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No Commercial Value 帮我把艺术打包带走!

March 27, 2020 2020年3月27日
I'm Not a Low Brow but I Rock a Little Know-How 《I'm Not a Low Brow but I Rock a Little Know-How》

In modern times, the distinction between a product and a work of art can be blurry. The commodification of art and its increase in accessibility in recent years have played a large part in this shift. With the proliferation of terms like “wearable art” and “art collectibles”, how should art be treated as a product? In Hilmy Pratama Soepadmo’s works, the two are one and the same.

“Why do you like to shop? Why do we like to buy things?” Soepadmo asks. These are the questions foundational to the Indonesian artist’s works, which often feature logos, markings, and products from renowned fashion labels, positioned to be just barely noticeable. These elements give nod to Soepadmo’s own tastes while inviting reflection on today’s consumerist culture. “The visual markers in my works act as an entry point,” he explains. “Once the viewer perceives something they recognize, they will be more receptive towards the entirety of the work.”


在当代,商品和艺术品之间的界限变得很模糊,这种转变在很大程度上可以归咎于近年来艺术的商品化和普及化。随着 穿戴式艺术艺术收藏品这些词语的频繁出现,人们开始思考应该如何将艺术转化为商品。在印尼艺术家 Hilmy Pratama Soepadmo 的作品中,艺术与商品被视为一物。

“你为什么喜欢购物?人们为什么不停地买买买?”Hilmy 问道。这些问题为他提供了创作根基,品牌标志、标签以及知名时尚品牌商品都是他作品中常见的元素,并且毫无保留地出现在作品中。既体现了 Hilmy 自己的味口,同时也引发人们对现今消费文化的反思。“视觉和包装是我的切入点。他解释说。一旦观众认出作品中有自己熟悉的元素,他们会更容易接受整个作品。

Comprehensive Arrangement B 《Comprehensive Arrangement B》
Comprehensive Arrangement A 《Comprehensive Arrangement A》

Asked whether his works are a critique of consumerism, he insists they’re not, and he’s well aware of his position as a consumer. “Our relationship with capitalism is much more complex than just saying ‘Buying things is bad. Abstaining from consumerism is good,’” he says. “It’s not that black and white. Yet at the same time, I want to raise some questions about our pattern of consumption. Why do we buy so much stuff? Are we informed enough about the things we are consuming?” Rather than simply criticizing or celebrating consumerism, he offers a nuanced take on being a conscious consumer. He questions whether we buy things out of necessity or if other factors are at play. Furthermore, he revealed that he has no idea whether people bother to understand the products they have—as simple as washing clothes according to its instructions—or if they buy things just for the sake of consuming. His works express what it means to be an artist in the midst of commerce and commodification.


当被问及他的作品是否是对消费主义的批判时,他坚决地否认了,并清楚地表明自己也是一名普通的消费者。我们与资本主义的关系其实很复杂,不能单纯地否认购物,亦不能认为杜绝消费就是好事。他说,这不是非黑即白的问题。但同时,我也会对人们的消费方式提出一些质疑。我们为什么要买这么多东西?我们是否真正了解我们所消费的事物?

没有一味地批评或鼓励消费主义,Hilmy 通过巧妙的方式提醒人们做一个有意识的消费者。他希望通过作品能让人们思考,我们究竟是出于必要而购物,还是由其他因素引起。此外,他还好奇,人们在购物时,会不会花心思去了解所购买的产品(最简单的例子就是按照衣服标签的洗涤说明来洗衣服),抑或是纯粹为了消费而购物。他的作品体现了一位艺术家身处商业社会和商品化时代的思辨。

Detail of Its Neither Artwork, Nor Commodification 《Its Neither Artwork, Nor Commodification》细节图
Detail of Its Neither Artwork, Nor Commodification 《Its Neither Artwork, Nor Commodification》细节图
Its Neither Artwork, Nor Commodification 《Its Neither Artwork, Nor Commodification》
Detail of Its Neither Artwork, Nor Commodification 《Its Neither Artwork, Nor Commodification》细节图
Detail of Its Neither Artwork, Nor Commodification 《Its Neither Artwork, Nor Commodification》细节图

The consumption of fashion is of particular interest to Soepadmo. While clothing is a basic need, it serves more purpose than acting as a barrier between our skin and surroundings. Beyond its aesthetic value, clothing has a social meaning: people showcase their identity, value, and tastes through what they wear. This duality between practical and decorative is akin to how art is being perceived by its audience: does art exist solely for artistic appreciation or should it have derivative functions with greater societal values? 

In the conception of his works, Soepadmo positioned himself as a consumer first, questioning what he expected from a product. His approach in fulfilling those expectations comes from another side of his professional work; graphic design. His works are as much of a product as it is an artwork to him since he incorporated the same treatments to his projects the same way a designer would to a product.


时尚领域消费也是 Hilmy 特别关注的主题。虽然衣服是一项人们基本的需求,其除了为皮肤提供与外界环境隔离的屏障之外,衣服还有更多其他的用途。超越美学价值,服装更具有一定的社会意义:人们通过服装展示身份、价值和品味,因而同时兼备了实用性与装饰性。这种双重性也映射着人们对艺术的看法:艺术品除了供人们欣赏之外,是不是还应该具有一些衍生的社会价值?

在构思作品时,Hilmy 首先将自己定位为消费者,思考对一件产品的期望;然后,运用自己的平面设计专业,将这些 “期望” 兑现。他按照设计师打造商品的方式来创作自己的作品。对他而言,他的作品既是艺术品,也是商品。

No Commercial Value 《No Commercial Value》
No Commercial Value 《No Commercial Value》
No Commercial Value 《No Commercial Value》

For an artist who views his works as both a product and an artwork, he’s careful to not fully veer into commercial territory. “Merchandising is in a whole different level of commodification,” he says. “Today in Indonesia, art exists on so many different levels, from high art to low-brow, and they’re all valid in their own right—but directly slapping a photo of an artwork to a tote bag or a t-shirt is just derivative. Merchandise does provide accessibility, and that’s great, but for me it needs to be clear that it serves a distinct purpose from the work itself.” His sentiment comes from the phenomenon of people displaying art merchandise as if it’s the actual art piece. To him, merchandise with precise functions, such as wearables, should be used as it’s intended, not be placed in lieu of the original piece. This stance reflects Soepadmo’s appreciation for everyday products.


虽然将自己的作品视为商品和艺术的融合,但 Hilmy 并不想让自己的作品完全被商业侵蚀。他说:商品化与商业化是完全不同的。现在的印度尼西亚,艺术存在于不同的层面,从高雅到低俗,这些艺术本身都有各自的意义。但是直接将艺术品的照片简单粗暴地印到手袋或 T 恤上,这种衍生品的做法实在太缺乏创意了。商品化拉近了人们与艺术的距离,这很好,但对我来说,需要明确的是,商品与艺术品有着截然不同的目的。” 而之所以有这样的想法,是因为他发现,人们正逐渐将艺术商品当作真正的艺术品来展示。在他看来,那些有着明确功能性的商品,比如衣服,本来就是用来穿戴的,其并不能代替原创的艺术品。这样的观点也反映出 Hilmy 对日常商品的重视。

Detail of Counterfeit 《Counterfeit》细节图
Detail of Counterfeit 《Counterfeit》细节图
Counterfeit 《Counterfeit》
Detail of Counterfeit 《Counterfeit》细节图

Packaging design can elevate a product’s value. In Soepadmo’s works, the packaging is an inseparable part of the art. “To take the product analogy further, galleries function as a storefront for artworks,” he says. It’s only appropriate to utilize the concept of packaging in this perspective.” Through the use of packaging, Soepadmo presented his artworks just like a product. The packaging fulfills its fundamental function—it presents factual specifications of the artwork along with its handling and displaying instructions. This unusual element impacts the viewers’ perception of the artwork as a whole, as they convey that art is also a commodity. Rather than being supplementary to its “product”, the packaging in Soepadmo’s works is of equal, if not greater,  importance as the paintings inside them

Sealed within vacuum bags or encased in perspex, he intentionally separates his paintings from the viewer Typographic elements detail the specifications of the piece: materials, dimensions, and handling directions, among other details. His choice of materials also factors in durability, a key criterion of a high-quality product. “I wanted to subvert the notion that works of contemporary art are fragile and delicate,” he remarks..


