Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Photos from a land “south of the clouds”
More than 250 people from 60 villages in northern Yunnan province, China, have been given cameras by the United States-based Nature Conservancy. The pictures they have taken provide a record of endangered traditions and landscapes. A nuimber of these photos are now on view at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. The exhibition is titled “Voices from South of the Clouds”, a reference to Yunnan, which is Chinese for “south of the clouds”.
Among the photos, some give a panorama of what may be a vanishing way of life: healing rituals and animal sacrifices. Some celebrate scenic splendors which the photographers hadn’t fully appreciated until they saw it in a photograph. Others document hardships: children collecting firewood, or writing their homework on the side of a basket as they accompany their parents to farm plots.
A hidden world, now brought closer by the magic of photography.
Thursday, November 03, 2005
“Drawing is the root of everything”—van Gogh
Vincent van Gogh’s career as an artist only lasted ten years, but in that time he created at least 1,100 drawings. He used his drawings to record his thoughts and impressions of everything he saw around him, from peasants and postmen to landscapes and interiors.
He used his drawings in many different ways. At first, he thought he should master black-and-white before working in color. Sometimes he couldn’t afford to buy paint and canvas; other times he drew just to explore subjects that interested him. Although he usually painted freehand, without prior drawing, there were times when he adapted a drawing to a painted subject, and other times when he just enjoyed working out a theme in different variations.
The exhibition, “Vincent van Gogh: the Drawings”, currently on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, is a once-in-a-lifetime event. Works on paper are very delicate, and can only be exhibited for short periods of time. But even if you can’t visit the exhibition, visit the website. The educational presentation for children, “Van Gogh Makes his Mark”, is packed with fascinating interactive information for art lovers of all ages.
Page 1 of 1 pages