Around the World in 80 Days: Day 35, An Art Show

Holy crap.  Here it is.  A little info about the work:

My initial idea was to make sculptures of everyday objects that have cameras on them, such as bumpers, phones, video game consoles etc. and exaggerate the camera portion by putting a surveillance camera “growth” on the spot in which the camera appears on the object.  I tinkered with a raspberry pi for weeks before I left the country with plans to have it power an actual camera and put it inside of the sculpture.  It would be attached to a monitor which would show you looking at the piece and the piece looking at you.  Well… the raspberry pi made me want to murder people in the face.  I never solved the issues I was having no matter how many youtube videos I watched and tutorials I read.  I still love the idea so I may revisit it when I get home if I can get a living, breathing tutor to help me figure it out.

One of the ideas I’ve been interested in for awhile is hiding your face from cameras.  The Japanese fan, the uchiwa, seemed like a natural and stylish way to do so.  I’ve added retro-reflective tape to them so that they change the contrast of flash photographs, effectively ruining any and all attempts by the paparazzi to destroy your reputation.  On many of the fans there’s a translucent window made of delicate see-through paper, making it possible to walk with the fan covering your face the whole time.  I’ve altered the mechanics of the fan to become more three-dimensional so that it wraps around the sides of your face as well.

I think I just edited a bunch of “ok” photos and I think I’m going to need more.  Going to post these here for you to see now but I’m going to take better ones… for a 4th time.  I’m also still making more pieces so those will populate an “Art 2017” tab.  Here are my first 12 fans.

Cliche eyeball.

With flash.

One of my favorites.

With flash.

This is Ryder’s fan.  It’s a delicate patterned paper that I stained with droplets of pure ink.

This is the back.

This is the back with flash.

This is Tadaki’s fan.  I’ve given one to him for all of the help he’s given me.  He was the person who taught me how to make these in the first place.

With flash.

Another fave.  This one is called Privacy Flows Away.  The calligraphy work you see on a few of these fans is by one of my favorite local people, an 80 year old man (who doesn’t look a year over 60 and doesn’t act a year over 30) named Horiguchi-san.  More about him later.

With flash.

An experiment.  Horiguchi-san chopped some bamboo and gave it to me for more fans.  I loved the beautiful base of the stick so I kept these fans long.  I wanted the root of the bamboo to be the handle.  There’s no reflective tape on this one.

My first experiment with shaping the fan to wrap around the face.  Not happy with the asymmetry of this one so I may disassemble it and make it better.

With flash.

I’m still struggling with sumi-e ink.  I’m too embarrassed about the quality of my marks to show you anything.  This was another attempt at using the ink.  Sigh.  This one is called Hidden.

With flash.  You can see the raw kozo fibers used to make paper laid over the top of this fan.  I’m mimicking grass.

This is the first fan I made in the workshop.  I overhauled it with nicer paper and reflective tape.

With flash.

Another fave.  This one is called Night Watcher.

Crappy image with flash.

Another long fan.  I’ve made three more fan frames for this kind of fan.  They’re ready for paper but it’s a struggle.

For reasons too long to explain here, these long fans are double.  I’d love to put black lights inside to establish another way to fool cameras.

A closer image.

The back of the fan with flash.  I don’t like this side.

The front with flash.

Privacy is Dead.  Horigushi-san has chosen this one.  I made him work so hard putting the calligraphy on my work that it’s only fair to give him a fan.  He gave me some great feedback.  He said that my work looks like that of a Japanese craftsman but that you can tell it wasn’t made by a Japanese person.

Front with flash.  I love this one.  I’m glad it’s going to Horiguchi-san.

Back.

Whew.

Love,

~S

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Bomb diggity Author and Artist.

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