Tag Archives: arts

The 08/16/13 Joy Jar

15 Aug

Moi walks in downtown Seattle a lot and she has been noticing the buildings with marble exteriors and quite often marble interiors. Moi guesses it is to make the buildings seem grand and impressive. When one walks in neighborhoods, not so much marble, there. The marble is in a variety of shades and conditions. Obviously, the well-tended marble belongs to the affluent for whom, image is important. Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar’ is the beautiful stone marble.

“The best memory is that which forgets nothing, but injuries. Write kindness in marble and write injuries in the dust.”
Persian Proverb

“Every man is the builder of a temple, called his body, to the god he worships, after a style purely his own, nor can he get off by hammering marble instead. We are all sculptors and painters, and our material is our own flesh and blood and bones.”
Henry David Thoreau

“Man cannot remake himself without suffering, for he is both the marble and the sculptor.”
Alexis Carrel

“Silence is as full of potential wisdom and wit as the unshown marble of great sculpture. The silent bear no witness against themselves.”
Aldous Huxley

“A good character is the best tombstone. Those who loved you and were helped by you will remember you when forget-me-nots have withered. Carve your name on hearts, not on marble.”
Charles H. Spurgeon

“What sculpture is to a block of marble, education is to a human soul.”
Joseph Addison

“An artist that works in marble or colors has them all to himself and his tribe, but the man who molds his thoughts in verse has to employ the materials vulgarized by everybody’s use, and glorify them by his handling”
Oliver Wendell Holmes

Dear God! how beauty varies in nature and art. In a woman the flesh must be like marble; in a statue the marble must be like flesh.
Victor Hugo

The court is like a palace of marble; it’s composed of people very hard and very polished.
Jean de la Bruyere

“Guido the plumber and Michelangelo obtained their marble from the same quarry, but what each saw in the marble made the difference between a nobleman’s sink and a brilliant sculpture.”
Bob Kall

Dr. Wilda Reviews: The Dragon Pearl

30 Jun

Moi received a complimentary copy of the Dragon Pearl which was exclusively released to Walmart on June 18, 2013 and which will be available on DVD on August 20, 2013. Here is a synopsis and Youtube trailer:

Josh and Ling were expecting a boring vacation visiting each of their parents at an archaeological dig in China. But the new friends soon discover they’re right in the middle of an adventure when they find a Chinese Golden Dragon.

Director:

Mario Andreacchio

Writers:

Mario Andreacchio (story), John Armstrong (original script), 3 more credits »

Stars:

Sam Neill, Li Lin Jin, Louis Corbett | See full cast and crew

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FwgJ-HbwKlg

What this movie does well is provide “family-friendly” entertainment. It was a good movie which could have been a very good movie by stronger character portrayal and better special effects. The martial arts action at the end of the movie really saved the show.

This was a joint Chinese- Australian production and moi wondered whether the story which is really a beautiful fable should have been handled more deftly. Some of the characters appeared to be caricatures. Prime example was the Temple caretaker role, Wu Dong, which was played by Jordan Chan. Maybe a performance which would have focused more on the wisdom of a Temple caretaker who was charged with protecting a legacy would have been more effective.

The story is based upon the role that dragons and pearls have in Chinese history. Dragons and Dragon Lore, by Ernest Ingersoll, [1928], at sacred-texts.com provides some context in Chapter Ten: The Dragon’s Precious Pearl The story is based on a Chinese fable about a Chinese dragon who gave his pearl, the source of his power, to a good Chinese Emperor to help him win a battle against his enemies. The Emperor’s daughter re-writes history when her father is killed in battle to say the pearl was lost when it really was buried in the Emperor’s tomb. The dragon has been waiting thousands of years for the “chosen” one to return the pearl. This is a great fable would should provide the strong backbone of any fantasy movie.

Sam Neill plays a divorced father who is the leader of the archeological team excavating the Emperor’s tomb. His son, played by Louis Corbett comes to visit him for the summer. There just wasn’t the chemistry between the two, even for a relationship which has been strained by divorce. Li Lin Jin who plays Ling is very good as the sensible Chinese girl. Again, the stereotypes are present as Corbett plays the clueless westerner. The children meet the caretaker when they return a flute he lost to the Temple. The music, by Frank Strangio, which wafts through the production is quite good. This music can only be heard by the “chosen” one which is Ling. At the Temple, the children encounter the dragon. The villain, Philip Dukas played by Robert Mammone added an unexpected twist.

