Tag Archives: embroidery

Times New Romance

Best known as the Malaysian winner of the second season of Asia’s Next Top Model who now walks runways around the world, Sheena Liam has also crafted a name for herself as an embroidery artist. Her delicate, minimalist art is sewn through with images of freedom and self-care.

She first picked up needlework from her mother in childhood, but only later on in her modeling career did she revisit the old-fashioned craft. It started out as a peaceful, expressive activity to keep herself occupied during downtime between jobs, but she slowly began taking it more seriously, and before she knew it she’d made a series.


人们记得 Sheena Liam 这个名字,是在她荣获了第二季超级名模大赛Next Top Model)马来西亚赛区冠军之后。她在追求全职模特生涯的同时,也为自己打造了一个刺绣艺术家的名号。她手下精致的极简艺术刺绣,一针针缝进了自由和自爱的女性形象。

小时候,在母亲的影响下,Sheena 第一次拿起针线。但直到后来她开始了模特生涯,才重新拾起了这门工艺。一开始,刺绣只是一种令人平静而又富有表达力的手工,Sheena 目的是让自己在工作间隙中保持忙碌。但渐渐地,她开始更认真地对待刺绣,不知不觉中一个系列的作品已经完工了。

“I was never really drawn to it as a practice until I started seeing all these other artists breaking boundaries with embroidered work, and I realized we weren’t bound to tradition and stagnant designs,” Liam says. Like the carefree movement of the hair detail, each piece is open to interpretation. “I’m not pushing any agenda on anyone.”  


直到我看到那些用刺绣来打破界限的大批艺术家们,我才真正为它吸引,我意识到我们并不受制于传统和死板的设计了。”Sheena 说。就像一针一线穿引发丝的动作,每一个细节都可以被细细解读。我不会催促任何人做任何事情。

The figures in her works are often based on Liam herself, stitched with dark-green thread that stands out against the off-white linen. They can take anywhere from four days to a month to complete, depending on their size and complexity. “Sometimes I’m doing something completely new, so it takes some trial and error before I have a finished product I’m okay with,” she explains.


她作品中的人物通常是以自己为原型,用深绿色的线缝制,与米色的亚麻布形成鲜明的对比。根据大小和复杂程度的不同,完成一幅作品可能需要四天到一个月的时间。有时候我正在做一些全新的尝试,所以在我完成一个作品之前,我需要一些反复试验。

Each piece explores a moment in a woman’s life, from simple daily routines, like changing clothes or getting ready for a girl’s night out, to subtle moments of empowerment, like independently braiding or cutting off one’s hair for the first time. Just as she does in her modeling, her figures convey a mood or feeling through posture and pose. The free-flowing hair adds a gentle movement to contrast with the static figure, making the whole piece come alive. Though the style is minimalist, the figures are rich in detail.

“The actual embroidering is my favorite part of the process, so I try to prolong it by adding as much detail as possible,” she says. “The hair can be frustrating because I don’t have a set formula or technique. Every piece is different, and sometimes at the hair stage, which I usually do last, I might ruin a piece I’ve spent hours on.”


每一件作品都探讨了女性生活中的一些时刻,从简单的日常事务:比如换衣服或为“女生之夜”做准备的时候,到女性的微妙时刻:像是第一次自己梳长辫或剪头发的时候。就像她在当模特时做的那样,通过女性的姿势和姿势,传达出一种情绪或感觉。自由飘逸的头发增加了形象的柔和度,与静态的刺绣形成对比,使人整个活了起来。虽然风格极简,却不乏丰富的细节。

着手刺绣是我最喜欢的部分,所以我尽量增加细节,以延长这个时刻。头发可能会困难一点,因为我没有固定的公式或技巧。但每一件作品都是不同的。我通常会最后再做头发的部分,因为很有可能我可能会毁掉之前用了几个小时做的作品。

Inspiration comes from anything: a song, a general mood, or even a feeling. Liam compiles images from the internet onto her mini mood board and has even sought inspiration in life drawing classes. “You get to explore other different types of bodies and poses through the models,” she explains.

