Originally from Ningbo, Shadow Chen is an artist and illustrator currently based in Shanghai. Working primarily in digital illustration, her signature aesthetic indulges in psychedelic color palettes and liquid forms. Chen identifies her work as a sort of personal evolution, a discovery of the underlying patterns of the universe, as well as a healing process. According to her, “Art is therapeutic, and I want to make art that has the ability to cure others too.” To purchase a limited-edition print by Shadow Chen, please visit the Neocha Shop. See below for more select works from the artist.
Vans has brought the Custom Culture Competition to Asia for the first time ever this year. With a well-established reputation for individualism and self-expression, the Vans brand spirit is perfectly embodied through this competition. Working with the goal of rallying Asia’s creative community and providing a new platform to help showcase the region’s burgeoning creators, the contest invites everyone to flaunt their creativity for a chance to see their design make its way onto a pair of these iconic canvas shoes.
今年，Vans 首次将 Custom Culture 鞋履设计比赛带到亚洲。这一比赛充分体现了Vans 一向推崇个性化和自我表现的品牌精神，致力凝聚亚洲创意社区，为新兴艺术家提供一个新的创意平台。比赛邀请一众亚洲艺术家，尽情发挥他们的设计创意, 获奖者的设计将会被用于设计该品牌的全新帆布鞋产品。
For the competition, Vans has invited various respected artists from around Asia as both mentors and judges. Mentors will help the selected finalists to flesh out and complete their final design. These mentors include Chinese visual artist Lin Wenxin, South Korean illustrator Original Punk, Hong Kong-based woodworking atelier Start from Zero, Singapore-based husband-and-wife creative duo Sabotage, self-taught Malaysian street artist Fritilldea, and India-based street artist duo Varsha Nair. Judges include renowned San Francisco-based illustrator Jay Howell, Nini Sum of the Shanghai-based artist duo IdleBeats, plus many more.
在今年比赛中, Vans邀请了亚洲各地备受推崇的艺术家作为导师和评委。导师将帮助决赛选手改善其设计作品。这些导师包括来自重庆的视觉艺术家林文心, 韩国插画家Original Punk, 香港木艺画室Start from Zero, 新加坡夫妻组合艺术家Sabotage, 自学成才的马来西亚街头艺术家Fritilldea和印度街头艺术家组合Varsha Nair。评委则包括来自旧金山的著名插画家Jay Howell，来自上海 IdleBeats的Nini Sum等等。
For the chosen winner, in addition to seeing their design brought to life and made available as a limited-edition item throughout Asia, they’ll also receive a grand prize of $2,000 USD and the opportunity to co-host a global House of Vans workshop with their respective mentor. Submissions are open from now until July 31st. Click here to learn more. Be sure to submit an entry before it’s too late!
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Hong Kong’s Temple Street is without a doubt one of the most iconic locations in Kowloon, known for being home to one of the busiest night markets in the territory. Using Google Street View, South Australian artist Joshua Smith traversed the famous street and stumbled upon a building on the corner of Temple Street and Hi Lung Lane. Inspired by an explainable appeal of the structure, the miniaturist set off recreating the building in its exactness over the course of three months by using a combination of reference photos from friends visiting Hong Kong, photos provided by locals, and of course, Google Street View. The result is an intricate diorama of 23 Temple Street, constructed with fiberboard, cardboard, wood, plastic, spray paint, wires, and chalk pastels. His 1:20 scale counterpart includes an array of mind-blowing details, such as a traditional Hong Kong street shrine on the sidewalk, complete with offerings of oranges; various street poster ads, shoddily pasted all over the exterior of the building; and even his own graffiti, sprayed on the rolling metal doors. Check out the entirety of his replica below.
作为香港最繁忙的夜市之一，庙街无疑称得上是九龙最著名的地标之一。来自澳大利亚南部的艺术家Joshua Smith 利用 Google 街景, 深入探索这条著名的香港街道时，无意中发现了庙街和熙龙里拐角处的一栋大楼。这栋位于庙街23号的大楼建筑结构极具特色, 激发了这位微缩模型大师的创作灵感。他在三个月的时间里，参考去香港旅游的友人所拍摄的照片，当地人们拍摄的照片以及 Google 街景照片，按1:20的大小将这栋大楼制作成一个比例准确的微缩模型，使用的材料包括纤维板、纸板、木材、塑料、喷漆、电线、粉笔粉彩。这个1:20的微缩建筑模型拥有众多精妙的细节, 譬如在人行道上的香港传统街头神龛, 前面还摆着人们用来供奉神灵的橘子；各种各样胡乱粘贴在建筑的外表上的街头海报广告；他甚至在金属门上加上了自己的涂鸦细节。一起来看看他的这个微缩模型作品吧。
Contributor: David Yen
Images Courtesy of Joshua Smith
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China has been leading the way in cashless payment since the introduction of Alipay’s mobile payment platform in 2014. In Shanghai, convenience for consumers is at an all-time high — the scan of a single QR code eliminates the need to carry cash or fumble around your wallet for every purchase. Fittingly, Shanghai has now become the first city in China to host a completely staff-less convenience store that is open 24/7 in the former French Concession area.
