San Francisco’s Broadway tunnel is a highly traveled thoroughfare in the heart of the city. Over 20,000 cars, trucks, and motorized vehicles pass through it per day. Its walls are caked with dirt and soot, and lined with patches of paint covered graffiti from days gone by. Reverse graffiti artist Paul Curtis aka “Moose” creates his art by cleaning dirt and grime off the surfaces.
In his Kusho series, which means “writing in the sky”, Japanese artist Shinichi Maruyama lets black ink collide with water and photographs the millisecond before they merge into gray. The split-second timing necessary to photograph these pictures is made possible by recent advances in strobe light technology, allowing him to capture the movement at 7,500th of a second.
Inspired by his own experiences with Japanese Calligraphy (Shodo) as a young student, Maruyama is fascinated by the ephemeral uniqueness of each stroke:
Once your brush touches paper, you must finish the character, you have one chance. It can never be repeated or duplicated. You must commit your full attention and being to each stroke. Liquids, like ink, are elusive by nature. As sumi ink finds its own path through the paper grain, liquid finds its unique path as it moves through air.
Speaking of Calligraphy, the first picture in the series is a beautiful version of the Japanese symbol “ensō“. Literally meaning “circle”, ensō is a concept strongly associated with Zen. It symbolizes the infinity and represents the infinite void, the ‘no-thing’, the perfect meditative state and Satori (enlightenment).
The water sculpture series is another demonstration of high speed photography by Shinichi Maruyama to capture the perfect form of liquid motion.
At present, Shinichi Maruyama works and lives in New York. You can see more of his artwork at Shinichimaruyama.com.
Vancouver-based graphic artist Nick Routley lets his imagination run wild on post-its inspired by things that are in the news or that he is doing at the time. I’ve included some with Nick’s explanations.
There’s been much discussion about “crowdsourcing” over the past few days as a result of Twitter personality and author Guy Kawasaki’s latest book cover design competition. While I’m not a fan of crowdsourcing in the design industry, I do appreciate it in other areas of the creative world. This piece was created using materials I’ve been crowdsourcing over the past couple of weeks.
[ Made using: Various crowdsourced paper products ]
After the volcanic eruption in Iceland shut down all of the UK’s airspace, I was curious just how much CO2 volcanic eruptions release into the atmosphere each year. I did some calculation based on information from the USGS website and found that the United States emits 44 times more CO2 annually than all volcanic eruptions during the same period. Wow.
The protests over the G20 Summit in Toronto turned violent over the weekend as many businesses were vandalised and police cars burned in the heart of the financial district. Most of the people causing problems were wearing bandannas and masks which, to me, seems very cowardly. If you believe strongly enough in your cause, you should be willing to face the consequences of your actions.
Everybody needs a few hours of thoughtful alone time once in awhile. No electronic devices, maybe a beer though…
Sadly, I have no hand-writing skill whatsoever. Somewhere along the way my cap lock key got stuck and I forgot the magic that is cursive writing. I think it was grade 3 when I got nailed in the head with a dodgeball.
Nom nom nom… Actually, I’d set this guy free on my computer desk once a week to kill off my post-it note clutter.
See all of Nick’s post-it creations at Post-it Note Republic.
If you’ve ever wondered why art has to be so messy and if there is no way to improve those untidy paintings of masters such as Van Gogh, Paul Klee, Joan Miró or Jackson Pollock, watch this TED talk of comedian and cabaret artist Ursus Wehrli.
Smashing magazine writer Jessica Bordeau composed this great collection of writing systems and calligraphy of the world. Besides a short background she expertly explains the principles and aesthetics of the different writing systems.