The movie is weakest on special effects. The dragon is only OK and the pearl looks like a dot which is places over people’s heads when the face is to be obscured. Probably, the pearl is supposed to convey energy, but it just looks lame. The strongest parts of the movie are the music, the beautiful photography and scenery and the beautiful fable. Moi recommends the movie because the whole family can watch together and the martial arts action is quite enjoyable.

Dr. Wilda recommends the Dragon Pearl as family friendly entertainment.

Other Reviews:

The Dragon Pearl                                                  http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/review/dragon-pearl-film-review-sam-neill-335529

The Dragon Pearl                                                 http://www.commonsensemedia.org/movie-reviews/the-dragon-pearl

Where information leads to Hope. ©                               Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©                      http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

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Dr. Wilda Reviews: Seattle Art Museum’s ‘Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion’

30 Jun

Moi had the great pleasure of attending the Seattle Art Museum’s (SAM) press preview for Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion which runs June 27 – September 8 at SAM Downtown in Simonyi Special Exhibition Galleries. This exhibit was organized by the Kyoto Costume Institute (KCI) and London’s Barbican Art Gallery in collaboration with SAM Seattle whichis one of two U.S. cities which will host this exhibit. After leaving Seattle, the exhibit will go to the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts. Japanese fashion historian, Akiko Fukai , who is the Chief Curator of the KCI is the curator. All moi can say is, we are so very blessed. For fashionistas on the West Coast, it is definitely worth traveling to Seattle to see. Moi would describe the experience as being treated to some very expensive Cognac. It is not something one gets every day, but once treated to the experience, the Cognac is savored. Once the Cognac is drunk, you know that you might not have appreciated all the subtle notes.

The exhibit is “ structured in a combination of thematic and monographic sections.” The first section is influenced by In Praise of Shadows:

.an essay on Japanese aesthetics by the Japanese author and novelist Jun’ichirō Tanizaki. It was translated into English by the academic students of Japanese literature Thomas Harper and Edward Seidensticker.

The essay consists of 16 sections that discuss traditional Japanese aesthetics in contrast with change. Comparisons of light with darkness are used to contrast Western and Asian cultures. The West, in its striving for progress, is presented as continuously searching for light and clarity, while the subtle and subdued forms of oriental art and literature are seen by Tanizaki to represent an appreciation of shadow and subtlety, closely relating to the traditional Japanese concept of sabi. In addition to contrasting light and dark, Tanizaki further considers the layered tones of various kinds of shadows and their power to reflect low sheen materials like gold embroidery, patina and cloudy crystals. In addition, he distinguishes between the values of gleam and shine.              ttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_Praise_of_Shadows

The other sections have the themes of Flatness, Tradition and Innovation, and Cool Japan. One is of course wowed by the designs, but the real story is CREATIVITY and INNOVATION in the imagining of how fabrics can be used in design. Another thought moi had was that those who wear these fashions are probably very confident and sure of themselves and their relationship to the world.

This show is really one of those that you have to see in person because one will not be able to grasp the subtle and nuanced way in which some very exceptional fabrics are used in design. Sometimes fashion is simply eye candy and there certainly are those pieces in the collection. There are also those pieces that jar the senses and ask one to think about what role fashion has or should have. Is fashion important and what does beauty really mean? This is a beautifully displayed collection of designs displaying a particularly cultural take on the question of what is good design. Moi highly recommends this show.

The Japanese External Trade Organization describes the Fashion History of Japan:

Japanese fashion reached a turning point in the 70’s. Pr?t-a-porter (ready-made clothing) which people could wear more easily than haute couture, became widely available and that drastically changed Japanese fashion. Japan was in the middle of a high economic growth period and strong personal consumption backed the situation. Hanae Mori, Kenzo Takada, and Issei Miyake received attention internationally in the 1970’s.

