MA Exhibition — Exhibition Space

Karolful_MA_ExhibitionSpace_1

Today, on the anniversary of the « MA » Exhibition’s open­ing I would like to share my final instal­ment of the « MA » series.

In this post I would like to share some pho­to­graphs and a com­pil­a­tion of videos of the actu­al exhib­i­tion space, which took place on the mezzan­ine level of TASTE Shop in Shanghai. I was incred­ibly pleased how it all turned out. In par­tic­u­lar, choos­ing the white frames made the gold leaf really stand out and helped the leaf to emphas­ise the tri­an­gu­lar shapes that were cre­ated across the cor­res­pond­ing pieces.

Thank you for your interest and if you wish to check out the rest of the series please CLICK HERE. There, I intro­duce the col­lab­or­at­ors, dis­cuss the con­cept behind the art­work and show the stages of the devel­op­ment pro­cess.

Last but not least I would like to thank my col­lab­or­at­ors Piotr Zalewski of Noo-Studio, Atsushi Takenouchi along with Jordi Arque and the TASTE Shop group for provid­ing inspir­a­tion and sup­port. Without these won­der­fully cre­at­ive people this exhib­i­tion wouldn’t have happened.

P.S Here is a sim­ple com­pil­a­tion of videos from dif­fer­ent angles to give one the idea of the exhib­i­tion space, how and where the art­work was placed.

MA Exhibition — Opening

Karolful_TasteShop_MAOpening7

« MA » Exhibition had its› launch on the 11th of April 2014 in the Exhibition Space of TASTE Shop in Tian Zi Fang (Shanghai).

I spent the even­ing talk­ing to many inter­est­ing people, dis­cuss­ing my work and mak­ing new friends. Commercially the exhib­i­tion was a great suc­cess too, with half of the show selling on that first night. To top it all off I also received a gor­geous bou­quet of flowers from a friend. All this made me feel very blessed and thank­ful. In fact, I’d like to take this oppor­tun­ity to once again thank every­one who came to the launch, as well as every­one from TASTE Shop for their help organ­ising things and for giv­ing me the oppor­tun­ity to work with them in the first place. It was all quite an extraordin­ary and unique exper­i­ence that I will hold very dear.

I could have not ima­gined it to go any bet­ter and it was the per­fect way to round off a res­id­ency that I felt really chal­lenged me and helped me develop ; I got to go and work in a new and won­der­ful con­tin­ent ; try out new draw­ing tech­niques (mix­ing gold leaf in too) and it all passed by in a whirl­wind of six-weeks. Above all I learned that, « Life starts at the end of your com­fort zone ».

I was also extremely priv­ileged that the Consul of the Polish Embassy in Shanghai (Krzysztof Smyk) accep­ted my invit­a­tion and came to the event. Please click HERE to read a piece from the Embassy’s Website about the Event.

pho­tos cour­tesy of TASTE Shop

MA Exhibition — Poster

Posted by on Jul 24, 2014 in exhibition, MA Exhibition | No Comments

The open­ing night was fast approach­ing so we were keen to pro­mote the exhib­i­tion and invite people to the open­ing night. To do this Noo-Studio designed this cool poster using one of my draw­ings. The com­pos­i­tion of the poster was inspired by some of the con­cept behind the art­work — mainly the rules of golden ration and the use of prim­al shapes — a tri­angle and a circle. We left out the gold leaf as we wanted to sur­prise the audi­ence upon arriv­ing to the exhib­i­tion space. Then the title of the exhib­i­tion was added, rep­res­en­ted by the HAN sym­bol (間). In sep­ar­ate Chinese marks it means the “Door of the Sun” so we thought that’s a nice, little sug­ges­tion of the gold leaf ele­ment.

This image was sent out in news­let­ters and used on social media. Additionally, it was prin­ted as a door stick­er and a massive win­dow stick­er.

For the win­dow stick­er the poster needed to be redesigned to a long strip. We wanted to add a quote that would intro­duce people to the exhib­i­tion. In homage to my main inspir­a­tion and the axis of the exhib­i­tion we settled for a poem by Atsushi Takenouchi titled « KAKELA ». You can find the full post about it on JINEN Butoh page — click here. I felt I could relate to it more as it described Atsushi’s per­form­ance in Poland where I am ori­gin­ally from. My inter­pret­a­tion of it was that we are all a frag­ment of some­thing else. The inspir­a­tion can come from any­where and every­where, all the com­pon­ents of our envir­on­ment con­trib­ute to our per­cep­tion of it as a whole. I felt that it was a beau­ti­ful piece of writ­ing that was open to inter­pret­a­tion by any­one will­ing to con­nect with it.

