Category Archives: Mind Philosophy

Shining the spotlight on the creative realm of the sublimely artistic and bringing the latest and breaking news from the art world

Cathay Pacific Unveils New Business Class Lounge

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Cathay Pacific General Manager Product Leslie Lu (centre), General Manager Hong Kong International Airport Liza Ng (left) and General Manager Sales & Distribution Toby Smith pictured at The Pier Business Class Lounge.

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Cathay Pacific Airways unveiled its new Business Class Lounge at The Pier in Hong Kong International Airport recently after a comprehensive refurbishment. The luxurious lounge is now larger with seating for 550 people.

The Pier Business Class Lounge is divided into “fast” and “slow” lanes where The Food Hall and The Noodle Bar are located in the “fast” lane. This is where passengers can find an array of food and beverages such as coffee and noodles.

There is also a Tea House especially for those craving a soothing drink amidst a tranquil environment while the slow lane is where passengers can put their feet up in the lounge seating equipped with built-in reading lamp and side tables.

Passengers can freshen up in one of the 14 shower suites and a relaxation room for a calm and stress-free experience in order to wind-down and refresh themselves.

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Timelessness in Fun & Play 永恒的乐趣时光

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Hong Kong Museum of History has taken on an exciting challenge – one that has not only attracted the young hearts of little children in Hong Kong but has also charmed adult and kids alike worldwide with adorable designs and features.

We are, of course, talking about toys. Partnering with Hong Kong Toys Council and the Toys Manufacturers’ Association of Hong Kong, the exhibition weaves through the evolution of toys in the past century and the way industrialists revolutionalise and guaranteed the good quality of items ‘Made in Hong Kong’.

One of the most popular parts of the exhibition features a play area to encourage the importance of play and also the meaning of toys. The exhibits present ways on how entertainment came in various forms including animation, comics, cinema and television, and trends which influence the production of toys. Hong Kong has played a prominent role in the evolution of toys and gone beyond just fun and play.

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为了凝结快乐时光,香港历史博物馆迎来一个激动人心的挑战:不仅是深深撼动香港小孩的童稚心灵,并且以独特可爱的设计和特色,征服了全世界的成年人和孩子们。其实所指的就是形形色色趣味的玩具。博物馆与香港玩具协会、玩具制造商协会合作,携手展示了上个世纪玩具的完整历史及工业领域的革新,确保了“香港制造”的良好质量。

而展览会上游乐区是最受欢迎的环节之一,这是鼓励游戏的重要性以及玩具的意义。所有展品演示了娱乐性的由来,包括以动画、漫画、电影和电视等各种形式展现。另外,也阐述了影响玩具生产的潮流趋势。香港在玩具的演变中扮演着举足轻重的角色,超越了一般的趣味与玩乐。

 

Innovation with A Twist 曲折的创新

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Toshiya Yui x Tomohiro Yokota x Tomoko Hashida / Floatio Applever
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David Letellier / Versus

Media Ambition Tokyo, now in its 4th edition, is fast becoming one of the fastest growing cultural showcase of technological art with an experimental twist in urban Tokyo. Organised by the MAT Committee, the exhibition is set to take place for almost a month all around Tokyo focusing on some of the most dynamic part of the city including Roppongi, Aoyama, Ochanomizu, Toranomon and a few more other venues. These venues will host super-edgy artwork, video, music, performances, hacks and talk shows.

Over the years, the programmes have organically increased and expanded covering international and local participants. The exhibition focuses on showcasing the evolving systematic designs of transportation, communication and information and the potential of technology in creating the city’s future. Through experimental projects unlimited by category or genre, MAT aims to develop the reformative movement in technology through art.

Previous collaborators include Apple Store in Ginza and Omotesando, Institut Francais Tokyo, Intersect by Lexus-Tokyo, IMA Concept Store, Digital Hollywood University and the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation. In 2016, they have also collaborated with Yasei Collective and producer Keiichiro Shibuya for its opening live show titled ‘Digitally Show’.