包装设计可以提升产品价值。在 Hilmy 的作品中,包装也作为艺术品不可分割的一部分。他说:如果把艺术品归类为商品,那画廊就是艺术品的店面。从这种角度来看,为艺术品加上包装再合理不过。他将自己的艺术作品加上包装,像商品一样被陈列出来。和普通商品包装的处理方式一样,艺术作品的包装上都注明了每件艺术品的基本信息,包括实际规格、创作和陈列说明。这种不同寻常的设计会影响观众对艺术品的整体看法,并传达出一个直接的信息:艺术品也是商品。

对于普通商品而言,包装只作为产品的补充。而 Hilmy 却将包装与内容放在同等重要的位置。他会有意地将画作与观看者分开,作品往往被密封的真空袋或有机玻璃包装,上面用别出心裁的排版描述着作品的规格、材料和尺寸等等说明。同时,他在创作材料的选择上也考虑到耐用性,因为这也是衡量商品品质高低的重要标准之一。Hilmy 说:人们认为当代艺术作品都是精致脆弱的,我想用我的作品挑战这种观念。

Exessive Yet Overwhelming Methods to Present Art Object 《Exessive Yet Overwhelming Methods to Present Art Object》
Exessive Yet Overwhelming Methods to Present Art Object 《Exessive Yet Overwhelming Methods to Present Art Object》
Exessive Yet Overwhelming Methods to Present Art Object 《Exessive Yet Overwhelming Methods to Present Art Object》
Exessive Yet Overwhelming Methods to Present Art Object 《Exessive Yet Overwhelming Methods to Present Art Object》

Soepadmo’s works also come in a proper bundle, complete with a certificate of authenticity, a manual book, and small instruments to display the artwork—specially selected screws, nylon plugs, and nylon strings being some of them. Through comprehensive information and tools, Soepadmo makes it easier for galleries and collectors to display the pieces as he envisioned.

He is aware that his approach is very much informed by his perspective as a designer, and even more so as a consumer. “I feel it’s confining to approach your work by only one perspective,” he says. “The barriers between what we do is disappearing, and to embrace all its shift and duality is much more interesting.”


有时,Hilmy 的作品还会被打包在一起,里面附带着正品证明、实用手册和一些用于展示艺术品的小工具,包括螺钉、尼龙塞和尼龙绳。有了这些全面的信息和工具,画廊和收藏家可以按照 Hilmy 的设想更轻松地将作品展示而出。

Hilmy 认识到,自己的作品是需要同时站在设计师和消费者的角度来进行创作的。他说:“如果单从一个角度来构思作品太有局限性,商品和艺术品之间的界限正在逐渐消失,接受这种转变和双重性也许会更有意思。

Compressed Object of Commodification 《Compressed Object of Commodification》
Compressed Object of Commodification 《Compressed Object of Commodification》

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Website: hpsoepadmo.pb.studio
Instagram
@hpsoepadmo

 

Contributor: Almer Mikhail
Chinese Translation: Olivia Li


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网站: hpsoepadmo.pb.studio
Instagram
@hpsoepadmo

 

供稿人: Almer Mikhail
英译中: Olivia Li

Dahlia‘s Virtual World 大丽花游戏杀

March 23, 2020 2020年3月23日

In the dead of night, empty streets glow under magenta street lights while secrets hide within cyan-tinged shadows. The paintings of Keb Cerda‘s Dahlia resemble little of Metro Manila, where the Filpino artist calls home and where the streets are always filled with activity, regardless of the late hour. But the quiet depicted in these acrylic paintings is deceptive—viewed through an augmented reality app, the works come to life, overrun by digital characters running amok.


夜深人静,紫红色的路灯照亮空荡荡的街道,而暗绿色的阴影中,像是藏着不为人知的秘密。菲律宾艺术家 Keb Cerda 的《Dahlia》系列绘画作品和现实中的马尼拉大都会区并不太相似,因为这里的街道即便到了深夜也依旧热闹非凡。但是,这些丙烯画实际上却并非像其画面所描绘的那样平静 透过一个增强现实应用程序观看,这些作品突然生动起来,虚拟的人群来来往往,川流不息。

Keb’s father, Toti Cerda, is an accomplished painter, but the traditional medium was of little interest to Keb while growing up. He was far more interested in video games and puzzles. “I only went inside my father’s studio for stuff like tape and pencils so I could create mazes and games for my friends,” he recalls with a laugh. “That was all I thought about. I remember not showing up to soccer tryouts because my father bought me a PS1.”


Keb 的父亲 Toti Cerda 是一位颇负盛名的画家,但 Keb 小的时候对画画这种传统的艺术创作并不感兴趣,相反,他对电子游戏和拼图更感兴趣。我小时候进父亲的工作室里也只是为了拿胶带和铅笔这些东西,因为我要用来和朋友玩迷宫和做游戏。他笑着回忆说,我当时满脑子都想着这些东西。我记得有一次要参加足球选拔赛,我都没有去,就是因为我父亲给我买了一台 PS1

He jokes that his dad “tricked” him into taking fine arts in college, but that’s where he fell in love with painting. Despite this newfound passion, his love for video games and technology never left him. In 2015, Cerda began experimenting with ways of combining augmented reality and traditional painting. Alongside his fiancee and a developer named Alvin Uy, Cerda created an app to alter artworks without damaging them, which he called the Omniscope. “Without committing a crime, I could collaborate with Da Vinci, Chuck Close, and Banksy.” Every painting series he’s created since then has used Omniscope in some form.


他开玩笑说自己是在父亲诱骗下才进了大学的美术专业,但在大学期间,他爱上了绘画,但他对视频游戏和科技的热爱也不会因此减少。2015 年,Keb 开始尝试将增强现实与传统绘画相结合。他的未婚妻 Alvin Uy 是一名程序开发员,两人一起开发了一个 App,在不破坏艺术品的情况下改造作品,他将这个 App 取名为 Omniscope(直译为:全息镜)我不用去盗画或做其它犯法的事情,也可以和达芬奇、查克·克罗斯Chuck Close)和班克西合作了。从那以后,他创作的每幅绘画作品或多或少都会用到 Omniscope

Dahlia, Cerda’s most recent project, is split into two parts: a series of silent nightscapes and a collection painted in a graphic-novel style.  The series’ titular main character, Dahlia, lives in a world secretly ruled by alien robots. They distract their human subjects through VR headsets that project illusions of a bright, happy world. A glitch in Dahlia’s headset exposes her to reality.

Opening Omniscope transforms these empty scenes into platform games. Each level is populated with 8-bit characters equipped with laser cannons; the controllable character, Dahlia, runs around blowing shit up and fights off the invaders.

While the project is playful and fun, it contains veiled social commentary: “It’s about our dependence on technology,” Cerda says. “But clearly I’m just as dependent—I’m using AR technology to prove my point.”


Keb 的最新作品《Dahlia》分为两个部分:宁静的夜景和绘画故事作品。该系列的同名主人公 Dahlia 生活在一个被外星机器人秘密统治的世界中。他们通过 VR 耳机,投射出一个明亮、快乐的世界,让人类活在这个幻象之中,直至某一天 Dahlia 的耳机出现故障后,她才恍然醒悟。

打开 Omniscope 后,空空如也的场景转换为平台游戏,每个关卡都有装备激光炮的 8-bit 人物;而可控主角 Dahlia 四处奔走射击,击爆入侵者。

在充满趣味的表面之下,这个项目也隐晦地传递着对社会的批判——“这个项目旨在揭示人们对科技的依赖。” Keb 说,显然我自己也有这种依赖性,但我现在不正是用 AR 技术来证明这个观点吗?

Download Omniscope and scroll back up to experience Keb Cerda’s paintings in full. For iOS devices, please visit the Apple App Store. For Android users, visit the Google Play Store.


快来下载 Omniscope 全方位体验 Keb Cerda 绘画中的场景吧!iOS 设备请访问苹果应用商店;Android 用户,请访问谷歌 Play 商店

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Website: www.kebcerda.com
Instagram
: @kebcerda

 

Contributor: Mike Steyels
Chinese Translation: Olivia Li


喜欢我们的故事?欢迎关注我们 Neocha 的微博微信

 

网站: www.kebcerda.com
Instagram
: @kebcerda

 

供稿人: Mike Steyels
英译中: Olivia Li

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Rise of the Vietnamese Robots 藏宝地始于垃圾堆

March 20, 2020 2020年3月20日

Saigon-based art studio Design by Reborn believes in the reanimating powers of art. The studio, founded by Kumkum Fernando (whom we’ve featured in the past), creates conceptual works that breathe new life into objects and stories that have been forgotten. Using only materials destined for landfills, Fernando and his team have produced an impressive œuvre of upcycled art since the studio launched in 2017.


来自越南西贡的艺术工作室 Design by Reborn 认为,艺术拥有复活再生的力量。该工作室由Kumkum Fernando(我们过去曾报道过)创立,通过创作的概念作品,让将被人们遗忘的物体和故事焕发新的生命。工作室以人们抛弃的废料为原材,打造出令人印象深刻的再生艺术作品。自 2017年工作室成立以来,Kumkum 和他的团队仅用哪些被埋葬的废弃物,就创造了令人印象深刻的艺术品。

In Toys with History, the studio built functional toy cars out of discarded furniture. Pieces of the salvaged wood were used as vehicle bodies. Outfitted with new axles and wheels, the toys retained their worn coats of paint and jagged corners, a nod to the object’s original form.  A similar creative philosophy prevailed in Knock Knock, a line of stationery products—including notebooks, rulers, and even fridge magnets—made from old door panels.


在《Toys with History》中,工作室的艺术家们将废弃家具改造成可以开的玩具车。车身装有新的车轴和车轮,但保留了原本斑驳的油漆与参差不齐的边角,以此致敬所用材料的“前生”。这一创作理念在《Knock Knock》上得到了延续,这个文具产品系列包括了笔记本、尺子,甚至还有冰箱磁铁,全部都是用旧门板制成的。

Rise of the Vietnamese Robots, the studio’s latest creation, is a collection of limited-edition robots that celebrates an unlikely visual detail of Saigon’s past: its windows.

