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The Affairs

In an age of distracted reading, when articles are regularly left unfinished, who doesn’t feel a bit nostalgic for the pre-digital days, when newspapers printed on actual paper were our main source of information?

Fines Lee misses those days too, and he especially misses “the reading experience you’d only get from the papers.” That’s why, after toying with the idea for five years, the Taiwanese media veteran founded The Affairs, a print-only monthly. Given that his peers around the world are moving away from traditional media toward new platforms, such a decision took courage.

Yet Lee is used to going against the herd. He started his media career two decades ago as an online news editor, then went on to found a blogging platform as well as an online magazine called The Big Issue Taiwan. Now, with The Affairs, he seems to have completed his trajectory from new media to old. As diverse as these experiences are, he says the skills from one arena carry over to the next, and that “traffic flow, page layout, and visuals” are still his bread and butter.


台湾媒体人李取中也怀念那些 “只能通过报纸得到的阅读体验”。斟酌了五年后,他提出自己的答案: 成立每月发行的The Affairs 周刊编集报刊。在现今全球同行纷纷转行到数字媒体的时代,成立报刊这个念头需要很大的勇气。

但是,李取中这些年已经习惯了逆风而行。从他 20 年前开启职业生涯的网站新闻编辑,后来成立博客网站、创办台湾版《大志》(The Big Issue Taiwan)杂志、到现在的《The Affairs 周刊编集》报刊,他一路从 “新” 探索到 “旧”。虽然平台不尽相同,但他说早年做网络媒体的经验积累,让他对阅读的 “动线规划、版面设计和视觉” 都有所要求,而这部分的擅长也被他带入了纸媒。

In 2017, when The Affairs published its first issue and tested the waters on the Taiwanese crowdfunding site, it attracted over NT $8.2 million (around US $270,000), far more than the campaign’s original goal. Clearly, Lee wasn’t the only one who longed for an old-fashioned newspaper in the era of new media.

“The advent of new media doesn’t necessarily mean the end of traditional media, but it does mean their role will change,” he says. “Print can’t just convey information—it also has to provide an aesthetic experience, with physicality, weight, and quality.”

This line sums up Lee’s goals for his paper. In addition to current affairs, each beautifully laid-out issue has sections on business, culture, design, exploration, opinion, and more. Alongside the text are commissioned works by well-known artists like Japanese illustrator Noritake and British photographer Benedict Redgrove.

2017 年中旬,《The Affairs 周刊编集》创刊号发布,并在年底于台湾众筹网站啧啧(zeczec)试水,两个月时间内获得多于目标好几倍的八百多万新台币(近 27 万美金),证明了在新媒体时代,渴望纸质报刊的不仅是他和编辑团队而已。

在这位见多识广的媒体人眼里,“新媒介的出现不一定会消灭旧媒介,只是角色需要调整,” 他说,“纸媒不能单纯扮演信息传递的角色,它背后传递的意义还有美感和体验,和物理性、重量和质感。”

这句话也总结了李取中对其报刊的标准。在每一期排版精炼的《The Affairs 周刊编集》上,除了时事,还有商业、文化、探索、评论等主题板块。字里行间也不乏知名艺术家的委约作品,比如日本插画家 Noritake 和英国摄影师 Benedict Redgrove

In issue 12, for instance, you can read an editor’s interview with Spanish illustrator Manuel Marsol, a personal essay about an international fling during the 2002 World Cup, and a long read from The Guardian about the recent history of Chinatowns around the world, among many other stories. Content is either written in-house, contributed freelance, or translated from publications abroad. Although the last of these takes up the largest chunk for now, the ideal quota, according to Lee, is one third for each.

Much thought has also given to Lee’s other criteria: physicality, weight, and quality. He and his team looked at a dozen different paper stocks before choosing a sustainable, FSC-certified white newsprint to fit with their social values. They also chose offset printing with an extra “roasting” procedure to increase ink absorption and bring visual depth to the words and images.

以第十二期举例,你可以读到来自编辑部对西班牙插画家 Manuel Marsol 的采访、专栏作家记录的 2002 年世界杯番外篇(关于他的朋友因日韩世界杯陷入跨国情缘的小故事)、还有英国《观察者日报》(The Guardian)授权的全球唐人街的演变报导。内容来源分为三种型态——采编、外稿和编译,虽然目前编译部分偏多,但李取中说理想上它们会各占三分之一。

李取中所强调的 “物理性、重量和质感” 标准也都经过认真考虑。从十多种纸张选择中,他和团队挑选了与自身的社会愿景呼应的 FSC 认证新闻高白纸;同时,他们也选择了商用轮转机,比普通印刷机多了一道烘烤的过程,提高油墨吸附度,以增加图片与文字的视觉深度。

With all this effort, what kind of experience are they looking to bring to readers?

Lee is aware that his paper—which, on full spread, is about four times the size of an A3 and 20 times the size of an iPhone 7—“is not like a magazine that you can bring anywhere. Reading it requires time, space and preparation.” In other words, a reader must devote attention—a modern luxury.

In this, The Affairs might actually have a leg up on digital media. One reader notes that he usually can’t finish an article on his phone, even if it’s just 2,000 to 3,000 words long, but he usually can in Lee’s paper, where articles usually range from 5,000 to 6,000 words. Another reader, who also supported the crowdfunding campaign, says she finds it “very different from any other newspaper [she’d] seen,” and doesn’t mind the large fraction of translated articles, which she considers a strength. “In a time of information overload, people have a greater need for someone to curate the content they get,” she says.


李取中知道,这份打开后几乎是 A3 纸四倍大、iPhone 手机 20 倍大的报纸  “不像杂志一样可以随身带着,而需要充裕的时间、空间和准备。”  换句话说,读者需要投入注意力集中在这个现代的奢侈品。

这一方面,他们也许比数字媒体做得更好,正如一个读者对他说的: 在手机上读文章,两三千字都不一定看得完,但在《The Affairs 周刊编集》上连篇幅有五六千字的长文也看得完。另外一个支持过众筹项目的读者也说: 这和过去认识的报纸很不一样。她并不介意其中非原创的部分,甚至觉得这是它的优点,“在信息爆炸的时代,大家更是需要一个好的平台帮你策划接收的内容”。

Beyond the quality of the paper stock, Lee also hopes The Affairs can play a social role that’s different from that of other media. “Traditional media emphasize the role of systems in people’s lives—nation, society, ethnicity, etc.,” he says. “I want to take readers out of those systems.” Instead, he hopes that the paper people will turn people’s attention toward “creative works of human culture, whether in film, publishing, art, etc., as well as the relationship between humans and nature, or between humans, plants, and animals.”

当然,除了“有质感的新世代报纸” 这个标签,李取中也希望《The Affairs 周刊编集》能扮演与传统媒体不同的角色。“传统媒体在观察事物的角度时会着重在体制上——国家、社会、民族等等——对人的影响。但我希望把人从体制中抽离。” 他希望读者能通过报纸的视角关注 “人类文化衍生出来的创作物,比如电影、出版、艺术等等,以及人与自然,人和动物、植物的关系。”


When can readers outside of Taiwan get to see how The Affairs views the world? Lee says that for now the paper’s goal is to increase its publication frequency from monthly to bi-weekly, so that the headlines are more up-to-date with world affairs. First, though, he wants the paper to “gain a strong foothold in Taiwan.”

Ultimately, this old media platform aspires to offer a new point of view. “If readers come away with a slightly different outlook on the world from reading our paper,” he says, “well, that’s exactly what we’re trying to achieve.”

那么其他华文读者什么时候能透过《The Affairs 周刊编集》看世界呢?李取中说,近期希望可以尽量加快速度,发行频率从每月调整到每两周,让头条消息可以更贴近世界的动脉。在那之前,他还是希望 “报纸能在台湾立足。”

这家 “旧” 媒体最终想宣扬的是一种新视角,“如果读者可以透过这份报纸,稍微对世界产生另一种观察,这就是我们希望达成的。”



Contributor: Jiang Yaling
Images Courtesy of The Affairs



供稿人: Jiang Yaling
图片由The Affairs 周刊编集》提供

Uncommon Sense

Common Rare is a Shanghai-based creative team headed by Taiwanese-Americans Tiffany Wong and Vivian Sze. After falling in love with the craft fairs they saw in the States, the duo set out to create a similar experience in China, organizing events where creators and artisans could sell their work. Since 2016 they’ve hosted a series of arts-and-crafts markets in Shanghai, featuring independent brands that share their conviction that “small things matter.” In addition to their events, the pair also runs a bilingual media platform dedicated to stories from creative start-ups in China and around the world.

凡几 (Common Rare) 是一个由台湾裔美国人 Tiffany Wong 和 Vivian Sze 领导的上海创意团队。他们爱上了之前在美国常逛的那种工艺市集,想在中国创造类似的体验,于是这个双人组合开始组织让创作者和艺术家可以贩售自己作品的活动。自2016年以来,他们在上海举办了一系列艺术和手工艺品市集,很多独立品牌参与其中,共同分享着他们的理念 “小事情也很重要”。除了举办活动,他们还经营一个双语媒体平台,专门讲述来自中国和世界各地的创意新创企业的故事。

Tiffany Wong
Vivian Sze

Common Rare made their debut in Christmas 2016 with “Not Your Typical Holiday Market,” a bazaar that showcased a festive collection of crafts, handmade homewares, artisanal food, interactive art, and live entertainment. In subsequent events, they’ve brought on new vendors to reflect seasonal themes and visions. Their springtime “Industrial Bloom Festival” featured nature-based products, while their 2017 Christmas market, “Into the Woods” offered whimsical gifts.

