"We have long been familiar with the power of the Chinese to balance colours, but we were not so well acquainted with their power of treating purely ornamental or conventional forms ; and in the chapter in the Grammar of Ornament on Chinese Ornament I was led, from my then knowledge, to express the opinion that the Chinese had not the power of dealing with conventional ornamental form : but it now appears that there has been a period in which a School of Art existed in China of a very important kind. We are led to think that this art must in some way have had a foreign origin; it so nearly resembles in all its principles the art of the Mohammedan races, that we may presume it was derived from them. It would be no difficult task to take a work of ornament of this class, and, by simply varying the colouring and correcting the drawing, convert it into an Indian or Persian composition. There is of course, in all these works, something essentially Chinese in the mode of rendering the idea, but the original idea is evidently Mohammedan. The Moors of the present day decorate their pottery under the same instinct, and follow the same laws as the Chinese obeyed in their beautiful enamelled vases. The Moorish artist takes a rudely-fashioned pot or other object, and by a marvellous instinct divides the surface of the object, 'by spots of colour, into triangles of proportionate area, according to the form and size of the object; these triangles are then crossed by others."
(Owen Jones, 1867)
Owen Jones (1867). "Examples of Chinese Ornament Selected from Objects in the South Kensington Museum and Other Collections: By Owen Jones. One Hundred Plates", S. & T. Gilbert, 4 Copthall Buildings, E.C. Back of the Bank of England.
"Lukasa, or memory boards, are hand-held wooden objects that present a conceptual map of fundamental aspects of Luba culture. They are at once illustrations of the Luba political system, historical chronicles of the Luba state, and territorial diagrams of local chiefdoms. Each board's design is unique and represents the divine revelations of a spirit medium expressed in sculptural form. While many lukasa utilize a system of denotation based on masses of shells and beads affixed to their wooden surfaces, this example communicates its content through incised designs and images carved in relief."
(The Metropolitan Museum of Art)
Fig.1 "Memory Board (Lukasa) [Democratic Republic of Congo; Luba] (1977.467.3)". In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–. http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/1977.467.3 (October 2006).
"Comic art is a vital, highly personal art form in which change-rapid and unpredictable-is the norm. In this exciting new anthology, comic artist Ivan Brunetti focuses on very recent works by contemporary artists engaged in this world of change. These outstanding cartoonists, selected by Brunetti for their graphic sophistication and literary style, are both expanding and transforming the vocabulary of their genre.
The book presents contemporary art comics produced by 75 artists, along with some classic comic strips and other related fine art and historical materials. Brunetti arranges the book to reflect the creative process itself, connecting stories and art to each other in surprising ways: nonlinear, elliptical, sometimes whimsical, even poetic. He emphasizes continuity from piece to piece, weaving themes and motifs throughout the volume.
As gorgeously produced as Brunetti's previous anthology of graphic fiction, this book does full justice to the creative work of Art Spiegelman, Chris Ware, Charles Burns, Gary Panter, and the other prominent or emerging comic artists who are currently at work at the cutting edge of their medium."
(Yale University Press)
"The Conformist is a difficult film, not because its themes are heavy or its form too radical, but because the statement it proposes is a tad indigestible. Once you get over its slight simplification of ideas and reasons, it is a sweeping masterwork that you are looking at. I probably haven't seen any film that as clearly reveal how we have all confused sexuality with morality, morality with religion, religion with politics and politics with security. The tension is palpable in almost every shot of the film. Consider the central scene of sheer cinematic awesomeness where Quadri and Clerici recollect what actually went wrong. Using staggering interplay of light and shadow, gestures and movements and room space and sound, Bertolucci develops the central motif of the film in pure film language, without ever betraying the diegesis of the film. Bertolucci's script takes up Plato's Allegory of the Cave, which suggests that humans are all prisoners inside a dark cave unable to differentiate between real objects and the shadows that they cast on the walls, and adapts it so as to examine the dark history of the country. It is after this point that every element of the film cries out for attention and the ambivalence of the central character brought to light. Especially remarkable is the final shot of the film where, after Italo is swept away by a Rossellinian crowd, Clerici sits on a low platform near the fire, looking towards a homosexual street dweller through prison-like iron bars, still unsure of his political, sexual and moral footing."
(Just Another Film Buff @ The Seventh Art)
The Victoria Line that opened between 1968 and 1971 "provided the opportunity to produce a new and consistent look across the whole line, from the trains themselves to the stations and platforms. All aspects of design were overseen by Misha Black, the Design Consultant for London Transport (1964-1968), who previously had a similar role with British Rail. He employed the talents of the The Design Research Unit (DRU) - a collective of designers, artists and architects who designed all aspects of the VIctoria Line.
Each platform was designed with a very muted colour scheme, described by some of the press at the time as the 'late lavatorial style' (1, P58). The tiled designs in each seat recess provided much needed colour and decoration, and gave each stop its own visual identity. The results were a mixture of direct inspiration from the station name and references to historical details of the local area."
(Ian Moore, Design Assembly, 3 May 2010)
Fig.1 Stockwell by Abram Games - a semi-abstract swan, representing the nearby pub of the same name.