Kenzo Takada established The House of KENZO in Paris in 1970 and opened his own boutique “Jangle Jap” there. He then started participating in the Paris Pr?t-a-porter Collection and his colorful, pretty and dynamic folklore look, big look, and layered look quickly became popular. Issei Miyake also started showing in Paris the Pret-a-porter Collection in 1973. Hanae Mori had her first show in New York in 1965 and then opened her maison de haute couture in Paris in 1977 and joined the Paris Haute Couture Collection. At the same time, Sayoko Yamaguchi, a Japanese fashion model, became very popular in the Paris Collection with her bob hair and makeup which emphasized her long-slitted eyes.

In the 80’s, Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons and Yohji Yamamoto received high recognition internationally. Their “boro look” which was loose black clothes ripped and frayed, brought sensational controversy in Paris, but their clothes then gave influence to the fashion after the period. Kawakubo and Yamamoto’s clothes matched to the mood of the 80’s when clothes with strong impressions were considered to be interesting. Their avant garde and dress-down approach had carved out new possibilities of fashion. It was an era when Japanese fashion bolstered a unique and original image which would shake the general idea of Western clothes. Kawakubo and Yamamoto’s deconstructed and sexless clothes later influenced designers in Belgium such as Martin Margiela.

In 1985, the Council of Fashion Designers, Tokyo (CFD) was established with 32 designers and then the Tokyo Collection was started. The DC (Designer Character) boom in the 80’s helped to energize the Tokyo Collection. In addition to designer’s brands which had been recognized internationally as high-end brands since the 70’s, character brands referred to brands which were more affordable yet very fashion trend conscious. Many character brands such as Bigi, Nicole, Atelier Sab, Pink House, and Takeo Kikuchi swept the Japanese market. Strong economic growth referred to as a “bubble” intensified the movement.

Noritaka TatehanaShortly after the 90’s started, the economic bubble burst and casual fashion became the mainstream fashion trend. In addition to “Shibukaji” which meant casual fashion originated from Shibuya in Tokyo in the end of the 80’s, “kogyaru” which referred to high school girls with loose socks, “chapatsu” ( brown hair), and “ganguro” (face with black foundation or strongly tanned) gained power in Shibuya. Street fashion in Tokyo started to get attention even from the international media and Shibuya and Harajuku especially became recognized as sources for fashion trend. “Ura Hara” which referred to the back streets in Harajuku, also became popular as a trendy fashion area. Jun Takahashi who is the designer of Under Cover originated from “Ura Hara” and he joined the Tokyo Collection in the middle of the 90’s and later started showing in Paris with the 2003 Spring Summer collection. Shibuya 109 (ichi maru kyuu), which is a building with many fashion brand tenants such as Egoist, Cocolulu, Moussy and Cecil McBEE, became very popular among young women in their teens and 20’s and the sexy and pretty fashion was called “maru kyuu fashion.”

When 21st Century started, more Japanese designers such as Chisato Tsumori, Junya Watanabe, Chitose Abe (Sacai), Limi Yamamoto (Limi Feu) started showing in the Paris Collection. In New York, “Japan Fashion Now” which was started in September in 2010 at the FIT Museum extended the term for three more months to the beginning of April in 2011 due to the popular demand. Among the featured designers in the exhibition, Under Cover, designed by Jun Takahashi was particularly favorite among the visitors. Noritaka Tatehana, who launched his shoes brand “NORITAKA TATEHANA” in 2010 quickly became famous as the pop singer Lady Gaga wore his highly distinctive shoes with no heels. His collection pieces are all handmade by the designer himself who has a back ground of creating kimono and wooden clogs utilizing yu-zen dying. Among the veteran designers, Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons still actively inspires the world of fashion not only with her collection each season, but also her concept stores Dover Street Market, which are in London as well as in Ginza, Tokyo. Rei Kawakubo was chosen to be awarded for the international design from CFDA, Council of Fashion Designers of America in June, 2012. http://www.jetro.org/fashion_history_of_japan

Here is the press release from Seattle Art Museum:

For Immediate Release

Contact: Wendy Malloy, SAM Public Relations
(206) 654-3151; email:
PR@SeattleArtMuseum.org

Seattle Art Museum Presents Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion

Comprehensive survey of avant-garde Japanese fashion
Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion
June 27–September 8, 2013


SEATTLE, May 6, 2013 – This summer Seattle Art Museum (SAM) presents
Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion featuring more than 100 costumes by celebrated and original designers including Issey Miyake, Rei Kawakubo, and Yohji Yamamoto as well as younger designers influenced by popular culture and the dynamic street life of Tokyo.