In 2018, Common Rare officially rang in summer with “The Sweet & Salty,” a market featuring hand-crafted sweet and savory delights from 50 independent businesses. The two-day event, a collaboration with the group Woodstock of Eating, took place at Shanghai’s historic Colombia Circle, a refurbished American colonial social club originally built in 1924.

凡几的首次亮相是在2016年的圣诞节活动 “这不是圣诞市集” (Not Your Typical Holiday Market)。这是一个集合节庆工艺品、手工家居品、手作餐点、互动艺术和现场表演的市集。在随后的活动中,他们带进新的摊商以响应季节性的主题。“春季工业盛会” (Industrial Bloom Festival) 以自然的当令产品为特色;2017年的圣诞活动 “森林里的圣诞市集” (Into the Woods) 则提供各种有趣的节日送礼选择。

2018年,“The Sweet & Salty 上海甜点节” 让凡几正式步入夏日的序曲,共有来自50个独立品牌手工制作的甜品和咸食参与,为期两天的活动是与伍德吃托克(Woodstock of Eating)团队的合作,在上海历史悠久的哥伦比亚公园举办。

Wong and Sze’s down-to-earth approach and eye for detail have also caught the attention of brands like Nike, which collaborated with them on a creative market inspired by the classic Nike Cortez shoe. Each unique brand and designer at the two-day bazaar was handpicked to represent the “Cortez lifestyle” and its iconic red, white, and blue aesthetic.

Tiffany 和 Vivian 两人脚踏实地的做事方法和对细节的要求引起了像耐克这样大型品牌的关注,他们在一次的创意市集上合作,灵感来自经典的 Nike Cortez。市集中每一个独特品牌和设计师都经过精心挑选,以能符合 “Cortez 生活方式” 及其标志性的红、白、蓝三色美学。

After two years sharing life’s simple pleasures through their media platform and market events, the Common Rare team have launched their very own online store, appropriately named The Common Store. Their goal is to cast a spotlight on independent brands based in China that make homewares, skincare products, fashion, jewelry, magazines, and other lifestyle products.

The Common Store aims to be a permanent platform for customers to explore and support small-scale creators beyond each event. Their WeChat store currently features over 15 brands, including their very own Common Rare handmade soap range, created in collaboration with Hong Kong-based skincare brand Savon 1993.

两年以来,凡几通过媒体平台和市集活动致力于分享生活中的简单快乐,目前还推出了自己的线上商店,名为 The Common Store。他们的目标是聚焦中国的独立品牌,生产家居用品、护肤品、时装、珠宝、杂志和其他生活风格产品。

凡几希望能成为消费者在活动之外探索和支持小规模创作者的永久平台。 他们的微店目前拥有超过15个品牌,包括他们与香港护肤品牌 Savon 1993 合作的 Common Rare 手工皂系列。

Wong and Sze are a two-person powerhouse, and they know by heart the stories behind every brand in the Common Store. What started out as a small idea between longtime friends has evolved into a platform for slowing down and finding joy in the small pleasures in life.

From now until August 12th, those in Shanghai will be able to see the Common Store come to life during its three-week-long pop-up at the Rockbund Museum’s Associate Mission Building. Products from Asia-based creatives, including Zowoo, Form Maker, PÂTE, and LOST Magazine, will be on sale, as will creations from over 30 other independent clothing, skincare, accessory, furniture, and homeware brands. The Common Store pop-up is open daily from 11:00 am to 7:30 pm, and its products are also available on Weidian

Tiffany 和 Vivian 是一个小而强大的团队,他们清楚地了解凡几里每个品牌背后的故事。长期是朋友关系的两人当初萌生的一个小小想法,现在已经演变成一个平台,让你我能慢下步调,寻找到生活中的小乐趣。

从现在起到8月12日,凡几的限期快闪店在上海洛克外滩源开幕,借此你将能更真实接触到凡几的品牌哲学。在这为期三周的活动中,来自亚洲各地的创意品牌包括 ZowooForm MakerPÂTE 和独立杂志 《LOST》,以及其他30多个独立服装、护肤品、家居品牌的产品将开始贩售。Common Store 快闪店于每天上午 11:00 至下午 7:30 开放,其产品也同步在微店上市。

Dates: July 21, 2018 ~ August 12, 2018
Hours: 11 am ~ 7:30 pm

Rockbund Waitanyuan
Room #104
No. 169 Yuanmingyuan Road
Huangpu District, Shanghai
People’s Republic of China

Instagram: @common.rare
WeChat: CommonRare


Contributor & Photographer: Whitney Ng
Additional Images Courtesy of Common Rare

日期: 2018年7月21日——2018年8月12日
营业时间: 上午11点至下午7点半


Instagram: @common.rare
微信: CommonRare


供稿人与摄影师: Whitney Ng

Captured Creatures

Whenever you arrive in a new country or city, there are certain things you have to do, rituals you perform to experience a new culture or find new inspiration: visiting a museum, savoring a cup of local coffee, finding a lookout point and watching the sunset, picking up a knick-knack at a flea market. For Beijing-based artist Chai Mi, one of these little rituals, whenever she arrives somewhere new, is to visit the local zoo. Since she began performing her multimedia work Captured Creatures, Chai has visited over 30 zoos in several countries.

一个人每到新的国家或城市,都会有一些必须完成的事情。这些事在生活中就好像一种仪式,我们能通过它们去体验新的文化、得到新的灵感。例如去一间博物馆、喝一杯当地的咖啡、找到最高的观景台去欣赏日落的景色,或者去跳蚤市场买些有趣的东西。而北京艺术家柴觅的小仪式,则是每到一个地方就会去一趟当地的动物园。在《困生》多媒体项目期间内,她已经去了世界各国 30 多个动物园。

Chai’s art involves multiple media, including painting, animation, installation, and live performance. Captured Creatures, her third work of “audiovisual theater,” combines moving images, contemporary dance, and sound design. By creating an experimental atmosphere, she wants to draw viewers into a state that gives them a new perspective on the relationship between people and animals, and between living things and the environment.

Her recent performance of the show at Nanchang’s Snarte Space was her fourth. Chai arrived four days before the show and spent each day from morning to night constantly rehearsing or preparing the stage. Yet on the hectic evening before opening night, Chai readily agreed to an interview. We spoke about the creative concept behind Captured Creatures and about how the show has developed.





Neocha: How did the idea for Captured Creatures come about?

Chai Mi: Usually my works come about in a fairly accidental way, as a result of some perhaps very trivial thing or feeling. The idea for Captured Creatures came about when it occurred to me one day that I had really happy memories of going to the zoo as a child. I decided to visit one again and see what it was like, but when I got there I couldn’t find that childhood happiness. Instead, I found several other feelings. So it got me wondering, why did I react the way I did? I wanted to find answers to those questions, so I started going to zoos, taking a camera along with me to record what I experienced. I went to more and more of them, and I found there’s a certain subtle connection between every city and its zoo. In Captured Creatures, I hope to be able to let everyone see or sense the relationship between people, animals, and the natural and built environments. That’s how this piece came about.

Neocha: 《困生》的主旨是怎么产生的?

柴觅: 一般来说我作品的开始都挺偶然的。从一个可能很小的事情或感受出发,模模糊糊地就开始了。比如《困生》这个项目,有一天我突然想起来小时候觉得去动物园是一件很开心的事情,所以我决定去动物园看看,去了却发现以前开心的感觉找不到了,反而产生很多其他情绪。于是我开始思考,为什么会有这些感觉?我想去追寻这些问题的答案,开始去动物园用相机记录那些我感受到的东西。去过越来越多动物园,我发现每个城市与其动物园之间都会有一些微妙的联系。我希望通过这个作品可以让大家看到或者感觉到人、动物、环境、建筑之间的关系,所以就有了《困生》这个项目。

Neocha: You’ve performed Captured Creatures in Kuala Lumpur, Beijing, and La Rochelle. This performance in Nanchang is the fourth. How does each one differ?

Chai Mi: Underlying each performance is a fundamental structure, a graphic model I’ve laid out that’s based on the relationship between people and animals. Let me explain. On a graph, I draw two circles, one for humans and one for animals. These two circles are positioned in one of four possible relationships. In the first, the two are separate—they don’t touch each other. In the second, the circles intersect and share a common area. In the third, the circle for animals is larger than the one for humans, and it encloses it. In the fourth, the circle for humans encloses the one for animals.

Each performance has four parts, one for each possible relationship. For each part, I come up with a style of performance that corresponds to that relationship, and the dancers perform accordingly. But the order of the parts, and the details of the dancers’ movements, vary from performance to performance.

A second difference is that I constantly update the source images—the images of animals, images of spaces, and the live real-time composition effects. An attentive observer may note that the animals in each performance are rather different, as is the length of time an image might appear on screen, because here there are a lot of impromptu components.