» Kakela”
I am just a frag­ment. Who knows where this frag­ment comes from.
What am I ? With this ques­tion humans travel through life.
Why go so many places ? Why tire­lessly keep going until death ? 

Why always look for new people, new exper­i­ences…?
Because I want to know…. what I am. I wanted to under­stand…. very deeply.

Before becom­ing a frag­ment, you and me were one ?
Before becom­ing a frag­ment, sky and me were one ?
Before becom­ing a frag­ment, sea and me were one ?
Awakened people said to me,
Do not search out­side, look in. Truth is inside of you.
That’s why I put a lad­der inside to go in myself one step at a time.
This is the begin­ning of but­oh.
But I keep on dan­cing, that means I meet new people, I have new exper­i­ence
Even though awakened people said sit still and look inside.
I really want to meet you, I want to meet sea, I want to meet sky, I want to 
meet light.
…May be I just wanted to know what I am.
But this dire need to meet new people, new things.
I am a frag­ment, not per­fect, a broken piece.
I’m a dream­er of life that’s why this need to meet.

Million bil­lion years ago, we were just one thing….

Butoh : Atsushi Takenouchi
Music : Hiroko Komiya

MA Exhibition – Video Art by Piotr Zalewski /​Noo-Studio

Posted by on Jul 24, 2014 in exhibition, MA Exhibition | No Comments

In the last post I prom­ised to share the video art piece that accom­pan­ied the open­ing of the “MA” Exhibition. It was cre­ated by Piotr Zalewski /​Noo-Studio (to read more about him please check out the earli­er post — here). Inspired by the ori­gin­al ref­er­ence video called “Urban Butoh” by Jordi Arque he came up with his own inter­pret­a­tion. The video art was pro­jec­ted onto a large cot­ton pan­el hanging in the exhib­i­tion space at TASTE Shop.

Here is the con­cept for the video art described in his own words :

Video Art for the MA Exhibition was cre­ated to sup­port and trans­form the space to imple­ment and show­case the con­cept of “MA”. The basis of the artist’s approach was based on the idea of con­tras­ted ele­ments : struc­tures, lines & shad­ows. There is a space in-between the lines, that cre­ates a way to inter­pret the real­ity of the per­son, strongly attached in Asian & European cul­ture, cor­res­pond­ing with the chan­ging envir­on­ment we live in. The main com­pon­ents of the video are abstract lines, based on the ori­gin­al video that are over­lap­ping, chan­ging and trans­form­ing to abstract objects. The move­ment is pre­served, but filtered and mixed with noise & sound, that cre­ates loops & bubbles. The sim­pli­city of it inter­acts with Asian parts of the draw­ing, but the attach­ment to the body as a struc­ture and fig­ure, ref­er­ences to European idea of beau­ty. The music breaks and repeats itself ; slightly altered ori­gin­al movie tracks are jux­ta­posed with Alva Noto & Ryuchi Sakamoto sounds, cre­at­ing an impact­ful yet tran­quil exper­i­ence.

Credits for the ori­gin­al video mater­i­al : Video Title : “Urban Butoh” Project / Performed by Butoh dance mas­ter : Atsushi Takenouchi / Directors : Jordi Arqué and Roberto Romero / Music : Hiroko Komiya /​shot in the Poble Nou cemetery in Barcelona | http://​vimeo​.com/26881375

To read more about the music please vis­it TASTE Shop Blog here where you can find more in-depth inform­a­tion about the video art piece.

MA Exhibition Video Art Collaboration from Noo-Studio on Vimeo.

MA Exhibition – Frames and Hanging

Posted by on Jul 9, 2014 in exhibition, MA Exhibition | One Comment

The pre­vi­ous blog post series talked about the devel­op­ment pro­cess of the pieces for « MA » Exhibition. To catch up on it please fol­low the links : Digital draw­ings, Sketches, Drawing, Gold leaf. Now, I would like to focus on the actu­al exhib­i­tion space. When the art­work was ready the next step was to frame it, thus I wish to devote a sep­ar­ate post to the sub­ject of frames and hanging of the “MA” Exhibition.