For this project, the team at Design by Reborn began by photographing window grills around the city. They then brought this archive of images to life in the form of 22 figurines. Each sculpture is made up of wood blocks silkscreened with colors and patterns from their favorite windows. By presenting these traditional designs in a new context, they bring a modern sensibility to the overlooked architecture of old Saigon.


工作室的最新创意之作《越南机器人的崛起》Rise of the Vietnamese Robots),通过一系列限量版“机器人”,展现令人意想不到的西贡元素:窗户。

在这个项目中,Design by Reborn 的团队记录了这座城市各地的窗户,并制成了 22 个木偶机器人。每个木偶都由单独的木块制成。通过丝网印刷,在木块上印刻他们喜欢的窗户颜色和图案。以新的形式,展示传统设计,让已被人们忘记的西贡旧建筑,重现现代气息。

The project is also meant to be interactive: each robot comes with assembly instructions and a list of addresses that detail the location of each window design, encouraging people to explore the city and discover the origins of their robot companions.


此外,这个项目也充满了互动理念:每个机器人都附带组装说明,以及启发其设计的每个窗户的地址,鼓励人们去探索这座城市,寻找这些木偶机器人的起源。

Through these conceptual works, Design by Reborn aims to demonstrate that objects that seem to have outlived their usefulness can still hold value. These creations also suggest that we shouldn’t stay complacent with the status quo of our wasteful consumption habits. If we live a little more mindfully and apply some ingenuity in our everyday lives, even junkyards and dilapidated buildings can be treasure-troves of beauty and inspiration.


通过这些概念作品,Design by Reborn 旨在证明那些看似无用的物品仍有价值。这些作品也是在提醒人们,不要将浪费的消费习惯视为理所当然。如果我们在平日生活多多留意,加以一些创新,那么即使垃圾废墟也能成为变身为奇妙的藏宝地。

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Website: reborn.design
Facebook: ~/designbyreborn
Instagram: @designbyreborn

 

Contributor: David Yen
Chinese Translation: Olivia Li
Images Courtesy of Design by Reborn


喜欢我们的故事?欢迎关注我们 Neocha 的微博微信

 

网站: reborn.design
脸书: ~/designbyreborn
Instagram: @designbyreborn

 

供稿人: David Yen
英译中: Olivia Li
图片由 Design by Reborn 提供

A Delicate Touch 一种精美的罪行:文身

March 13, 2020 2020年3月13日

Dressed in a comfortable sweater with cartoon animal prints, Yeaji Lim sets to work tattooing her first customer of the day, inking tiny mermaid scales into her arm. The Korean tattooist sees customers by appointment only in a cozy studio filled with cheery collectibles that she shares with her sister and a friend. Lim’s tattoos feature thin black linework with restrained splashes of bright color and a revolving cast of cats and manga-style schoolgirls.


韩国文身师 Yeaji Lim 穿着舒适的卡通动物图案毛衣,准备给今天的第一位顾客文身,在她的手臂上文上精致的美人鱼图案。Yeaji 只在工作室里与预约好的顾客碰面,这间工作室是她和姐姐、朋友一起开的,里面摆满了各种有趣的收藏品。她的文身是黑色细线勾勒的图案,偶尔点缀几抹明亮色彩,猫和漫画风格的女学生都是会经常出现的角色。

Lim was raised in a creative household—one parent was an art teacher and the other a comic book store manager—so she’s been drawing for most of her life and as a child read manga every day. Tattoos were an unexpected passion. After a friend of hers started inking, Lim was drawn into the world, eventually tattooing her first piece onto a stranger in 2017. Despite the stigma that tattoos have with older generations in Korea, her family is supportive. “My parents trust me because I’ve got a job that I really like.” She’s even inspired her older sister to follow in her footsteps.


Yeaji 自小在充满创意的家庭长大,她的父母分别是艺术老师和漫画书店经理,所以她很早就开始画画,小时候每天都会看漫画。喜欢上文身也是出于偶然。她的一个朋友开始文身后,Yeaji 也对开始产生了兴趣,2017 年,她第一次为陌生文身。尽管大多数老一辈的韩国人对文身还持有偏见,但的家人却很支持。我父母信任我,因为我做着自己真正喜欢的工作。如此影响下,她姐姐也加入了文身的工作。

Lim’s tattoos are all custom-made. When customers approach her, she asks them what type of design they’re looking for, and together they discuss options. She sets about drawing, and three days before their booking, she shows them a sketch for their approval and adjusts the design as necessary.


Yeaji 文身都是自己定制设计的,当客户找上门,她会先了解他们想要哪种风格的设计,然后一起讨论各种方案。之后就开始画设计草图,在预约文身的前三天,给客户看设计草图,在必要时调整设计。

Like many of her peers in the country, Lim specializes in smaller tattoos, something that Korea is globally renowned for. “Most Korean tattoo artists have delicate hands,” she laughs, trying to explain why they’re so popular. She adds that the style is fitting for female tattooists, who are very prominent in the scene. “Korean women have talented fairy hands, so they’re suitable for tattooing!” she says.“I also think female emotions are very strong and complicated. When I work, I’m always inspired by my feelings.” Her delicate lines and cute style appeal mainly to women, who make up 90 percent of her clients. Fellow artists like Zihwa think these effeminate pieces can help break the stigma against tattoos.


和许多当地同行一样,Yeaji 比较擅长精致小巧的文身,这也是韩国最受欢迎的文身风格。在解释为什么这种风格的文身这么红时,她笑着说:大多数韩国文身师都有一双细腻的手。她补充道,这种风格比较适合女性文身师,而她们是当地文身行业很重要的一个群体。韩国女性双手比较灵巧,所以很适合文身!她说,除此之外,女性的情感一般比较强烈而复杂。譬如我在工作时,总是会受到内心情感的触动。她细腻的线条和可爱的风格比较吸引女性客户,她 90% 的客户也都是女性。另一名韩国文身师 Zihwa 就认为,这些充满活力的作品可以帮助打破人们对文身的偏见。

Despite Korea’s growing reputation for talented tattoo artists, tattooing is still illegal there. Many of the country’s top celebrities have plenty of tattoos but still cover them when appearing on television. Song Gang-seop, head of the Korea Tattoo Association, says that enforcement is arbitrary, and you can never tell when police will crackdown. After his shop was shuttered by authorities last year, he started the Instagram campaign “Does this look illegal?” to advocate changing the law. Hundreds of Korean tattoo artists joined in.


尽管韩国有越来越多才华横溢的文身艺术家,但文身在当地仍然是非法的。许多韩国名人都有文身,但一上电视就要将其遮掉。韩国文身协会的负责人 Song Gang-seop 表示这方面的执法也很随意你永远无法知道警方什么时候会进行严厉打击。去年,他的工作室被警察关闭后,他发起了一场 Instagram 活动 “Does this look illegal?”这看上去像犯罪吗?),倡导修改有关法律,数百名的韩国文身师也加入了这场运动。

Luckily, neither Lim nor any of her friends have encountered any legal troubles yet, but they keep their guard up just in case. “I’m always worried I might be arrested,” Lim says. “It’s a big problem in my life, because it’s constant. Every tattoo artist is treated as a potential criminal. It’s sad.”


幸运的是,Yeaji 和她的朋友目前还没有遇到过法律上的问题,但他们也要时刻保持警惕,以防万一。说:我总是担心自己会被逮捕。这是我生活中的一个大问题,因为这个问题是一直存在的。每个文身艺术家都被当成潜在的罪犯看待。这是很可悲的事实。

Like our stories? Follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

 

Instagram: @yeagee_tattoo

Contributor: Mike Steyels
Photographer: Chris da Canha
Chinese Translation: Olivia Li
Additional Images Courtesy of Yeaji Lim


喜欢我们的故事?欢迎关注我们 Neocha 的微博微信

 

Instagram: @yeagee_tattoo

 

供稿人: Mike Steyels
摄影师: Chris da Canha
英译中: Olivia Li
附加图片由 Yeaji Lim 提供

 

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Men in Pixel 旋转的性幻想

March 11, 2020 2020年3月11日

Ever wish you could step inside a drawing, or see a flat picture from all sides?

Hong Kong-based artist Tea’s MENinPIXEL allows viewers to do just that. The project, which began as his experimental foray into voxel art, tells a series of salacious stories. Each scene features a slightly different set of brawny, bearded men engaged in a variety of titillating acts and putting their innermost desires on display in literal 360-degree fashion. In his pixelated world, the lewd is transformed into something comical.


你想过进到那些喜爱的图像的每个角落里一探究竟吗?《MENinPIXEL》系列绝对可以满足你全方位的窥探。

MENinPIXEL》是现居香港的艺术家Tea偶然尝试的一个创作系列,起始于对像素的迷恋。作品中每个场景都仿佛在讲述一个引人遐思的故事,内里的人物形色各异,却大多性感撩人,他们被360度毫无保留的展示着,而这些大尺度的肢体动作经过像素这层滤镜,却反而显得新鲜幽默起来。

Most of Tea’s art features BDSM props, like whips, leather bodysuits, or suspended bondage ropes. This isn’t by chance: Tea works as a designer of adult toys, and this unusual occupation helps get his creative juices flowing. He says his limited free time is actually a boon.  “Since I have so little time to work on my art, I’m training myself to set priorities. Most of my ideas are flashes of inspiration, and I jot them down and think later about which ones are worth developing. At the production stage, too, you have to make choices and refine your work.”


