Akira, Remixed 阿基拉!

October 23, 2020 2020年10月23日

When COVID-19 brought the world to a halt, galleries scrambled to figure out digital alternatives. While this often led to some clunky, difficult virtual exhibitions, it also opened up new possibilities. Steve Lawler, AKA Mojoko, originally launched his Akira fan-art show with the intent of a physical showing. But when forced to launch a digital show instead, he adapted, finding solace in the fact that they were now able to create a Neo-Tokyo styled space that’s itself an extension of the Akira multiverse. Viewers can duck into the dark, grimy gallery (created by METAMO Industries), which is loosely based on Harukiya, the bar that the biker protagonists frequent in the film. Inside, they’re introduced to virtual sculptures created by Japanese artist Humanoise, themselves based on the violent stuffed animals that appear in the anime. Digital artworks reimagining other characters and scenes from the iconic title are hung on the walls. “If we did it in real life it wouldn’t have looked like that cyberpunk gallery,” Lawler laughs. “I’d hate for people to come to a real-life white cube and be disappointed.”

新冠疫情的爆发就像给世界按下了暂停键,各地画廊争先恐后地寻找数字化替代方案。虽然由此带来的线上虚拟展览比较复杂,也未尽如人意,但也为艺术展览开辟了新的可能性。Steve Lawler(又名 Mojoko)原本打算在线下推出的《阿基拉》艺术展览,也因为疫情被迫转为线上的形式。进行了一些调整和适应后,他发现了线上展览也有其优势:他们可以打造一个新东京风格的空间,作为阿基拉多重宇宙的延伸,为观众呈现一个黑暗肮脏的虚拟画廊空间(由 METAMO Industries 公司打造)——而这个空间以动画《阿基拉》中作为主角的车手少年经常光顾的 Harukiya 酒吧为原型设计。进入画廊后,观众将看到由日本艺术家 Humanoise 打造的各种虚拟雕塑,这些雕塑是根据动画中的暴力玩偶而设计的。墙上还挂满了以这部经典动画作品中的其他角色为原型设计的数字艺术品。“如果我们是在线下做这个展览,可能就不会有这种赛博朋克的氛围。我可不想让观众来到展览,却因为看到那种‘四面白墙的白盒子画廊’而感到失望。”Lawler 笑道。

The exhibition features 14 original pieces from artists across Asia. One black-and-white drawing by Singapore’s Arcadia In Mayhem has so much detailed linework it resembles an inescapable maze. SuperCyberTown’s submission reimagines the destruction of the fictional megacity, with the film’s Japanese title plastered above the blast zone. BÜRO UFHO’s digital painting deconstructs the iconic neon signs and highway overpasses into swirling shards of glass, concrete, and metal. Ivan Despi from the Philippines has created an illustration with elements from the film exploding from the mutated arm of Tetsuo Shima.

“I simply called up some artist friends that I knew were capable of making some really potent work,” Lawler says. “With projects like this, as soon as you email them, you get an immediate reply: ‘Fuck yea!’ They can’t wait.” He didn’t give them any guidelines other than that the pieces be scaled to A0 size and ensure that they’re printable. Other than that, the artists were given free rein. “Creative freedom is part of the deal.”

此次展览展出了多位亚洲艺术家的 14 件原创作品。来自新加坡的 Arcadia In Mayhem 创作了一幅精密繁复的黑白线稿,看上去就像是一个无法逃脱的迷宫;SuperCyberTown 的作品则呈现了一座虚构的大城市被毁灭的画面,而《阿基拉》的日文片名就出现在爆炸现场的上方;另一边,BÜRO UFHO 的数字绘图将标志性的霓虹灯招牌和高速公路立交桥解构,变成了旋转的玻璃、混凝土和金属碎片;而菲律宾艺术家 Ivan Despi 则画了岛铁雄的变异手臂,从手臂中爆发出动画中的各种元素。

Steve 说:“我只是召集了一些艺术家朋友,因为我相信他们能创作出不错的作品。大家都很喜欢这样的项目,所以刚发完邮件就收到大家的回复:‘当然可以了!’,每个人都满怀期待。”Steve 没有给艺术家们任何规则限制,除了要求作品可以按比例缩放为 A0 大小,以便打印作品。除此之外,艺术家们可以自由创作。“创作的自由性是基本的要求之一。”

Akira is a film that excites people from all walks of life and has served as an inspiration to an entire generation of artists. So how can someone possibly build on something so indelible? “Akira is a timeless piece, but it’s pacing is so fast, the movements so quick; there are times where you wish you could pause and expand on it and elaborate on it,” Lawler says. “I never felt like we were adding to the film; it was more about adding to the Akira multiverse, giving fans something more to drool over.”