I was immensely pleased with the frames I got done, hence I would like to share it with you. To extend the Japanese theme run­ning in the art­work into the exhib­i­tion space the frames were made out of Japanese mater­i­als — real, beau­ti­ful wood painted white. In order for the gold leaf to really leap out, the frames were made deep with couple of cen­ti­meters between the glass and the sur­face of the art­work. Finally, the back of the frame was sealed seam­lessly with a gor­geous dark olive tape. And.… it was all ready and delivered with­in 3 days ! Just amaz­ing ! The frames arrived in a sturdy, eleg­ant box and packed in an immacu­late, white soft cot­ton bag. I was delighted with how fab­ulously the frame com­pleted the art­work. I could have not wished for any­thing more. The exhib­i­tion space looked clean, min­im­al­ist­ic with white walls and white frames, which made the gold leaf and subtle line and draw­ing really stand out.

The way we hung the art­work was very sym­met­ric­al — 4 A2 pieces each wall mir­ror­ing each oth­er and 2 A1 on a sep­ar­ate wall. The next thing that we needed to set up was the pan­el to pro­ject the video art onto. More about that in the next post so please stay tuned.

MA Exhibition – Development – Gold Leaf

Today I would like to share the last instal­ment of the blog post series dis­cusses the devel­op­ment pro­cess behind the “MA” Exhibition. Please check pre­vi­ous posts to catch up on the earli­er stages (Digital draw­ing, Sketches, Drawing). After the draw­ings were com­pleted the final touch was to apply the gold leaf which was going to be a whole new exper­i­ence for me. To learn why and how I decided to go with gold leaf please go here. I was a little nervous before I star­ted but once I ran few tests I was con­fid­ent this was going to work and was eager to go through with it.

THE PROCESS :

Firstly, I sprayed the whole image with fix­at­ive to pro­tect it from any dam­age or pen­cil smudging. I wanted the gold leaf to appear “behind the image” so to achieve that the gold leaf needed to come up right to the edge of the lin­ear draw­ing. To achieve that I used mask­ing tape to cov­er the part of the draw­ing that I didn’t want gold leaf on. I lined the edge of the image with a scalpel. Afterwards I applied a stroke of spe­cial glue with a wide brush. I had to not only use the right amount of glue but also place the stroke exactly where and how I planed it. I wanted the edges of the stroke to start sharp but end express­ively which was a little dif­fi­cult to do. Once the glue dried a little I peeled off the tape and let the glue dry longer till it was trans­par­ent. Then I lied down the sheets of gold leaves, which are very fra­gile so I had to be very care­ful not to rip them. I went for the real gold leaf so it was very soft and for­giv­ing of any imper­fec­tions. It was soft enough to fill in the little gaps seam­lessly. After the gold leaf was down on paper, using a soft, clean brush I gently pressed it down to reveal the stroke I had cre­ated with glue. Once the stroke of now gold was fully dry I wanted to soften the edge between the gold and the draw­ing. To help me even the sur­face I used some tools for work­ing with metal and jew­ellery. I had to watch out not to scratch the soft golden sur­face though ! I’ve put togeth­er a short video that shows this pro­cess, to watch please click here. Hope you enjoy it.

THE MEANING BEHIND GOLD :

In my pre­vi­ous posts (click here to read) I men­tioned the influ­ence of MA on the con­cept of the exhib­i­tion. Having stud­ied History of Art, I was aware of sim­il­ar MA-like con­cepts in Western cul­ture such as “AMOR VACUI” (lat­in for : the love of empti­ness). “AMOR VACUI” is an approach oppos­ite to “HORROR VACUI” (the fear of empti­ness). The lat­ter refers to a tend­ency to fill up the entire com­pos­i­tion­al space with ele­ments of art­work and detail. These two points are at either end of the spec­trum in terms of the con­stant dilem­ma between “Less in More” and “Less is Bore”. I saw the gold leaf as bring­ing an echo of the hor­ror vacui opu­lence, thus cre­at­ing a com­ple­ment­ing con­trast with so far very min­im­al space. Gold leaf rep­res­ents abund­ance, strength, per­fec­tion and soph­ist­ic­a­tion. Furthermore, the col­our reflects the mas­cu­line energy present in the art­work and Butoh. Gold amp­li­fies the asso­ci­ation to the employed in the art­work divine prin­ciples of the golden ratio and basic shapes – tri­angle, diag­on­als and circles. In European cul­ture gold was primar­ily used in reli­gious rep­res­ent­a­tions of medi­ev­al altars and icons. In oppos­i­tion, in the Eastern stand­ards of Butoh the dan­cers per­form naked, stripped of all bound­ar­ies allow­ing full, pure, organ­ic expres­sion. Finally, the Han char­ac­ter for “MA” com­prises of sep­ar­ate Chinese marks mean­ing “Door of the Sun”, again allud­ing to the use of gold leaf.