Tea 的作品中包含的 BDSM 的元素,比如挥动的皮鞭、全身的皮革装备,或者半空中精致的捆绑,究其原因。他笑称自己是搭乘着工作之便,因为作为一名职业设计师,他设计的并不是普通产品,而是成人用具,工作环境中也就顺理成章充满了他需要的创作素材。工作之余的闲暇不多,却也恰恰提升了Tea的作品,个人创作时间的挤压,在训练我做舍弃,因为大部分都是一闪而过的念头,但我会记下来再考虑哪些值得深化,包括制作时也要取舍,以求精炼。

For inspiration, Tea asks friends and acquaintances about their wildest sexual fantasies, but most of the scenes spring from his imagination. Ideas come naturally to him, a result of his profession and personal interests. “Maybe it’s the experience accumulated from years of being so into manga and theater,” he shrugs. “For really specific scenes, though, like pole dancing or tango, I have to look up the proper movements. I’m not much of a dancer.”


为了创作《MENinPIXEL》,Tea 也会试着了解相熟好友们最疯狂的性幻想,但大多数时候,他画下的都是自己凭空想象出来的场景,因为以往的阅历,他可以像打印机一样直接把这些画面从大脑里摘取出来,可能是我一直对漫画和戏剧有很大兴趣,从而积累了意识,除非是像钢管舞或探戈这样专业度更高的画面,我会需要找素材参考标准动作,毕竟我不会跳。

As a child, Tea wanted to be a comics artist, and that’s still his dream today. He was inspired by Tsukasa Hojo’s mangas in his younger years, and later by cartoonist Milo Manara and illustrator Paolo Eleuteri Serpieri. For a while, he was obsessed with drawing in a realistic style. Gradually, he realized that the streamlined forms of cartoons posed an even greater design challenge, and that’s when he really began to learn. For Tea, MENinPIXEL is still something new, an experiment that’s given him a 360-degree view of himself—images are flat, but people are multi-dimensional, and perhaps with a new perspective, we’d see a different side of ourselves.


Tea 从小就想成为一个漫画家,至今他也保留着这个梦想。北条司是他幼年的启蒙,至今对他影响最大的是 Milo Manara  Paolo Eleuteri Serpieri 这两位情色漫画大师,Tea也有一段仅迷恋写实风格的时期,但慢慢地他发现卡通的精简形象其实更难设计,于是开始兼收并蓄。《MENinPIXEL》对于 Tea 而言更像一次全新的尝试,也让他以 360 度的方式去了解自己。画面虽是 2D 每个人却是 3D4D 或者 5D,也许转到另一个维度,我们都有不一样的风景。

Like our stories? Follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

 

Website: www.meninpixel.com
Instagram@meninpixels

 

Contributor: Shou Xing
English Translation: David Yen


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网站www.meninpixel.com
Instagram@meninpixels

 

供稿人: Shou Xing
中译英: David Yen

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Botanic Records 你的唱片该有一个“植物”的封面

March 9, 2020 2020年3月9日

There’s a crispness to the Botanic Records sound. Every element is distinct, and even songs with aggressive noise and distortion come through clearly. A healthy dose of bass keeps everything grounded, while up in the higher registers, tiny percussive elements ricochet around in intricate patterns. Melodies resolve themselves in satisfying waves.

Botanic’s sound is optimistic, even as it ranges from pummeling noise to relaxing downtempo beats to soaring heights. They’re not in denial or afraid to acknowledge the depths of rock bottom, they just don’t dwell long in those pits. And unlike other labels, they don’t fetishize audio quality; they just care enough to ensure everything is heard properly. Sometimes they even welcome mistakes as flaws that make the tracks more human.


Botanic Records 所发行的音乐都有一种清脆的质感。歌曲的每一种元素都清晰鲜明,即便夹杂了强烈的噪声和失真也显得清楚俐落。丰满的贝斯低音掷地有声;高音部分的细碎节拍,弹跳在歌曲精妙的结构。所有旋律恰到好处,自然地融汇成舒服的乐曲。

从连续掷出的噪音、令人放松的慢拍律动 (downtempo) 再到飙升的高潮,Botanic 的音乐囊括了各种音乐元素,透露出面朝乐观的氛围和情绪。他们并不否认音乐的深度,但不会在当中沉迷太久。不同于其他音乐厂牌,Botanic 并不在乎音频质量,只要声音对了就行。有时他们甚至故意保留一些瑕疵,让音乐听起来更人性化。

Listen to some of our favorite tracks from Botanic Records below:


点击即可试听 Botanic Records 的几首精选歌曲:

Botanic Records is the brainchild of Tim Sharp and Zulamran Hilmi. Sharp, who’s originally from Auckland and now lives in Singapore, has worked across the Asia Pacific, DJing radio shows along the way on weekends. Hilmi is a former punk guitarist and club DJ turned creative director from the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur. The pair originally teamed up when Sharp was seeking visual artwork for a radio show. They got along so well that the project eventually unfurled into a record label. 


Botanic Records 由 Tim Sharp 和 Zulamran Hilmi 共同创立。Tim 来自奥克兰,现在在新加坡生活,他曾在亚太各有过工作经历,也在周末时担任电台节目的 DJ。吉隆坡郊区的 Zulamran 曾以朋克乐手和 DJ 的身份混迹于地下音乐圈,后来转为创意总监。在一次电台节目中,Tim 找到了 Zulamran 制作节目视觉,那是两人首次合作。随后,他们一拍即合,最终决定一起创立音乐厂牌。

Zulamran Hilmi
Tim Sharp

The label deals exclusively in electronic music, but they define it broadly and release records from across the spectrum. “There’s amazing depth, and the amount of sounds to be explored in electronic music is vast to say the least,” Hilmi says. “I’m discovering new things on a daily basis.” 

Some tracks touch on established styles, while others fit loosely in the miscellaneous category known as leftfield or experimental, with no clear bin to put them in. Botanic cares more about whether an artist or a release is bringing to their surroundings at that point in time. “Does this push the envelope stylistically? Are we contributing to the zeitgeist, rather than simply adding noise?” Sharp asks himself. “All important questions.”


Botanic Records 音乐厂牌专注于电子音乐,他们对电子音乐的定义非常包容,厂牌下发行的唱片也会涉及不同的领域。 Zulamran 说:“电子音乐拥有非常惊人的深度和分门别类值得挖掘,我几乎每天都会有新的发现。”

有些曲目沿用既定的流派风格,而另一些难以归类的,则大致可归为“实验类别”(leftfield 或 experimental)。Botanic 更关注的是艺术家否能为音乐带来自身文化环境的特点。“在风格上有突破性吗?是否对时代的文化有所裨益,而不是单纯增加嗨点?这些都是很重要的问题。” Tim 这样反问自己。

The artists they work with are as varied as their sounds, coming from across Southeast Asia. Often they can only be found on Botanic Records, and no further information is available anywhere. The label is happy to provide a platform for artists trying out something new under a pseudonym. Mysterious aliases abound in the Botanic catalog.   

Rooted in Southeast Asia, Botanic shines a light on musicians from the region, cultivating a space for them to grow alongside listeners and amplifying connections. But the label mainly lives in the digital ether, adrift on seas of data. They rarely throw parties, and their physical releases are limited. With the region scattered across islands and languages, bringing everyone together under a single roof can be difficult.


厂牌合作的艺术家来自东南亚各地,和他们的音乐一样拥有丰富多元的背景。关于这些艺术家的资料,通常除了 Botanic Records 网页,在其他平台上几乎很难再找到更多信息。其中有很多艺术家更换佚名,不断在音乐上进行新的尝试,这些正是 Botanic Records 乐意去做的事。

扎根于东南亚,Botanic Records 为不同地区的艺术家们创造了一个共同的空间,吸引来更多听众根基,并彼此发生联系。但是,音乐厂牌主要活跃于数字世界,沉浸在数据的海洋中,很少举办线下的活动,发行的实体唱片也数量有限。毕竟他们合作的艺术家分布在各个岛国,有着不同的语言背景,要将每个人聚集在一起并非易事。

Despite their digital-first mentality, they do produce limited-edition cassettes for each release. There’s a logic to bringing them to life, Sharp believes. Cassettes are “relatively easy to produce in Malaysia and a great way to make a release feel more real.” But he acknowledges it can be wasteful fodder for the landfill. “We’re doing as much as possible to keep the physical footprint low. Artifacts like records and tapes are to be treasured and spark a lot of joy, but to what end, if we end up with a pile of unwanted jewel cases? It’s a tough equation to balance.” On cassette or online, Botanic is making its sound heard across Southeast Asia.