自从支付宝手机支付平台在 2014 年推出以来, 中国成为了无现金支付领域的引领者。在上海, 消费者购物极为便利——只需要扫描付款二维码就可以完成付款，无需随身携带现金，也不用每次付款时手忙脚乱地在钱包里找零钱。现在，在上海法租界开设了中國第一家24小时无人便利店。
From their Weihai Road store, Wheelys 247 hopes to provide customers with a “no lines and no checkout” shopping experience. Shoppers just need to download the Wheelys 247 app and scan the barcode of the products that they wish to purchase. Whether it be for breakfast, lunch, dinner or groceries, customers are able to literally just grab what they need and go. After leaving the store, a pre-registered card is charged and Wheelys automatically sends a receipt. This 500-square-foot store is just the beginning for a new era of convenience stores that will change the way we shop forever.
位于威海路的Wheelys 247 便利店，希望为消费者提供 “无须排队、无须结帐 ”的购物体验。消费者下载 Wheelys 247 应用程序后， 扫描想要购买的产品的条形码，无论是早餐、午餐、晚餐还是杂货，拿起购买的商品就可以离开。离开便利店后，Wheelys 会从消费者预先登记的卡中扣取结账金额，并自动发送收据。这个占地500平方英尺的便利店代表我们的购物体验将再一次迎来前所未有的变革。
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After visiting Seiseki-Sakuragaoka, the Japanese suburbs that the 1995 Studio Ghibli film Whisper of the Heart was modeled after, Polish-born and Tokyo-based artist Mateusz Urbanowicz was inspired to paint his Bicycle Boy series, which consists of ten watercolor paintings that bring the film’s narrow roads and suburban landscapes to life. Urbanowicz uses 6B pencils to sketch out each moment before coloring them with Schimincke and Winsor & Newton watercolors. This series takes us on a journey of a dedicated bicycle boy who rides up challenging inclines and through the elements in order to reach his destination. Many of Urbanowicz’s other illustrations are also inspired by his new adoptive home of Japan as well as the animated backgrounds that feature in many Japanese anime films.
波兰出生的艺术家Mateusz Urbanowicz目前生活在东京。在参观完日本郊区圣迹樱丘（Seiseki-Sakuragaoka）——1995年吉卜力电影《心之谷》（Whisper of the Heart）的场景原型后，Urbanowicz创作了《自行车男孩》（Bicycle Boy）水彩画系列，通过十幅水彩画，栩栩如生地呈现出电影中出现的狭窄小巷和日本郊区景观。Urbanowicz在创作时，先使用6B铅笔画出草图，然后用Schimincke和Winsor＆Newton水彩上色。这个水彩画系列带领观众，跟随一名骑自行车的男孩，骑过艰难的斜坡，经历各种天气，朝着目的地进发。Urbanowicz的许多其它插图的灵感还来自于他如今生活的日本，以及许多日本动画中的场景。
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Cleveland-born and Singapore-based artist Debra Raymond knows first hand about being in transit. After leaving Ohio, she lived in Jakarta before relocating to the little red dot; in her art,“constant migration” remains as a heavy inspiration. Contemporary social issues such as urban alienation and technology’s hindrance on human connection feature heavily within her body of work.
艺术家Debra Raymond出生于美国克利夫兰，如今定居新加坡。对于”迁徙“，她深有体会。离开俄亥俄州后, 她先是在雅加达生活,后又移居新加坡。在她的作品中, “不间断的迁徙” 一直是一种沉重的创作灵感，她在作品中深入探讨着各种当代社会问题, 如城市异化和科技对人际关系的影响等等。
During her BA (Hons) Fine Arts in Singapore’s LASALLE College of the Arts, she explored the significance of play in childhood development and how to encourage human interaction through art in our technologically advanced era. In late 2016, Raymond completed an artist residency at the Children Centre of Japan in the Miyagi Prefecture’s Ogatsu-cho. During her residency, she conducted workshops with local children to create a series of works to remember the 2011 tsunami and earthquake.
