25 March 2013

Arty Sydney - Anish Kapoor Exhibition

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Anish Kapoor exhibition is closing April 1st!
Have you been?
You must!

The exhibition is part of the Sydney International Art Series, an initiative that brings the world's most outstanding exhibitions to Sydney supported by the NSW Government through Destination NSW.

I am so glad that I was able to catch the exhibition in time.
There are such extremity in his work that creates incomparable tension and power, and with perfect execution the experience of being with his work is amazing.
Simply amazing.

Here are some works I took photos of... but you know, there really are worlds which can not be recorded with photographs.

In the drizzling rain it takes on a different look to that of its normal image... taking in a piece of the sky on to our earthly realm.

The sight of it sent cold chill down my spine.  It is a 12m diameter circle of 25tons paraffin wax in bright red colour, its texture similar to that of flesh.  The savageness in the rotating blade's slow motion cuts repeatedly into the sculpture, as if to cut open a wound so it would never heal...
Distorted self and surrounding motion with this huge dish made of hundreds of brilliant mirror pieces

Our perception of the world is largely determined by what we can see - apparently 90% of information comes to us through our eyes.  So our perception of the world becomes unnervingly wide when we see things we are not supposedly able to see in the reflection...knowing more is not always comforting.
Where the mirror concave and convex curves meet.
The reflections merge into a point, everything seemed to come out from that point or disappear into that point, as if it is an imaginary blackhole.
Our everyday becomes his work of art.
The white wall forms a soft sensuous lump, as if it is part of a living creature.
This kind of softness is so extreme yet completely at one with the rest of Kapoor's work... must be magic.
I found myself looking at myself, from a Godly perspective.
it is unnerving, but comforting... by knowing your own anonymity there is a sense of comfort I guess.... 

18 March 2013

Art where least expected

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It is a funny feeling when a project goes into construction.
All the things in our head starting to take shape in the physical world, ah the joy of creation...
Here we have just started roughing in the services for Blu Creativity, like an Entree served before the Main course.
After a 3 months design period, I am finding emotional attachment to the construction site, that everything started to look beautiful to me.

copper parts the plumbers use to connect pipe works
(entirely different medium, but the scattered composition and materiality kind of reminded me of Jasper Johns and Rosalyn Gascoigne....) 
rolls of cables electricians use to provide power, like single line drawings on the floor
electrician bringing in power through existing overhead tracks
plumbers and pipes...
(a bit of compositional influence from Jeffrey Smart)

13 March 2013

A bit more on other projects....

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Rounding up some recent publications....


Powerful imagery of Uchi Lounge has a strong presence in WORKshop issue 08.
Nice to read in the blog of our structural engineer for Uchi Lounge: "...It is interesting how tight budgets and great architects drive great engineering."
I guess true creativity spark when being confined by restrictions...

 Cover of WORKshop issue 08

Watermoon is published by Chinese publishing house Sandu (available via PageOne) in "Taste It! - Innovative Restaurant Interiors".
It is also published by German publishing house Gestalten in "Let's Go Out! - Interiors and Architecture for Restaurants and Bars".
Watermoon was completed in 2010 May.
In the retail / hospitality world, where fitouts require constant renewal, Watermoon is considered an "old project".  Yet it continues to be picked up by publishing houses and gathering attention.  I think this says something about our consistent attitude towards architecture (permanence) and interior (transience).

Cover of "Taste it!"

Cover of "Let's Go Out!"


Sneakerology and Streetology continue to gather attention after their completion in 2010 / 2011.  The design took place in 2009.
Again, they should be considered "old projects"....but still looking refreshing and stunning (hopefully I am allowed to say that myself...).

We consider longevity of design = ultimate sustainability 

"Brand Spaces - Branded Architecture and the Future of Retail Design" published by Gestalten (Germany)

Retail Design International Vol 74 No 5 (US)

12 March 2013

Doshisha announced competition result ...in English at last!

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After 6 weeks, the competition result is now announced in English!

Have a look of what Yoshi's presentation was about (briefly), and check out the other shortlisted projects HERE.

....familier face on the bottom left corner.....

11 March 2013

Dinner with the powerfuls

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We were invited to dinner by our client, who is visiting Sydney from overseas for the month.
Considering that Chinese New Year has just past, I thought it would be a slightly more formal dinner, but not so extravagant..... until we have arrived at the restaurant, which was surrounded by these bodyguards wearing earphones, looking like they have just stepped out of the Hollywood movies.

So the special guest of the night was......Prime Minister of Australia, Julia Gillard, together with many Ministers and members of the Parliament..... celebrating Chinese New Year.....
It is evident that the Chinese community holds a strong position here in Australia.

 Prime Minister of Australia - Julia Gillard
Australia also holds a special position in Asia - being so close geographically (still part of Asia Pacific), yet culturally very different.  This creates an interesting tension, and in a way enriches the cultural cross-fertilisation.

We somehow benefitted from this tension; having offices in both Australia and Japan enabled us to stay in a objective position when designing, rather than robbed into preconceptions formed by unintentional habits when being "overly comfortable" at one place.

Anyhow.  After the initial shock, we proceeded onto a pleasant and delicious dinner party.
It was a very interesting and special experience.

from left to right:
Maki from our office (as Yoshi is overseas), Olivia (me), David (client)

1 March 2013

Doshisha on Australian Design Review

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Facet Studio's winning scheme for Doshisha Chapel Complex is announced on Australian Design Review!

Check out the article HERE.