From Industry to Art at Warp Speed

It’s a familiar story: old industrial area becomes creative hub. What makes OCT Loft different is that the entire process took just six years — and it’s on the vanguard of Shenzhen’s transformation from factory town to Chinese creative superpower. In the mid-1980s, a swath of farmland in the newly-established Shenzhen Special Economic Zone was […]

Visualizing Globalization 2.0

Top: Istanbul airlifted to the beaches of Rio de Janeiro; Bottom: São Paulo set in Cappadocia Imagine this: you’re walking down a side street in Midtown Manhattan and turn onto Fifth Avenue, facing uptown. But there, instead of the void of sky that usually greets the vista north toward Central Park, a massive mountain blocks […]

Lido di Ostia – ruine, fantasme et nostalgie

Renato Guttuso, Spiaggia, 1955-1956 J’embarquai dès le matin dans ce fantasme au bord de la Mer de Rome et qui traine toujours avec moi, comme un paysage qui me harcèle. Ce n’est qu’un paysage, une carte postale tragiquement exotique – et qui me fit revenir en mémoire avec force l’oeuvre Spiaggia de Guttuso, le peintre […]

Posted in: Art and Design, Europe, History by Daniel Corbeil Comments Off on Lido di Ostia – ruine, fantasme et nostalgie , , , ,

Walk This Way

Maya Barkai’s crowdsourced art installation has brought pedestrian crossing symbols from around the world to New York’s streets Only a block north from the construction barriers surrounding the former site of the World Trade Center, which brim with boastful renderings of progress on the nearly-complete September 11th Memorial, another, less conspicuous hole opens up in […]

Recovery by Design

Photo by the Swiss Red Cross The violence of the 9.0-magnitude earthquake that shook Japan on March 11th was shocking enough, but what followed was almost unimaginable. Thirty minutes after the quake, a massive tsunami swept through the northeastern Tohoku region with waves up to 120 feet high. Entire towns were crushed and swept away. […]

Posted in: Architecture, Art and Design, Asia Pacific, Environment, Public Space, Society and Culture by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Recovery by Design , , , , ,

Marching for Ai Wei Wei

Ai Wei Wei has become a cause célèbre in Hong Kong since his arrest by mainland Chinese authorities on April 3rd. In the week since I wrote about “Chin Tangerine“, who covered the city with “Who’s Afraid of Ai Wei Wei?” graffiti, artists have rallied to Ai’s support with a blizzard of interventions, homages and […]

Posted in: Art and Design, Asia Pacific, Politics, Public Space, Society and Culture by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Marching for Ai Wei Wei , , , ,

Meet the Plumber King

Last summer I wrote about the Plumber King, who writes advertisements for his plumbing services in unusual corners of Hong Kong. Contractors usually promote themselves by scrawling their name, number and occupation on utility boxes or lampposts. But Kui Wong, as the King is known in Cantonese, carefully paints his ads in back alleys, street […]

Posted in: Art and Design, Asia Pacific, Public Space, Society and Culture by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Meet the Plumber King , , , ,

Ghosts of Occupied Amsterdam

Amsterdam civilians were machine-gunned by soon-to-be-retreating German soldiers when they formed a large crowd to await the city’s liberation in 1945. Here the dead and injured haunt modern Dam Square. Amsterdam’s Jo Hedwig Teeuwisse lives history. The company for which she works as a historical consultant, Historisch Adviesbureau 30-45, specializes in digging up archival material […]

The Reluctant Urban Artist: Anish Kapoor

In the omphalos of Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Gate, Chicago The contemporary art world can be a fickle place. Less than a decade ago, Damien Hirst somehow managed to earn an overnight fortune by preserving a dead shark in a fish tank. That was before a host of personal troubles — and the ongoing recession’s damper […]

Posted in: Art and Design, Europe, Public Space, United States by Christopher Szabla Comments Off on The Reluctant Urban Artist: Anish Kapoor , , , , , ,

Macau Art Space: Lun Hing Knitting Factory

Just a brisk walk from the Ox Warehouse is another one of Macau’s contemporary art spaces: the Lun Hing Knitting Factory. When I arrived, a group of old people sat in the lobby playing mahjong as the security guard watched idly. There’s little to indicate the presence of artists, when I took the lift up […]

Macau Art Space: Ox Warehouse

Tucked away next to the slopes of the Colina de Mong-Há, halfway between the dog-racing track and the Red Market, the Ox Warehouse doesn’t call much attention to itself. But inside the slightly ramshackle quarters of this former cattle depot is one of the avant-garde spaces that are nurturing the arts in Macau. Frank Lei […]

Posted in: Architecture, Art and Design, Asia Pacific, Heritage and Preservation, Interior Space, Society and Culture by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Macau Art Space: Ox Warehouse , ,

The Art of Personal Space

Nathan Destro and his “personal space protector” on the streets of Johannesburg. Photos by Christo Doherty In New York, bulging sidewalks have led to the partial pedestrianization of Times Square and plans for something similar along teeming 34th St. In Cairo, fed up pedestrians often take matters into their own hands, competing with cars to […]

Moving on from Fort Point

The bridge where Summer Street crosses over A is literally the bowels of Fort Point, the shadowy bottom of a neighborhood where buildings reach different heights depending where they meet the grade of the street. In October, the underside of the bridge was covered in rainbow-colored, neon slinkys. Closer to the holiday season, it was […]

Posted in: Art and Design, Society and Culture, United States by Christopher Szabla Comments Off on Moving on from Fort Point , , ,

The City, Alive On Canvas

Montreal: The Old Port, oil on linen, 2007 I’d seen images of John Hartman’s work before. Great bird’s eye views of landscapes and cities in autumnal reds and blues. But it wasn’t until I stood before one of the canvasses from his new Cities series of paintings, that I fully experienced it. I was reminded […]

Posted in: Art and Design, Canada by Christopher DeWolf 2 Comments , ,