A third difference is that every time, the collaborating dancers bring their individual styles. I’ve found that every dancer has their own body language, just as each person has their personality. This performance has a degree of freedom, but at the same time it also has rules, and in each performance, the scope of freedom bumps up against the boundaries of the rules.


柴觅: 这个演出背后有一个最基本的结构,即我基于人和动物的关系,所设定的一个图形化的模型。我大概形容一下吧,我会在图形上把人和动物都做成两个圆形。这两个圆形会产生四种位置的关系。第一种是人的圆形和动物的圆形是分离的,它们互不干预对方。第二种是这两个圆形相交,它们有共同的一个区域。第三种是动物大于人,动物圆形是盖住人的。第四种是人的圆盖住动物的。




Neocha: Could you talk a little bit about the projection and lighting effects? What role do they play?

Chai Mi: I’m fascinated by light and shadow. In this piece the projector is like a sun: it’s the most important, or rather the only source of light. Only when there’s light can we show images, and light is itself temporal. Watching the animals flickering across the walls, you enter a state of contemplation. A question then arises: are they real or not? At first, you think they’re not, but after watching for a bit you can no longer tell, and the images take on an illusory reality. The dancers are real, and in the performance, they’re right there in front of you, but when the performance is recorded on video, everything becomes an illusion. The subtitle of Captured Creatures is “spacetime illusion.” It highlights temporality, spatiality, illusion, and reality, and the possibility of combining or switching between them.

Neocha: 可不可以谈谈作品中的投影和光线效果?它们有什么作用?

柴觅: 我对光影本身很着迷。在这个项目里投影就像一个太阳,是一个最重要,或者说是唯一的光源。有光的时候我们才能显出影像,光本身就有时间性。看到墙上不断出现的动物影像的时候,人会进入一种观看状态。一个问题于是出现:那是真的还是假的?一开始你肯定觉得是假的,但看多了之后你会不再分辨真假,它本身就是一个虚幻的真实存在。而舞者又是真实的,演出时他们就在我们面前。但当演出成为录像,一切就又被虚幻化了。《困生》还有个副标题叫《时空幻象》,它就是在强调时间性、空间性、虚幻性和真实性,以及它们之间互相转换、结合的可能。

Neocha: Why do you use live performance in this piece?

Chai Mi: I wanted to create a work that could share my experiences. Around 2012 I started doing some pieces with live performance and quickly realized that it can easily immerse the audience in an atmosphere. This kind of immersion is very different from painting, video, or installation pieces because when a performance occurs in a space, that space seems to suddenly become a world filled with related experiences. With this performance, I’m not trying to tell you anything, teach you anything, or lead you anywhere. I want to achieve an arbitrary state, a state that’s confusing and suddenly divorced from reality. In such an atmosphere, it’s easier for people to gain a new understanding. It’s a bit like blurring your previous understanding and making you enter that blurriness. When you come out you just might have a new view on things.

Neocha: 对于这个项目,你为什么采取现场演出的形式?

柴觅: 我很希望去创造一个作品能够分享我一些感受。我大概 2012 年开始做一些跟现场演出相关的作品,很快就发现这种艺术形式很容易让观众融入到一个氛围里面来。这种融入感和绘画、录像、装置等作品很不一样,因为当一个演出发生在一个空间里的时候,就像是突然把这个空间变成了一个充满着相关体验的世界。我通过这个演出不想告诉你什么,去教你什么,或者去引导你。我想得到随想的一个状态,突然脱离现实的,会有一点点懵懵懂懂的状态。在这样的一个氛围里会比较容易让人去产生一个新的认知。有点像是把你原有的认知全都模糊化,然后让你进入这个模糊里。当你出来的时候可能就会重新对事物构建一个新的想法。

Neocha: How do you view zoos today? Do you plan to focus on animals in your work in the future?

Chai Mi: When I travel to developed countries, I see that not many people go to zoos. A lot of zoos are gradually merging with parks and don’t even charge for entry. I’ve also been to a lot of zoos in developing countries, and those are like playgrounds—everybody’s consuming the animals as entertainment. But do we really need to go to zoos? Now there are a lot of park-like animal preserves. There’s no need to put animals in cages, since we can experience them in their natural state.

As for the second question, very possibly. I’ve recently started thinking about the relationship between women and animals. What’s interesting is that humans really like white animals, albino animals. It seems things become especially fascinating when they’re rare, weak, and pure—which is how women have been imagined at certain times in history. Some pieces may come out of that, though it’s hard to say—a work needs constant thought before it takes a definitive shape.

Neocha: 目前你对动物园有什么看法?你会继续往动物方向进行创作吗?

柴觅: 当我去一些发达国家时,发现没有那么多人去动物园了,很多动物园慢慢地变成了公园的一部分,而且是不收门票的。我也去了很多发展中国家,那里的动物园更像是一个游乐场,大家更多的是在探奇、狂欢和消费动物。不过,我们真的需要去动物园吗?现在有很多公园形式的动物保护区,不必再把动物关进笼子里,可以去体会大自然的状态。

至于第二个问题,很有可能。我最近开始思考女性和动物之间的关系,有意思的是,人类特别喜欢白色的动物,有白化病的动物。当一个东西变得稀有、柔弱,又纯洁, 似乎是特别迷人的,类似于历史上某些时候对于女性的观念。可能会有一些相关的影像作品出现,现在还不好说,作品需要在不断的思考下确定形态。



Contributor & Photographer: Julia Golysh



供稿人与摄影师: Julia Golysh

Arts and Crafts

When does a craft become art? For Feng Cheng-Tsung, whose bamboo-and-rattan sculptures draw on a tradition of Taiwanese handicrafts, the line between the two is unclear. In last year’s Fish Trap House, he used techniques learned from the Thao people of central Taiwan to create an installation piece that seems to float above the shoreline of Sun Moon Lake. This summer he’s erected a similar handmade structure outside Taipei’s Museum of Contemporary Art, which will be on display until July 22. In both installations, Feng breathes new life into a traditional handicraft, creating airy structures with a singular beauty.

工艺何时才能成为艺术?艺术家范承宗运用台湾传统工艺创作出竹藤雕塑,对他而言,工艺和艺术两者的分野并不明显。他在去年的《筌屋》里向台湾中部的邵族部落取经,创作出看似漂浮于日月潭湖岸的装置艺术作品。今年夏天,他在台北当代艺术馆外面架起一件类似的手工装置,该件作品将会展示到 7 月 22 日。艺术家在这两件装置作品,创造出如空气般轻盈的结构,呈现独特美感,替传统工艺带来新气象。

When he was commissioned to create an installation on the shore of Sun Moon Lake, Feng had no clear idea of what he would make. His sole requirement was that the piece reflect the local culture, so he and his team toured the area and met with nearby indigenous communities. “I saw the Thao people’s fish traps and thought they were very beautiful,” he says. They met an elder from the Ita Thao tribe, the last of his people who could still make such basket-like traps, and he taught them his technique. “Later we analyzed the fish-trap making process and transformed it into a large-scale installation piece. I invited 20-odd tourists at Sun Moon Lake to make it with us,” he recalls. “The elder came, too, and was happy to see everyone eagerly learning the craft he’d preserved.”

当范承宗接到委托要替日月潭创作地景装置的当下,他并不知道自己要做些什么,日月潭风景管理处只告诉他希望创作能反映当地文化。因此他和团队探访当地,并和在地原住民部落族人见面。“我看到邵族人渔筌,觉得很美。” 他们见了伊达邵部落的一位长者,他是部落里最后一位懂得制作渔筌的人。这位长老亲自教授范承宗和他的团队这项技艺。他回忆道,“之后,我们将渔筌的制作过程分析,转换成一件大型装置艺术,邀请了二十几位到日月潭的游客一起制作。长老也来了,看到大家开心的在学习他保留下工艺,他很是欣慰。”

The sculpture has two window-like holes: one at the top and one looking out over the lake. “When people enter, they can look through the window and see the scene we framed, which is one of the most beautiful views over the lake,” Feng explains. “There are no built structures like restaurants, hotels, or high rises—it looks just as Sun Moon Lake did long ago.” Feng will be returning later this year to create another installation piece—this time one that floats on the water’s surface.

这件地景雕塑有两个像窗户的圆洞,一个在头顶,另一个则望向湖面。“人们走进去之后能透过圆洞看见我们框起的最美的一块小小的景色。” 范承宗解释道。“画面里没有任何饭店旅馆大楼之类的人造物,就像很久很久以前的日月潭吧。” 艺术家今年也会在这创作另一件装置作品,只是这次的作品将会漂浮在湖面上。

Taipei’s Museum of Contemporary Art provides a very different setting for Feng’s sculpture, titled “Trap.” Rather than framing a natural lakeside landscape, it sits next to a solid brick structure, offering a sort of frail monument to impermanence. And rather than enclosing visitors in an intimate space, it rises above them in a vault. The work highlights traditional crafts by taking them out of context, placing them in dialogue with a neoclassical building that’s less than a century old. Light and translucent against the museum’s red brick, Feng’s “Trap” makes a striking contrast.


