英译中: Chen Yuan