虽然专注于数字世界,但每次音乐发行时他们都会推出限量磁带。Tim 认为,让音乐以实体的形式呈现很有必要,“在马来西亚制作音像制品相对容易,同时也可以让音乐更具有实体性。”但他承认,从环保的角度考虑,这种做法也会增加物料的负担。“我们一直在努力减少对环境的破坏。黑胶唱片和录音带可以为人们带来欢乐,甚至也有收藏价值。但是,如果最后变成了一堆没人要塑料盒,那还有什么意义呢?这是很难平衡的问题。” 而无论是录音带还是数字形式,Botanic 的声音正在东南亚各地传递。

Like our stories? Follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

 

Bandcamp: botanic.bandcamp.com
Instagram:
@botanicrecords

 

Contributor: Mike Steyels
Photographer: Amani Azlin

Chinese Translation: Olivia Li


喜欢我们的故事?欢迎关注我们 Neocha 的微博微信

 

Bandcamp: botanic.bandcamp.com
Instagram:
@botanicrecords

 

供稿人: Mike Steyels
摄影师: Amani Azlin

英译中: Olivia Li

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Montages of Time 看看这个满目疮痍的世界

March 4, 2020 2020年3月4日

Are we doomed to repeat the past, or can we learn from it? This is the question posed by the works of Thai artist Verapong Sritrakulkitjakarn. In nearly a hundred large-scale paintings, he makes montages of different moments in time. His epic and irreverent style offers unique snapshots of history.

Sritrakulkitjakarn’s works resemble battle paintings: they’re dark, crowded, and full of tension. Oversized characters dominate the scene; they represent values such as persistence, honor, and bravery. But these goliath figures are set alongside flashy signs of modern life and consumerism, pop elements that create a striking contrast of values and aesthetics—its a reflection of our existence and the diversity of human values.


我们是注定重蹈覆辙,还是会借鉴历史?这是泰国艺术家 Verapong Sritrakulkitjakarn 在作品中提出的问题。在近百幅大型油画作品中,他以蒙太奇的手法,糅合不同时代的元素,呈现史诗式的另类绘画风格,如同一幅幅独特的历史故事快照。

Verapong 的作品很像战争画:黑暗、拥挤、充满张力。体形庞大的人物占据着画面,呈现出坚持、荣誉和勇敢的价值观。但是,在巨人歌利亚式的人物四周,布满了现代生活和消费主义的浮夸标志和流行元素,形成价值观和美学的对比碰撞,折射出对人类存在和多元价值观的思考。

Motto in Live (2017) 247 x 180 cm / oil on canvas 《Motto in Live》(2017) 247 x 180 厘米 / 布面油画
Sky Talk (2018) 247 x 180 cm / oil on canvas 《Sky Talk》(2018) 257 x 180 厘米 / 布面油画

Born in Bangkok in 1982, Sritrakulkitjakarn grew up fascinated by Japanese manga. “Manga stories are funny, adventurous, and powerful,” he says. He went beyond just reading them, but drew fan art of his favorite characters and formed his own plots. It’s an interest that hasn’t faded, evidenced by the iconic manga characters, such as Anpanman and Doraemon, that appear in his work to this day.

Bangkok is also a constant source of inspiration for him. Sights such as the city’s forts, stupas, and even 7-Eleven signs can be found throughout his work. “Many things catch my eye in the streets,” he says.“I find it interesting how such diverse elements stand side by side.”


Verapong 1982 年出生于曼谷,自小就对日本漫画很入迷。漫画故事既搞笑,又有各种冒险和震撼人心的力量。他说。阅读漫画之余,他还会为自己喜欢的角色创作同人作品,自己构想新的故事情节。直到今天,他对漫画的热情丝毫未减,这在他的作品中就能看出:经典的漫画角色(例如面包超人和哆啦 A 梦)依然常常出现在他的作品中。

对他来说,曼谷是一座赋予他无穷灵感的城市。从城堡、佛塔,到 7-11 便利店都是他创作的元素。我觉得街上有很多有意思的东西。不同的事物并肩而立,实在很有趣。他说。

Detail view of Uncertainty Reason (2019) 《Uncertainty Reason》(2019) 细节图
Detail view of Ocean of Time (2018) 《Ocean of Time》(2018) 细节图
Detail view of Path of Humankind (2019) 《Path of Humankind》(2019) 细节图
Detail view of Ocean of Time (2018) 《Ocean of Time》(2018) 细节图

Global news is another topic of interest. His paintings can be dated by identifying the events he includes. In one piece from 2019, he depicts the Notre Dame Cathedral fire; in others, he references the Syrian refugee crises through the imagery of weeping babies and helpless children.

“Poverty and tragedy are always reappearing throughout history,” Sritrakulkitjakarn says. But he doesn’t see his work as being pessimistic. “I’m merely noting facts and recurrences in history.”

Closer scrutiny reveals new details and hidden meanings. Insects, birds, and mammals point to the diversity of life on this planet, multiple fossils put the length of civilization into perspective, and the recurrent appearance of clocks remind viewers of the inexorable march of time.


国际新闻也是他关注的议题。只消看他画中所描绘的事件,就能推断出创作日期。在 2019 年完成的一幅作品里,他画了巴黎圣母院大火的事件;叙利亚的难民危机时,他还画过哭泣的婴儿和无助的小孩以反映时事。

“纵观人类历史,贫困和悲剧总在不断重演。”Verapong 说道。但他并不想在作品中表达厌世情绪,我只是想记录历史的事实和重现。

细看之下,他的作品又揭示了新的细节和隐藏的寓意。昆虫、鸟类和哺乳动物展示地球上丰富多样的生命,多种化石突显人类文明跨越的历史长河,而不时出现的钟表,则在警醒人们时间的无情。

Prophecy from the Past (2018) 180 x 200 cm / oil on canvas 《Prophecy from the Past》(2018) 180 x 200 厘米 / 布面油画

Sritrakulkitjakarn doesn’t sketch or create drafts. He begins each work with an outline of the main character, done using his paintbrush. Over the course of about two weeks, he fills in the other elements. His technique varies, and some aspects are more realistic and three-dimensional, while others are bright and flat. “It’s an efficient way of discerning what’s real and what’s an illusion,” he says.


Verapong 不喜欢画草图或打草稿。画画的时候,他会先勾勒出人物的轮廓,再用画笔完成作品。在大约两个星期的过程中,他再补充上其他元素。他的创作技巧多变,有时偏现实主义和立体风格,有时则偏明亮的色彩和平面化,这样做可以很好地区分事实与幻想。他说。 

Path of Humankind (2019) 250 x 287 cm / oil on canvas 《Sky Talk》(2019) 250 x 287 厘米 / 布面油画
Ocean of Time (2018) 240 x 180 cm / oil on canvas 《Ocean of Time》(2018) 240 x 180 厘米 / 布面油画
Uncertainty Reason (2019) 230 x 253 cm / oil on canvas 《Uncertainty Reason》(2019) 230 x 253 厘米 / 布面油画

As if crowning his creations, Sritrakulkitjakarn adds wooden frames, which he cuts and carves himself. These frames, etched with symbols like closed fists, religious stupas, masonic eyes, and even smiley faces, are extensions of the canvases.

Joined together, these individual works look like a continuous panel. They offer a snapshot of the past, a mirror of the present, and a glimpse into the future. Sritrakulkitjakarn asks viewers to take a critical look at the world we live in, a world where crisis, intolerance, and division are slowly becoming the norm. “Things are not just good or bad, black or white,” he says. “We must look at the bigger picture.”


Veraopong 还会用自己削切和雕刻的木相框来装裱作品。这就像是为作品加冕,相框上刻着各种符号,诸如握紧的拳头、宗教佛塔、上帝之眼甚至是笑脸,作为画作的延伸。

将各幅作品组合在一起,看起来就像一块连续的画板。既是过去的写照,也是映射现在的镜子,更是对未来的窥探。Verapong 邀请观众审视我们所生活的世界,一个危机、不宽容和分裂正慢慢成为常态的世界。事物不能单纯地划分为好与坏,也不是非黑即白。他说,我们必须着眼于大局。

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Website: ayino-verapong.blogspot.com
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Contributor: Tomás Pinheiro
Chinese Translation: Olivia Li


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供稿人: Tomás Pinheiro
英译中: Olivia Li

Memento Mori 曼舞在当下的灵魂

March 3, 2020 2020年3月3日

 

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In youth, we rarely think about matters of life and death. But being conscious of our mortality can instill in us a deeper appreciation for life. It can motivate us to make the most of every moment, to live our best lives, and to not waste time worrying about the future. For Chinese dancer Li Kehua, this awareness of life’s transience has become a powerful creative catalyst in recent years.


年轻的时候,我们很少会去思索人间生死的苦楚。当意识到生命的有限之后,生活或许有了更深的领悟。我们会因此触动,好好地活在当下,真诚地感受生活中的每一刻,不再因为未来而焦虑。对于中国舞者李可华来说,近些年来生活的瞬息万变已成为她创作的积淀。

Li hadn’t given much thought to death in the past, but with the passing of her grandfather at the end of 2018, the subject began to weigh on her mind. “I realized I wanted something to remember our time together, the moments we shared,” she recalls. “Dance was the only way I knew how.”