Media Ambition Tokyo 2017
Akira Wakita & Tesuya Komuro / Scalar Fields
Think Evolution #1 : Kiku-ishi(Ammonite): AKI INOMATA /???????????????
AKI INOMATA / Think Evolution / Kiku-ishi (Ammonite)
Yoshiharu Suzuki/??????:Yuta Sasaki/??? ??
Yuta Sasaki / Yoshiharu Suzuki

被誉为科技艺术表演秀的 ”Media Ambition Tokyo” 迈入第4年,成为增长最快速的文化科技展示,并在东京城市展开实验性大扭转。这项由MAT委员会组织主办的展览会将在东京举行,其中近一个月的活动,集中在一些最具活力的区域,包括六本木、青山、御茶水,虎之門等几个场地据点,现场举办展览超尖端的艺术作品、影像、音乐、表演,黑客和谈话节目。

多年来,这些项目不断增加和扩大,涵括国际和本土参与者。展览重点包括交通、通讯和信息不断演进的系统设计,显示科技创造城市未来的潜力。通过实验计划无限任何类别或体裁,MAT旨在推行以艺术拓展科技的革新运动。

之前的合作者计有银座和表参道的苹果旗舰店、东京法国文化中心、雷克萨斯品牌形象馆、IMA概念店,数字好莱坞大学与日本科学未来馆。在2016年,他们还与Yasei Collective和制作人涉谷庆一郎合作,开幕现场掀开“数字化表演”。

Treasures In The Austrian Mountains 奥地利山脉瑰宝

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Salzwelten
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Dachstein Skywalk
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View from Dachstein Skywalk
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Dachstein ice cave

Nestled in Austria’s Salzkammergut Lake Region – between the edge of Hallstätter See and the towering Dachstein mountains – is the town of Hallstatt one of Austria’s oldest and most likely most photographed village in the region. Its 16th-century Alpine houses cast shimmering reflections onto the calm waters of the lake with towering mountains on all sides. Accessible only by boat or mountain trail, the lakeside town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is also home to almost 800 residents. Towards the west, a trail leads hikers to the Echern Valley famous for its glacial potholes and Waldbackstrub Waterfall.

For centuries, the village has benefitted from a very sought-after commodity below the surface of the earth: salt. The Hallstatt mines – Salzwelten – is possibly the world’s oldest salt mines with a subterranean salt lake. Connected via a funicular railway, it is said to have been discovered as early as the 15th century and was used until modern times as the most important location for mining in the region. A particular feature here is the “Man in Salt”, a corpse that was discovered in 1734, perfectly preserved with his tools.

At an elevation of 1,677 ft above sea level, the Lake Hallstatt is about 125 meters deep and connects three other small towns. People come to admire the lake from the top, swim in its clear water, or take a boat ride as part of discovering the history of Hallstatt and the Salzkammergut surroundings.

The Dachstein Skywalk, located at an altitude of about 2,700 meters, allows visitors to see over Austria to Slovenia and the Czech Republic on a good day. Voted as one of the highest suspension bridge in Austria, this viewing platform is completely made of glass.

A short cable car ride, plus a 20 minutes walk brings you to the entrance to the Dachstein ice cave. An organised tour of the cave lasting one hour shows you the natural wonders of the ice forms and the man-made ice sculptors including the Grais Castle, Parsifal Cathedral, and the Tristian Cathedral. Annually, more than 150,000 people visit this natural wonder of the alps.

