Couple Keep Long-Distance Relationship Alive with Touching Photo Collages

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Long distance relationships are hard, but a Korean couple have found a creative way to deal with physical separation. Danbi Shin and Seok Li are both artists, and they’re working on a cool photo-collage project that bridges the distance between them.   

Despite the 14-hour time difference between New York and Seoul, where Danbi and Seok live, they photograph themselves doing similar things simultaneously. Then they merge the two pictures, careful to ensure accuracy and symmetry, to make a single image. They also try their best to find similar scenes in totally different environments, and later post the collages on Instagram, where they collectively go as ‘ShinLiArt’.

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Musical Duo Records New Album Using Only Sounds Generated by a Washing Machine

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Matmos, a Baltimore-based conceptual art and electronic music duo, has announced it will soon be releasing an album recorded using sounds generated by a washing machine in the basement of their home.

It might sound strange, but it’s actually very typical of Matmos, who have previously played the uterus and reproductive tract of a cow and and opened for Björk on canisters of helium. This is what they do – use unusual materials to create unique sounds that end up sounding like actual music. For their upcoming album, Ultimate Care II, they used a Whirlpool Ultimate Care II washing machine, drumming on it, rubbing it, prodding it and, obviously, doing laundry, before processing the samples and creating a single 38-minute track.

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Self-Taught Artist Paints Beautiful Landscapes on Fallen Leaves

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16-year-old Joanna Wirazka has a very interesting choice of canvas. Instead of paper or fabric, the self-taught artist from Poland paints colorful artworks on fallen autumn leaves. Her works are not only stunning to look at, but also carry a strong environmental message.

Every autumn, Joanna puts aside her regular canvas for something that’s free, readily available, and in her opinion, juts as good – fallen tree leaves. She collects them from a park near her house and places them inside a book until they are completely dry. She then paints them black using water-based acrylic paint, before covering them with colorful landscapes inspired by bustling cities and natural sceneries alike.

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Design Studio Creates Installation That Lets You Experience Nature Through the Eyes of Various Animals

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Here’s a chance for nature-lovers to experience the world from completely new and different perspectives. ‘In the Eyes of an Animal’ is an art installation in Grizedale Forest, UK, that lets people the woods through the eyes of its various animal inhabitants!

The futuristic project is the brainchild of a London-based design studio called Marshmallow Laser Feast (MLF). Commissioned by the AND Festival, it is a virtual reality experience combining nature and technology. Visitors are asked to wear large, moss-faced black headsets as they journey through a LIDAR-scanned woodland, while coming into contact with various creatures.

First, the forest is scanned using a Lidar scanner, a type of remote sensing technology. The points collected are then “decimated into real-time and combined with further data collected with CT scanning and photogrammetry techniques.” The rendered scenes harmoniously blend the elements collected through Lidar with CT scans of insects and animals, thereby interpreting their world. Audio effects are then added to complete and enhance the overall experience. Bass vibrations help recreate the sensations of a breathing, flying animal.

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Chinese Man Quits Job to Work on Awe-Inspiring 500,000-Toothpick Painting

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38-year-old Liu Xuedong discovered his artistic side quite late in life, during a serious mid-life crisis. He wasn’t happy with his job as a security guard in China’s Jilin Province, but instead of whining about it, he taught himself how to create art with toothpicks. Inspired by hundreds of how-to videos online, he quit his job and decided to dedicate his time to the art form.

Liu carefully watched how accomplished artists arranged toothpicks to create intricate patterns and shapes. He then spent about 2,000 yuan ($315) on a set of 500,000 toothpicks to try it out for himself. Over the next three months, Liu watched more videos and practiced on his own.

After several unsuccessful attempts, he finally completed his first masterpiece , a ‘3D wild horse’ painting that’s about three meters long by one meter wide, and weighs a whopping 170 kilograms.

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Artist Uses Plants to Create Larger-Than-Life Replica of Famous Van Gogh Painting on a Field

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Stan Herd, a Kansas-based landscape artist, recently completed his very own museum-worthy masterpiece. Only, it can’t be moved because it’s actually made out of plants growing in a field!

The 1.2-acre crop art ‘painting’, located on field near Minneapolis, is a replica of Van Gogh’s 1889 masterpiece ‘Olive Trees’. Herd was commissioned to create it by the Minneapolis Institute of Art, where the Van Gogh original currently hangs. It took him six long months of digging, planting, and mowing a giant grass field before the ‘earthwork’ was finally complete on September 11. It is best viewed from high above, especially if you happen to be flying in to the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

“When you’re on ground level you can’t tell what the cuts even look like, but when you get up there you can see the patterns,” said Rick King, board member of the Minneapolis Museum and the Metropolitan Airports Commission. “If you are landing from the southeast and flying northwest, it will be on your left-hand side as you approach the airport.”   

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23-Year-Old Takes Welding Art to a Whole New Level of Awesomeness

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Fusing bits of metal together hardly qualifies as art, unless it’s the handiwork of a welding master like Richard Lauth. The 23-year-old professional welder from Chicago creates beautiful portraits, themed sculptures, decorations, and models using nothing but metal and a welding machine

Lauth is an Operating Engineer and member of the trade union Local 150 by day, but he likes to spend his free time using his welding skills on artistic pursuits. Or as he writes on Instagram, he loves making “cool s***” out of metal. Some of his pieces include metal portraits of popular characters like Stormtroopers and Minions, animal faces, and small metal sculptures of everyday objects.

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Artist Creates Giant Realistic Flowers Out of Paper

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Tiffanie Turner, a San Francisco based artist, is best known for her ability to craft incredibly realistic flowers out of paper. She cuts petals out of delicate Italian crepe paper and sews them together to resemble the creases and folds of flowers. When photographed, it’s nearly impossible to tell these fake flowers apart from real ones!

