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Powers To The People — Eric Elms

David Kenji Chang sat down with Powers Supply founder Eric Elms in his LA studio and new shop to talk about his life’s work and staying weird in a weird world.

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Subscribe to read | Financial Times

News, analysis and comment from the Financial Times, the worldʼs leading global business publication…

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On doing the reading

It’s essential. Domain knowledge is a gift. It’s how we advance in our field and in society. The insights and false steps of those that came before us, laid out clearly, there to be lea……

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A Sunday in Hell (1976)

When a Minivan Becomes a Music Machine

Inside the world of Dominican car culture, where customized sound systems are an art of their own.

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A Madonna Who Shows the Beauty in Going Overboard

This Parmigianino painting is strange, unfinished and not to everyone’s liking. But it’s got style.

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Wong Kar Wai to Release ‘In the Mood for Love’ Footage That’s Never Been Seen Before

The Hong Kong auteur’s first NFT film is edited out of unused material from the first day of shooting his acclaimed romance.

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The Talks – No Idea Is Final

Price AUD$49.95 Price CAD$45.00 Price €29.95 Price £24.95 Price T35.00 Price USD$35.00…

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Slow

Concrete Octopus

A new book featuring work of Japanese master Osamu Kanemura by Pierre von Kleist editions

Lisbon-based publisher Pierre von Kleist is one of the creative platforms that we have had a love affair with from the moment when we first discovered their incredible publications. They say love fades over time, but Pierre von Kleist has consistently published top notch projects during the few years that we've been following them, making it safe to say that we feel no different than years ago. Their latest publication, that has been released last week, is named 'Concrete Octopus' and takes off where renown Japanese photographer Osamu Kanemura´s 2002 acclaimed 'Spider's Strategy' left. For the first time, Pierre von Kleist teamed up with Tokyo-based publisher Osiris to create the beautiful new publication with new moody black and white work done between 2011 and 2013. As Kanemura's familiar dark film noir alike signature runs through every page of the book, it fits perfectly that  film critic Chris Fujiwara was given the chance to write the accompanying text included in the book.

It would be strange and misleading, though obviously not wholly inaccurate, to call these photographs “images of the Japan of the present time.” Though they might perhaps have much to say to the social historian, their documentary function is circumscribed by the interest in exploring a visual universe too disunited and incomplete to be recognizable as a cultural or historical form. In these images, the world presents itself with great purity and without provocation or seduction, as though poised in the interval before the repetition of an already forgotten catastrophe. We can't stop gazing at these new mysterious set of images, which underlines both the immaculate eye of Kanemura and the fact that next to being a publisher, Pierre von Kleist has transformed into a label of utmost quality, with everything they put out being deeply inspiring.  [ Continue reading ]

Bendt’s Universe

The mysterious world of young Belgian painter Bendt Eyckermans

The Lange Leemstraat is one of Antwerp’s longer continuous streets. It starts on the edge of the city center and cuts straight through the Klein-Antwerpen area, which is popularly better known as (a significant part of) the Jewish neighborhood. The street slices the segment of the Belgian city between the Mechelsesteenweg, the Van Eycklei and the Belgiëlei, in two halfs — together forming a perfect triangle when seen on a map. Most of the tall but narrow houses in the street are at least four stories high and an overall multiethnic feel prevails next to the omnipresence of the orthodox Jewish community; when entering the street one is instantly struck by a metropolitan vibe. It feels like a miniature Brooklyn in the heart of Antwerp. For me, it forms one of the many (hidden) qualities of the city with a remarkable cultural diversity and unique urban structure that was only partly transformed for the modern age.