MA Exhibition – Development – Drawing

Once I had all my images planned out I was very excited to get star­ted. From here­in it took around two weeks of spend­ing pretty much every wak­ing hour in the TASTE stu­dio — but I do like a chal­lenge and gradu­ally over the course of the fort­night my care­fully laid plans star­ted to be real­ised. In this post I wanted to share with you some of my work dur­ing that time, show­ing pho­to­graphs of the draw­ings at vari­ous dif­fer­ent stages in their devel­op­ment and by doing so illus­trate their ‘con­struc­tion’ pro­cess.

The shaped sec­tions of pen­cil shad­ing, which jux­ta­posed again­st the subtle lines of the digit­al print, were the axis of the con­trast between the tra­di­tion­al and con­tem­por­ary val­ues with­in my work. The aes­thet­ics of the pen­cil sec­tions were inten­ded to evoke the stand­ards of beau­ty present in European Renaissance art. My meth­od of draw­ing focused on high­light­ing the muscle tone, sinew and land­scape of the skin — accen­tu­at­ing the sculp­tur­al qual­it­ies of the human body. Philosophically, this alluded to the primacy of the human form and human­ist val­ues dur­ing the Renaissance era. Functionally, with­in my pieces, these pen­cil drawn sec­tions acted as islands of three-dimen­sion­al­ity, pop­ping out of an oth­er­wise flat, lin­ear back­ground.

Karolful_Drawing1

Meanwhile, the digit­al lin­ear art was more min­im­al­ist in tone and was strongly influ­enced by more Far Eastern, primar­ily Japanese, aes­thet­ics. To fur­ther con­tex­tu­al­ise this aspect of the work I col­lab­or­ated closely in the stu­dio with Yutaka Onozawa, a mem­ber of TASTE group who has a Japanese back­ground. Most import­antly, he intro­duced me to the the notion of MA”, which was to become the main ref­er­ence point for the con­trast of ‘min­im­al’ and ‘detailed’ ele­ments with­in the exhib­i­tion (and the even­tu­al title of the exhib­i­tion).

MA is a Japanese word that trans­lates as “space” or “pause.” In Europe we would prob­ably under­stand this as neg­at­ive- or white- space. However it has a broad­er con­cep­tu­al mean­ing in Japan and is best described as :

“a con­scious­ness of place, not in the sense of an enclosed three-dimen­sion­al entity, but rather the sim­ul­tan­eous aware­ness of form and non-form deriv­ing from an intens­i­fic­a­tion of vis­ion.”

The con­cept of MA has exten­ded into every aspect of Japanese life and con­tains reli­gious, psy­cho­lo­gic­al, and phys­ic­al sig­ni­fic­ance. It is prom­in­ent with­in their small-form, interi­or design, garden and build­ing archi­tec­ture. This spa­tial con­cept is also reflec­ted in two-dimen­sion­al arts such cal­li­graphy, where the mas­tery lies not only in the painted forms but also in the rela­tion­ship of these forms to their sur­round­ing space.

In my pieces I began to see that the impact of the pen­cil drawn sec­tions was actu­ally enriched by integ­rat­ing them with the sur­round­ing lin­ear digit­al draw­ing and white-space. Moreover, this was not a sim­ple jux­ta­pos­i­tion of incon­gru­ous ele­ments because when com­bined they hol­ist­ic­ally depic­ted the human form. To me this was the embod­i­ment of ‘form’ and ‘non-form’ con­trib­ut­ing to an exper­i­ence that was great­er than a sim­ple sum of its parts. Equally, as a drawer of dance, I felt this approach was com­ple­ment­ary because the final piece wasn’t over­loaded with detail, leav­ing still enough space for the view­er to have freedom in inter­pret­ing the Butoh dancer’s move­ments.

