Please note: part two of this blog series is coming! Expect it this week (by Friday, December 14).
The 2018 In Situ multi-arts festival took place November 8–10 at the Small Arms Inspection Building (a former WWII munitions factory now partially refurbished as a creative hub) in Mississauga, Ontario.
'Hearts in Place' was a whole-room installation comprised of: ten 7-foot high scrolls, eight of which were transfer-printed (a hand-pulled process), two were hand-painted; two paper-and-fibre "veined" panels (centre); two veiling textile panels; one built-onsite sculpture/assemblage which you can see a sliver of light from at the centre of this photo; and the wall behind me as I photographed the room panorama was a mural drawing which I drew a portion of as a live performance each of the three evenings of the festival.
Like the first In Situ festival in 2016, this was an extraordinary experience and a creative high, but with the benefit of central heating and running water!
I am still exhausted from the experience of preparing all of this new work, performing and then taking it all down just days later. As a result I will keep this entry shorter than I might have, but will share with you some photographs. Thanks go to the numerous – generous – photographers and friends, (all credited individually), who made this possible, documenting when I could not.
Many thanks to the many people who came out to experience the festival and visited my room! If you were there, please let me know what you thought in the comments below.
OK Go is a band that does extraordinarily creative, innovative and powerful visual music videos like no one else – they are art forms in and of themselves. They pull off incredible feats without relying on the magic of digital effects, what you see always happened in real life and in real time.
Seriously, you need to check these videos out, no matter what your musical preferences are, those won't matter at all. Here are some I recommend (titles are links):
What these videos show is that these guys are masters at finding ideas. Extraordinary ideas. They also obviously have an amazing team and a considerable budget to pull them off, but plenty of uninteresting ideas have that and get made.
Below is a TED Talk they gave on "How to Find a Wonderful Idea". They point out that the usual approach of sitting in your chair (or other favourite thinking spot) and dreaming up an idea, then planning and polishing it before executing it is missing a vital step: the "sandbox" – that place where you play and discover or unearth your real idea, the wonderful one that the preliminary idea (which leads you to where the sandbox is) was just the seed for.
Have you unearthed some of your own wonderful ideas in a sandbox of some type? What's your favourite sandbox? If you haven't tried it, where could you start? Let me know in the comments below!
Happy Valentine's Day!
Whether you have a long-dormant love of model railroads or can't resist dollhouses and their tiny furnishings, you're far from alone in loving miniatures. I grew up with my own dollhouse made of printed steel, but rather jealous of my cousin who had a big table in his basement devoted to his model railroad, set in a landscape he'd made and populated by exquisitely detailed buildings and street scenes.
A couple of years ago in pursuit of materials for some miniature projects (still on the drawing board) I visited, on my friend Fred's recommendation, The Credit Valley Railway Company, a truly amazing place with aisle upon aisle of trains, other vehicles, and buildings of different eras, human figures, street furniture, vegetation – even different kinds of grasses! Investigating those aisles was such an engrossing way to spend a couple of afternoons.
Plenty of artists love miniatures, miniature painting is quite a tradition, particularly in south Asia and Iran to my knowledge, but some artists either create dimensional miniatures or use the kind I drooled over at the store as their raw material.
Sculptor Kim Adams, 2014 winner of a Governor General's Award in Visual Art (click to view his award page), is one such artist whose work I particularly admire. His elaborate installations a few years ago at the Art Gallery of Ontario (click to view a slideshow from that work) were fascinating.
What got me thinking about this topic recently was an article in The Guardian about sculptor/miniature artist Randy Hage who has done a whole series in which he has re-created old New York City storefronts with amazing detail, right down to the litter, the papered-over windows and the inevitable graffiti.
On his site (click to link to it) you can see side-by-side comparison photos of the shot he took of the actual storefront and his 1/12 scale miniature. Beautiful work! Below is a time-lapse as he makes one storefront “Ideal Hosiery”.
Finally there's an epic miniature museum project in Mississauga/Oakville called Our Home & Miniature Land where they are painstakingly re-creating Canada in miniature, starting with Toronto and Hamilton. Click here or on their name to check out their site. The project is not complete yet, though they have had a public open house, but the videos of their progress are amazing! Below are a couple of samples to whet your appetite. I can't wait to see it all in person!
How about you? Are you a miniatures geek whether secretly or proudly? Did you have a dollhouse or model railroad when you were growing up, or make other kinds of models?
If so, please tell me about them in the comments below!
We had an enthusiastic group at Saturday's painting demonstration at Otto Art gallery in Toronto. I showed how I approach painting two series: my 'Aroundeds' and the 'Radiants' series that gave the show its title. I will continue to work on the 'Radiant' demo painting and post photo updates here when ready.
Sandra Otto, the gallerist, shot video of most of the event, which you can watch below in two parts.
As for the 'Arounded' painting, here are progress shots of the drying process so you can see how the painting reveals itself over time as it dries. I will continue to post more until it is pretty much 100% clear.
Please check back for even more updates/photos and links!
And if you found this at all interesting, please give this post a like or a tweet – it helps a lot, thanks!
May we all shine our light a little brighter and spread a little more love this year.
Thanks so much for your interest, enthusiasm and support, it means a lot.
Wishing you (and your family) all the best in 2017.
I will be updating my In Situ album on Flickr with more photographs soon, so check it out next week!
Kim Lee Kho
As a visual artist I like nothing more than getting up to my elbows in paint or little plastic toys, or wading in at the deep end in pursuit of an idea. When I am not teaching others in a similar vein, you can find me researching, writing and noodling around in my studio, seeing where my latest lines of inquiry lead me.
All images and content on this website © Kim-Lee Kho 2005–2018 except as indicated. All rights reserved. No reproduction without express, written permission.