As someone who’s made a career out of being someone else’s canvas, here she has the freedom to express her own creativity.


对 Sheena 来说,灵感来自任何东西:一首歌,一种心情,甚至一种感觉。她把互联网上的图片编辑到自己的迷你心情板上,甚至还在绘画课上寻找灵感。“你可以通过模特来探索其他不同类型的身体和姿态。”她解释说。

作为一个模特,这个以身体作为他人“画布”为职业的人,Sheena 在刺绣上得以自由地表达自己的创造力。

In April 2017, Liam decided to share her work on Instagram under the handle @times.new.romance, a play on the name of the popular font. The handle suggests a romantic feeling of viewing peaceful modern moments fleeting by, in keeping with her art—but perhaps this writer has put too much thought into it. “I just thought it was a nice name for an account,” Liam says. The account eventually gained widespread attention from media, art-lovers, and fans, leading to her first solo exhibition, a milestone in any artist’s career.

In October, the embroidery works were presented at Item Gallery in Paris in a show also titled Times New Romance. As it happens, Liam dismissed the idea of a solo show when she was first approached about it. “I didn’t think too much of my embroidery to start with,” she says. “Honestly, it was a lot of people putting a huge amount of faith in me from the start that propelled me to work on a body of cohesive work. I had collectors and other artists who took care of me, so I could work in the capacity that I did.”


2017 4 月,Sheena 决定在 Instagram 帐号 @times.new.romance 上分享她的作品。这个名字让人联想到一种浪漫的感觉,当下平静的瞬间飞逝而过,与她的艺术同出一辙——但也许这是笔者过虑了。我只是觉得这是个很好用户名。” Sheena 说。这一说法引起了媒体、艺术爱好者和粉丝的大批关注,也让她开办了首次个展,这对任何一位艺术家的职业生涯来说,都算是一个里程碑。

今年 10 月,这些刺绣作品在巴黎 Item Gallery Times New Romance”的展览上展出。在 Sheena 第一次听说要办个展时,她却拒绝了。我一开始就没有想太多我的刺绣。老实说,很多人从一开始就对我抱有很大的信心,这促使我创作了一系列的作品。有一些收藏家和其他艺术家对我很是照顾,所以我可以充分发挥我的能力。

So what’s next for Sheena Liam’s art?  

“I’m not sure. I’ve held out on a lot of projects because I wanted to be focused on creating pieces for my show. But maybe now I can relax a little and have more fun with it. If offered the right space and gallery, I’d consider a show in Malaysia. But I don’t have any pieces anymore, so it’ll probably take a few more years.”


那么对作为艺术家的 Sheena Liam 来说,下一步又是什么呢?

我不确定。我做了很多项目,因为我想把精力集中在展览上。但或许现在我可以放松一下,去玩得更开心。如果我有合适的空间和画廊我想去马来西亚看场演出。但现在我没有更多刺绣作品了,可能还需要几年的时间来酝酿吧。

Website: www.timesnewromance.net
Instagram: @times.new.romance

 

Contributor: Joanna Lee


网站: www.timesnewromance.net
Instagram: @times.new.romance

 

供稿人: Joanna Lee

F is for Feminist

Girls Gone Wild is a zine about radical feminism that has neither ink nor paper. Instead, Indonesian artist Claudia Akhsa has sewn together this text with a needle and thread.


《Girls Gone Wild》是一本关于“激进女性主义”的独立杂志书。可是它既没有墨水,也没有纸张,来自印尼雅加达的艺术家 Claudia Akhsa 选择用一针一线,缝制出这些相关的篇章。

Radical feminism is a school of thought based on the view that women’s oppression is the foundation of all forms of exploitation.

Akhsa’s handmade book has sixteen pages. With a gentle but objective tone, she uses text and image to discuss radical feminism’s history, introduce its representative figures (and some of their well-known lines), and explain key terms such as “patriarchy” and “sisterhood.”

