China Design Now opened this weekend at the PAM. I was lucky to see a preview of the show last week and it was incredible. Here is a little bit about it…
China Design Now is an immersive, multi-sensory exploration of the graphic design, fashion, interior design, and architecture emerging from China today. By focusing on the creative output of three distinctive cities, China Design Now presents a rapidly changing cultural landscape that is transforming China and our collective definition of urban life.
NEMO is super excited to be a part of this event through community programming. We have a fantastic surprise for November’s First Friday show. Save the date for November 4th. Check out more here… www.chinadesignnowportland.org
I grabbed the Canon G9 and headed to Brooklyn Projects opening and launch of the Nemo produced book FREESTYLIN’. Nike SB’s, John Martin asked Nemo creative director Mark Lewman if he could do anything for BMX what would he do. Lewman brought the old band together from the Freestylin’ days and put together an amazing historical outline of the pioneering days of freestyle BMX. Spike Jones and Andy Jenkins collaborated in their original roles and put together the book.
BMX racing will debut in China at the Olympics next month and Nike SB has been doing promotions to bring focus to the new event. Michael Lau designed special limited edition Blazers for the promotion and if you were at the party in LA the he also design two special edition toys and a show box that is so unique and original!
Wim Delvoye is an oddly fascinating fellow, from creating a machine that actually manufactures REAL POO (!), to other artistic ventures ranging from stained glass field goals to other works of “poop art“. The Belgian artist bought a pig farm in Beijing, China and has been churning out tattooed pigs. Wim’s tattoo art ranges from Disney characters to Louise Vuitton signature pattern to Russian prison tats. Buyers have the option of “adopting” their pig and watching it via web cam while it lives out its days getting tattoos, being fed sugar cubes by visitors and frolicking in a grassy meadow. Each pig receives individual care from appointed “moisturisers” to keep the tats in good condition up until they reach maturity, then they harvest said tattoos in a few ways. You can either have your pig taxedermied, you can get the raw hide to hang on a wall and If you want it real classy, you can get it stretched over canvas. PETA would have a field day with this guy! be sure to check out more here!
In preparation for the Olympics in China, Nike 6.0 hosted the “Lightning Bolts” BMX Exhibition in Beijing. The event brought BMXing’s legends out to play. 6.0 riders put on a live demo and legends customized number plates for the art show.
Nemo’s very own Mark Lewman, an OG of BMX’s Freestylin Magazine, was one of the brains behind the event. He has been hard at work creating an anniversary edition of Freestylin (that will have a very special limited release) and designing his very own number plate. YEAH Lew!
Today’s inspiration was sparked by the travel plans of Nemo Design’s Creative Director, Mark Lewman. He is on a plane today to China to be part of a pre Olympic art show. The “Lightning Bolt” show is supporting Nike’s sponsorship of BMX racing at the 2008 games. The venue is a converted oil tank located in downtown. The curiosity leads me to the work of Li Wei.
As the world gets cluttered with images after image it really does become difficult to stand out and have a signature to work. Li Wei work is a cross between performance art and suicide. In action sports we had an underlying mantra of shut up and put up. Don’t tell me what you are going to do, show me. Li puts himself into the work, literally. He has suspended himself above the Beijing skyline to illustrate his vision. I can’t help but wonder if the adrenaline is a key part of the art.
It is hard to also progress a body of work and continue to re invent your vision. Sally Mann had a difficult transition after her inspiration, her family, grew up. Li seems to have let his thirst for adreline move his work. The simple magicians mirror trick of 2000 has grown into high wire production. For example, the performance/photograph titled Free Degree Over 29th Story (2003), in which Li Wei’s body appears to float from a window on the 29th floor of Beijing’s Jianwai SOHO office complex. In the image, his body is held in gravity-defying suspension. Arms outstretched, body rigidly horizontal, Li appears on the threshold of either soaring miraculously among the skyscrapers of Beijing’s Central Business District, or plummeting gloriously like Evel Knievel.
Li has gone on to exhibit his work internationally, including recent solo exhibitions in Hong Kong, Madrid, Beijing, and Milan.