When continuing along the street from the center, somewhere halfway at the heart of Klein-Antwerpen, the impressive 'Résidence Isabelle' arises. The street is too narrow to actually see it before being in its proximity. All of a sudden it’s just there, forcing the street into an Y-crossing. The apartment building is the kind of beautiful architectural dissonance one finds throughout Antwerp. It doesn't match with its surrounding, but fits beautifully. In today’s digitally globalized world the concept (or illusion?) of visibility is more dominant and demanding then ever. In my eyes, an organically grown, bricolaged, environment like the Belgian harbor city still cultivates the opposite: a strong sensibility for the unknown and the mysterious through its partly chaotic, partly impractical, but always deeply intriguing urban DNA.

When somewhere last year, we discovered the work of a young Antwerp-based painter named Bendt Eyckermans, a very similar feeling of mystery hit. Who was behind these striking paintings, reminding of some of my favorite magic-realistic artists, yet with an incredible contemporary perspective and subject matter? After connecting through Instagram (bless the digital age too!), Bendt agreed to meet in his studio, which to my surprise is located right there in my favorite neighborhood of the city. [ Continue reading ]

POWERMASK

by Walter van Beirendonck at Wereldmuseum Rotterdam

Last Thursday, we were finally able to see the extraordinary 'POWERMASK' exhibition at the Wereldmuseum Rotterdam. Curated by none other than Walter van Beirendonck, sided by art historian Alexandra van Dongen and anthropologist Sonja Wijs, it had been on our wish list from September 1st when it opened for the public. For 'POWERMASK', the museum with a focus on ethnology gave the legendary Antwerp fashion designer a free hand to present his own unique, multi-faceted vision of the phenomenon of masks. The result is a stunning colorful display, carrying the designer's unique signature all-over, combining ethnic masks and ethnological documents with modern Western fashion, art, photography and culture — featuring the work of impressive names like Christophe Coppens, Diane Arbus, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Louise Bourgeois, Brian Kenny, Martin Margiela and Walter's own Dirk Van Saene.

The exhibition is both a feast for the senses and proof how relevant van Beirendonck's vision remains to this very day. He might have found a more niche position as a fashion designer (and a more invisible role as Head of Fashion at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp), the exhibition, although much smaller, feels like an echo of his iconic Antwerp exhibition 'Landed/Geland' from 2001, which at that time set a new standard for fashion exhibition in terms of presenting pieces within its societal context, but still succeeding to convince aesthetically and therewith speaking to spectators in more than one way. With 'POWERMASK' van Beirendonck underlines, now more than ever, that we need powerful artistic voices like his to remind us of the unique beauty of all cultures on this planet and how exchange between them is what makes life interesting.

When in Rotterdam before the 7th of January don't miss out on this incredible exhibition! [ Continue reading ]

Fallen Bird

Another x Lennard Kok

From the moment we worked with Utrecht-based illustrator Lennard Kok for the rebrand of Travelteq in 2015, the ambition was set to collaborate again. Eventually it took another year to really sit down and discuss it. At that point Lennard confessed he wanted to explore new terrain in his artistic practice and shared his ambition to reach beyond illustration. Through our consensual admiration for certain inspirational artist editions, we set the bar at next level and eventually came to the conclusion this would mean we needed to take Lennard's clear lined flat signature and find a way to translate it into the sculptural. More so, as paradigms continue to shift under the pressures of digital globalization with significant fractures ahead of us that seem to usher in a new era, we searched for a statement that (at least in our heads) would mark the specific moment of creation.

In the dialogue that followed, we kept returning to a series of crashed vehicles Lennard had made earlier that year. When we finally started seeing the airplane out of that series as the ultimate symbol, we knew we had found our subject that represented everything we aimed for. From that moment Michiel Verweij joined the project to bring Lennard's vision to life in 3D and soon Suzan Becking formed the last element of the equation as we wanted to materialize the sculpture into the perfect paradox: a crashing plane made out of porcelain. The final quest for perfection started, and eventually took a little longer than we hoped, but Friday the 13th, at last, graphite on paper was transformed into a black porcelain sculpture which we named 'Fallen Bird'.

