These photos from China’s Ice and Snow Festival are pretty crazy. The festival, which opened last week, can be found in the city of Harbin, and it attracts about 800,000 visitors a year. Filled with ice palaces, pagodas and skyscrapers; it’s an incredible sight and every year it attracts an international roster of ice sculptors.
The intricate sculptures and structures are carved from giant blocks of ice taken from the surface of the nearby Soghua river. Sculptors use chisels, ice picks and saws to carve the ice. Many sculptors also use multicolored lights to add the impressive colors you see in the pictures above. The Harbin festival is one of the world’s four largest ice and snow festivals. More ice sculptures can be seen at the likes of Japan’s Sapporo Snow Festival, Canada’s Quebec City Winter Carnival, and Norway’s Ski Festival.
Images via China Daily
Video via Third Channel on Vimeo
I recently discovered the work of the Norwegian musician and composer Terje Isungset and was really impressed by what he does. Isungset is one of Europe’s most accomplished and innovative percussionists, and he is a true innovator in his creation of ice instruments. For ten years, Isungset has been making and playing these incredible creations by carving them from the ice and he has performed in a number of wonderful and strange locations such as behind frozen waterfalls, inside of igloos and on top of giant glaciers.
The video above gives a brief insight into what Isungset does so well. Directed by Santiago Posada and produced by Third Channel; the film was taken during his performance last year at London’s Somerset House. It shows many of Isungset’s unique instruments including an ice horn, an iceophone and his ice percussion. Each instrument creates a unique and haunting sound and they really need to be heard to be believed. The majority of the instruments are carved from ancient glaciers and were transported to an urban igloo right in the heart of central London as part of three day event which ran last January in the city.
Isungset has also recorded a number of albums which you can check out here.
Directed by: Santiago Posada
Produced by Third Channel.
These photos by the Belgium architect François Delfosse are beautiful. He says that the images were taken in a “glacier cave just North of the South Pole”, before adding that they are “viewed from the inside of a plastic bag”.
As images, they’re really stunning and I love the playful reaction they get. If they really were photos of a glacier cave we’d probably be in awe of their beauty, yet because they’re plastic bags it feels odd to think of them as beautiful. I don’t care, I think they are truly gorgeous.
Eagle-eyed readers may have spotted that I have a soft spot for images of mundane landscapes. I’m particularly fond of photorealist paintings of these kind of landscapes and I think that’s why I’m really drawn to these paintings by Irish artist Colin Martin.
The images come from a series of work called A Minor Place and they focus on the architecture and environments of leisure. They are empty, vacant spaces and yet they feel unthreatening. For Martin, the staring point for this work came from the architect Robert Venturi. Venturi believes that these types of spaces are non-hierarchal and anti-judgmental. Because of this, buildings designed for leisure can surpasses High Modernism in their ability to create spaces that give their inhabitants what they want as opposed to what they need. It’s a fascinating theory in regards to architecture and space but really it’s the pure aesthetics of Martin’s work that draws me in. You can view the complete set of works from this series online here.
Back when I was a kid I really wanted to be pilot and despite never letting that dream stick around long enough I still occasionally find myself daydreaming about aviation and the chance of seeing the world from a completely different angle. That’s the reason why I love the work of renowned aerial photographer Alex MacLean. He captures stunning images of the world below him and shows all the quirks, beauty and splender that exists within both the natural and manmade landscape of the planet.
MacLean has flown all across America and to many other parts of the world in his Cessna 182, each time taking incredible photos. The images above come from his book Las Vegas/Venice: Endangered Myths. It’s a book which deals with the similarities that exist between the two cities – highlighting their dependancy on water, their extreme physical environments and their status as major tourist attractions. It sounds like a fascinating collection of images and many of them can be viewed on MacLean’s site here.
Sam Brewster is an illustrator currently living and working in East London. Since graduating two years ago he’s worked with a number of impressive clients including the likes of the BBC, WIRED and The Times. Not only that, but he also produces and directs films with his writer friend Sam Halfpenny under the name Sam & Sam. All around he seems like a talented guy!
The pictures above come from the excellent sounding Beer Advocate Magazine; a publication which Sam has been creating work for over the last few months. The images above are of London, Long Beach, and Reno and they’re only a handful of the cities which Sam has drawn – make sure to check out the rest of them on his site by clicking here. I really love the colors he uses; they really add a faded, picture postcard quality to his work – perfect for the cities he draws.
Despite enjoying the odd MGMT song from time-to-time, I must admit I’m not their biggest fan, and so, I’m a little late in sharing this great video they released last month. It’s directed by Onnedo (aka: Ned Wenlock) who you might remember we posted about back in May when he created an amazing video for the band Danger Beach. His video for All We Ever Wanted Was Everything is of a similar vein but this time he has created an unfolding universe where images paste over one another to create a richly-textured world full of busy streets and smoggy factories. It’s a truly wonderful piece of animation.
The track itself is a cover of the old Bauhaus song which was featured on the band’s Late Night Tales compilation. If you’re interested in reading about Wenlock’s process in designing the video then check out his blog. He’s written an interesting post about the process that went into creating the animation.
‘The Great Divide’ is a new series of images from the Seattle-based photographer Nich Hance McElroy. McElroy has an eye for capturing the hardship seen in nature and nearly every image he takes shows the landscape at it’s most unforgiving. Yet his photographs also show the beauty that exists within this grim world too. There are horses, mountains and vintage cars to be seen amid these surroundings.
Like any great photographer, McElroy allows us to enter his world and shows it to us through his own eyes. It may be a troubling place but it is also filled with beauty and splendor and it would seem that McElroy wouldn’t want it any other way. Make sure to check out the full series of ‘The Great Divide’ here as it comes highly recommended.