Educated in South Korea and the United States, Myeongbeom Kim produces otherworldly installations and sculpture works that juxtapose man-made elements with nature to create surreal dream spaces. Utilising suspension as a common motif, his works are constantly poised in a state of ambiguous wonderment. Within his installations, living things are held inside the fragile confines of light bulbs and helium balloons replace tree foliage, literally uplifting the tree and its roots.
Although this breaking down of the boundaries between artificiality and nature would generally engender a sense of unease, conveying the decline of natural phenomenon at the hands of manufactured goods, from Kim’s artistic perspective there is a rather a peaceful coexistence of these two binary opposites. It is a beautiful thing to behold.
Yuri Pattison is a talented, young artist working in London. I came across a his project icallarchitecturefrozenmusic this weekend and really enjoy his approach to photographing buildings in this project. Some buildings are more exciting than others and some of the views are more disorienting than others, but all of the photos look great to me. The title of the project comes from a Goethe quote, which I heard an especially cheesy iteration of in architecture school: “Architecture is music, frozen in time.” The variety of modernist buildings in Pattison’s pictures doesn’t bring to mind the lyrical or emotional flourishes that music might, but I’m not sure if the projects title is tongue-in-cheek or simply referring to a different kind of music.
Canon Blue is the music of Daniel James, an American musician who creates beautifully structured folktronica. He dabbles with dreamy melodies and displays a pretty great ear for what makes an upbeat pop song seem inspiring and fun. Back in 2007 he released his debut album Colonies on the Danish label Rumraket and it’s an absolute treat from start to finish. Impressively, Mr. James has written, recorded and played almost every instrument on this debut himself and has managed to get Grizzly Bear’s bassist Chris Taylor to mix the thing. For me, Colonies comes highly recommended and chances are that you’ll find something on their that grabs your attention and leaves you with a warm feeling of joy.
Fans of the aforementioned Grizzly Bear are sure to find some good things on here, and you’ll also find some nice influences from Daniel James’s label mates Efterklang in the mix as well. This is no accident considering that James can occasionally be found helping the band out on some of their live shows. Colonies is a great album and apparently a follow up is very close on the horizon. For now I’d recommend heading over to the Rumraket website and get your hands on The Halcyon EP which the label are giving away for free. It features the excellent track Ennui which is featured at the top of this post. Enjoy!
Back in December I posted about We Are Trees, now made up of James Nee and Josiah Schlater, and their previous release the Boyfriend EP. Last week I got an email from their vocalist James letting me know they had a new EP out, this time titled Girlfriend. If you’re a fan of Department of Eagles, Grizzly Bear or Vetiver I think you’ll like this. James’ voice is really smooth and mellow and the music itself is pretty laid back and well structured. Definitely worth pausing what you’re listening to to hear this. At the very least be sure to listen to the last track, I Don’t Believe In Love, it’s by far my favorite.
If there is one thing that Pablo Picasso has taught the art world it is that simple and straightforward portraits can sometimes be a bit limiting. Barcelona-based artist Anna Higgie obviously share this view as, while her portfolio features more conventional studies of portraiture, she also ventures into a domain of visual deconstruction that is reminiscent of Cubism. Slicing, splicing and fragmenting her subjects, and using the abstract visual illusions of Op Art, Higgie’s works are stunning in their complexity. Indeed, her attention to the fracturing of subjectivity in monochrome is seemingly evocative of a whole new genre: Cubist Noir.
To discover more about Higgie, check out her blog and flickr.