Hong Kong’s DRKRMS is collaborating for the first time with new media artist Frank Nitty to present øpulu$: a unique examination into “The Age of Opulence”. This project explores the erosion of morality in our increasingly image-obsessed society, the excess of consumerism and its detrimental focus on quantity over quality. It features the original photography of five selected photographers from DRKRMS with a desire to express their thoughts on the subject. These images are then reimagined by Frank, whose uncouth animations bring them playfully to life.
Started by Charlie Toller, Inga Beckmann, and later Callaghan Walsh, the vision of DRKRMS is to build a cross-border community of like-minded photographers. By developing original photography with emerging talent across Asia, they produce powerful imagery that shows lesser-known parts of the city in new and exciting ways. Charlie grew up between London and Tokyo, starting his career in London before moving to Hong Kong five years ago. He looks after talent acquisitions and collaborations at DRKRMS, so invited Frank to add a progressive element to their øpulu$ project. Photographers were excited by the idea of having a creative mind reinvent their work, and Frank was interested in the challenge of working with people he didn’t necessarily know, using their aesthetic to create something he might never have thought of.
DRKRMS最初由Charlie Toller和Inga Beckman發起，隨後Callaghan Walsh加入並一起創立，旨在為志同道合的攝影師構建一個國際社區。他們在亞洲地區發掘新興攝影師，通過讓人眼前一亮的全新方式創造具有影響力的攝影作品，展現城市鮮為人知的一面。 Charlie成長於倫敦和東京兩個城市，在倫敦開始他的職業生涯，五年前來到香港。在DRKRMS裡，他負責招攬人才和統籌協作工作，也由此邀請Frank加入他們的øpulu$項目，帶來更多激進的元素。攝影師們都相當期待他們的作品被再次創作；而與不甚了解的人一同工作，並用他人的美學創作自己都不曾想過的作品，這其中的挑戰Frank也非常樂意接受。
When introduced, Charlie was struck by Frank’s peculiar nature and genuine creativity, and that they share a lot of fundamental views. They both enjoy the aesthetically pleasing and finer things in life, but are equally disturbed by the “truly meaningless drivel” permeating today’s society via popular culture. øpulu$ is a one-off project without brand partners, so exploring the “Age of Opulence” has naturally become an expression of their personal views. “But don’t expect the theme to be very much translated into the work”, Frank says, for it is also a chance for him to have fun and be provocative without being too commercial. Having done a lot of commercial work throughout his career, he describes his current much crazier style as a direct reaction to that.
Frank Nitty is Dutch, though has lived in Tokyo and is now based in Hong Kong. After graduating from Design Academy Eindhoven in the Netherlands, he never intended to get into “Art” with a capital A. He experimented with a variety of mediums before moving to Japan, where he developed his skill as a director and post-production artist. He believes in the beauty of skill and continuous learning: although the world around us is always evolving, skill can help you free yourself from the burden of asking help, and learning a new trade can help you to create new things. “As a director, you have to know a bit about everything to be able to organize the whole production process and know how to execute an idea into something real,” he says.
Frank Nitty來自荷蘭，但曾居於東京，而今常駐香港。從荷蘭埃因霍恩設計學院畢業後，他卻從未打算投身所謂的一本正經的藝術。在去日本前，他接觸了各種創作媒介，此後，正是在日本，他學習了導演和後期製作等領域知識。他堅信技術帶來的美感，並保持學習熱情。儘管我們都生活在一個不斷發展的社會，但技能還是可以幫助我們擺脫尋求幫助，新的知識面同時也能激發新的創造力。 “尤其是當你擔任一個導演的角色，你需要廣泛涉獵各方面知識，以統籌製作全局，並且需要知道怎麼把一個想法實現。”他說。
In both his artistic and personal pursuits, Frank believes in the necessity of a balance between seriousness and humor. He views øpulu$ as an opportunity to achieve this equilibrium by incorporating ridiculous ideas into an otherwise serious subject. Since childhood, he has appreciated technically well-executed art and film as much as the ridiculous and silly. “I am always looking for that place where the two worlds meet: stupidity and drama,” he says. “Sometimes I stare at images for hours and something strikes me – it might be a pose, it might be a stupid look on someone’s face, sometimes the colors. There is no real creative process; the only limitation is my skill. If I don’t know how to do something, I just learn it.”
From learning to play around with new media, Frank predicts his work will continue to evolve along with rapid advancements in technology. He foresees an oncoming era of VR and augmented reality, though in his opinion, “art has a place in there, but since it will become harder to program and design, it will take artists a bit longer to catch up”. DRKRMS is currently in discussion with Frank about an event to showcase his animations in an atypical way and bring together the wider DRKRMS community. Charlie says, “We have more øpulu$ content due for release in the coming weeks. If we can develop some conversations and bring people together creatively, we’ll feel a sense of fulfillment.”
從初步學習到玩轉新媒體，Frank預感到隨著技術的快速發展，他的作品還將不斷演變。他預見了VR時代和“增強現實”形式的到來，但是在他看來，“藝術在這期間也必將佔有一席之地，但鑑於編程和設計方便都會越來越難，所以藝術家需要更多的時間才能追上這個潮流。” DRKRMS現在正在籌劃一個或者一系列的活動，以非典型的方式呈現Frank的動畫藝術，將更廣大的DRKRMS社區緊密聚集到一起。 Charlie表示：“在未來幾週，我們將推出øpulu$項目的更多內容，若能引發對話和討論，創造性地聚集起不同的人群，我們將感到莫大的榮幸和滿足。”