The work was Akhsa’s final project at Lasalle College of the Arts in Singapore, from which she recently graduated. Titled Feisty Girls, the project included the inaugural issue of Girls Gone Wild (“What the ‘F'”), along with a series of illustrations. When she first set about choosing a topic, Akhsa drew on her longstanding interest in politics, and her anger at the unfair treatment women encountered. “After doing some research, I realized many people either don’t understand what radical feminism is or have a negative perception of it. That’s when I first decided to create a zine introducing radical feminism.”


激进女性主义(Radical Feminism)是女性主义的其中一个派别,最基本的观点是:女性所受的压迫,是所有剥削形式中最深刻的。

这一本由 Claudia 手工制作的刺绣书,总共有十六页。内容以和缓而客观的语气,图文并茂地讲述了其历史、代表人物及名言,还有和女性主义相关的词语,比如父权制、姐妹之谊等等。

而这其实是 Claudia 在新加坡就读拉萨尔艺术学院的毕业作品。这个名为“Feisty Girls”(意为“勇敢好胜的姑娘”)的项目里,就包含了首期刺绣书《Girls Gone Wild》(主题为“What the ‘F’”)和一系列的插图创作。当初在选择项目主题时,Claudia 提到自己对政治一直都很感兴趣,从小到大,经常对女性面临到的不公平感到愤怒。“经过一连串的资料搜集后,我发现很多人要么是不理解何为‘激进女性主义’,要么就对它持有负面印象。所以我想通过这本书,告诉大家什么才是真正的‘激进女性主义’。”

“Since the zine is about radical feminism, why not go radical and out of the norm?”

By choosing such a unconventional form, Akhsa had to sacrifice a lot of time. It took her eight months altogether, most of her last year at college. She didn’t sleep well during that time, and her grades suffered. “Instead of making it easy to produce, I made it more delicate and difficult,” she says. “I chose embroidery because stitching has always been related to women and stereotypes of women.”

So far there’s only one “issue” of Girls Gone Wild, and there’s only a single copy in existence. Akhsa says issues two and three are still planned, but since she started work after graduation, she just doesn’t have enough time.


“既然主题是关于激进女性主义,何不把形式也做得激进一点?”

Claudia 选择如此非传统的制作方式,时间是必须牺牲的。她总共花费了八个月,占去她大学最后一年的多数时间,每天不能好好睡觉,还为此失去了一些学分。但在看到成果后,她说一切辛苦都值得了。“我不想让它太容易就被生产出来,所以就选了更为精细和困难的方式——刺绣。”她说,“并且自古以来,针线活就和女性相关,可以说它也象征着加诸在女性身上的刻板印象。”

目前《Girls Gone Wild》只有第一期,全世界也只有一本。(Claudia 向我们说,其实第二、三期已经在规划中,但毕业后踏入工作,时间实在不够啊!)

The other portion of the Feisty Girls project consists of a series of illustrations that are also reflections and questions about feminism. Akhsa first focused on girls who consider themselves feminists, giving them a survey about themselves and putting their responses and the emotions they revealed into bold, bright illustrations.

She always takes an original in approach in her art, and this time she drew illustrations of what she considers feminists for a new age onto old storybooks whose main characters are girls. It’s a graphic juxtaposition of past and present depictions of women.

“All feminists have gone through different experiences in their life that have made them who their are. I wanted to tell people how every feminist is different, and how different feminism is now from the past.”