We are extremely proud to present the result of our shared endeavor and are very thankful for this inspirational experience alongside Lennard, Michiel and Suzan. Now it's time for this 'Fallen Bird' to find its way all over the world again... We are ready for the next one (stay tuned)! [ Continue reading ]

TOSSIJN

Make it simple.

There are few places left in Amsterdam’s most central areas that have enough character to weather the ever-growing storm of tourists and people that particularly cater to them. At times, especially in the summer, the city feels like an urban amusement park. With no end of this development in sight, the once authentic center is slowly turning into an empty shell of its former self. Fortunately, there are still some spots that offer some kind of cultural experience (let’s hope it stays that way!), with the Zeedijk being one of our favorites. Located in the small but dense Chinese quarter of the Dutch capital, the street is famous for its restaurants and supermarkets, but also for being the original gateway of heroine into the country in the late sixties — during the last few years it has also been embraced by a growing number of brands, in search of a real environment for their stores.

Among them are streetwear household names like Amsterdam’s own giant Patta, the Comme des Garçons BLACK store, and most recently Stüssy also opened its doors in the street. Next to, for instance, newcomers like Bonne Suits, who shares a space with SMIB and The New Originals. Although we appreciate these streetwear brands, for us the appeal of the street was taken to the next level by another recent addition, as in April our friend Koen Tossijn also found his way to the infamous Zeedijk and opened his first brick and mortar store ever for his brand TOSSIJN — introducing a well needed touch of understated luxury and a toned down color palette, next to all the logos and graphics at his neighbors. [ Continue reading ]

Amsterdam

by Yoshinori Mizutani

Last weekend, the Westergas area in Amsterdam was completely transformed again for the Unseen Photo Fair. Following two slightly underwhelming editions, this year turned out to be a rather exciting display of photographic work from all over the world. In spite of these fluctuating levels of inspiration to be found in the booths, there's one spot that never ceases to impress us since their debut three years ago: the booth of Antwerp-based IBASHO Gallery. For Unseen 2017 they decided to bring work by our favorite photographer under their representation; Yoshinori Mizutani, who shot the series named 'Amsterdam' during his first visit ever to the city, while the 2015 edition took place (when we were all set to meet him, but he had to cancel because of sickness - hopefully next year!).

We've been fans of Mizutani's work from the moment we discovered his iconic 'Tokyo Parrots' series some years ago and he has been expanding his impressive portfolio with one beautiful series after another ever since. In recent years he has been moving beyond figurative images into the photographic abstract, which brings new layers of depth into his artistic vision and for one resulted in our favorite Plant Journal cover till date. Mizutani's abstract work beautifully touches a similar color palette as his figurative work and therefore still shows a remarkable similar signature, which is rare. With 'Amsterdam' Mizutani focusses on one of the city's most iconic landmarks; the canals, which now a days are structurally polluted by tourists or wealthy boat owners (and their drunken friends) — yet through the lens of Mizutani all of that ugliness is filtered out, in order for abstract colorful representations to remain, revealing some of the most beautiful expressionistic photography of the famous stretches of water that we have ever seen. [ Continue reading ]

The Kinfolk Entrepreneur

Making Business Personal

The original source for a minimalistic lifestyle, Kinfolk, recently announced their latest family member in their inspirational series of books; 'The Kinfolk Entrepreneur, Making Business Personal'. Kinfolk visited over 40 entrepreneurs who offer tips, advice and inspiration for anyone hoping to forge their own professional path, all bound together in a beautiful hardcover 368 pages heavy book. Featured are names like Akira Minagawa, Armando Cabral, Ben Gorham, Britt Moran & Emiliano Salci, Damir Doma, Francesca Bonato, Joseph Dirand, Kevin Ma, Maayan Zilberman, Mette & Rolf Hay, Nina Yashar, Pum Lefebure, Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec, Woo Youngmi & Katie Chung and many more. [ Continue reading ]