Also, as serendip­ity would have it, I dis­covered later on that MA is rep­res­en­ted by the HAN sym­bol (間). In sep­ar­ate Chinese marks this sym­bol trans­lates as the “door of the sun”. Which I thought was yet another nice little meta­phor to sup­port the intro­duc­tion of the gold leaf into my art­work. The HAN sym­bol was used in the design of the exhib­i­tion poster. The next post is about apply­ing the gold leaf, so please stay tuned !

MA Exhibition – Development – Sketches

Once I arrived in Shanghai I shared my ideas for the res­id­ency with the TASTE group and we star­ted to expand on them. Foremost, they were equally keen to extend the theme of Japanese aes­thet­ics, which I’d ini­ti­ated by select­ing BUTOH as my sub­ject mat­ter.

To con­tin­ue the devel­op­ment of my work I was given a desk in the TASTE Studio, which is just few minutes down the lane from their shop, in a fas­cin­at­ing art dis­trict Tian Zi Fang. In the stu­dio I also got intro­duced to the pet cats, who were faith­ful (furry) com­pan­ions through­out my vis­it.

I had only brought one copy of each of the digit­al prints with me to China. So first of all I needed to make a clear plan regard­ing which parts of the prints I would embel­lish with hand-drawn sec­tions. I went back to Photoshop and star­ted pre­par­ing sketches for how I envis­aged the final art­work to look like. With some images I exper­i­mented with few dif­fer­ent arrange­ments, whil­st with oth­ers the ideal solu­tion jumped right out at me. Meanwhile, whil­st plan­ning out this pen­cil work I star­ted to think more about the jux­ta­pos­i­tion I was mak­ing between digit­al and tra­di­tion­al draw­ing. I dwelt on the stun­ning aca­dem­ic stud­ies of the human body pro­duced by Old Masters like Michelangelo or DaVinci and real­ised that by refer­ring to that type of aca­dem­ic draw­ing in my pen­cil work I could evoke the aes­thet­ics of the Renaissance. I re-famil­i­ar­ised myself with the con­cepts of beau­ty dur­ing that peri­od (e.g. the pro­por­tions of a golden ratio and the com­pos­i­tion­al found­a­tion of sim­ple shapes : circle, rect­angle and tri­angle) and began to feel that bring­ing out this west­ern lin­eage in my work could provide a power­ful con­cep­tu­al coun­ter­point to the east­ern influ­ence that were now evid­ent too (e.g. in the sub­ject mat­ter and the digit­al lin­ear draw­ing). Fusing both these east­ern and west­ern philo­sophies seemed a power­ful meta­phor for the over­all res­id­ency and exhib­i­tion.

Karolful_Development_CompositionSketch1

Once we had the sketches prin­ted out and laid out in front of us I felt that some­thing was miss­ing. I had been con­tem­plat­ing using strokes or accents of col­our in my work but see­ing them alto­geth­er I didn’t feel that this par­tic­u­lar set of draw­ings would be enhanced by some­thing as drastic as a splash of paint. In TASTE Shop they do love their black, white and gold and in fact use quite a lot of gold leaf in their brand­ing. Piotr Zalewski sug­ges­ted to me that I should con­sider incor­por­at­ing gold leaf into my, cur­rently, mono­chro­mat­ic pieces, ini­tially simply as an homage to the res­id­ency with TASTE Shop. Since I was already ven­tur­ing bravely to the field of mixed media I decided to give it some thought. I liked how gold leaf would intro­duce some tex­ture to the over­all art­work, as opposed adding col­our, which I felt would over­shad­ow the sub­tlety of the draw­ing. The idea of using gold also grew on me because it would need to be applied on a brush­stroke of glue ; the dynam­ic energy this would bring would fur­ther con­trast with the very struc­tured com­pos­i­tion of the draw­ings. Finally, I fan­cied that the gold leaf would sup­port the con­cept of move­ment in my work because its shiny sur­face shim­mers with reflec­tions, sug­gest­ive of being in con­stant flux.

Before I com­mit­ted to using gold, I made sure I researched into appro­pri­ate ref­er­ence points that would jus­ti­fy the usage of gold with­in the exhib­i­tion. My ideas for using the Renaissance as an inspir­a­tion really began to align at this point, using some of this era’s aes­thet­ics to plan the place­ment of gold with­in my com­pos­i­tions. Within the images I laid out the shapes made out of shad­ing, as well as the strokes of gold, to sug­gest geo­met­ric shapes com­pris­ing of diag­on­al and straight lines.