另外在《Feisty Girls》项目里的插图创作,也是一系列关于女性主义的反思和诘问。Claudia 首先针对了那些自认为女性主义者的女孩们,进行一项关于自己的调查,并将她们的回答和从中表露出的多种情绪,呈现在这些大胆、鲜艳的插画里。

关于创作的手法,她一向独创新意。这一次,她把从自己视角出发,描绘出新一世代女性主义者的插图,画在同样以女孩为主角的老旧故事书上,将古今对于女性的不同刻画,有趣且直观地并列出来。

“每个女权主义者的人生经验都不一样,这使她们成为了今日的自己。我想让大家知道,每个女权主义者都不尽相同,而每个时期的女权主义,也都是不一样的。”

Behance: ~/claudia akhsa

 

Contributor: Yang Yixuan


Behance: ~/claudia akhsa

 

供稿人: Yang Yixuan

Swan Song of the Badlas

The city of Lucknow has historical roots of being a cradle of art and literature in India. Inspired by the cultural backstory of his hometown, documentary photographer Taha Ahmad sought to celebrate the city’s rich heritage. This led to Swan Song of the Badlas, a photo series that documents the plight of local artisans who are attempting to preserve a dying tradition.


纪录片摄影师塔哈·艾哈迈德(Taha Ahmad)的家乡勒克瑙(Lucknow)是印度的艺术和文学中心。深受当地文化传统的启发,Ahmad试图探索其丰富的历史根源。他的摄影作品系列《Swan Song of the Badlas》赞颂了勒克瑙的文化遗产,并展示了努力传承即将失传的传统文化的人们所面临的困境。

Swan Song of the Badlas takes a look at the disappearing art of mukaish badla, a form of embroidery that was once prosperous in Lucknow during the 18th century. This art, which involves inserting threads of gold and silver into fabric, was originally used to beautify chikankari, another form of embroidery that also originated in Lucknow but remains quite well known throughout India.


《Swan Song of the Badlas》深入展现了即将失传的Mukaish badla艺术。这是勒克瑙当地一种特色刺绣形式,在18世纪曾风靡一时。这种刺绣艺术将金线和银线编织于织物中,最初是用来美化另一种勒克瑙特色刺绣形式chikankari。Chikankari至今在印度依然颇受欢迎。

Mukaish badla, however, was much more niche. The extravagance of using precious metals as embellishment meant that only the ruling class of the city sought after it in the past. But at the craft’s peak, the number of artisans (or badlas) in town reached upwards of 3,000. Today, there are less than 25 practitioners of the craft left in Lucknow, most of whom are over the age of 65. “Their population is dwindling, and soon, in not more than 20 or 25 years, they will become a part of history that can only be recalled in a poignant daydream or through visual imagery,” Ahmad wistfully says.


然而,Mukaish badla艺术更为小众,作为一种奢华的装饰,只有当地的统治阶级才有资格拥有。因此,这种刺绣艺术未能像chikankari一样走出当地,传播到印度其它地方。但是在巅峰时期,当地会有3000多名会这种刺绣工艺的手工匠(或称badlas)。现在,在勒克瑙只有不到25名会这种刺绣工艺的手工匠,其中绝大多数都已经在65岁以上。“会这种刺绣工艺的人越来越少,可能不用20年或25年,他们就会成为历史的一部分,只存在凄凉的白日梦或视觉图像的回忆中。“Ahmad担忧地说道。

The remaining artisans, who have devoted their whole lives to the art, make an abysmal wage of anywhere between two and three U.S. dollars per day. Their work can last up to ten hours per day and everything is done in small, suffocating rooms. Ahmad’s dramatic, black-and-white photo series is an intimate vignette of these surviving craftsmen, revealing their struggles, their plights, and their resiliency in fighting to maintain an art that’s being washed out by the waves of time. Scroll down to see more photos from the series.


那些剩下的手工匠将他们的一生倾注在这种艺术中,每天却只能挣得两至三美元的微薄收入。他们每天在小得令人窒息的房间工作,有时甚至长达十个小时。Ahmad以充满戏剧性的黑白摄影作品,讲述了这些幸存的手工匠的故事,近距离展现他们的挣扎,他们的困境,以及他们在努力保护这种快要被时间浪潮卷走的艺术时所展现的韧力。一起来欣赏这个摄影系列中的其它作品吧。

Artpil~/taha-ahmad
Facebook~/taha-ahma

 

Contributor: David Yen


Artpil: ~/taha-ahmad
脸书: ~/taha-ahma

 

供稿人: David Yen