Feng’s studio, Studio Kao Gong Ji, is named after a fifth-century BCE text documenting how various tools were made. (The Kao Gong Ji is known in English as the “Artificer’s Record.”) “It contains a line that I think is a wonderful explanation of what craftsmanship is,” says Feng. “‘A favorable heaven, an auspicious earth, beautiful materials, skilled craft: combine these four and you can achieve quality.’” He explains: “The line says that a good object contains its age, its environment, its local roots, and an awareness and grasp of beauty.”

Feng is guided by this ethos of grounding creative work in a specific time and place. The results are works of art—or craft—that draw their beauty from a painstaking, thoughtful creation process. His current project is a four-part exhibition on the food, handicrafts, farming practices, and daily life of the people in and around Taitung.

范承宗将工作室取名为考工记工作室。《考工记》写于春秋战国时期,是一本记载如何制作各式工具的古书。“里头有写到段我认为对工艺很棒的诠释。” 艺术家说。“天有时,地有气,材有美,工有巧。合此四者,然后可以为良。” 他解释说,“这段话在说一个好的物件,包含了时代、环境、自然风土以及对材料美感的觉察与掌握。”


“For me, the borders between art and craft—or design as well—are blurry and hard to distinguish clearly,” says Feng. Within those borders, though, he notes that each has different strengths. From design, he’s learned the value of planning and an analytical mindset, and from art, he’s learned the value of openness and abstraction. Yet craft occupies a central place in his work. “Personally, I think craftsmanship definitely needs to involve attention to materials and to production process and methods. If a piece doesn’t have this, I have a hard time calling it craft.”

By that definition, Feng’s fish traps are certainly examples of “craft,” but they’re also works of art. He transforms traditional practices into something beyond tradition, structures that catch the visitor in a moment of wonder.

“艺术和工艺,或者再加上设计,对我来说的边界是模糊而难以清楚分割的。” 范承宗说。在这些边界里,他发现每个领域都有不同的力量。他从设计里学到规划和分析性思考的重要性,从艺术里学到开放和抽象的价值。然而,工艺是他的创作核心。“我个人认为,工艺其不可或缺的部分,正是对材料和制作过程和方法的关系,若一件作品少了这部分,我就比较难以将它和工艺做联想。”


Instagram: @lasicfan


Contributor: Allen Young

Instagram: @lasicfan


投稿人: Allen Young

Private Symbols

A close-up of Control of Attention

There’s something familiar about Mark Arcamo’s paintings, a whiff of avant-garde anarchy that recalls the early twentieth century. Jumbles of letters and images crowd together in a chaos reminiscent of Hannah Hoch, while the faceless figures and floating geometric shapes—constants throughout his work—partake of the dream logic of Salvador Dalí or René Magritte.

Arcamo, a contemporary Filipino artist, doesn’t preface his work with the fiery manifestoes of the surrealists or the dadaists, and he may not share their revolutionary temperament. Yet in a quieter way, he does share something of their methods: he too explores a psychological landscape using a private symbolic language all his own.

Mark Arcamo 的画作有一种熟悉感,散发一股20世纪初前卫、自由至上的味道。叠合交错的字母和图像使人想起达达主义艺术家汉娜·霍克(Hannah Höch)的拼贴作品,而贯穿其作品的那些不露面的人像与浮动的几何形状,又展现着超现实主义画家萨尔瓦多·达利(Salvador Dalí)或雷内·马格利特(René Magritte)的梦幻逻辑。

当代菲律宾艺术家 Arcamo 不像超现实主义或达达主义者那样利用作品去引出激进的宣言,他也没有他们那种革命家性格。然而,他以一种更低调的方式,分享着相同的创作手法:用自己独特的符号语言去探讨内在的精神世界。

Synthetic Soul 1
Synthetic Soul 4

When choosing his subject matter, Arcamo lets his instincts guide him. “I usually start by collecting random images from books, magazines, the internet, screenshots of movies, television shows, and documentaries, or anything that catches my attention, then I let the goblins in my head take over,” he says. “I’m attracted to the idea of my work having an unpredictable outcome.”

Those images include a series of recurring elements: torsos, chess pieces, men in suits, and—most notably—abstract solids: cubes, cylinders, and pyramids, suspended in mid-air or propelled outward in a sudden blast. “Every element in my work elicits an emotional and intellectual response from me,” he says.  Others may not share his personal symbolic vocabulary, but that doesn’t bother him. “As an artist, I want my art to be open to interpretation,” he says.

在选择题材时,Arcamo 总是听任自己的直觉。他说: “我通常都是先在书本、杂志、互联网、电影屏幕截图、电视节目、纪录片或任何吸引我注意的事物上随机收集一些图像,然后任由创意和想像力发挥。最让我着迷的一点是我的作品成果总是无法预期。”

这些图像包括一系列重复的元素: 人体躯干、西洋棋、穿着西装的男人和那些最显而易见的抽象固体形状——悬浮在半空中或呈爆炸状的立方体、圆柱和金字塔等等。他说: “我作品中的每一个元素都能引起我在情绪和思想上的反应。” 其他人可能并不理解他个人的符号语言,但他并不在意。“作为一名艺术家,我希望我的艺术能够让观众有自己的理解。”他说。


Gray dominates many of these works, sometimes complemented by a matte red or blue, as in Self-Deceived 2. The human figures in particular are nearly always gray, which makes them feel like something from the past—photographs or statues, or recollections that flash by only in fragments. It’s almost as though Arcamo had set out to paint the gears and springs of memory, the mechanisms of mental life.

在他的许多作品中,灰色是主要色调,有时也会辅以黯淡的红色或蓝色,譬如《Self-Deceived 2》这幅作品。画面中的人形几乎全都是灰色,仿佛他们都来自过去的年代,如同闪过脑海的旧照片、雕像或回忆的碎片一样。这几乎就像 Arcamo 要画的是回忆世界的齿轮和弹簧,或者说,精神生活的组成零件。

Self-Deceived 2
Control of Attention

Arcamo loved art as a child, and he studied it formally in college. After graduation, he honed his technique working as a muralist for commercial clients. That’s when he began painting in acrylic. “It allowed me the freedom to experiment and manipulate images. It dried faster and made the job easier to finish,” he says. “At the time, I was also developing my own style—visual collage. As the work dries quickly, I can work in multiple successive layers without muddying the colors.”

Arcamo 从小就喜欢艺术,并在大学里修读了艺术专业。毕业后,他作为壁画师,曾给客户创作作品。也正是那时候起,他开始用丙烯颜料画画。 “这种颜料让我可以自由地去试验和处理图像。它干燥的速度更快,所以我也能更快完成作品。 ” 他说,“同时,我也在慢慢地确立自己的艺术风格——视觉拼贴。因为颜料干得更快,我可以同时连续完成多个图层,也不用怕弄脏颜色。”

Synthetic Soul 3
Synthetic Soul 2
Image Source 2

In his recent work, some of which debuted at the 2018 Art Fair Philippines, Arcamo has taken a turn toward the abstract. Image Source 2, for instance, shows a field of white that partly covers a sepia-toned portrait, while narrow strips of other images litter the canvas. The work has rougher edges, without the careful human outlines of his earlier paintings. Gone too are the shattered shapes suspended in dramatic three-dimensional perspectives. In their place is textured, layered flatness that paradoxically seems to have more depth. Compartmentalized is similarly abstract, and bolder in its use of color.

他最近的一些作品于 2018 Art Fair Philippines(菲律宾艺术博览会)首次亮相,看得出来 Arcamo 的创作开始走向抽象。譬如,在《Image Source 2》中,他以一片白色覆盖深褐色人像,而从其它图像剪裁出的窄条则布满了画布。在这幅作品中,和他早期绘画那些精致的人体轮廓不同,画面的边界更为粗糙,也没有了那些在三维视角中戏剧性地悬浮着的几何碎片。取而代之的是有纹理的、分层的平面色块,然而看上去却有更深的层次感。而另一幅作品《Compartmentalized》也采取类似的表现方式,同样抽象,但用色更为大胆。


These new collages, like his previous work, make use of a modernist visual idiom. Largely abandoning the human form, they nevertheless remain accessible and engaging. Arcamo seems to be searching for a new balance between color and composition, and the insight his work points to is one that, a century ago, avant-garde artists knew well: sometimes abstraction, more than representation, can deepen a work’s emotional power.

和他之前的作品一样,这些拼贴画新作也同样利用了现代主义的视觉语言。它们在很大程度上放弃了人类的轮廓,但仍然能让人理解,也十分引人入胜。Arcamo 似乎在寻找色彩和构图之间的新平衡,他的作品响应着一个世纪前,前卫艺术家的理念:有时抽象比写实更能加深作品的情感力量。

Medicated Peaceful Moment

Instagram:  @md_arcamo


供稿人: Allen Young

Instagram:  @md_arcamo


供稿人: Allen Young

Bound in Beat



Beatboxing and Chinese culture collide in the western city of Chengdu in the award-winning short documentary Bound in Beat. Along the way, producer and beatboxer Dmitrii Anikeev and director Gleb Torubarov tell a powerful story about friendship and belonging and offer audiences a glimpse into China’s growing beatboxing community.

Beatboxing is a form of vocal percussion that involves mimicking the use of drum machines (or ‘beatboxes’), turntables, or other musical instruments. It first became popular in the U.S. in the 1970s and 1980s with the rise of hip-hop culture, though its roots may go back even further. While in China beatboxing isn’t new­—it first arrived in the country in the early 2000s—it continues to struggle to gain popularity and respect.