在新加坡拉萨尔艺术学院（LASALLE College of the Arts）攻读荣誉学士学位期间, 她研究了戏剧在童年发展中的意义, 以及如何在科技先进的时代通过艺术来鼓励人类互动。2016年9月, Raymond 完成了“艺术家驻住计划”（Artist-in-residence），居住在日本宫城县小村庄Ogatsu-cho的儿童中心。期间, 她以2011年的海啸事件为灵感，为当地的儿童举办艺术讲习班。
Inspired by the houses that survived the tsunami, Raymond created 20 sculptures out of wood that was foraged from the area. The sculptures are based on 30 sketches that were painted in 30 days. The series was created to commemorate “the everydayness that we often take for granted” and installed around the prefecture.
Raymond 以海啸中幸存的房子为启发，利用当地获取的木材，并以她在驻住期间完成的30幅作品为基础创作了20个雕塑。她所创作这一系列雕塑，被安放在村庄的不同角落，目的是为了赞颂 “那些往往被人们当作理所当然的平凡生活” 。
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Each year, China-born and Japan-based fashion designer Leonard Wong releases a new short film for his self-titled label during fashion week. Created in collaboration with the creative duo INSIDE FLESH, Wong’s latest film, Alchemy, accompanies an experimental clothing line of the same name. The garments depicted in the film aren’t available to the public but acutely convey Wong’s affinity for bold lines, one of the most vital aspects in all of his designs.
《ALCHEMY》是由居住在日本的华裔时装设计师Leonard Wong为他的同名服装品牌所创作的的艺术短片，由INSIDE FLESH执行拍摄。每年的时装周发布会上，Wong会在发布时装设计作品的同时，也发布一支关于他品牌的艺术短片。那些出现在短片里的试验线服装，虽然不是生产后投入市场的成衣，但这些短片呈现出了Leonard Wong品牌试验线的意识形态，也是他设计作品中不可或缺的一部分。
Wong brought in Poland-based performance artist Sylvia Lajbig and Japanese dance duo AyaBambi to create this experimental film. The choreography for Alchemy is characterized by raw, explosive power, an energy that’s infused with feminine grace and surreal tension. Moving in a new artistic direction, the film appropriately conveys Wong’s ongoing mission of breaking out of conformity in order to create something new and exciting. “I’m good friends with AyaBambi in my personal life. We’ve collaborated many times in the past in all sorts of different ways. I feel like our auras are quite similar. And because of our like-mindedness, the video shoot went quite smoothly.”
在这支短片中，Wong邀请到日本双人舞蹈组合AyaBambi与形为艺术家Sylvia Lajbig合作。她们所创作的舞蹈以爆发力为特点，编舞具有女性的阴柔之美，但同时又以诡异的张力著称，其中也不乏夸张的艺术手法，这种打破传统的表现方式和Leonard Wong一直追求的品牌理念——“颠覆传统，特异独行”契合度很高，性格中的相似性让他们不谋而合。Wong和我们分享道：“私底下我与AyaBambi就是好朋友，有过几次不同形式的合作，我感觉我们的气场很合很投缘，在拍摄的过程中一切都进行得非常顺利，因为我们的想法也都很接近。”
Inspired by the actual protoscience of alchemy, Wong describes creating this experimental fashion line as his discovery of the Philosopher’s Stone, which is a legendary alchemical substance that’s known as being able to bestow immortality and give access to an unbridled energy, one that can transmute rocks into precious metals and merge humans with animals to unpredictable results. Watch the entirety of Leonard Wong’s magnum opus above.
这支短片的创作灵感来自于炼金术 （alchemy），并以此命名。炼金术象征永垂不朽，一种肆无忌惮的能量使石头变为金属，也融合了人类和动物，带来的结果无法预料。点开上方视频，看看Leonard Wong营造的实验性世界吧。
Contributor: Ye Zi
Video & Images Courtesy of Leonard Wong
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Surreal and hyper-realistic, these seemingly contradictory traits have become the signature aesthetic of Xooang Choi‘s sculptures. His approach of incorporating anatomically correct human features – which have all been crafted with excruciating attention to detail – onto his nightmarish creations make each sculpture that much more harrowing. From the head of a Great Dane sewn onto the neck of a life-sized man to a pair of wings formed by disembodied hands, the South Korean artist seems to know no bounds in deforming and contorting familiar human bodies and body parts into deeply disturbing works of art. But through invoking discomfort, Choi’s goal is to draw attention to important societal issues such as human rights, discrimination, and isolation. Scroll down and see more of Choi’s haunting sculptures below.
