London has exhibitions saluting China and the Olympics all over town. But it’s not all perfect as recent political events have shown. Michael Wolf’s disturbing installation at Liberty (department store) is a comment on cheap mass-produced plastic toys. ‘The Real Toy Story’ is an installation with over 20,000 toys which are attached to the wall, surrounding large sized photos of the workers who make them. The idea came to the photographer after he had collected bags of second hand toys for his child as a surprise and realised that all of them had been made in China. In fact, 75% of all the world’s toys are made there. He then toured California and collected every toy he could find that had a face and was made in China.
This investigation prompted him to visit five toy factories in China and photograph the workers in the factory. All of them appear to be young men and women serious in their intent and beautifully observed. As part of the show at Liberty, there is also a group of photographs of Hong Kong, where he lives, with the endless high-rise towers and scenes of everyday life.
This is a close-up of a section of the installation. As can be seen, there is every Barbie doll, troll, and robot ever created included in the piece. The back of each toy is ground down and flattened and a magnet is glued to it. This gives flexibility in arranging the toys.
His website gives a fascinating view of the progression of the creation of the work of art, as well as some beautiful photos of the workers themselves.
Work hard, party harder is the gogaaa of the routine life. But with life becoming so busy, there hardly seems to be a reservation for a weekend to enjoy. It simply gets away with the flow of things to be done, occupied with family and family but not friends. But amidst all these big time boozers knows well how to extract time for their energy drink. For doing that you need to think ‘out of the box.’
I use to think that designers are being biased as all accessories designed for storing liquor are targeted at women. I can recall days back talking about wine bra that enabled any women to fill it with much required wine after work when all the counters are shut and being restless one cannot afford to come back home. But today I can change me opinion as Reef Dram Sandal by Reef, the stellar sandal company invites men.
The Dram comprises of a polyurethane encapsulated flask in the heel. This accessory allows you carry liquor anywhere. Also, the brand name of Reef attached to them assures its comfort. Each sandal can house at least three ounces of beverage inside the heel, thereby offering you total four generous shots to energize you after a tiresome day. The Dram sandals are water friendly, and stand hard due to the synthetic nubuck upper, contoured compression molded Eva footbed with anatomical arch support, Polyurethane encapsulated canteen in heel with screw cap, unique shaker icon molded Reef rubber outsole. I give a second thought to it as there might be a possibility that this sandal leaks, leaving me in a despicable situation with a stinking feet. But I choose to keep my fingers rather feet on this.
Intermedia Arts, a community gallery and studio space in Minneapolis, will be hosting an exhibition of map-based art called W(e are )here: Mapping the Human Experience. No word on exactly how big the show will be, but some samples of the featured artists’ work are intriguing enough to make us wish we could make it: Chris Harrison’s map of bible verse references above is just one of a number of fascinating examples of graphics that toe the line between informational and artistic, to great effect.
Most intriguing is the Psychogeographic Map Making Party, scheduled for April 24, during which:
…you’ll form small groups and set out on foot in search of unique insights into the urban fabric of the surrounding Uptown neighborhoods. Utilizing Google Earth, a projector, and a wall sized “canvas,” groups will then layer their experiences over a projected representation of the city, resulting in one map that communicates the participant’s collective experience.
Show runs from March 31 to May 9, in the Lyn-Lake neighborhood of Minneapolis.
Gagosian Gallery, London, will present an exhibition of new paintings by Howard Hodgkin from 3 April – 23 May 2008. It will be the artist’s first show of new work in London since 1999 and will be his debut exhibition at Gagosian’s spectacular Britannia Street space. The Gagosian exhibition will include twenty new paintings completed since 2006. It will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with a specially commissioned piece by Alan Hollinghurst.