Selasa, 15 April 2014

The Star Online: Lifestyle: Arts & Fashion

Klik GAMBAR Dibawah Untuk Lebih Info
Sumber Asal Berita :-

The Star Online: Lifestyle: Arts & Fashion

Nazi loot owner pledges to return artworks, but no one trusts him

Posted: 15 Apr 2014 01:05 AM PDT

A German recluse's pledge to return his billion-dollar hoard of Nazi-looted artworks to their rightful owners was welcomed but also met with scepticism about whether all of it would actually be returned.

The legal custodian of Cornelius Gurlitt, who inherited the paintings drawings and sculptures from his father, said on Wednesday his client would return all works looted by the Nazis to their owners or owners' descendants.

But the lawyer representing the heirs of Alfred Flechtheim, a Jewish art patron and collector who lost everything to the Nazis, questioned whether Gurlitt was in a position to make such a promise given that the art has been confiscated by the authorities.

"It remains to be seen ... in which case this announcement actually leads to returns," Markus Stoetzel told Reuters. "Gurlitt can make an announcement that he wants to return the art works but the prosecutor has to agree."

Cornelius Gurlitt, the man whose modern art collection valued at RM4.5bil is under investigation for its connection with Nazi-looted art, on the cover of German publication Der Spiegel dated Nov 18, 2013 . Read the English version of the magazine's interview with Gurlitt

Gurlitt's trove, which includes Modernist and Renaissance masterpieces valued at about 1bil euros (RM4.5bil), according to media reports, was discovered when authorities raided his Munich apartment in February 2012 investigating possible tax evasion.

He inherited the collection from his father, who took orders from Hitler to buy and sell so-called 'degenerate art' to fund Nazi activities during World War Two. The son aroused suspicion in 2010 when German customs officials stopped him on a train from Switzerland carrying a large sum in cash.

The first piece to be returned would be a portrait entitled Sitting Woman by Henri Matisse, according to Gurlitt's lawyer. The painting belonged to Paris-based Jewish art collector Paul Rosenberg and was at some point part of Adolf Hitler's air force chief Herman Goering's collection before making it to Gurlitt.

Germany's government has been heavily criticised for keeping silent for almost two years about the trove until a magazine broke the story, for not publishing a list of all the pieces and for possibly having no legal right to keep the works.

Ruediger Mahlo, representative for the Claims Conference in Germany, reiterated his plea that Germany make the list of art works public to ease research into legal ownership.

"In order to implement this wish quickly, the origin of all objects of the entire Gurlitt collection must be cleared up quickly," he told Reuters, referring to works taken from Gurlitt's homes in Munich and in Salzburg in Austria.

Under German rules, works acquired from 1933 up to the present day but created before 1945 can be investigated as Nazi-looted property.

Ronald Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress, said while he welcomed Gurlitt's decision, he should not be made out to be a hero.

"Had it not been for public pressure and the setting up of a task force by the German government to look into his trove, Mr Gurlitt would not have moved, despite the fact that this is now being presented by his lawyer as a voluntary act," he said. – Reuters

Artists giving human face to US drone strikes

Posted: 12 Apr 2014 09:00 AM PDT

An artists' collective in Pakistan is giving a human face to US drone strikes.

We hear a great deal about the ruthless ingenuity of military hardware, but this is something else altogether. It is a new device currently on deployment in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. It has the power to startle an enemy for a moment and perhaps even render him incapable of using his weapon afterwards. 

In the medium-to-long term, the enemy may suffer from impaired judgment and, in some cases, be neutralised. The device is a picture of his victim.

This is not the work of the US military or the Taliban, of course, but comes instead from a group of artist-activists. Inspired by the French photographer JR, who installs hugely magnified portraits of local people in the landscape, they travelled to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the scene of many US drone attacks. 

With them they brought a giant poster of an unnamed child who is said to have lost both her parents and two younger siblings in one of the attacks. Having secured the agreement of local people, they unrolled the picture and fixed it flat on the ground in a field beside a group of houses.

Villagers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Villagers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province with the NotABugSplat image on the ground behind them. The number of civilians so far killed by drones remains a matter of intense debate, but the worry among campaigners is that this kind of warfare makes killing unpleasantly easy.

Operators have compared the experience with playing a computer game, and a Rolling Stone magazine article in 2012 recorded their use of the term "bug splat" to describe the mess on the ground that killing someone leaves behind. The artists have chosen #NotABugSplat as the project's name.

The intention now is that any drone operator who looks down through their camera and sees this village will have reason to think twice. In their own words, the artists hope the image "will create empathy and introspection amongst drone operators, and will create dialogue amongst policy makers, eventually leading to decisions that will save innocent lives". – Guardian News & Media

A journey of memories and dreams through clay works

Posted: 12 Apr 2014 09:00 AM PDT

The Day Dream joint exhibition by James Street and Wong Lileng is currently on in Penang.

The lorry pulled away from the driveway in a cloud of dust, and the little dog chased after it. This was goodbye for good – the family was moving to another town, another country.

Decades later, Brownie the dog is immortalised in clay by Wong Lileng, who still remembers bidding her dog farewell more than four decades ago.