This exciting exhibition, on view at the Seattle Art Museum June 27–September 8, 2013, highlights the tremendous innovation of Japanese fashion designers from the early 1980s to the present who revolutionized the way we think of fashion today. The designs reflect a range of influences from Japanese aesthetics, reinterpretations of Western couture, punk aesthetics and Japanese street fashion.

I am delighted that the Seattle Art Museum is the first museum in the United States to share this fascinating and influential period in design history and to present this stunning collection from the Kyoto Costume Institute.” said Kimerly Rorschach, SAM’s Illsley Ball Nordstrom Director.

Curated by the eminent Japanese fashion historian Akiko Fukai, Director/Chief Curator, the Kyoto Costume Institute (KCI), the exhibition explores the distinctive sensibility of Japanese design and its sense of beauty embodied in clothing. Bringing together over 100 garments from the last three decades—some never seen before in the United States—the exhibition also includes films of notable catwalk shows and documentaries.

The exhibition shows how Japanese fashion design launched itself on the world stage in the 1980s,” said Catharina Manchanda, SAM’s Jon & Mary Shirley Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art.

Japanese fashion designers at that time developed breathtaking aesthetic positions that subsequently influenced a younger generation of Western designers including Martin Margiela, Ann Demeulemeester and Alexander McQueen.”

The first Japanese designers who gained recognition in the West were Kenzo Takada and Issey Miyake in the 1970s. But the 1980s were the decade when Japanese designers forcefully made their mark. Traditionally, Western women’s fashion was and still is concerned with seductively packaging and unveiling the body.

Symmetry of the silhouette is one of Western fashion’s defining characteristics. But a legendary spring/summer show in Paris for the 1983 collection was a stark departure from such familiar positions. Rei Kawakubo for Comme des Garçons and Yohji Yamamoto were the designers who put forth a stark new aesthetic based on monochrome black and white colors and they presented asymmetrical, and above all artfully perforated and ripped designs that were deconstructive and the antithesis of a fitted gown.

The exhibition is structured in a combination of thematic and monographic sections:

The first thematic section, In Praise of Shadows, explores the Japanese designers’ interest in materials, textures and forms, and consciousness of light and shade. Most of the designs in this section are in black and white and revisit the moment when these minimal aesthetic proposals were first introduced to European audiences in the early 1980s. The costumes in this section include designs by Rei Kawakubo, Yohji Yamamoto, and Junya Watanabe.

The second section is Flatness and explores the simple geometries and interplay of flatness and volume in the work of Issey Miyake and Rei Kawakubo. This section includes a series of specially commissioned striking photographs by Japanese artist and photographer Naoya Hatakeyama.

In the next section the relationship between Tradition and Innovation is considered—from the radical reinvention of traditional Japanese garments and techniques, such as kimono and origami, to the technological advances in textile fabrication and treatment. It includes a series of paper garments by OhYa and Mintdesigns; Watanabe’s seminal autumn/winter 2000 collection Techno Couture; examples of Kawakubo’s deconstructionist work; as well as modern takes on traditional Japanese techniques and garments by Yamamoto, Kenzo and Matohu.

The final section focuses on the phenomenon that is Cool Japan. Featuring works by Tao Kurihara, Jun Takahashi for Undercover and Naoki Takizawa, among others. Cool Japan examines the symbiotic relationship between street style, popular culture and high fashion.

The exhibition also includes monographic presentations on each of the principle designers in the show featuring a range of archive and recent works: Rei Kawakubo (Comme des Garçons), Yohji Yamamoto, Issey Miyake, Junya Watanabe, and Jun Takahashi (Undercover).

Following its visit to Seattle, Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion will travel to the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Mass., where it will be on view November 16, 2013 through January 26, 2014.

Seattle Art Museum

SAM is one museum in three locations: SAM Downtown, Seattle Asian Art Museum at Volunteer Park, and the Olympic Sculpture Park on the downtown waterfront. SAM collects, preserves and exhibits objects from across time and across cultures, exploring the dynamic connections between past and present.