The faux florals that Turner creates vary in dimensions, right from palm-sized to nearly three ft. wide. Depending on the size, each flower can take anywhere between 35 to 80 hours to complete. Most of her pieces mimic healthy flowers, but at times she experiments with the wilted look as well.

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Landscaping Company Carves Live Trees into Beautiful Artworks, Sparks Controversy

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A landscaping company in China recently angered nature lovers by carving dragons and other art forms on live camphor trees. Workers apparently cut off all the branches and stripped the top layer of bark before carving intricate figures into the soft wood underneath. The sculptures were then painted in gold.

About a dozen such trees are currently located on a roadside plot of land in Xiangshan county, in Ningbo, Zhejiang Province. The owner of the company, who prefered to remain anonymous, said it took 100 days to carve each tree. He also admitted that most of the trees couldn’t withstand the carving process and died soon after. As pretty as the carvings are, not many people are impressed with the cruelty involved.

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South African Artist Paints with Plastic Waste

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Mbongeni Buthelezi, an artist from South Africa, has shunned paint in favor of plastic. He melts discarded plastic bags and uses the molten material to produce stunning works of art. The 49-year-old has been working with the unique medium for the past 23 years, ever since he graduated from art school.

Buthelezi said he decided to work with plastic because he wanted to stand out, and this was an innovative, original idea to do that. “With watercolor and other mediums that I have experimented with in the past, I felt that I’m hitting the ceiling,” he told Euronews. “I’m not growing anymore. I wanted to be noticed and I wanted to catch attention, because I knew also that I’m moving into a career where you have to be really special to be able to even make a living out of it.”

According to Buthelezi, his chosen medium also serves as a metaphor for life. “I collect rubbish and create something beautiful from it,” he wrote on his website. “That’s what we can do with ourselves and our lives.”



Chiara Vigo – The World’s Last “Sea Silk” Seamstress

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The ancient Italian art of spinning ‘sea silk’ is all but lost, save for one woman who still knows how to produce the incredibly rare, almost magical fabric. While modern silk is spun from silkworms, Chiara Vigo can harvest the saliva of a rare variety of clam and spin it into a shiny, gold-like material called byssus.

Legend has it that byssus was the cloth that God instructed Moses to lay on the first altar. It is believed to be the finest fabric known to Egypt, Greece, and Rome. If treated properly with lemon juice and spices, the remarkable material shines when exposed to the sun. It is also incredibly light, so much so that the wearer cannot even feel it touching the skin. It is said to be as thin as a spider web, resistant to water, acids, and alcohols.

Vigo gathers the raw material required to weave the cloth every spring – she goes out diving early in the morning to cut the solidified saliva of a large clam, the Pinna Nobilis, an endangered fan-shaped species of mollusc that is native to the Mediterranean Sea bed. Vigo has mastered a special cutting technique that allows her to take the secreted material without killing the rare creature. 300 to 400 dives later, she is able to gather about 200 grams of material. 

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Makeup Artist Transforms into Amazingly Realistic Comic Book Characters

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Comic book makeup is a huge trend these days, but a few artists truly stand out for their spectacular work. Joining the ranks of Lianne Moseley and other Marvel makeup gurus is Argenis Pinal, a California-based cosmetologist.

Argenis is insanely popular on Instagram with over 100,000 followers. The man is a wizard with makeup – he’s managed to transform himself into almost several comic book characters and he’s done such a good job of it that you only realise you’re looking at a living person and not an illustration when he moves.

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Gyotaku – The Traditional Japanese Art of Painting Fish with Actual Fish

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Back when there were no cameras for fishermen to record their trophy catches, the Japanese came up with a unique printing method called Gyotaku. Gyo means fish, and Taku means impression, and the technique involved just that – using freshly caught fish to make inky impressions on paper.

Hundreds of years ago, Japanese fishermen would take paper, ink and brushes out to sea with them. They would rub the fish they caught with the non-toxic sumi-e ink and then print them on rice paper. Most of the fish were then cleaned and sold in markets, but a few revered ones were released back into the ocean. In the mid-1800s, fishermen began to add eye details and other embellishments, giving rise to a unique art form.  

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Indian Artists Turn Mumbai Taxis into Artworks on Wheels

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‘Taxi Fabric’ is an innovative art project in Mumbai, India, that allows upcoming designers to transform the interiors of taxicabs in the city. Ten cabs have been given vibrant makeovers so far, and a Kickstarter campaign is underway to raise funds for more.

“The Taxi Fabric project is all about providing Indian designers with a unique platform to show off their work – using taxi seats as their canvas,” the campaign page reads.  The designers who founded the project also hope to “show Indians the impact good design can have.”

The team added that Indian taxi drivers do pimp their cars to stand out from the competition, but the upholstery usually doesn’t get much attention. The designs are just something drivers pick up from local markets, mostly “dull and forgettable”. The Taxi Fabric project wants to change that by creating bespoke fabrics with designs that reflect Mumbai’s life and culture.

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90-Year-Old Watchman Turns Russian School into a Veritable Art Gallery

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After 25 years of teaching art at several schools, Valery Khramov finally retired from his job, but not from art. The 90-year-old spent the entire summer painting the walls at the school where he currently works as a watchman. He singlehandedly managed to transform the boring institution into an ethereal space, just in time for the new academic year.

“I spent the last three months at school,” Valery told the local media. “All I did was paint and draw. It has been 10 days since I slept – it was necessary to have time to finish everything for the new academic year.” And now that the kids are back in school, they’re absolutely thrilled with the new decor. In fact, first graders are actually being taken on tours of the ‘gallery’. What a fantastic way to beat back-to-school blues!

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