获奖纪录短片《Bound in Beat》呈现了在成都这座城市,口技(beatbox)与中国在地文化精彩的碰撞。导演格列布·托卢巴洛夫(Gleb Torubarov)与口技达人(beatboxer)身兼制片人的 Dmitrii Anikeev 通过镜头讲述了一个关于友情和归属感的故事,向观众展示这个小众却充满活力的中国 beatbox 社群。

Beatbox 节奏口技是一种模仿电子鼓、打碟机等乐器的人声音乐技巧。在 20 世纪 70、80 年代,随着嘻哈文化的兴起,beatbox 最先在美国流行起来,但其起源可以再往前追溯。而 beatbox 在中国最早出现于 21 世纪初期,虽然至今已经存在了一段时间,但这种音乐文化始终难以获得普及和认可。

Anikeev encountered the art of beatboxing back in his hometown in Russia nearly a decade ago and was immediately hooked. “I first discovered beatboxing in 2009, when someone showed me how it was done,” he recalls. “I was amazed. From that moment on, it has been an important part of my life.”

After relocating to Chengdu to study in 2015, Anikeev connected with members of CNBeatbox (or CNB), a community of Chinese beatboxers with a growing following. Together they’ve staged numerous events, including the annual Sichuan International Beatbox Battle.

十年前,Anikeev 在俄罗斯首次接触到 beatbox,就立即爱上了这门艺术。他回忆道:“我第一次接触 beatbox 是在 2009 年,第一次看到有人表演 Beatbox,我当时非常震惊。从那一刻起 beatbox 就一直是我生命中重要的一部分。”

2015 年,Anikeev 到成都留学,结识了中国当地的 beatboxer 团体 CNBeatbox(CNB)的成员。之后便开始与他们一起登台表演,包括参加一年一度的四川国际 Beatbox 大赛。

Through his work in the community, Anikeev met Li Erkun, a fifteen-year-old boy in search of a beatboxing instructor. Anikeev agreed to take him on as a student in 2017. Shortly after his first lesson with Li, Anikeev contacted Torubarov—a Suzhou-based filmmaker and a close friend from his university days—with the idea of shooting a documentary about his new student.

“It was just one of many conversations Dmitrii and I had,” Torubarov says. “He told me he was teaching beatboxing to a boy in Chengdu in whom he saw something of himself and he wanted to inspire not only the boy, but also other people, by making a documentary.”

Anikeev 活跃在 CNB 社群之中,途中认识了一个十五岁的男孩黎尔焜,当时他正在为自己寻找 beatbox 导师。2017 年 Anikeev 决定收尔焜为学生,在两人上完第一节课后不久,他就联系了自己大学时代的好友,同时也是在苏州的电影制片人 Torubarov,提议一起拍摄这一部关于他的新学生的纪录片。

Torubarov 说:“我和 Dmitrii 常常一起聊新的想法,这只是其中一个。他当时跟我说,他正在教一个成都男孩练习 beatbox,在这个男孩身上他看到了自己一些影子,他希望能通过拍摄纪录片鼓舞到更多人。”

Torubarov loved the idea, but he wanted to avoid resorting to cheap visuals or exploitative techniques to provoke a response from viewers—especially when it came to the film’s treatment of Li Erkun’s use of a wheelchair. “Li Erkun is a boy with a disability, but I didn’t want to have any shots of the wheelchair alone or tilting shots from his legs up—for me, it’s artificial and not important,” emphasizes Torubarov. “I wanted to tell a story about Dmitrii and Erkun—not a story about Dmitrii and Erkun, a boy with disabilities.”

Torubarov 很喜欢这个想法,但他想避免利用庸俗煽情的视觉效果来激起观众的反应,尤其是在影片里针对黎尔焜使用轮椅这些画面的处理。“黎尔焜是一个有身体残疾的男孩,但我不想有任何单独的轮椅特写,或是从他的腿往上拍摄的镜头。对我来说,这样的画面太做作,也没有任何意义。”  Torubarov 强调说,“我想讲述的是一个关于 Dmitrii 和尔焜之间的故事,而不是 Dmitrii 和轮椅男孩尔焜的故事。”

When they began shooting in 2017, Torubarov and Anikeev didn’t have a clear idea of the direction the story would take. At first they just intended to record a series of interviews to inspire other beatboxing fans. “If you’re doing an honest documentary—without trying to make things up or force people to do something for the camera—you won’t know what you’re really getting into,” Torubarov explains. “The only way for us to find out whether we might get somewhere was to start with an interview—so we started by interviewing Li Erkun.”

That interview gave Anikeev and Torubarov insight into Li’s idols—a list which included Chinese beatboxing champion and CNB member Ah Xin. It also gave them an idea. They decided to make a film about bringing Ah Xin to Chengdu for a surprise visit with one of his biggest fans.

2017年他们着手开始拍摄,当时 Torubarov 和 Anikeev 其实对于整个故事的进行方向还没有清楚的认知。起初他们只是打算拍摄一系列的访谈,以此来激励其他 beatbox 爱好者。 “如果你要拍摄一部诚实的纪录片,这意味着你不能虚构情节,也不能强迫别人去做一些事情,这种情况下,你是不会知道影片最后会呈现出什么的。”  Torubarov 解释道,“要知道这个答案,唯一的方法就是从一场采访开始,所以,我们先跟黎尔焜做了一次采访。”

那次采访让 Anikeev 和 Torubarov 了解到尔焜的偶像,其中包括中国的 beatbox 冠军和 CNB 成员阿鑫。这也让他们有了一个想法,他们决定邀请阿鑫到成都来,与他的忠实粉丝进行一次惊喜见面,然后将这个故事拍摄下来。

Since its release, the film has racked up nearly two million views across various platforms and has screened at numerous film festivals both in China and around the world.

Though the film is available online, Anikeev and Torubarov are continuing to plan screenings, in the hopes that more people will have the chance to see it with an audience, and on something bigger than just their computer monitor. Ultimately, they hope the film will be an inspiration to others.

从发布以来,这部纪录片在不同的平台上已经获得近 200 万次的观看量,并在中国和世界各地的众多电影节上放映。

虽然纪录片已经被发布到网上,但 Anikeev 和 Torubarov 还在持续他们的线下放映计划,希望能让更多人看到,可以在电脑以外更大的屏幕上欣赏到这部纪录片。最终,他们希望这部纪录片能够成为他人的启发力量。

Anikeev‘s experience working on Bound in Beat has inspired him to look for new ways in which beatboxing can have a lasting and positive impact. “I have an idea for another project in which I’ll try to discover how beatboxing can help people with stuttering,” he says. “I think it can be used as a therapy, but I’m still working on the concept.”

As for Torubarov, he says “I want this story to inspire people to follow their dreams, be kind to others, and continue self-development no matter what. I hope more people will support others without thinking about profit or benefit.”

Anikeev 拍摄《Bound in Beat》的经历启发了他走上新的方向,希望能让 beatbox 发挥更持久、积极的影响力。 “我已经有做另一个项目的新的想法,主要是关于 beatbox 如何帮助有口吃问题的人。我觉得 beatbox 也可以作为一种治疗,但具体我还在构想中。”

至于导演 Torubarov,他希望这个故事能激励人们去追随自己的梦想,“希望人们可以不断提升自己,同时去善待他人,能够尽力去成为别人的支柱,无论任何利益或好处。”

Director: Gleb Torubarov


Contributor: Michael Thede

导演: Gleb Torubarov



供稿人: Michael Thede

Balancing Act


Shanghai-based artist and designer Tan Chengyan paints only a handful of subjects: women’s bodies, mushrooms, circles, and holes. Simple shapes fit her abstract style. She views her art as a balancing act between emotion and logic, and a desire for balance likewise runs through her life, both as she alternates between art and design and as she selects the tools to produce her work.


Mushroom Mushroom Mushroom 1
Women on the Blue Tree

Water and ink represent her emotional side. The first thing she does when creating a new painting is to dampen the paper with water and draw the main shapes in ink. Then she watches as the ink bleeds onto the wet surface. “The procedure of brushing paper with water is particularly important—it leads me to a state beyond consciousness,” says Tan. Seeing ink merging with water, her mind enters a zen space, and that’s when the shapes start to materialize.

Then her logical side, represented by acrylic, gouache, and colored pencils, takes over. She draws the shapes with acrylic or gouache on top of the initial layer and waits until their edges blur. Only at that point does she have a clear idea about the painting’s subject. She then adds details and clarifies subjects with colored pencils.

Underneath these soft and feminine shapes lies a slow process of creation that she describes as “primitive and organic,” and which gives her works their vital simplicity. These themes are also part of an organic process.

水和墨如同她感性的一面。作画时,她会先把画布和纸全部涂湿,用墨在上面做出基本图形,看着水和墨互相交融,形成自己的模样,“上水这一步对我来说特别重要,因为它是让我进入到 ‘意识外’ 状态最关键的一步。”当墨与水相互交融,她慢慢沉浸其中,画面便开始在脑中成形。


她的画作常由柔软、婀娜的形状组成。其中循序渐进的创作过程——用她自己的话说是 “原始、有机的”——带来了简洁、充满生命力的效果。而这个主题的成形也是一个有机的过程。

A Big Woman and an Orange Girl
A Big Woman and an Orange Girl (process)
A Big Woman and an Orange Girl (process)

Tan first began drawing circular, hole-like shapes in high school, though at the time she didn’t know what prompted them. In middle school, she had struggled under the intense pressures of academic competition, and when she was admitted to an arts high school, the relaxed, free environment made her feel as though “she had suddenly opened up.”