过去的李可华对于死亡并没有太多概念,直到 2018 年末祖父去世,这个主题在她心中开始变得沉重。“我意识到需要用一些事情来纪念我和祖父共度的时光。”李可华回忆道,“对我来说,唯一能实现的方式就是舞蹈。”

The desire to preserve her grandfather’s memory led Li to create Tomb, a performance meditating on time, memory, and the brevity of life. It’s a deeply personal work that marries Li’s technical skills with a visceral display of emotion. Li approaches the performance with complete honesty, putting her vulnerabilities on display for the audience. Each gesture, from subtle flicks of her wrist to sweeping full-body movements, carries the potency of a thousand words and emotions. Tomb recognizes the inevitability of death, but it’s also a declaration that death isn’t the end: even after we’re gone, we’ll continue to live on in the memories of our loved ones.


带着对祖父的追忆,李可华创作了《墓》—— 一场关于冥想时间、记忆与生命之短暂的表演。这是一部完全个人的作品,将李可华内心深处的情绪与舞蹈专业技艺嫁接在一起。她将最真实的一面搬上舞台,把脆弱的自己放在观众面前。每一个动作,从腕间的轻弹到全身的起伏,都呈现出万语千言和情感的蓄力。《墓》揭示了死亡的必然性,同时也向我们阐述 —— 死亡并不意味着终点,即使我们离去,但我们仍将继续生活在被牵挂的记忆当中。

Dance is an ephemeral form of art that exists for a moment and then is gone. The dancer has to be fully devoted to that moment, and Li brings this ethos of mindfulness to her everyday life as well: through the medium of her body, she shows what it means to be present in the now. Every performance is a live rendering of her immediate spiritual, emotional, and mental worlds, a way for her to turn these intangibles into something physical. This immersion in the moment is what makes Li’s work so mesmerizing.


接受痛苦,因为它存在,它必然会流逝,它必然会消失。同时,舞蹈作为一种艺术的短暂形式,它存在于片刻,也终将离去。舞者需要在片刻中倾尽全力,这样的理念被李可华带入了每一天的生活中,她用身体做媒介,展现了活在当下的意义。每一场演出,都像是对思绪、情感和精神世界的即刻描述,是一种将无形转化为有形的方式。沉浸在当下,让李可华的作品令人着迷。

While she puts a great deal of thought into her own choreography, Li doesn’t believe that artistic intent is a prerequisite for good dance. “Even movement not intended to be performative can be riveting,” she says. “I’m often fascinated by how a person moves or gesticulates, and I’ll try to understand the purpose or reasoning behind these movements. It’s all a form of dance to me. I believe that movement in itself—any kind of movement—is the purest expression of life. It’s all meaningful.”


尽管李可华在自己的编排中花了很多心思,但她并不认为艺术意图是好舞蹈的先决条件。“即使那些不带有表演性的动作也令我非常着迷,”她说。“我经常被人体的动作和手势吸引,然后尝试理解这些行为背后的动机和原因。对于我来说,这些都是舞蹈。我相信事物本身的任何运动,都是表达生命的纯粹方式,并且具有非凡的意义。”

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Contributor & Photographer: David Yen
Videographer: Damien Louise
Chinese Translation: Pete Zhang


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微博: ~/LicoLi

 

供稿人与摄影师: David Yen
视频摄影师: Damien Louise
英译中: Pete Zhang

Ill Japonia 水风吕歌者

March 2, 2020 2020年3月2日

After over a decade in the music scene, Kawabe Taigen, performing under the name Ill Japonia, has finally issued his first solo collection, titled Ill. This five-track EP is also the first original release by British label Eastern Margins, a collective focused on organizing shows for London’s East and South-East Asian diaspora communities.

On Ill, Kawabe blends his interest in trap with years of genre-hopping. Kawabe is perhaps best known as the frontman and bassist of Bo Ningen—a similarly unclassifiable act that draws broadly from acid rock, noise rock, and psychedelia. However, his past experimentation has seen him work with collaborators ranging from experimental electronic artist Foodman to psychedelic rock group Mainliner.


十多年的音乐生涯过后,Kawabe Taigen (aka. Ill Japonia) 发行了个人首张 EP《Ill》。这张 EP 一共包括了五首歌,同时也是英国音乐厂牌 Eastern Margins 发行的首张原创制作。Eastern Margins 团队一直放眼于居住在伦敦的东亚和东南亚音乐人,并为他们组织演出与派对活动。

早期 Kawabe Taigen 最为人熟知的身份是 Bo Ningen 乐队的主唱和贝斯手,乐队风格深受酸式摇滚、噪音摇滚和迷幻音乐影响,很难被归类为特定的流派。从实验电子音乐人 Foodman 到迷幻摇滚乐队 Mainliner,他都曾与他们进行过音乐上的 “交手”。而在单曲《Ill》中,Taigen 将自己的偏好转向了 Trap 音乐,尝试与多年涉猎的各种音乐流派相融合。

This diverse background gives Kawabe a unique entrance point into his explorations of trap. Signature elements of the genre emerge on each track, but trap acts more as a common thread than a dominant feature, leaving room to display a larger fabric of ideas. As Kawabe says, he is “not new” as a musician, and he’s by no means trying to obscure his history or diverse sonic interests by blindly replicating what he hears from the trap scene. “I’ve got different backgrounds, different roots,” he says. “So the way I make music is different from the usual trap, which I sometimes think is a struggle that’s also my strength.” Trap seems less like the foundation of the project and more like a reference point, or a lens through which Kawabe is peering to see what he can learn about his relationships with music, with the world around him, and ultimately with himself.


多元化的背景为 Taigen 提供了 Trap 音乐的独特入口。专辑中每首曲目都有独特个性,而 Trap 更像是一条贯穿其中的线索,为歌曲的构思留出更多空间。正如 Taigen 所说,他已经不是初出茅庐的音乐人,他决不会盲目地复制自己所听到的 Trap 音乐,不希望掩盖多元化的胃口。他说:我来自不同的音乐背景,有不同的文化根源。所以我在音乐的创作方式上不同于一般的 Trap 音乐,有时我觉得这既是一种障碍,也是我的优势。与其说 Trap 音乐是这张单曲的根基,不如说为他的音乐提供参考价值。在 Taigen 的镜头下,他审视自己与音乐、乃至世界的关系,或者从根本上讲,是他与自己的一场联系。

Listen to some of our favorite tracks from Ill Japonia below:


点击即可试听 Ill Japonia 的几首精选歌曲:

Indeed, Kawabe’s particular relationship to trap seems as much an exercise in the spiritual as the sonic. Though he acknowledges that typical trap lyrics are often about what he calls “teenager goals”, he finds the genre’s energy and bluntness to be refreshing. Adults often criticize young people for never thinking about the future, he says, but he finds it invigorating to hear artists ten years his junior rap about what he calls “the now.” The mindset he grew up with in Japan, by contrast, emphasized the importance of working hard now for long-term gain that could be enjoyed in ten or twenty years’ time. “I do still believe this,” he says thoughtfully. “I grew up with those kinds of thoughts. But now I feel that now is the most important moment, and it’s the healthiest way to think about the past and future.”


Taigen Trap 音乐的联系不仅存在于声音,也存在于精神层面。他认为典型的 Trap 音乐通常都在讲述 “少年野心的话题,这种音乐流派拥有令人耳目一新的能量和直率。成年人总是说年轻人不懂得为将来打算,但他发现,这些比他年轻十岁的歌手以 “当下为主题的说唱更令人振奋。由于自小在日本长大,传统的观念下他总是认为现在要努力工作,才能在十年或二十年后享受生活。我仍然相信这一点。他若有所思地说,我自小就被灌输了这样的想法,但现在我越来越觉得 当下才是最重要的,这也是思考过去和未来最好的方式。

Kawabe initially learned about this focus on the present through reading about trap artists’ improvisational workflow. “They’re in the studio for one day and the rapper just writes lyrics as the producer makes the beat,” he marvels. “They make five or six songs per day, and finish everything in a day. They focus more on impact than hook or structure.” As Ill Japonia, Kawabe tries to keep some of this creative agility, saying that he uses a different part of his brain than with Bo Ningen. With the band, the process is much more methodical. “We bring ideas to the studio and jam, discuss between each song, come to a decision, go play the songs live to find out audience reaction, then build up the songs in response,” he says. “It takes a really long time before we do the actual recordings.”


Taigen 了解到 Trap 音乐即兴的创作流程之后,他开始关注 ‘当下’ 的含义他们能在录音室里呆一整天,制作人一边创作伴奏,说唱歌手一边填词儿。他惊奇地说道,他们每天可以制作五、六首歌,一天内就能全部搞定。他们更关注音乐的冲击力,而不会在歌曲的 钩子hook,乐句)或结构上过分纠结。切换到 Ill Japonia 的身份后,Taigen 试图保留这种创作的灵活性,用不同于 Bo Ningen 乐队时的方式进行创作,因为乐队的创作过程会更系统化。我们把想法带到工作室,一起练习、讨论,做好决定后,到现场表演歌曲,看看观众的反应,然后相应地修改歌曲。他说,所以往往要经过很长一段时间,最后才去录音。

On Ill, though, he approaches the recording like a one-man jam session, building his beats from the ground up and freestyle rapping as he goes. He finished the lyrics for most of the tracks in the space of a couple hours, and the first basic takes were done within a day, though he took longer to fine-tune them afterward. The lyrics are full of personal musings on growing older, learning from younger artists, looking for answers, and finding peace. “Touring through Japan, people would talk to me more about my lyrics after Ill Japonia shows,” Kawabe says, clearly gratified. “They’d ask how I see a line, and tell me what lines resonate with them.”

