Category Archives: Arts Online

Arts Online: Tim Yip

Every name on movie posters appears for a reason. It represents a person, and also a belief from movie companies. They believe it sells, and even attracts people to pay for the experience in the next two hours in a closed dark room. Movie companies assume as long as they show these names, be it director, actor, actress, or award, audience will spend money on a film, at times, they don’t even know at all.

Before Tim Yip (葉錦添), people in the Chinese-speaking rarely see an arts director’s name on movie posters.

Before he won an Academy Award in art direction with Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, most Chinese audience might now know that role exists in movies. Not that we know much more about it now, but at least we are aware there is a character called “art director” in film-making.

Now that he is famous, he is an icon, and his name appears on movie posters. Movie companies believe he sells.

But Tim Yip is more than that, as he wants to show in his own website.

On a weekend afternoon, I visited MoCA Taipei for his solo exhibition Summer Holiday. He wanted to present his diversity, so we got photographs, installations, videos, words, and costumes, almost all focus on a figure named “Lili”. Sometimes it’s a real girl wandering around Taipei. Sometimes it’s a still mannequin. Sometimes it’s an atmosphere recreated in a room.

How will people recognize him? Photographer, writer, curator, or art director? We’ll see.


Arts Online: Wang Zhi Hong

With Kindle, Nook, iPad, etc., people are trying to persuade me that there are no longer needs to buy paperbacks, let along those heavy hardcovers. I wonder, Is it going to change the profession as cover design? In the future, do book covers need to be interactive with hyperlinks and url popping out everything? I don’t know.

So far, I have been resisting those e-books and digital devices, as paperback book covers are still very attractive to me. In the past few years, many books published in Taiwan have more and more beautiful covers. Publishing houses obviously realize that good covers may not influence sales, but bad covers certainly do. Many of them come from the same person, later I notice, Wang Zhi Hong (王志弘).

When buying books in Japan, bookstore staffs will cover your books with their wrapping paper in a proficient way, like the photo besides. I am not sure if it is for book protection (so book edges will not be damaged), for privacy reason (so people don’t know what you are reading), for promotion (so people know where you buy books), or for aesthetic reason (because cover design is too ugly to represent my tastes?). I think it’s a waste, though, if books have greatly-designed covers but get covered.

Sometimes you don’t need to understand the language to appreciate the beauty of a book cover. Wang has a website to showcase his works, though it’s not Chrome-friendly. His Flickr album also has a good collection, but I like the slideshow presentation the best (it takes a while to load).

Arts Online: Thirsty Pixels

Thanks to Jillian York‘s message on Facebook today, I learn about a new site Thirsty Pixels by Emily Henochowicz. This is what Jillian said on Facebook:

21 year-old Emily Henochowitz was shot in the face on Monday by Israeli soldiers at Qalandiya checkpoint with a teargas canister. She lost an eye. Please check out her stunning artwork on her website.

Contemporary artworks are always more attractive to me. With the power of internet, we can now receive information about exhibitions around the world, such as via New Emissary blog by Ulara Nakagawa. We don’t get to visit them physically, however. Fortunately, many people nowadays display their artworks online, so we get to visit virtual galleries.

Hopefully this pleasant discovery will continue.