从高中开始,她就在纸上记录这些图形,虽然当时并不知道特别原因。在那之前,她就读的是普通初中,常常被排名和学业的压力闷得透不过气,而在高中考上了艺术院校后,自由和放松的环境让她感觉 “自己一下子就释放了”。

States 7, No. 2
State 5, No. 8
States 5, No. 9
States 8, No. 2

Looking back, Tan thinks her adolescent years set the stage for her later work. A budding sexuality left her at times feeling lost and at times full of hot-blooded passion: “I just felt an energy I needed to release. What was it? I don’t know, but on the paper before me, I saw those forms.”

College was another dark period, and Tan took refuge in the library, where she discovered, in art books and journals, the work of pioneering artists like Yayoi Kusama and Georgia O’Keeffe, who profoundly influenced her approach to artistic expression.


大学对于她来说,是另一个黑暗时期。于是,图书馆变成了成彦最爱去的地方,她也在当时大量接触了草间弥生(Yayoi Kusama)、乔治亚·欧姬芙(Georgia O’Keeffe)等以女性主题闻名的先锋艺术家家的作品。这对她自身的艺术表达方式造成了深远的影响。

Three Women and the Sunset

A turning point came in 2009, when, after graduating from college, Tan decided to move to the Netherlands to pursue a master’s in fine arts. Not only was this her “most prolific” period, it also, more importantly, helped her give expression to the forms she had been seeing in her mind all those years.

“Women’s bodies, mushroom shapes, holes, and circles: all these connect me to energy of the universe. When I paint these shapes, I always feel I’m elevated to a higher spiritual plane beyond material things,” she says, “I start to think that a lot of problems in my life aren’t really problems, because when I enter that level I’m more tolerant of everything that occurs in life.”



Do the female forms she creates represent herself, then?  Tan doesn’t think so. “It would be too restrictive to say this is me.  Through the female shapes I paint, I want to explore a path to the universe.”

In terms of life, if art is her emotional side, her logical self comes forward through design. In 2017, Tan and her partner, Carmelo Ferreri, founded the design studio Melo & Yan, which specializes in branding and illustration. In her opinion, and in her practice, art and design are not opposed to one another, but rather nourish each other. “Design reflects the times, and can also inspire my art. It’s a balance,” she says. That’s also her attitude toward art: “It’s only good when all elements reach a balance.”


在生活层面,如果说她在艺术创作时是感性的,那么她理性的自己则会在做设计时出现。谭成彦在 2017 年和另一半 Carmelo Ferreri 成立 Melo & Yan 设计工作室,专注品牌设计与插画。在她眼里,艺术与创作并不矛盾,而是有着相互滋养的关系:“设计更加能体现时代的信息,也可以给创作带来灵感。就是个平衡,” 这也是她对画的态度,“一张画,能达到平衡才是比较优秀的作品”。

Instagram: @chengyan_tan


Contributor & Photographer: Jiang Yaling
Additional Images Courtesy of Tan Chengyan

Instagram: @chengyan_tan


供稿人: Jiang Yaling
附加图片由 Tan Chengyan 提供

An Architecture of the Mind

Timeless Migration

Kenny Low is an artist from Singapore who creates saturated, sprawling, psychedelic compositions. Reaching up to three meters across, his works rely on fractal-like repetition: some call to mind the sea creatures of Ernst Hæckel’s Art Forms in Nature, others look like a screenshot from a video game, while still others suggest a contemporary take on Chinese or Japanese inkwash painting.

As a young child, Low discovered a knack for drawing, and he spent his free time doodling cartoon characters he’d seen on television, like Snoopy or Mickey Mouse. He continued making art throughout secondary school and went on to do a degree at the Glasgow School of Art. His work is on display at the Art Seasons Gallery in Singapore through June 22.

来自新加坡的艺术家 Kenny Low 喜欢采用高饱和度的色彩,放射状的构图,打造出风格迷幻的画作。他的作品可达 3 米长,并由重复叠加的类分形组成。所以,有些作品看上去会令人想起生物学家兼插画家的恩斯特·海克尔 (Ernst Hæckel) 在《自然界的艺术形态》 里绘画的那些海洋生物;有些看起来又像是视频游戏的截图,还有一些则似乎是对当代中国或日本水墨绘画的演绎。

Kenny 从小就展现出画画的天赋,闲时,他会去画那些在电视上看到的 卡通角色,譬如史努比和米老鼠。中学时,他依然没有停止艺术创作。毕业后进入格拉斯哥艺 术学院(Glasgow School of Art)继续学习深造。他的作品现在在新加坡 Art Seasons 画廊 展出,展览持续至 6 月 22 日。


Pactolus Egg
Prisma Egg
Raijin and Fujin
Under the Influence of the Little Boy and Fat Man

Perhaps surprisingly, all his works are made up of photographs taken in and around his home city, multiplied and repeated to the point of abstraction. Upon closer inspection, the jellyfish-like shapes swimming through Equinox Dream, for example, consist of superimposed images of spiral staircases arranged under what appears to be a sort of awning.  “Each image is taken by me with my digital camera while exploring Singapore,” he says. He shoots all kinds of buildings, “from construction sites to old Chinatown shophouses to historical temples to modern sites, like the Marina Bay Sands complex and the Gardens by the Bay.” After carefully cropping his photographs, he begins the painstaking process of arranging them in a work, making a sort of digital collage loosely based on a prior sketch. “Each image can take up to two to four months to complete, depending on the scale of the work,” he says.

令人惊奇的是,他的所有作品都是运用他在家乡拍摄的照片,通过不断的叠加和重复,最终形成抽象的作品。譬如在《Equinox Dream》中,如果你仔细看, 画面中那些游动着的水母形状的图案其实是用多幅螺旋楼梯的照片叠 加而成,水母头部则是一个类似遮阳篷的照片。“每一张照片都是在我探索新加坡时用数码相机拍摄下来的。”他解释道。“建筑地盘、唐人街的老旧商店、历史悠久的寺庙,也有现代建筑, 譬如滨海湾金沙社区(Marina Bay Sands) 和滨海湾花园(Gardens By The Bay) 。”这些建筑都曾出现在他的照片里,并被他精心的剪裁出不同的区域,接下来是最费时间的一个步骤:将这些照片组合成一幅作品,大致按照事先设计好的草图,创作成数字拼贴画。“这取决于作品的规模,每幅作品最多可能需要两到四个月才能完成。”他说。

Equinox Dream
Twin Amaterasu

If there seems to be something vaguely Japanese about some of Low’s pictures, that’s not an accident. “My art was born out of my curiosity and love of Japan,” he says. As a child he developed a deep fascination with anime, manga, J-pop, and J-drama. “I remember the first anime I watched. I remember the first Japanese song I heard. The visuals were out of this world—it was an indescribable experience,” he remembers. “Since then, I’ve been very drawn to everything Japanese, from their design to their culture to their cities. I love every bit of it. And naturally, my art is heavily influenced by them.”


Orb of Light
Peaceful Fuchsia

Midnight Sun seems to recreate a traditional Japanese or Chinese landscape painting. An enormous red sun stamped with Chinese characters hangs in the background, while cranes, a symbol of longevity and good fortune, dot the skies. At two meters tall, the work defies our expectations of scale and prevents us from taking in the entire image at once: only from afar can we appreciate the composition of the landscape, only up close can discern the intricate photographs of skyscrapers that make up each mountain.

而他的《Midnight Sun》似乎是对一幅传统日本画或中国山水画的重新演绎。印着中文的巨型红色太阳悬挂在画面背景,而象征着长寿和吉祥的仙鹤则点缀着天空。这幅作品高近两米,在规模上比普通的艺术作品大出很多,也正因如此,在欣赏这幅画时,观众无法马上看完整幅画,他们需要站远一点,才能欣赏到整幅画的构图;然后再走近一点,才能观察每座山中建筑。

Midnight Sun

Since Low began creating his large digital works, his thinking about art has become more sophisticated. He’s moved beyond just following his instincts for what looks good. “My thoughts about what I want to portray in my images are more precise now,” he says. “I’ve grown to understand that an image needs to be more than beautiful—it has to have a story for people to relate to. It needs something to give it life.”

The stories in Low’s works seem to be dispatches from a strange, dizzying, futuristic world—and they’re all the more compelling for being slightly beyond our grasp.

自从 Kenny 开始创作大型数字作品以来,他对艺术创作的看法也渐趋成熟。在创作时,他不再单纯地听从自己的本能去追求仅仅好看的作品。他说: “我现在对于自己在画面中要呈现的内容有了更清晰明确的想法。我渐渐明白,一幅画不仅要好看,它还必须有故事,让人们产生共鸣。它需要被赋予生命。”

Kenny 在作品中讲述的故事都像是来自一个奇怪的、令人眼花缭乱的未来世界,有点难以掌握,也因此变得更加引人入胜。

Phos, Guardian of Life
Prisma, Guardian of Hope

Kenny Low’s exhibition is currently showing at Art Seasons Gallery in Singapore and will end on June 22nd.