Yet even as Kawabe explores the communicative power of rap, he’s also pushing at its lyrical limits. Where others freestyle rapping in a recording session might have stumbled over a rhythm, or paused at the end of an idea, Kawabe instead steamrolled forward, mashing together syllables and words that sounded good together, whether Japanese, English, or a language of his own invention. Between takes, he listened back to the recordings and directly transcribed the resulting mix of intelligible, partially intelligible, and totally unintelligible lyrics. Sometimes he even tried to “turn off his brain” and intentionally mishear the recordings, writing down entirely different lyrics in the process. The final product is playful yet sincere, echoing his journey to both harness rap’s liberating energy and reflect on his life.


整张《Ill》的录制,就像是 Taigen  一个人的即兴演奏,伴奏配合着信手拈来的即兴说唱。短短几个小时,他就填写完专辑大部分歌曲的歌词,一天就过掉了录音的初步流程,当然后期也花了一些时间修改调整。歌词讲述了很多他个人对于年龄增长、向年轻音乐人学习、寻找答案和如何获得平和的内心这些问题的思考。在日本进行的 Ill Japonia 巡回演出时,人们会更多地和我讨论里面的歌词。Taigen 欣然说道,他们会问我对某句歌词的看法,告诉我哪句歌词让他们产生共鸣。

在探索说唱互动性力量的同时,Taigen 也不断在歌词的边界行疆阔斧。在录制过程中,他不像其他人会因节奏或没有灵感的状况下暂停,而是爆发出一鼓作气的冲劲儿,他将所有听起来不错的音节和单词混在一起,其中参杂着日语、英语还是他自己发明的语言。每次录制之前,他都会反复回放之前的录音,将他能够理解、部分理解和完全无法理解的歌词直接写下来。有时,他甚至尝试 关掉大脑,故意 听错录音,写下截然不同的歌词。最终完成了既有趣又诚恳的音乐,即保留了说唱音乐的能量,同时又是自己生活的真实写照。

 

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The first and last tracks stitch together his lyrical and musical exercises with poise. The opener, “Sauna Mizuburo,” is a track that draws an analogy between music and the feeling of plunging into the mizuburo, the cold pool at a Japanese sauna. “Listening to and playing music are a kind of detox, a purification,” Kawabe explains. Fittingly, the track ends with an anecdote about some friends telling him that he looks the same onstage as he does in the mizuburo. On the closing track, “Lounge Muzak,” he reflects on the concept of kakugo, which he describes as a mix of a sense of awareness and determination. “I wanted to make music because I wanted to find answers,” he says.

Thus, as much as the music on his first EP is about positive energy, purification, and simplicity, this final track reveals that it’s also an extension of his goal of living life with kakugo, and using music as the vehicle to do so. No wonder Kawabe Taigen’s search has led him through so many musical styles. “Now, at 33, I can say that I can be anything and I can study anything, that now is the most important moment.”


专辑中首尾两首歌曲自然而然地将 Taigen 在歌词和旋律上的探索串联起来。第一首歌《Sauna Mizuburo》通过音乐演绎出跳入日本桑拿房冷池水 水风吕mizuburo)一般的感受。“不管是听歌、还是放歌,对我来说都有一种排毒、净化的作用。” 他解释道。很巧的是,他的朋友曾说,Taigen 在舞台上看起来真的像在水风吕里一样自在。结尾曲目《Lounge Muzak》讲述了他对 觉悟kakugo)这个概念的思考,并将其描述为意识和决心的结合。做音乐是因为我想通过音乐找到答案。他说。

Taigen 在首张 EP 中表达着正面、纯净和简单的主题,同时也在最后一首曲目中表明,带着觉悟kakugo)地生活是他的人生目标之一,而音乐则是载体。难怪 Kawabe Taigen 在自己的音乐探索中涉猎了如此丰富的音乐风格。现在,33 岁的我可以成为任何人,我可以学任何事物,‘当下’ 才是最重要的时刻。

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Contributor: Kiril Bolotnikov
Chinese Translation: Olivia Li
Images Courtesy of Eastern Margins & Adjorka


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供稿人: Kiril Bolotnikov
英译中: Olivia Li
图片由 Eastern Margins 与 Adjorka 提供

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Art of the Jeepney 超改巴士

February 24, 2020 2020年2月24日

It’s rush hour in Metro Manila, which means gridlocked streets for several hours. The city is one of the world’s most congested. Within this tangle of cars and scooters and stationary running motors, one type of vehicle stands out from the rest: the jeepney.

Jeepneys are a uniquely Filipino mode of public transportation that appeared after World War II, which left the country’s infrastructure severely damaged. After the war, American troops left behind Willy Jeeps—the ubiquitous four-person green jeeps of war-movie fame—as it was costly to ship them home. Locals set about retrofitting them to meet their transportation needs. Though they were born as a temporary solution, they’ve now become a mainstay across the country. Most of the original jeepneys are out of commission, and the ones found on the road today were produced by local car manufacturers in the years since.


马尼拉是世界上最拥挤的城市之一,这里市中心的交通高峰时段,路上往往会堵车好几个小时。在被小车、踏板车和各种车辆挤得水泄不通的路上,一种交通工具的身影尤其突出,那就是吉普尼巴士。

吉普尼巴士是菲律宾所特有的公共交通工具。这种巴士出现在二战之后,当时菲律宾整个国家的基础设施严重受损。战后,美国军队留下了许多 Willy Jeeps。由于运回美国的成本太高,这些汽车经过当地人的改造,使这种在战争片里经常出现的四人座绿色吉普车变成了一个能用来满足日常需求的交通方式。虽然最初吉普尼只是作为临时的交通解决方案,但现在,这种巴士依然是菲律宾各地常见的交通工具。如今,路上行驶的吉普尼是原来的报废车辆,它们经过当地汽车厂的改良被重新投入使用。

A typical jeepney can carry about 20 people in the back. People sit on twin benches facing each other, with a few others hanging off the back if it’s packed. The base fare is 10 pesos, or around US $0.20, and they travel just about anywhere you need to go. In a country with limited bus routes and an even smaller rail line, it’s often the only affordable way to get where you’re going, unless you’re willing to pay premium rates for a taxi or ride-hailing app. Once you climb on, you hand your cash to another rider and they pass it down to the driver, who then counts out change and sends it back down the line, often while driving. The ceilings are low and the windows are difficult to see out of, especially when crowded. Rain, heat, and fumes from nearby traffic easily enter the cabin, and in some of the more dilapidated jeeps, so does its own exhaust. When your stop comes, you call out to the driver or knock on the ceiling and jump out, sometimes directly in the middle of the street.

Jeepneys are often blamed for adding to Manila’s congestion, seeing as how their drivers often swerve across lanes to pick up customers and make frequent stops. But with the increase in population and rise in personal automobile ownership, the megacity is groaning under the strain now more than ever.


一辆吉普尼通常大约可以乘搭 20 人。乘客们通常会面对面坐在车内两侧的长椅上,满座后,还会有一些乘客趴在巴士的后架上。只用花上 10 比索(约一块四人民币)的车费,就能将你送往各个目的地。在这个公交线路不多、铁路有限的国家,吉普尼是人们唯一经济实惠的出行方式,否则就要乘坐昂贵的出租车或网约车。上车后,你只需将车费交给另外的乘客,由他们挨个传递到司机手里。司机一边开车,一边数要找回的零钱,再将钱交给乘客,原路返还到你的手中。车顶很低,乘客很难将头从窗户伸出去,尤其在人群拥挤的时候。雨水混杂着热气和四周车辆排出的尾气钻进车内,一些甚为破旧的吉普尼巴士,本身的废气也会窜进来。到站时,你可以大声告诉司机或敲敲车顶,有时你有可能会在马路中间下车。

很多人认为吉普尼加剧了马尼拉的交通拥堵问题,因为司机常常因为载客而突然变换车道,停车也比较频繁。但是问题可能没那么简单:随着私家车保有量的增加和人口的爆炸式增长,这座大城市的马路越来越喘不过气来。

Jeepneys are best known for their gaudy bodywork, covered with a mix of pop-culture imagery, Catholic symbols, and Americana art like flags, US monuments, and more. It’s a bizarre mix that attests to the country’s history of colonization. One of the best places to spot these roving canvases is Aurora Boulevard, a major thoroughfare in Quezon City where throngs of jeepneys pass through day and night, and it’s where we first heard about Giele Nicola, one of the most revered jeepney artists in town.

The art found on Jeepneys differs a bit from area to area, but the vehicles Nicola works on and many others around Aurora feature modifications like designs cut into the mud flaps, ornate metal wiring around the brake lights, and LED lights that glow from the undercarriage and inside the cab. Back wheels are raised while the front axle is dropped low, showing off cartoonish hood ornaments and unnecessary, prolific antennas. Even the inside of the wheel wells are often painted with glow-in-the-dark paint.