Kyoto Costume Institue (KCI)

Established in 1978 by Wacoal Corp., KCI is one of Japan’s leading repositories of historical costumes and contemporary fashion with a collection of over eleven thousand works. KCI has organized critically acclaimed fashion exhibitions around the world, including Ancien Régime and Japonism in Fashion, and generated important publications such as Fashion: A History from the 18th to the 20th Century; Collection of the Kyoto Costume Institute (Taschen, 2002).

Exhibition originally conceived by the Kyoto Costume Institute and Barbican Art Gallery, London. Seattle Exhibition organized by Kyoto Costume Institute in collaboration with the Seattle Art Museum. Exhibition supported by Wacoal Corp.

Presenting sponsor is Seattle Art Museum Supporters. Major sponsor is 4Culture King County Lodging Tax. Additional support provided by the Japan Foundation and the Max and Helen Gurvich Exhibition Endowment. Print media sponsor is Seattle Weekly. Retail partner is Pacific Place.

Contemporary and modern art programs at SAM are supported by a generous group of donors in honor of Bagley Wright.

Moi highly recommends this show. It is worth traveling to see.

Resources:

Brief History of Japanese Clothing                           http://www.reconstructinghistory.com/articles/japanese-articles/a-brief-history-of-japanese-clothing.html

Elements of Japanese Design                              http://www.thecultureconcept.com/circle/elements-of-japanese-design

FASHION JAPAN

Magazine on Japanese street fashion, runway fashion and street culture.

Where information leads to Hope. ©                                  Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©                      http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©                                             http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

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The 03/19/13 Joy Jar

19 Mar

Not every ceiling is the Sistine Chapel, but writers in a dry spell and others with plenty to do, but little inclination often study the ceiling. There are patterns of light and sometimes for little children in the dark there are monsters. During a slow period, watching a ceiling can help one pass the time. Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar’ are ceilings.

 

Lying in bed would be an altogether perfect and supreme experience if only one had a colored pencil long enough to draw on the ceiling.
Gilbert K. Chesterton

 

 

 

Are you really sure that a floor can’t also be a ceiling?

M. C. Escher

 

 

When you have to study, even the ceiling looks more interesting.   

Unknown quotes 

 

 

Aim for the sky and you’ll reach the ceiling. Aim for the ceiling and you’ll stay on the floor.

Bill Shankly

 

The 01/18/13 Joy Jar

17 Jan

Moi is fairly old school. She will buy her first smart phone tomorrow so she can tweet constantly at the ALA Midwinter Meeting which is the weekend of the 25th. There is nothing like having a nice piece of paper and writing on it with your pen. Although, moi uses a computer, she feels more secure with a jar of pens on her desk. She even has that favorite leopard pen and pens in different colors. Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar’ is the pen.

 

To hold a pen is to be at war.
Voltaire

 

You want to be a writer, don’t know how or when? Find a quiet place, use a humble pen.
Paul Simon

 

Beneath the rule of men entirely great, the pen is mightier than the sword.
Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton

Writers are people who put pen to paper every day.
Richard Russo

A writer uses a pen instead of a scalpel or blow torch.
Michael Ondaatje

 

The pen is the tongue of the mind.
Horace

The 01/09/13 Joy Jar

8 Jan

Is a sunset art? What about a rainbow? Can a sea shell be art? Dictionary.com attempts to capture the meaning of the term ‘art’ with the following definition:

art

noun

1. the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance.

2. the class of objects subject to aesthetic criteria; works of art collectively, as paintings, sculptures, or drawings: a museum of art; an artcollection.  See fine art, commercial art.

3. a field, genre, or category of art: Dance is an art.

4. the fine arts collectively, often excluding architecture: art and architecture.

5. any field using the skills or techniques of art: advertising art; industrial art.

Art, is whatever provokes the soul to a response in awareness of its presence. Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar’ is art.

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”
Pablo Picasso

The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious – the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science.”
Albert Einstein,
Albert Einstein

Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.”
Edgar Degas

Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.”
C.S. Lewis,
Mere Christianity

Deliver me from writers who say the way they live doesn’t matter. I’m not sure a bad person can write a good book. If art doesn’t make us better, then what on earth is it for.”
Alice Walker

The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.”
Aristotle

All art is a kind of confession, more or less oblique. All artists, if they are to survive, are forced, at last, to tell the whole story; to vomit the anguish up.”
James Baldwin

Art, like morality, consists of drawing the line somewhere.”
G.K. Chesterton