"It was a really sad day for us, I was only three or four, but I still vaguely remember Brownie chasing after us as we drove away in our lorry. Till today, my mum, who is 79, still talks about Brownie," she shares in a phone interview from Penang, where Day Dream, joint exhibition with fellow artist James Seet, is being held.

Flight control: Wong Lileng's whimsical Off We Go!, is part of the Day Dream Exhibition at China House in Penang.

The artist – who usually goes by her first name Lileng – says Brownie Comes Home is one of her 10 works at the exhibition that resonates the most strongly with her, as it is crafted in memory of the dog she left behind in Brunei when the family moved to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.

The youngest of three siblings, Lileng, who is a graphic designer by profession, now divides her time between Malaysia and the Netherlands.

Introduced to pottery at a young age, she first experienced firing clay bricks with her father, who worked in a factory producing red bricks.

She came to Kuala Lumpur to pursue her studies in graphic design, and after graduating worked in advertising. It paid the bills and there was enough left over to support her passion: "I took up Ceramics in KLCA School of Art under Mr Cheah Yeow Seng. That was 17 or 18 years ago."

Her clay works have a youthful and carefree feel to them – a little girl with her puppy, curious rabbits in clothes looking like they just stepped out from a story book, orange carrots and red flowers.

In Wong's Brownie Comes Home, she is transported back to her childhood where Brownie, a dog the family had to leave behind when they moved from Brunei to Kota Kinabalu, was part of her life.

In Wong's Brownie Comes Home, she is transported back to her childhood where Brownie, a dog the family had to leave behind when they moved from Brunei to Kota Kinabalu, was part of her life.

Born in Kuantan, but raised in Kota Kinabalu and Brunei, the artist fondly recalls the days long past where the family home was filled with pets.

"Those days we had over 20 rabbits, turtles, birds, monkeys, ducks, chickens and many dogs. We rescued baby bats that fell from the ceiling and caught fishes from the drains and jellyfish from the sea," she says.

"My brother and I once rescued and tended to a slow loris from the wild and we even had two sang kancils (mousedeers)." The works created for Day Dream represent events that she remembers from her childhood days.

No surprise then when she describes this as "years filled with carefree magical wonderment, travels, nature and animals."

Now, she does "pottery full-time, and graphic design full-time".

Seet's Ceramics On Canvas: Canadian Muse was created during an artist-in-residence programme in Canada. The art director by day says that whether it is advertising art or clay art, it all begins with a concept. 'The difference is one is abstract messaging and the other is clear messaging. With clay, I usually keep the meaning to myself because it will take on a meaning of its own when viewers see it and I find that interesting,' he says.

James Seet's Ceramics On Canvas: Stereotypes is one of his most recent works created for the exhibition.

"The words of art are always in me, and clay is all about fun. I'm 47 and I still think of playing!" she laughs.

Seet, the other artist involved in Day Dream, might not have grown up with dozens of animals as part of the family, but that didn't faze him in the least. He simple made his own with modelling clay.

"Plasticine was my fun thing when I was young, I remember making a zoo full of animals with ease," he says.

He moved on to air-dry paper clay when he was a little older, but found it lacking that it didn't have the 'ping' sound that comes from clay that is fired.

So he learned the tricks of the trade from a local potter, and an opportunity to attend a ceramic convention in Australia put him in touch with foreign potters. There was no looking back from then on.

"Clay is my canvas and painting. The process of understanding the clay to firing makes it intriguing, you never know what you are going to get till it's fired," says the 44-year-old, who has 12 works at this exhibition.

Seet's Ceramics On Canvas: Canadian Muse was created during an artist-in-residence programme in Canada. The art director by day says that whether it is advertising art or clay art, it all begins with a concept. 'The difference is one is abstract messaging and the other is clear messaging. With clay, I usually keep the meaning to myself because it will take on a meaning of its own when viewers see it and I find that interesting,' he says.

It can get pretty complex behind the scenes.

To get one piece to work, Seet shares that it's important to "know the science of chemistry, the science of operating a kiln, and have a good sense of space."

"Sometimes, you have to experiment several times to get the desired result. But I like it also because chemistry is one of my favourite subjects. I find it fascinating to unload my thoughts straight into my clay sculptures."

His two most recent works both began with ceramics on canvas: Canadian Muse was created during a guest artist-in-residence programme in Canada, and Stereotypes was made here.

An art director in the advertising industry by day, Seet shares that he keeps crazy hours at work.

"But I am crazier," he jokes.

"Advertising is about doing what the clients like. Making ceramics sculptures is about doing what I like. It's all about time management, so I make the sculptures after working hours and weekends."

He describes it as "technically living two lives, with one paying for the other."

"I live in a topsy-turvy world. One of my series is based on the theme which whimsically takes the form of a playing top. That's how I spin my time."

>> Day Dream is on at China House (153 & 155 Beach Street and 183B Victoria Street, Penang) till April 20. The gallery is open from 9am to 11pm daily. Visit or call 04-263 7299 for more information.


0 ulasan:

Catat Ulasan


The Star Online

Copyright 2010 All Rights Reserved