吉普尼以其华丽的车身而闻名,上面布满了各种流行文化图像、天主教图案以及美式旗帜、美国标志性建筑等文化元素。这种奇怪的组合也了揭示出一段菲律宾被殖民的历史。欣赏这些 巡回画布的最佳地点之一是奎松市的奥罗拉大道(Aurora Boulevard),那里从早到晚都能看到吉普尼巴士在路上穿行。也正是在这里,我们第一次听说了 Giele Nicola,他是当地最著名的吉普尼艺术家之一。

城市中每个区域的吉普尼艺术都略有不同,Giele 和奥罗拉地区的艺术家在设计时喜欢对吉普尼进行车体的改装,例如切入挡泥板的设计、在刹车灯四周环绕金属线、为底盘和车内装饰的 LED 灯。他们降低前轴,升高后轮,将卡通风格引擎盖设计和纯粹装饰性的天线设计公示于路人。就连车轮拱板内也常常涂满了荧光的染料。

Nicola’s garage is in Marikina, on the eastern end of Aurora Boulevard, down a quiet residential backstreet where jeepneys line the sidewalks. On the day of my visit, four jeeps were crammed inside the open-air garage, as a group of men huddle under a canopy to the side. One of them is Nicola, airbrushing a portrait of Jesus on a loose side door. A compressor hose from his nozzle leads to a running engine placed on the ground, itself attached to an old car that hasn’t seen the road in years.

Nicola has been at this for 20 years now. He got his start at 19, freelancing for Morales Motors, a well-known jeepney manufacturer that operates their own body shops. But even before that, he often painted bicycles and jeepneys for fun, working freehand with a brush in the traditional jeepney one-stroke style, which is handwriting style of flat brush calligraphy. Impressed with his work, Morales brought him on board, but within a year he decided to open his own garage. “Jeepney art was on the rise back then,” he said, barely glancing up from his work. “It was a lot simpler then, and just starting to evolve. The jeepney industry was at its peak, with garages and artwork everywhere.” Over the years, he’s become known for specializing in hyper-realistic paintings. But his garage does everything, including metalwork and repairs.

Nicola opened the garage with his partner Arturo Cinco, who goes by the alias Rokba. The two met at Morales Motors when they were both still teenagers. Rokba specializes in custom decals, which he cuts out freehand and applies in layers. They can be up to six feet wide and two feet high, with a dozen different colors. “I never did any other kind of art,” he says. “Jeepney art was my passion and my hustle from the start.”


Nicola 的车库位于奥罗拉大道东端的马里基纳(Marikina),一个安静住宅区里的小巷。路边就停着一排的吉普尼车。我去参观车库那天,露天车库里停着四辆吉普尼车,一群人挤在旁边的遮篷里。其中一个就是 Giele,他正在用气笔给一块被拆解下来的车门喷绘,上面画着耶稣的肖像。气笔的压缩空气管连接着地上的发动机,而这台发动机本身则是来自一辆报废多年的旧车。

Giele 从事这个行业已经有 20 年,他从 19 岁开始给当地一家著名的吉普尼制造商 Morales Motors 干私活。但早在此之前,他也常常在自行车和吉普尼车上找点乐子。那时候,他喜欢用平刷的字体书写方式,在吉普尼车身上一笔划过。他当时的的作品令 Morales Motors 印象深刻,并受邀加入团队。但是一年后,他决定开设自己的车库。那时候吉普尼艺术正在兴起。他头也不抬地说道,“相比现在,吉普尼艺术刚开始流行的时候要简单很多。在吉普尼行业的全盛时期,吉普尼艺术和车库遍地都是。这些年来,他凭借超现实主义的风格绘画而闻名。

除了绘画和改装,Giele 的车库提供金属加工、维修等各种服务。该车库是他和合伙人 Arturo Cinco (又名 Rokba)共同创办。他们年轻时在 Morales Motors 一起工作认识。Rokba 擅长制作贴花,通常情况下,他会先用手剪出图案,再一层层贴在车上。这些贴花可能达 6 英尺宽、2 英尺高,拥有十几种不同的颜色。我从来没做过其他艺术。一直以来,吉普尼艺术就是我的热情和动力所在。他说。

For years, business boomed. A full customization, with all the bells and whistles, costs around $4,000 and takes two weeks—a good racket, considering that it’s about what the average family makes in a year. As more garages appeared, the market became oversaturated, but business took a significant dive a couple years ago. In 2017, the government announced a modernization program that would phase out most of the classic jeepneys with newer models. (Jeepneys are classified as “public utility vehicles.”) Under the original plan, jeepneys that are 15 years or older would no longer be allowed on the street by 2020.

The new jeepneys are meant to be cleaner, safer, and more accessible for the elderly and disabled. They use modern engines that spew fewer emissions. A few different models, which resemble minibuses more than traditional jeepneys, are already running along a few routes, and they are undeniably more pleasant to ride in. Beyond improving the lives of those already dependent on jeepneys, the policy aims to attract new riders who might otherwise contribute to the daily congestion with their private vehicles. Proponents hope that cleaner vehicles, improved routes, and more accountable drivers will help ease the city’s traffic woes.


好几年来,吉普尼车库的生意几经红火。一套完整的改装设计,加上所有的花哨装饰,花费大约在 28000 人民币左右,耗时两周时间——普通家庭一年的收入相比,这是很不错的收入。但随着越来越多车库的出现,市场变得过份饱和,在几年前他们的生意急剧下降。2017 年,当地政府宣布了一项现代化方案,使新型车辆逐步淘汰大部分的传统吉普尼巴士(吉普尼被列为公共交通用车)。根据这个方案,超过 15 年的吉普尼车到 2020 年将不能再在街上继续行驶。

新型吉普尼巴士会更环保、更安全,也更方便老年人和残疾人乘坐。它们将采用现代化的引擎,以减少废气排放。其中一部分新车已经投入使用,与传统的吉普尼相比,它们看起来更像正儿八经的小型巴士。而毫无疑问,它们乘坐起来也更加舒服。除了吸引那些喜欢搭坐吉普尼的乘客之外,这项政策还希望能够吸引平时开私家车的人,因为私家车过多也是造成交通拥堵的隐患之一。这项政策的支持者希望,更清洁的车辆、更完善的路线以及更负责任的驾驶员将有助于缓解这座城市的交通困境。

Yet the plan isn’t without its critics, and jeepney drivers have gone on multiple strikes to protest. Drivers who wish to keep their jobs were required to upgrade to one of the newer models, but so few have done so that the government has delayed the deadline for another year. Jeepneys that pass a “roadworthiness test” are given an additional year’s lease on life. It’s not difficult to see why there’s such a lack of compliance: the required costs of a new jeepney model range between $32,000 and $44,000, but most drivers only make around $10 per day. The government has developed a loan scheme to help fund the transition, but it’s restrictive and leaves many owners with no assistance. Some critics argue that for the plan to be realistic, the transportation sector would need to be state-run.

Amidst all the traffic issues, the culture and art of the jeepney are a distant afterthought and the future for artists like Nicola and Rokba is wildly uncertain now. Much of the industry that’s grown up servicing and decorating traditional jeepneys could disappear, including Nicola and Rokba’s garage. “Everyone is affected,” Nicola says. “It’s not just us. It’s the barkers who corral riders to empty seats for change. The drivers and mechanics. The garages. Everyone.”

When asked what they’ll do next, the duo’s answers offered a glimpse of their resilience and optimism: Nicola says he’ll focus on his tattoo business, which he already does now on the side. Rokba just laughs: “I’ll get some rest.”


但是对于这项政策也招来了很多批评的声音。吉普尼司机多次罢工表示抗议。想要保住饭碗的司机就要更换新车,但很少司机这样做,为此政府不得不将最后期限推迟一年。通过 车辆适用性能测试的吉普尼车将可以获得额外一年的行驶寿命。不难理解为什么那么多人不愿意接受这项政策:新的吉普尼车型价格为 20 至 30 万人民币,但大多数司机每天收入只有 70 块。当地政府制定了一项贷款计划来为过渡期提供资助,但条件限制很多,许多司机都无法获得帮助。一些批评者认为,要让这项计划得到落实,就要让交通运输行业国营化。

在面对这些交通问题时,人们忽略了吉普尼的文化和艺术,对 Giele Rokba 这些艺术家来说,未来充满了不确定性。那些与传统吉普尼车维修和装饰相关的行业可能会逐渐消失,包括 Giele Robka 的车库。每个人都会受到影响。”Giele 说,不仅是我们,为了应对政策我们或许要将所有人都赶走。包括司机、机械师,车库,所有人。” 

当被问及将来有何打算时,他们却很灵活和乐观 —— Giele 表示他将把重心放在自己的纹身事业,这也是他现在已经在做的工作;而 Rokba 则笑着说:我要先给自己放个假。

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Contributor: Mike Steyels
Photographer: Jilson Tiu
Chinese Translation: Olivia Li


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供稿人: Mike Steyels
摄影师: Jilson Tiu
英译中: Olivia Li

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