When we once again prin­ted it all out, the images worked extremely well as a series due to the under­ly­ing com­pos­i­tion­al threads of ‘shape’ and ‘gold’ which tied them togeth­er. We decided to strength this aspect by put­ting 4 of the images togeth­er as 2 dip­tychs and build link­ing ele­ments between the images using the gold leaf. So, the decision was reached. I was going to use gold leaf in my work. Confident in my choice and excited at the oppor­tun­ity to exper­i­ment with some­thing new I meas­ured out how many pieces of gold leaf I would need and place an order.

MA Exhibition – Development — Digital Drawings

This week my blog posts are going to give you an insight into the devel­op­ment work under­pin­ning my recent “MA” Exhibition in Shanghai, which was the res­ult of a res­id­ency with TASTE shop. Writing these posts is very excit­ing because it’s the first time I’ve decided to share the ‘behind the scenes’ pro­cesses that I go through when put­ting togeth­er an exhib­i­tion.

In the weeks before my res­id­ency began, before fly­ing out to Shanghai, I put a lot of thought into how I was going to use the res­id­ency as an oppor­tun­ity to exper­i­ment, and try some new things with­in my prac­tice. I decided I wanted to keep a con­sist­ent theme from my pre­vi­ous work, con­tinu­ing to use Dance as my sub­ject mat­ter but that I would explore some new rep­res­ent­a­tion­al tech­niques and diver­si­fy into ‘mixed media’ com­pos­i­tions.

As you’ll know if you read my posts last week, I decided to use BUTOH dance as my sub­ject mat­ter. In par­tic­u­lar I took inspir­a­tion from a video-recor­ded per­form­ance entitled “Urban Butoh.” I poured over that video, watch­ing it count­less times to identi­fy spe­cific stills from it that would serve as my core ref­er­ence mater­i­al. Primarily I looked for pos­tures and move­ments that were going to make power­ful state­ments when presen­ted as still images. In a slight depar­ture from pre­vi­ous prac­tice I decided to select a few of these stills to work with as close-up images. Until then I had always worked with full-fig­ure images, without any crop­ping, This time I wanted a few pieces which focussed on facial expres­sions. Around this time TASTE also sent over some details about the dimen­sions of the exhib­i­tion space, which I used to plan the size of my dis­play. After some com­plex math­em­at­ics (okay, basic arith­met­ic) we worked out that I could fit 2 A1 size images and 9 A2 pieces into their space. Meaning the exhib­it would, in total, com­prise of 11 pieces.

My pre­ferred medi­um of prac­tice has always been tra­di­tion­al graph­ite pen­cil draw­ing. However, dur­ing a few recent com­mis­sions I’d revis­ited using a digit­al-tab­let to draw with (see example). I was keen to take advant­age of the res­id­ency to work on pieces that com­bined these two tech­niques. I was hop­ing that jux­ta­pos­ing pen­cil and tab­let ele­ments with­in com­pos­i­tions would be an inter­est­ing con­trast, high­light­ing the evol­u­tion­ary lin­eage from clas­sic­al pen­cil draw­ing to con­tem­por­ary digit­al art. To accen­tu­ate this idea I decided to make the digit­al draw­ing very graph­ic­al, clean and sim­ple and con­trast this again­st shad­ing work with the pen­cil. This par­alleled nicely with Japanese (Butoh) influ­ences under­pin­ning my ref­er­ence work because in Japanese paint­ing the weight of the line is an extremely import­ant fea­ture — a fea­ture I would be exper­i­ment­ing with digit­ally.

As an aside, the digit­al draw­ing in par­tic­u­lar proved quite chal­len­ging because the stills from the video were very low res­ol­u­tion, in com­par­is­on to the size I was intend­ing to print to. So there wasn’t really enough inform­a­tion for a detailed draw­ing. On the scale that I was work­ing to you merely got a blurry sug­ges­tion of the fig­ure and its ele­ments. However, in the end I quite liked this uncer­tainty because it made me have to rely on my own inter­pret­a­tion in places — with this sub­jectiv­ity res­ult­ing in more per­son­al input from me into how the final images looked.

