Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Hot Off the Cutting Board!

Here are some pictures of my latest silk paper cut entitled, BOOM, BOOM, BOOM. VRROOOM! Click on the pictures to get a better look.

It took longer than usual 'cos there are so many other work and family related things going on at the moment. In fact I'm disappointed to that I've only managed three blog entries this month. I'll try harder in May. Sometimes life manages to get in the way big time leaving all else a little bit meaningless.

I'm sure the Dancing Boys wouldn't let such things get them down. They'd simply get on their 50cc bikes and ride like the wind through the jostling streets of Taipei with a ciggy dangling from their mouths.

BOOM, BOOM, BOOM. VRROOOM! is 190cm long by 30cm wide. It's not finished yet and I've got no idea how I'm going to mount it yet, but I like the idea of it as a long scroll to be rolled up and put away.

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Boom! Boom! Vroom!

Taipei is the home to the world’s tallest skyscraper, the 101. From my studio window I gaze out at it. It’s so tall the top seems to be in a different climate zone with swirls of cloud often hanging around it.

When they were building the 101 they realized that it was so tall it was going to interfere with the flight paths of planes from the Taipei city airport. Now planes take a wide arc around it but I always wonder what if one pilot forgets the new flight path.

When you visit the 101 it really is an incredibly well built and run building. Ordered, clean, calm, efficient and smooth. A world far removed from the surrounding streets where hordes of motorcyclists jostle and weave for the advantage of beating the next traffic lights. Some bikes spew acrid smoke while others twist and turn, mounting sidewalks for shortcuts with seeming impunity. Their riders casually smoke’n’ride, shirts flap in the wind, flip flops hang precariously close to the tarmac. It seems that, on average, once a month I come across a motorcyclist sprawled on the ground, the result of a bump or clipping a car or a shunt.

Everyday I see the survivors hobbling around with scuffed legs and arms the result of a ‘tarmac tussle’. I often ask myself if they’ll ever ride again. The answer is probably yes. I modeled my characters, the Dancing Boys, on these people – carefree and careless.

Here’s a detail of a rough sketch for my next project featuring the Dancing Boys, ‘Boom. Boom! Vroom!’ (click on it to get a clearer view). One has crashed his scooter into the 101 which is feeling the full effect of the bump. Below ground cockroaches scuttle around out of sight. Meanwhile high in the sky another carefree and careless Dancing Boy is bare back riding a plane as it hurtles through the sky. He’s being chased by others who gleefully prance along in the plane’s jet stream. Then there are the rap dancing Dancing Boys who gaze in wonder at the catastrophe unfolding before their eyes. But it doesn’t stop them. They see this kind of chaos happening every day in their world.

Once the sketch is done I’ll trace it onto silk and start cutting out the image. I just gotta make sure to cut it so that the writing comes out positive!

Saturday, 5 April 2008

Here’s one I did earlier..!

There are times when one gets completely stuck and frustrated when trying to finish an artwork. This silk paper cutting (Noodle Mania) focused on the joys of beef noodle soup, which on a cold winter’s day in Taipei is the perfect way to warm up. The bowls of noodles are at the centre warmed by flames from below. The steamy aromas rise and envelop the dancing boys who eagerly breathe them all in. The result of this is the Dancing Boys’ hair extending and twisting in some kind of rapturous ecstasy.

This silk paper cutting has been going on for almost a year, but somewhere along the way I completely lost interest in it. But when you spend so much time designing, drawing up and cutting out a piece it gets hard to come to terms with the guilt of time wasted.

At one point I crumpled it all up and found myself peering into a forest-like mass of silk. Hmmm, there’s potential there somewhere.

Anyway I did, at least, get some nice photos at various stages of the cutting. There’s the design drawn on the back of the silk paper. Four colours of silk paper were cut at the same time, then the image was cut up into its individual elements and attempts were made to reconstruct the piece.

Alas, by then my muse had gone and that’s the way it is right now. I haven’t given up all hope yet and the bits lie strewn around my small studio hoping that sometime soon it all might click.