Event: Genesis I
Exhibition Dates: April 28th, 2018 ~ June 22nd, 2018


50 Genting Lane, #03-02
Cideco Industrial Complex
Singapore 349558


Contributor: Allen Young

Kenny Low 的个人展目前在新加坡的 Art Seasons 画廊 展出,展览至 6月 22 日结束。


活动名称: “Genesis I”
展览日期: 2018年4月28日——2018年6月22日


50 Genting Lane, #03-02
Cideco Industrial Complex
Singapore 349558


投稿人: Allen Young

Still Life with Digital Ghost

Every Last Drop

Spectral, iridescent, shimmering, a woman in a blue wig is polishing the furniture. She swabs a surface, crouches down to inspect the shine, adds a few squirts from a spray bottle, waves her hand to clear the air.

What she’s cleaning isn’t a coffee table or a china cabinet but a cluster of buildings, a complete model cityscape with trees, trash bins, street lamps, and cars. Painted in acrylic, presumably from a photograph, the street scene has a static, two-dimensional solidity, while the figure floating in the background seems to exist on a different plane.

There’s something magical about the way she goes about her business, polishing the buildings like the caretaker of a miniature world. Partly it’s the silence, partly it’s the length of the animation—the full version, which you can watch here, lasts well over a minute—that give the animation its peculiar charm. It’s not a work of video art, and it’s not just a GIF meme. It calls to mind a silent film—or, if you prefer, the looping hologram of Princess Leia telling Obi Wan Kenobi he’s her only hope.



令人入迷的,是她如此细致地照顾这些模型的样子,就像她是这个微型世界的看管者。也许是无声的原因,也许是因为动画的长度,赋予这幅动画独特的魅力——你可以点击这里观看到一分钟的完整版本。这不是一件视频艺术作品,也不仅是一幅 GIF 图片。它令人联想到无声电影,或者说是电影《星球大战》中,莱娅公主(Princess Leia)发给欧比王·克诺比(Obi Wan Kenobi)说他是她唯一的希望时,那个令人印象深刻的三维全息投影。

A Modern-Day Song Jiang
Mid-Autumn Sketches
Remains of the Future

The work is one of a series of pieces of LED art produced by the Shanghai-based art collective Liu Dao, or Island6. Founded in 2006, it began as a residency program and has since evolved into an art laboratory, with a rotating group of artists and curators from around the world, its number of members fluctuating from six to 26. From its studio in M50, the art complex on Moganshan Road, Liu Dao generates a staggering stream of work, which visitors can view in the attached gallery.

这些作品是由上海艺术团体 “六岛”(Island6)制作的 LED 艺术作品系列之一。六岛成立于2006年,最开始是一个驻地项目,现在已发展成为一个艺术实验室,由一群来自世界各地的艺术家和策展人轮换组成。其成员数量起伏不定,从最初的6名发展到现在的26名。在他们位于上海莫干山路的 M50 创意园工作室内,六岛创作出一系列精彩的作品,并就近于旁边所附设的画廊展出,供观众欣赏。

Dignity of the Fuel

Creation is everything.

The day I visited their studio, I saw rows of delicately wrapped frames standing on their end, and I asked where they were headed. “Some of them are going to buyers, the rest are going into storage,” said Irmantas Bortnikas, the marketing director. “Once the artists finish something, they set it aside and keep working. If you worry about whether something sells, then you stop producing. And the important thing for them is to keep producing.” The curator and art director play a key role in this process, not only by handling administrative matters, but also in working with the artists to give their pieces a distinctive group identity. “Here at island6, even though each artist only makes a fragment of each artwork, the art directors and the curators are able to organize all the pieces of the puzzle together,” they say.


前往参观他们工作室的那天,我看到一排排细心包裹好的作品,我询问这些作品要去到哪里。市场总监 Irmantas Bortnikas 说:“一部分是准备给买家的,其余的就放到仓库。艺术家每完成一件作品,就会把它们放在一边,然后继续开始下一件作品的创作。如果你一直去操心某件作品卖不卖得出去,你就会停止创作。而对艺术家来说最重要的就是保持在创作的轨道上。”在这里,策展人和艺术总监扮演着关键的角色,他们不仅负责处理行政事务,还要与艺术家保持畅通的合作,确保他们的作品保有独特的团队风格。“在六岛,虽然每个艺术家都只负责一件作品的一部分,但艺术总监和策展人总是能够将它们组合的很好。”他们说。

Was His

Liu Dao’s LED works combine a static image, such as a painting, a photograph, or a paper cutting, with a pastel-colored moving image produced by an array of lights. The brown paper background is opaque enough to hide the circuitry, transparent enough for the LED lights to shine through. These works inspire a childlike delight, especially in person, though it’s hard to explain quite why. No doubt the surprise of seeing a moving image dance across a paper screen accounts for much of the charm, and the composition and color choices likewise play a role. All the technical aspects are handled with extreme care, so that the finished product is feels both high-tech and hand-crafted.

Beyond LED art, Liu Dao also produces laser drawings, neon sculptures, and three-dimensional assemblages—such as traditional Chinese vases imprisoned in a rusty cage—not to mention electronic dance tracks. One might even read their wordy “blurbs” as another work of art, an enigmatic prose poem that often only glances at the work it describes.

六岛的 LED 作品将绘画、照片或剪纸等静态图像,与色彩柔和的动态图像结合在一起。牛皮纸背景的透明度恰好能隐藏电路,又足以让 LED 灯光闪透出来。这些作品能让人激发出孩童般的喜悦,特别是当你欣赏到实体作品时,虽然很难解释为什么。毫无疑问,一个移动的图像在一个纸屏幕上跃动,这种神奇的组合本身就具有极大的魅力。当然画面的构成与颜色的选择也有影响,所有的技术都经过极其谨慎的处理,使成品感觉既有前卫的高科技感,又充满手工艺的质朴韵味。

除了 LED 艺术,六岛也会创作激光画、霓虹灯雕塑、或立体的组合装置艺术,譬如将传统中国花瓶装在一个生锈的笼子里的作品。他们甚至还会创作电子舞曲,就连用来描述作品的散文短诗,也可以被看成是另一件艺术作品。

Crosscourt Meditation
Shine Inn

Each season, the artists decide on a focus and collaborate to produce a set of pieces. “Whenever we come up with an idea for a new exhibition, we first brainstorm the theme,” the artists explain. Last year that theme was the woman in the blue wig, who appears in over dozens of works. “When we figure out what the exhibition should be about, the art directors commission the artists to make artworks for the exhibition, and the curators elaborate on the intellectual background.” Collaboration gives their work a distinctive and highly unified style. (True to their group ethos, answers to questions about the creative process come from the collective as a whole, not from any member in particular.)

每一季六岛会挑选一个主题,再交由艺术家去共同创作一系列作品。“每当我们有关于展览的新想法,我们会聚在一起集思广益。” 去年的主题是戴蓝色假发的女人,这个女性形象最终出现在几十件作品中。“当我们确定展览的主题后,艺术总监会委托艺术家针对主题来创作,然后策展人负责进一步构思出展览的叙事背景。” 即使是分工合作的工作模式,他们的作品依然呈现出高度的一致性。(所有关于创作的问题也都是集体回答的,而不是基于任何一位成员,这一点十分符合他们的团体精神。)

Bicycle Kingdom



Over the last decade or so, Liu Dao has witnessed Shanghai’s art scene blossom into a diverse and global space. The oldest galleries date back only in the 1990s. Even in the mid-2000s, when Liu Dao opened its doors on Moganshan Road, its first location resembled a jungle. “People joked that they needed a machete to get past the wild plants that blocked the path to the gallery and the workshop,” they recall. “Today the situation has dramatically changed. Shanghai’s art scene is already home to amazing museums, such as Yuz Museum, the Power Station of Art, and the Long Museum, that showcase the most prominent artists from around the world.”

在过去十年左右的时间里,六岛见证了上海发展急速的艺术场景,现在这座城市已经成为了一个全球性的多样化空间。但在过去,最早的画廊也只能追溯到20世纪90年代,甚至是21世纪初期。六岛十二年前在莫干山路成立第一个工作室,当时那里看上去像是一片原始的丛林,他们回忆道:“人们开玩笑说,你需要一把镰刀才能穿过那些蔓生在通往画廊和工作室路上的植物。时至今日,上海的艺术场景已经剧烈的改变了——许多令人惊叹的博物馆,譬如余德耀美术馆(Yuz Museum)、上海当代艺术博物、龙美术馆一一开设。在这些博物馆里,你有机会接触到来自世界各地最著名的艺术家的作品。”

Luminous Magnum Opus Nihonshu

Liu Dao is itself a product of this booming international scene. Most of the artists are Chinese, but the collective describes itself as “pretty indifferent to where artists are from,” and it includes a strong international presence. The founding art director, Thomas Charvériat, is French, and current curator, András Gál, is Hungarian. “Many artworks use plot elements from Western movies and references to Western art history, with blurbs written in English alongside the artworks,” they say. ”Simultaneously, we use traditional crafts Chinese and materials such as paper cutting or Chinese realist painting.”