Once I had my draw­ings done I was off to Poland to pick up my VISA. That’s where I got my prints ready. I prin­ted them at the Print Shop of the Academy of Fine Arts, in Wroclaw, where I did my ini­tial Foundation Year of train­ing before going off to study abroad for my degree. The facil­it­ies there are great and I was able to print on high qual­ity art print paper with archiv­al ink, which isn’t going to fade away in time. I was extremely happy with the qual­ity of the print. All rolled up, the prints went off with me to Warsaw Airport for a flight to Beijing.

To be con­tin­ued… look out for more posts later this week.

MA Exhibition – Introducing the Collaborators – Noo-Studio

Posted by on Jun 13, 2014 in MA Exhibition, post | 3 Comments

Noo-Studio | The House of Collaboration is a plat­form that brings togeth­er a col­lect­ive of artists and design­ers to work on a vari­ety of com­mis­sions and pro­jects. In their own words (taken from the web­site):

Noo-Studio is a Contemporary Design Studio that provides design solu­tions for brands. We develop ideas of col­lectiv­ity and bring cre­at­ives togeth­er. From that we build a qual­ity that is essen­tial to our designs.

Areas of expert­ise :
Design and Consultancy, Art Direction, Graphic Design Services, Event Management, Multimedia, Website Design, Branding, Creative Collaboration, Photo Manipulation, Illustration, E-mail Marketing, Campaign Design, Blogging, Drawing, Hand Sketching, 3D Design, Packaging Design

Why Noo ?

noonoo : noun (pl. noonoos) vari­ant spelling of nunu. nunu |ˈnuːnuː|(also noonoo) noun (pl. nun­us) S. African inform­al an insect, spider, worm, or sim­il­ar small creature. ORIGIN from Zulu inunu ‘hor­rible object or anim­al’.

Noo : A Scotticism is a phrase or word which is char­ac­ter­ist­ic of dia­lects of Scots. [1] An archetyp­al example is « Och aye the noo», which trans­lates as, « Oh yes, just now ». This phrase is often used in par­ody by non-Scots and although the phrases « Och aye » and « the noo » are in com­mon use by Scots sep­ar­ately, they are rarely used togeth­er.

The dir­ect­or and cre­at­or of Noo-Studio is Piotr Zalewski. He is an incred­ibly cre­at­ive visu­al design­er, who I am lucky to share a long-stand­ing friend­ship with. He has worked in numer­ous graph­ic design com­pan­ies includ­ing Swedbrand Ltd and Kevin Woo Designs and last year decided to focus on devel­op­ing his freel­ance career. Since then he has thrived, work­ing primar­ily on pro­jects for the fash­ion industry, build­ing a repu­ta­tion for being skilled at devel­op­ing brand iden­tit­ies. He has par­tic­u­lar expert­ise in logo design, web­site and online pres­ence design, pat­tern and fab­ric print design, look-book lay­outs and pho­to retouch­ing. I have attached some examples of my favour­ite Noo-Studio pro­ject — pattern/​fabric design and web­site design for EKOKO Createur. To view more please vis­it his web­site here.

Karolful_NooStudio4_TasteShop Karolful_NooStudio5_TasteShop

Personally I have worked with Noo-Studio for about a year, on vari­ous graph­ic design com­mis­sions and col­lab­or­at­ive pro­jects. Our largest cur­rent com­mis­sion involves design­ing illus­tra­tions and pat­terns for kidswear col­lec­tions pro­duced by Chinese cloth­ing brands Mesamis and SunRoo. Linking back to one of my earli­er posts in this series, Zalewski is also heav­ily involved in the TASTE Shop brand­ing. This includes hav­ing designed their logo and brand­ing as well as con­struct­ing and devel­op­ing their web­site. In fact, Piotr also found time to design this beau­ti­ful web­site too, which I hope you are enjoy­ing vis­it­ing. He sure does keep him­self busy !

Piotr was a great sup­port and invalu­able help with the art dir­ec­tion for the MA Exhibition, and for this I would like to sin­cerely thank him. He encour­aged me to try out gold leaf with my draw­ings and sup­por­ted me with advice and feed­back through­out this pro­cess. It was really great to have someone to bounce ideas off of, which made the whole pro­cess much more inter­act­ive and enjoy­able. Piotr’s main col­lab­or­at­ive input to the exhib­i­tion was to cre­ate video art based on the “Urban Butoh” video, which was pro­jec­ted dur­ing the open­ing night of the “MA”exhibition. This I will share in a future post, so please stay tuned.