Masterpieces of Seasons 季节流转杰作

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The green vineyard 2–3 October 1888 Arles : oil on canvas • 72.2 x 92.2 cm Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo © Collection Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo, the Netherlands
Portrait of the Artist by Vincent van Gogh
Self-portrait autumn 1887 Paris : oil on canvas • 44.1 x 35.1 cm • Musée d’Orsay, Paris Donation Jacques Laroche with life interest, 1947 © Musée d’Orsay, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Patrice Schmidt
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Sjraar van Heugten, exhibition curator, at the media preview of Van Gogh and the Seasons at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. Photo@Wayne Taylor
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Nursery on Schenkweg April–May 1882 The Hague : black chalk, graphite, pen and brush and ink, heightened with white • 29.6 x 58.5 cm • The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York Bequest of Walter C. Baker, 1971 (1972.118.281)
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Still life with wildflowers and carnations summer 1887 Paris :  oil on canvas • 80.0 x 67.0 cm • Private Collection

The largest-ever Vincent van Gogh exhibition to be held in Australia, Van Gogh and the Seasons, was unveiled at an exclusive media preview in April at NGV International, with direct descendants of Vincent van Gogh in attendance. Josien van Gogh and Sylvia Cramer, great-grandnieces of Vincent van Gogh, joined exhibition curator Sjraar van Heugten, renowned Van Gogh expert and former Head of Collections at the Van Gogh Museum, for the first reveal of the world-premiere exhibition.

Featuring nearly 50 stunning, vividly-coloured Van Gogh masterpieces, Van Gogh and the Seasons explores the visionary artist’s profound connection to the seasons.

One of the world’s most famous artists, Van Gogh had a brief but prolific artistic career spanning barely a decade before his suicide in 1890 at the age of 37. Van Gogh and the Seasons is on display at NGV International, 180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne, Australia, until 9 July 2017. Open daily, 10am-5pm. Tickets available now at NGV.MELBOURNE. The exhibition is organised by the National Gallery of Victoria and Art Exhibitions Australia.

澳大利亚举办最大规模的文森特.梵高 (Vincent van Gogh) 展览会:“梵高与季节-Van Gogh and the Seasons”,梵高的嫡系后裔也出席在4月份NGV国际举行的独家媒体预告会。梵高的侄孙女 Josie van Gogh 和 Sylvia Cramer 连同展览策展人 Sjraar van Heugten (著名的梵高专家和梵高博物馆前负责人),一起参加了世界首场展览的揭幕仪式。

而“梵高与季节”将展出近500幅令人惊叹的梵高杰作,探索了有远见的艺术家与季节的深刻联系。

世界极负盛名的艺术家之一梵高,直至1890年自杀之前的10年间拥有短暂但多产的艺术生涯,去世时年方37岁。“梵高与季节”在澳大利亚墨尔本的 NGV 国际展出 (地址:180 St Kilda Road),展览会即日开放至2017年7月9日。每日营业时间为上午10点至下午5点。门票详情可透过 NGV.MELBOURNE 查询。这项展览会是由维多利亚国家美术馆 (NGV) 和澳大利亚艺术展览会主办。

Uncovering Bookbindings The Beauty and Workmanship of Handmade Islamic Manuscripts

by Adline Abdul Ghani


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19th century Quran from Iran, depicting Fath Ali Shah Qajar and son Mohammad Shah Qajar.

Typically, when studying a manuscript, the focus is on what’s in the book, rather than what’s on the outside. After all, as the old adage goes, we must “Never judge a book by its cover.” However, here’s an exhibition that invites you to take a closer look at the covers of books, instead of their contents. Simply called “Islamic Bookbinding,” the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia’s (IAMM) latest temporary exhibition showcases 70 artefacts that comprehensively portray the beautiful elements of bookbindings from around the Islamic world.

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18th century Quran from Iran with a protective pouch.
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18th century Quran from Iran, adorned with multi-coloured gems.

Opened to the public on 8th May, the exhibition begins by tracing the history and types of bookbinding. This is followed by a look at the intricate designs and techniques, as well as the constituting elements that form a bookbinding. The objects displayed are beautifully-handmade, most from leather, lacquerwork and textiles. Some specimens show their age and evidence of frequent use, while others are perfectly-preserved time capsules.