Mixing traditions and practices is key to their philosophy. They recently put on a calligraphy performance that combined Chinese brushwork, Franz Kline-inspired action painting, and Japanese Zen symbols. The point was to play with forms that look alike but carry very different significance. “Even though the outcome may look similar, the meaning behind the art may be different in each culture,” they say. “So why not mix it up and make a cross-cultural performance out of it? This is what island6 is all about.”

六岛本身就是这样一个蓬勃发展的国际艺术舞台的产物。六岛里大多数的艺术家都是中国艺术家,但该团体自称 “不关心艺术家到底来自哪里”,团体中也有许多其他国籍的艺术家。创始人兼艺术总监 Thomas Charvériat 来自法国,而当前的策展人 András Gál 则来自匈牙利。他们说:“许多艺术作品借鉴了西方电影中的剧情元素和西方艺术史,作品旁边会放上英语简介。同时,我们也会运用中国传统工艺品和材料,例如剪纸或写实主义的中国绘画。”

融合传统并付诸实践,是他们创作理念的关键。他们最近展出一个中国书法表演,结合了传统中国书法的笔画、以美国抽象画派艺术家 Franz Kline 为灵感创作的行动绘画,以及日本禅宗符号。重点在于运用这些看起来相似,实际上却拥有截然不同含义的艺术形式。“尽管最终的成品可能看起来很类似,但对于不同文化情境来说,代表的意义可能是不同的。所以何不相结合,创作出跨文化的作品呢?毕竟这正是六岛的精髓所在。”

A Full Turn
Unspoken Word
The Great Recycler
The Ambition Stain
Instagram: @island6_gallery


Contributor: Allen Young

Instagram: @island6_gallery


投稿人: Allen Young

Revolutionary Chic

In a tiny storefront on Fumin Road, next to the shoebox cafés and hipster bars of Shanghai’s former French Concession, Linda Johnson sells an unusual mix of old and new: antique furniture, vintage maps, cellphone cases, photographs, handmade jewelry, baby onesies, chapbooks, small-press zines, fountain pens, wrapping paper, and much more. Madame Mao’s Dowry, as her boutique is called, first opened its doors in 2001, and in its nearly two decades of operation, Johnson has witnessed a dramatic transformation, both in the surrounding neighborhood and in Chinese design generally. While the shop has changed to keep up with the times—sometimes involuntarily, as when rising rent forced it to shrink to half its original size—Johnson has stayed true to her founding mission: to showcase “design that’s proudly Chinese for living in modern China.”

在上海静安区富民路的一家小店面,在逼仄的咖啡馆和时尚酒吧的边上,Linda Johnson 的店卖的则是不同寻常的新旧组合:古董家具、旧地图、手机盒、照片、手工首饰、婴儿连体衣、诗歌别册、独立杂志、自来水笔、包装纸……等等。这家店在 2001 年首次开张,名为“毛太设计”(Madame Mao’s Dowry)。开业近二十年,Linda 见证了周边社群和中国设计业的戏剧性转变。随着时间的推移,商店不断地衍化调整(有时是不得已而为止:比如几年前由于房租上涨店铺面积缩小到原来的一半)但 Linda 一直忠于初心:“以中国身份为荣的本土现当代设计”。

“In the old days, my partner and I would scout university departments and art studios looking for designers, or follow leads given to us by artists from Shanghai and Beijing. We would use our shop, then on Fuxing Road, like a gallery, holding regular exhibitions of designed products,” Johnson recalls. “Interest in the whole design market was growing rapidly.” Yet in the early 2000s, that interest came largely from foreigners, and it didn’t extend much beyond Qing-dynasty porcelain and textile patterns. “Our aim was to challenge that, and to say that China’s modern history had a significant impact on art practice,” she explains.

在过去的日子里,我和我的搭档会去找大学的设计院系和艺术工作室寻找设计师,或者跟着上海和北京的艺术家给我们的线索去找人。我们会在我们的店铺,或在复兴路,像一个画廊一样定期举办有关设计的产品展览。 Linda 回忆说,人们对整个设计市场的兴趣迅速增长。但是在新世纪初,这些设计感兴趣的主要还是外国人,除了清朝的瓷器和织锦纹样之外,并没有延伸开去。我们的目标是挑战这种状况,并告诉大家中国现代历史对艺术实践产生了重大影响。她解释说。

Johnson’s boutique seeks to highlight the Mao era’s contributions to contemporary design (hence the name). It puts particular emphasis on art and artifacts from the Cultural Revolution, the calamitous decade from 1966 to 1976 that plunged the country into a protracted state of chaos. Customers react to this focus in different ways. “Some can be quite angry and disparaging, assuming that we’re glorifying the horrors, which of course we are not,” says Johnson. “Others are curious to learn more, and our collection of posters and news photographs has provided a resource, especially for local people, to understand something about ordinary life during the period.”

Chinese art from that era, with its smiling peasants and steely-eyed soldiers, today looks colorfully unreal, if not downright camp. Yet Johnson cautions against writing it off as mere propaganda. She believes it can and should be regarded separately from its political origins. “Our focus is the art and design of the period and its impact on contemporary aesthetics, not on the decision-making of its leaders,” she states.

Linda 的精品店试图突出“毛时代”对当代设计的贡献(也因此而得名)。它特别重视文革时期的艺术和艺术品,1966 年至 1976 年那充满灾难的十年,使国家陷入了长期的混乱状态。而顾客对此以呈现不同的反应。Linda 说:有些人可能会非常愤怒或不屑,以为我们在称赞这种暴行,但我们当然不是这个意思。而另一些人则会想了解更多,那么我们收集的海报和新闻照片就提供了资源渠道,特别是对当地人来说,让他们了解这一时期的日常生活。

那个时代的中国艺术作品,总会有面带微笑的农民和目光坚定的士兵,从现在的角度来看颇有些奇幻色彩,甚至可说是矫揉造作。然而,Linda 想要警示人们,不要把它仅仅当作宣传画来看。她认为,这种艺术形式可以而且应该同其政治渊源分开看待。我们的重点是这个时期的艺术和设计及其对当代美学的影响,而不是领导人的决策。她说。

Of course, not all the products in the boutique are from the 1960s and 1970s. In fact, most of them aren’t. Madame Mao’s Dowry features work by contemporary jewelers, ceramic sculptors, printmakers, poets, graphic artists, fashion designers, and more, and their work runs the gamut of different styles. For Johnson, this diversity is proof of how much Shanghai’s design scene has grown over the last two decades. “Design is a very different concept here today,” she notes, “and what’s produced is much more varied and much more sophisticated. There’s also a much broader mix of nationalities of young designers living in Shanghai.”

当然,店里并非所有的产品都是上世纪六七十年代的,事实上,绝大部分都不是。“毛太设计”以当代珠宝商、陶瓷雕刻家、版画师、诗人、平面艺术家、时装设计师的作品为特色,并涵盖了各种不同的风格。对 Linda 来说,这种多样性证明了过去二十年中上海设计界的巨大进步。在如今,设计是一个非常不同的概念。她说,它所产生的是更加多样化和复杂得多的东西。生活在上海的年轻设计师的国籍也要广泛得多。”

Beyond providing a space for local designers to sell their wares, Madame Mao’s also hosts events, such as poetry readings for Literary Shanghai or the Shanghai Literary Review. The aim is to provide a space for creative people working in Shanghai. “Many visitors have remarked that Madame Mao’s Dowry is more like a museum than a shop,” says Johnson. “It’s about valuing the culture China produces, not just selling it.”

除了为当地设计师提供销售商品的空间外,“毛太设计”还举办活动,如《文学上海》或《上海文艺评论》的诗歌阅读会。其目的是为在上海工作的创意人才提供一个空间。很多游客都说,‘毛太设计’与其说是一家商店,倒不如说更像是一个博物馆。” Linda 如是说,这是对中国生产的文化的珍视,而不仅仅是销售产品。

As Shanghai continues to change, Madame Mao’s, with its mix of antique and contemporary design, provides a bridge between the city’s past and its future. Johnson says that the visitors she values most, even though they rarely purchase anything, are the locals who have lived in the neighborhood for most of their lives: “they share stories with me of their experiences, which are often tinged with nostalgia and regularly surprising.” In a city single-mindedly turned toward the future, insisting on the relevance of mid-twentieth-century art is a way of keeping the past alive.

随着上海的不断变化,“毛夫人嫁妆”和当代设计的结合,为这座城市的过去和未来提供了一座桥梁。Linda 说,她最看重的是来此的顾客,即使他们很少购买任何东西,但他们是那些在附近生活了大半生的当地人:他们和我分享他们的经历,这些经历常常带有怀旧的味道,而且经常令人惊讶。在这个一心扑向未来的城市里,坚持与上世纪中期的艺术作品有所关联,可谓是一种铭记过往的方式。

207 Fumin Road
Jing’an District, Shanghai
People’s Republic of China

Hours: Monday ~ Sunday, 10 am ~ 7 pm



Contributor: Allen Young
Photographer: David Yen

富民路 207 号

营业时间: 周一至周日,早上10点至晚上7点



供稿人: Allen Young
摄影师: David Yen