那么问题来了:《阿基拉》是一部让所有人都热血沸腾的电影,曾激励着一整个世代的艺术家,真的能在这样经典的作品之上再创作吗?Steve 是这么看的:“《阿基拉》是一部经典作品,但它的节奏很快,动作切换得飞快;有时候,你恨不得按下暂停键,将画面进行扩展和丰富。我从不认为我们是在丰富这部电影;更多的只是在丰富阿基拉的多重宇宙,给粉丝更多有看头的东西。

Lawler says he’s a collector at heart and that bringing together various artists for a project like this sates that particular drive. “It’s really exciting when people start sending you artwork and you’re downloading this new exciting image,” he says. “It’s really like collecting art.” The project was created under the umbrella of the Unusual Network, a content creation agency that connects artists with brands and institutions. But the Akira-inspired show was simply for the love of art rather than as a commercial project. “We just want to keep ourselves interested, keep ourselves excited, which in turn keeps us exciting.”

They didn’t commission the pieces but it did provide a platform for the collaborating artists to sell their work. Unusual Network worked with a respected printer to sponsor the printing and framing of artworks. And they handled the website, dealing with fulfillment and sales. “Group shows are low commitment,” Lawler explains. “Maybe artists don’t have the time for a whole solo show but they’d love to do one piece for a group show.”

Steve 觉得能汇聚各个领域的艺术家一起来创作这个项目,让他很有满足感。他认为自己的内心是位收藏家,“当你收到大家发来的作品,然后你点击下载时,这个过程真的令人激动不已,感觉就像是在收藏艺术品一样。”这个项目是在 Unusual Network 的支持下完成的,这是一个致力连接艺术家与品牌和机构的内容创作工作室。但举办阿基拉同人作品展览纯粹是出于对艺术的热爱,而不是作为一个商业项目。“我们只是想满足自己的兴趣爱好,让自己开心一下,反过来这又让我们在创作时更有热情。”

他们没有付费委托创作这些作品,但也为合作的艺术家提供了一个销售作品的平台。Unusual Network 与一家著名的印刷商合作,赞助艺术品的印刷和装裱。而他们则负责管理网站,处理送货和销售的工作。Steve 解释道:“参加群展不需要投入太多时间,有些艺术家可能没有时间去准备个人展览,但他们可以将自己的一幅作品放到群展里展出。”

“There are a lot of people in Singapore who are skillful but they’re not really driving the scene properly,” Lawler says, laying out why it’s important to organize projects like this. “They’ll try and apply for money, and if they don’t get the money they won’t do the project. I kind of do the project and then ask for money. Artists are naturally givers but when it comes to something like organizing an event or gallery it’s just too much work.”

“新加坡有很多高水平的创作者,但他们并没有切实地推动着这个行业的发展。”Steve 说,“很多人都是先尝试申请资助,如果拿不到钱的话,可能就不会做这个项目了。而我是先做项目,然后再去要钱。艺术家是天生的给予者,但是要组织活动或举办展览实在是需要付出大量精力。”

Although the virtual gallery was a work of art in itself, Lawler still pines for a physical space and bristles at parts of the digital format. “In a browser, viewers lost a lot of functionality and it often froze,” he sighs. “There were issues with zooming in on the artwork too. But I’m looking forward to doing it again and exploring more virtual-reality features.”

Singapore is slowly returning to normal now as more galleries are allowed to reopen, and Lawler plans to follow through with a physical showing of the Akira show. “As fun as these digital galleries can be, nothing beats the in-person connections made at a physical space,” he says. “People create bonds for life at shows like that and it makes me feel great to play a role in that.”

虽然虚拟画廊本身就是一件艺术品,但 Steve 仍然渴望有实体的画廊空间,也不太满意数字化的形式。“用浏览器看展的话,很多功能会由此牺牲,而且很容易卡死,放大作品也有问题。”他叹了口气,“但我很期待再做这样的线上展览,探索更多的虚拟现实功能。”

在新加坡,人们的生活正逐渐恢复正常,越来越多画廊获准重新开放,Steve 计划继续举办线下的阿基拉同人作品展览。他说:“数字化的虚拟画廊固然很有趣,但始终无法取代实体空间里人与人之间的联系。在实体的展览里,人们可以互相结识,参与举办过程也让我觉得很棒。”

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Website: www.theunusualnetwork.com/akira


Contributor: Mike Steyels
Chinese Translation: Olivia Li

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网站: www.theunusualnetwork.com/akira


供稿人: Mike Steyels
英译中: Olivia Li

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