Overall, the exhibition hearkens back to an age where bookbinding was a treasured artform in royal ateliers. Besides their practical function, book covers were ornamented with fine tooling, stamping, gilding and painting to showcase the status of the owner.  Some manuscripts are also equipped with additional housings, such as boxes, pouches and slipcases. And then there are those that are so sumptuously decorated with gemstones, they have to be seen to be believed!

The highlights of the exhibition are several rare masterpieces, such as a pair of royal Qajar lacquered book covers, depicting Fath ‘Ali Shah Qajar (r. 1797 –1834) and his son Mohammad Shah Qajar (r. 1834 –1848). Another outstanding piece is a Qur’an binding from the East Coast of the Malay Peninsula, featuring red Moroccan leather and elaborate tooled decorations with a central medallion.

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19th-20th century Quran from the Malay Peninsula, featuring bright red leather and gold tooling.

Bookbinding is a topic rarely featured by art institutions, and this pioneering exhibition takes it a step further. It is the first exhibition of its kind to showcase a little-known and almost forgotten part of Malaysian heritage – the art of local bookbinding. Unique emphasis is given to local bindings made from textile that show detailed stitching of the endband placed over the spine.

 

In conjunction with the exhibition, the IAMM has produced a special catalogue of the same name, featuring artefacts from the museum collection, which will no doubt be a valuable reference on the subject. In addition, the IAMM’s Education Department has lined up a variety of public programmes, including lectures and hands-on workshops for adults and children, throughout the exhbition’s eight-month period.

 


For further information on this exhibition and its public/ educational programmes, please visit iamm.org.my.

Dirty Politics in Malaysian Arts 龌蹉不堪的艺术界政治

by Winston Peng


I have found that Malaysia has a pool of great fine artists backed by highly successful gallerists, intelligent curators, insightful writers and prominent collectors local and foreign.

I have been spurring the idea that our unique cultural content is the answer to our quest to become an innovation-driven economy. Distinctive cultural motifs and content for example, can be infused into our car, building and packaging product designs as a collective, differentiation strategy at international scale.

Over the years, I have organised the Artists as Social Innovators forum that drew full crowd at the National Art Gallery to get artists to rethink and elevate their role in societal development. I have also organised and chaired the National Arts Symposium in 2015 that drew 200 panel members from 50 different professions to discuss the role of art in their value chain over 24 tracks to create awareness on the importance of art.

I have found that Malaysia has a pool of great fine artists backed by highly successful gallerists, intelligent curators, insightful writers and prominent collectors from locals and foreigners. They represent our minds and indeed our hope for the future.

Malaysia also have good artisans and cultural workers. Their little contributions fuel our RM100 billion tourism industry. They are the grass roots, level-headed people whom we see every day from the food we eat, crafts we buy, places we go, stories we tell and senses we feel. They make up a significant part of our culture.

However, like any good and growing ecosystem, there are negative elements that attempt to stifle our development. I am talking about a group of struggling and frustrated artists. They compensate their lack of imagination by being political and making a lot of noise in social media. Recently, they work with a group of wily curators and academics to dupe foreign foundations into funding their guileful mission to infiltrate national art institutions to paint a bad light on our country. They have planned for a series of public talks and discourse to celebrate their impending victory.

When this foreign entity that is currently celebrating the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations with Malaysia realised that they were officially funding an exhibition that is political and potentially painting a bad light on the family of our Foreign Minister, they advised the curator and the artists to consider their positions as it was not within the objective and curatorial scope. This is totally sensible. It is not surprising that a foreign foundation didn’t understand the intricacies of our national politics.

These artists then decided to take down their own paintings and resorted to blaming members of the public, then the foreign entity, then the national institution, except themselves. They gain publicity by claiming that they have been censored by powers. Finally, when truth unfolded, they panicked. Fearing a public backlash, they withdrawn from the exhibition entirely but continue with their treacherous acts in the social media to justify their injudiciousness.