看似矛盾的虚幻与现实相结合，成为了韩国艺术家Xooang Choi的雕塑作品的标志性超现实主义风格。他所精雕细琢的人像拥有符合现实比例的身体，与梦魇般的元素相结合后,每一件雕塑作品更具震撼力。大丹犬的头像被缝接在真人大小的人类身体上，无数的手臂堆叠成一双翅膀——他在作品中无所顾忌地扭曲、变形人们所熟悉的人体和身体部位, 最终呈现出令人不安的作品。这些雕塑看上去可能令人不安，但Xooang Choi的真正意图是引起人们对人权、歧视和孤立等重要社会问题的关注。接下来，再来欣赏他其它的一些雕塑作品吧。
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For many people, the mere mention of Hong Kong conjures images of harboursides, modern skyscrapers, a smorgasbord of culinary delights and a true retail mecca. But if you look closer, the vintage stores and dated architecture of the city are very much interconnected to this port city’s identity and history. As Hong Kong develops, many of these older stores are disappearing. Fortunately, illustrator Flyingpig is determined to preserve the memories and stories of these disappearing shops.
Despite studying animation in college, Flyingpig is an avid illustrator. After graduating, she worked in film post-production before transitioning towards digital illustration. Amongst balancing her work life and illustrating in her spare time, she found herself questioning her current career path. Sundays became the only day when she could unwind and take the time to sketch. As her sketches accumulated and continuously received positive feedback online, Flyingpig began to understand that drawing didn’t mean working alone. “I realized that my work could send a message,” she says. “I never considered that I could make a living off illustrating alone.” She soon quit her job and plunged head first into illustration.
On canvas, the colorful portrayals of vintage stores are beautifully and purposefully executed. But, beyond the canvas, Flyingpig finds her interactions with these store owners to be infinitely more meaningful and important. She enjoys learning the history and stories behind these stores, building a connecting between herself and the community. “There was a time when I went to draw the shopfronts in Sheung Wan. As I sat by the roadside, the shopkeeper offered me a leather suitcase to rest my drawing pad on. He began to tell me about the little things that he had around his shop. It made me realise that amongst these spaces, there were so many stories that were just waiting to told.”
Looking at Flyingpig’s debut illustration book, Lao Dian Feng Qing Hua (which translates into vintage shop illustrations), her love of watercolors is ever present. Not only is this a casual, effortless medium, but she can allow her personality to flow through each brushstroke. These watercolor illustrations carry a laidback and mellow vibe, combined with the warmth of quaint Hong Kong shops. “City folks are always in a rush, people are growing further apart and don’t have a sense of community. Meanwhile, these beautiful details of life remain overlooked and are slowly disappearing. What I hope for when people view my work, is that it’ll make them want to support these small local shops rather franchised retail stores.”
As the city advances and develops, these old shops are silently fading into the background. Despite having a mellow, paced approach to creation since childhood, Flyingpig is now painting with haste and vigor in order to capture these disappearing scenes. Aside from drawing on paper, she has begun to release 360 degree videos. By using AR technology to enhance her drawings, she can immerse viewers into the very thick Hong Kong’s bustling shophouses. Throughout the interview, Flyingpig stressed that “every drawing must have a story” and she remains dedicated to bringing these stories to life through her art.
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INORI–PRAYER is digital art collaboration between Japan-based visual design studio WOW Inc., creative production team TOKYO, the Ishikawa Watanbe Laboratory at the University of Tokyo, and iconic dance duo AyaBambi. The project was the brainchild of Nobumichi Asai, creative and technical director of WOW Inc. Inspired by the soundtrack by Yosuke Nagao’s, Asai felt the music symbolized a radioactive, destructive power. The visuals and the choreography blend together to represent “death, suffering and sadness” as well as “the opportunity to overcome.”
One of the main challenges of the project was to ensure that the facial mapping would be precise throughout the entire dance segment. After three months of trial and error, the team managed to reduce the projection delay down to mere milliseconds — this was accomplished through the use of DynaFlash, a state-of-the-art 1,000 fps projector with an ultra high-speed sensing system. The projected images take on the form of a second skin, which continuously distort and transform the faces of AyaBambi’s two dancers throughout the entire performance.