Thursday, January 27, 2011

Am i a secessonist?

I'm dead.It's already Friday and I haven't decided which influence that I'll side with.
Am i a secessionist? Or I'm a Loos fan?
I do love the principles of design and the limitless design exploration. From my reading, it is stated that the Vienna Secession was inspired by the Art Nouveau in France. So, that's why all the paintings were shocking because they were new arts. I treasure ornaments and I do not think of them as crimes. Do they? Who am I to critic Loos?
On Vienna Secession, it was formed back in 1897, and the first chairman was Gustav Klimt. And the pure intentions of the movement were they were passionate to breakthrough the conventional art at that time as they wanted to instill more abstract in their painting(mostly) and they repels historical references as maybe they wanted to be different.

Portrait of Eugenia Primavesi(1912) Portrait of Johanna Staude (unfinished)1917-18

Portrait of a Woman (Ria Munk)

All these paintings were produced by Gustav Klimt. I do not know how to read paintings but my naked eyes could tell how Klimt repels the historical references. He wished to separate the previous art from the Secession art. Vibrancy, unconventional, flamboyant and bold. These were the impression when I first looked at the paintings. Klimt did not afraid to used the colour, the manipulate the material embedded on the paintings and to explore the women figure. I can conclude that his works were emphasizing on symbolist style. Some people said the Secession focused on naturalist and realist. I am in no position to counter that, thus you can do your own judgment. Another interesting facts on Klimt was his passion for women and enjoy the pleasure of been around with women. Many models were ended up to get pregnant by him. Wicked? Indeed.But all the models felt ease around him, clothed or unclothed, they wondered around the studio and let him to paint them. I guess Klimt was lucky, right?

Vienna Künstlerhaus (1865) Vienna Secession (1897)

From the above images, these buildings were built between 1865 and 1897. in 1865, the Vienna Kunstlerhause was an exhibition building, built by the Austrian Artist's Society. The next building was built by the Vienna Secessionists. From here, we could see the distinctive difference between the aesthetics form of the buildings and the excessive ornaments usage at the dome of the Vienna Secession building. I can conclude that, the right building is more aesthetically pleasing and it fits the function, to exhibit great art.

Too much information on the Secessionist, I should have already related the design practice with the movement that is more suitable with my field.
Well, can i just assume? Can i be whimsical?

Ikea bowl with intricate floral design

Boring ceramic fruit bowl

As a produc
t designer, the design of the bowl incorporates the intricate design of floral motifs and you can name it new when the ornament plays the function, which is to place fruits. As Mdm. Suzy wanted us to relate my practice field with the either two ideologies. I agreed that my design philosophy suits the Secessionist. Loos is famed for his anti-ornament and he believed that workers should not waste time on doing something not useful. The right image might be reflecting the Loos ideology which repels ornaments and, indeed. It is boring. I guess that's for now.
and Yes. I'm with the Secessionist.

Till then, later.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

"Joy of Work"

Another week passed, and this week I was exposed to the early Modernism ; Arts and Crafts and Art Nouveau.This time, Mdm Suzy asked us to relate the phrase "Joy of Work" to either one of the movements. In my opinion,the phrase inclined towards the Arts and Crafts movement as what i have understood, Arts and Crafts idea was intrigued by the anti-machine guilds. It is expressed by John Ruskin (1819-1900),
“It is not, truly speaking, the labour that is divided; but the men: divided into mere segments of men-broken into small fragments and crumbs of life; so that all the little piece of intelligence that is left in a man is not enough to make a pin, or a nail,but exhausts itself in making the point of a pin or the head of a nail.”

From here, we can know that Ruskin believed that the industrialization has fractionated the society to classes and he was frustrated by the system as the thinker was not the maker at the same time. And this has become the turning point for Britain, as next Ruskin met with Morris, a real craftsman who possess the same thinking as his. Together, they've become arts and crafts guild that advocate the idea of arts and crafts.Imperfection that made the art becomes explicit. Morris, who design and produce his own works was the man of the time. He believes that art does not compromise with commercialism which has made his works can only be afford by the rich class. Stressing on the passion for producing of his own work, therefore I do believe the "Joy of Work" expression suits best with Arts and Crafts movement compared to the Art Nouveau.

Cinderella tile panels designed by Morris and Burne-Jones

“Art made by the people and for the people, a joy to the maker and the user”-William Morris

The tile above was inspired by the character Cinderella and was designed by Morris and Burne-Jones(his forever best friend) under Morris, Marshall, Faulkner &Co. From the panels design, we could tell that the depictions of fairy tales and Medieval Christian themes became the main offerings by the company. But the most importantly, they did not neglect the mission of the company which was to instill soul to goods that had been degraded by mass-production and industrialization. Ruskin and Morris had always believed that the flawless machine made goods were spiritually inferior compared to the imperfect goods made by the craftsmen. Yes. they were absolutely passionate about their works!
you can get more timeline about the arts and crafts movement.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Rene Descartes

The thoughts that were clouding up when Mdm. Suzy sounded the great name were jumbled up in my little brain. How on earth this long curly hair man can come out with something head-turning such that?
I googled about him...and still googling as I'm afraid that I would miss his other great contributions.Man,he invented the Cartesian. How brainy is that? And...I ended up meeting another great guy named. Denis Diderot. Believe it or not,he was one of the contributor to the Encyclopedia.
Here is the link for your additional reading.

"Only passions, great passions can elevate the soul to great things."
Denis Diderot

p/s:many thanks to Mdm Suzy for inspiring me to own this historical based blog. Would be one of my proudest achievements

I think therefore I am

"Cogito ergo sum"

Back to the "cogito ergo sum", I think therefore I am.The work "I think" relates to the idea of existence in Descartes mind. He has started to doubt and question. Question about the reasons of existence which lead him to another great finding, which was "taking control". Additionally, I think he started to realise that man is responsible to his own action which defined the phrase "I am". Overall, the phrase was a wake-up call for the people at that time. That phrase pushed the French to posses the critical thinking and having doubts was not a bad thing at all.

Again,from my reading there were also opinions stated that Descartes has intrigued the idea of Atheism, which started with the doubt of the existence. Descartes questioned about the existence of himself and therefore, God. "A deceiver can’t deceive me of my existence, for if he were I wouldn’t exist." The true quote comes from Descartes "Discourse on Method" which suggesting the idea of doubts about everything.

In the Discourse, Descartes described four rules he established to make sure he always came to true conclusions.
  1. Doubt everything. “The first was never to accept anything as true if I did not know clearly that it was so … and to include nothing in my judgments apart from whatever appeared so clearly and distinctly to my mind that I had no opportunity to cast doubt on it.”
  2. Break every problem down into smaller parts.
  3. Solve the simplest problems first, and build from there.
  4. Be thorough. “The final rule was: In all cases, to make such comprehensive enumerations and such general reviews that I was certain not to omit anything.”

By following these simple guidelines, he said, “There cannot be anything so remote that it cannot eventually be reached nor anything so hidden that it cannot be uncovered.”

But to counter this argument, I would justify that if ones pondered about his existence, Descartes did stress on the word , "therefore I am",integrates the idea of admitting the fact that he is exist. Yes, the phrase caused thousands commotions of thoughts as the philosophical theory can be understood with many different ways. "It forms the bedrock for all knowledge, because, while all things can be questioned as to whether they are from the realm of reality or from some figment of imagination (a dream, influence of a demon, etc.), the very act of doubting one's own existence serves as proof of the reality of one's own existence." (Kauffamn,2008)

Somehow, that makes sense.Right? Till next week post..!Later.

I don't know which one was Descartes. They're all looked the same!