Tokyo musicians, Swedish pastoral, Romanian river

Monday, January 28, 2008

This week, I saw three exhibitions:

  • Marco Bohr's photographs of Tokyo riverside musicians at Mummery & Schnell
  • Sigrid Holmwood's paintings of Swedish peasant life at Annely Juda
  • Serban Savu's paintings of contemporary Romanian life at FA Projects

Marco Bohr's photographs of Tokyo show musicians on the banks of the Tamagawa river. The open spaces are the opposite of the modern, neon image of Tokyo. With usual Japanese respect, the musicians practise their music on the river banks, rather than disturb their neighbours who are so close due to Tokyo's density.

Sigrid Holwood's paintings shine with colour: neon yellows, fluorescent oranges and greens. The colour seems at odds with the subject: Swedish rural landscapes and scenes of peasant life. The paintings are alluring - my favourites were the landscapes. I saw them glowing with atmosphere. The colours express the joys of being in the landscape.

The paintings of humans, however, play with reality - many of them were painted in folk museums, so their inauthentic colours match the inauthentic nature of the scenes.

Most of Serban Savu's work saddened me: painted from a distance, and with dull, oppressive colours. They show people on the banks of a river in Romania. The painting above seems to sum this up: the scene looks very jolly, a family or group enjoying a day by the river, a holiday. But the colours have no fun. Perhaps this is to suggest that social life in Romania oppresse, but I found this to be sombre, sad, depressing.


Sunday, January 27, 2008

Despite a brief hiatus, acediscovery is back. I've thought about how to continue - my focus will now be on a topic I'm continually fascinated by: London's internationalism. The world is in London, and London is in the world. I want to explore and celebrate this. And so I will.

But, lest I forget what's gone before, here's an ace song for Europe - from Norway's Eurovision preselection. Baby Don't Stop the Music, sung by Michelle, is written by Bertine Zetlitz colloborator Fred Ball and Rachel Stevens songwriter Hannah Robinson. It has an ace reverbing electric sound on the chorus. Sadly it didn't qualify for their final.

Maps with borders, by Katharina and Jaan

Saturday, January 26, 2008

My project to collect a map of every European country drawn by a citizen of that country is ongoing.

I recently asked Katharina from Denmark & Jann from Estonia to draw their countries.

Denmark, by Katharina

Estonia, by Jan

Both their efforts are interesting, as they differ from what comes before.

Whereas other maps have shown just the country in question, Katharina and Jann's place their countries in context. Thus, Katharina's map shows Germany and Jann's shows Finland, Latvia, Lithuania.

All countries are placed in their bordered contexts, but Jann & Katharina's inclusion of these highlights how those before them had not done this.


Wednesday, January 02, 2008

I asked Tomohiro to draw Japan. He had recently moved from Japan to rural Ireland, and had previously lived in California.

Japan, in his map, is smaller than I expected it to be.

Tomohiro's drawing of Japan