This subversive group cannot comprehend or recognise that art is more than just about them. A fair question by a member of the public to the foreign entity was met with fascist-style clampdown and witch hunt with the help of their wily curators and hawkish academics. They had put up a provocative work in a public exhibition but were not ready for and could not accept fair public engagement. They turned a mere question into a terrible complaint and lied about the censorship of their artwork by illusionary powers. They failed to understand that international relations from the foreign entity was more important than their artwork and their continuous embarrassment to both countries.

Sadly, this is reminiscent of how foreigners who take interest in our art are first met by these group of loud ‘pasar malam’ like peddlers who are desperate for attention. Our foreign friends will eventually learn that they have been duped and worse, hands bitten off by these savages they try to feed.

Fortunately, Malaysia is blessed with cultural capital large enough to withstand these cultural traitors. I continue to place my faith in Malaysian artists who possess power and talent to take our nation to the next level.

我一直认为马来西亚独特的文化方式是我们追求创新型经济的答案。例如,特色的文化主题可融入汽车、建筑和产品包装设计,并作为国际规模差异化战略。

而多年来,我组织并号召艺术家作为社会创新者论坛,并在国家美术馆引起热烈回响,让艺术家重新思考和提升在社会发展的作用和潜能。我也曾策划2015年的国家艺术研讨会,并从50个各行业领域的专业人士中聚集200位小组成员,议论艺术在他们的价值链中的作用超过24跑道,创造我们对于艺术重要性的认知。

马来西亚有一批伟大的优秀艺术家,他们是由画廊艺术家、智慧策展人、洞察力作家与国内外的著名收藏家所组成。他们代表我们的心灵,同时是未来的希望。

我们也具备良好的工匠和文化工作者。他们努力建设累积我国让人瞩目的1000亿令吉旅游业。我们透过每天吃的食物、购买工艺品和所到之处,还有被告知和感受的故事,接触到各种草根性或上层社会的人,构成组合我们文化主要的部分。

然而,犹如所有蓬勃不断增长的生态系统一样,也会出现消极因素企图扼杀阻碍。我指的是有些垂死挣扎和沮丧的艺术家,他们通过政治和社交媒体的舆论噪音掩盖缺失的想象力。最近,他们联合一群狡诈的策展人和学者,欺骗外国基金会资助他们邪恶使命渗透的民族艺术机构,对我国造成恶劣影响。他们也计划透过一系列公开研讨会欢庆即将取得的胜利。

至于这个目前与马来西亚庆祝外交关系60周年的外国也实际意识到,正在资助一个政治上可能对我国外交部长家属造成不良影响的展览会,并建议策展人和艺术家考虑他们的立场,这并非资助的目标范围。当然,外国基金会不了解我国政治复杂性完全符合情理。

而这些艺术家决定取下自己的画,诉诸归咎公众人士、接着外国机构和国家机构,除了他们自身。他们宣称本身已经被权势力量干涉审查。最后,当真相水落石出的时候他们就开始恐慌,担心公众反感,并从展览会撤离,但继续在社交网络上玩弄着奸诈把戏,证实他们的盲目。

上述颠覆黑白的群体无法理解或认知,所谓的艺术不仅是他们自己。公众人士对于外国机构一个合理的问题,被这些狡诈策展人和鹰派学者借题发挥成法西斯式的迫害和追捕。他们在公开展览会进行挑衅性的任务,但未准备好,无法接受公平公开的参与。他们将一个简单的问题演变成恐怖的抱怨,并幻想有权势力量对他们的作品进行审查。他们不了解外国机构对于国际关系的重视,当然比他们的艺术品更关键,他们终究在两国之间持续尴尬。

悲叹的是,这让人想起对于我们的艺术感兴趣的外国人,首先要遇见这些如小贩一般,急切引起注意而高声大叫“Pasar Malam”的一群,但我们的外国朋友最终会得知,他们被欺骗,更糟糕的是,手还被他们试图饲养的野蛮人咬伤。

庆幸的是,马来西亚拥有宽裕的文化资本,可以抵挡类似文化叛徒。我继续信奉马来西亚艺术家,他们具备力量和才能,将我们的国家提升到更高水平。