Last January, FIT students Trupal Pandya, Photography ’14, and Alexander Papakonstadinou, Photography ’14, visited the Omo Valley in Ethiopia to document five tribes: the Bena, Mursi, Hamar, Arbore, and Ari. Just in time, too: the traditional ways of these peoples are losing ground to the lure of Western, materialist pleasures.
Copyright Trupal Pandya
The students spent ten days traveling around the valley, living with the tribes and photographing madly. Some of the people they met were naked; others were adorned with beads; still others were painted with ash.
Copyright Alexander Papakonstadinou
Of the traditions he watched, Pandya was most astonished by a bull-jumping rite of passage. “The boy has to jump over ten bulls to prove that he’s an adult, to get married,” he says. Now that’s a lot of bull!
Copyright Trupal Pandya
About 40 of these pictures will be presented in the Marvin Feldman Center lobby from today, March 21, to April 4. And on March 25 at 6 pm, Pandya and Papakonstadinou will preside over a reception to share the stories behind the work.
Copyright Alexander Papakonstadinou
Pandya is no stranger to stunning travel photography. The spring issue of Hue, coming out in April, will feature his riveting, brilliantly hued images from the Holi festival in India.
Time has run out on seeing FIT’s excellent 2014 School of Art and Design Faculty Exhibition, New Views. This year, to accommodate oversized artworks, the interdisciplinary show was moved from The Museum at FIT to The John E. Reeves Great Hall. It was up for just a week; fortunately, Hue peeked in before it was too late.
Wandering among the 90-plus artworks, from paintings to accessories to garments created by faculty in the School of Art and Design’s 17 majors, was a bewitching experience.
The “cover” of John Goodwin’s animated retelling of the Cinderella story.
A girl’s voice called out from the hum; it was an animated retelling of the Cinderella story by Adjunct Assistant Professor John D. Goodwin. A young girl narrated as animated silhouettes of ugly sisters and fabulous dressmaking flitted by on digital pages. It was hard to look away.
Hue was moved by Associate Professor CJ Yeh’s “Perfect 10,” an “augmented reality” commentary on unrealistic beauty standards among Asian girls. When the viewer stands in front of the mirror and shouts, a collage of Asian actresses’ and supermodels’ faces begins to be applied to the viewer’s. Hue is quite happy with the non-augmented reality of our own face, thank you very much.
CJ Yeh’s “Perfect 10,” a video screen that toys with the viewer’s natural beauty.
New Views was up February 8 to 16. If you missed it, you can see the works on the exhibition website.
There are times in Hue’s life when we are simply overwhelmed by gorgeocity.
This is one of those times.
For Fashion Week, New York magazine asked illustrator Bil Donovan, Fashion Illustration ’78 to sketch some of the shows in traditional pen and ink. They posted the results here.
At the show by Ralph Rucci, Fashion Design ’80, Donovan had his eye on Rucci’s sister, Rosina. Her ecstatic flourish at the end of every Rucci show is designed to inspire the audience. Donovan’s piece captures the siblings at the most dramatic moment:
“Rucci Bow” by Bil Donovan.
Upon seeing the whole collection of drawings, we cried, “Genius!”
Donovan replied: “Don’t know about the genius part but it was so in the moment… And my dread was to have some accident with the ink on my lap, especially at Thom Browne.”
“Thom Browne Hair and Makeup” by Bil Donovan.
See the rest of Donovan’s works for Fashion Week here.
Hue is ambivalent about the concept of a “renaissance man,” not least because women need not apply. But OK, maybe just this once.
Paul D. Miller, aka DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid, who guested at FIT’s Sustainable Business and Design Conference this spring, has done a lot that most deejays have not. He is the executive editor of Origin Magazine, an “art and conscious lifestyle” magazine. He composed the score for Downloaded, a documentary about Napster that VH1 is releasing later this year. He served as artist in residence at the Metropolitan Museum, creating compositions based on exhibitions. He released a popular iPad app for deejaying. And he’s got a social conscience: After a trip to Antarctica, he wrote The Book of Ice, “part fictional manifesto, part history, and part science book” about climate change.
The cover of “The Book of Ice.”
Along with that came Of Water and Ice, an atmospheric, brooding symphony based on charts of troubling weather and temperature patterns. The music veritably brims with urgency.
Hue only wonders one thing: When does he sleep?
Paul D. Miller in Antarctica. Photo by Maria Thi Mai.
Hue has long been a fan of photographer Alex Bitar, Advertising Design ’92. He shoots for a wide variety of clients, including Aéropostale and Polo Ralph Lauren, but he also takes some amazing pictures on his own.
“These two just went at each other for a whole match, but it wasn’t personal. That’s what struck me: They instantly put it all behind them,” Bitar says.
Bitar took the image at a mixed martial-arts event. (Mixed martial arts is a full-contact combat sport. Considered dangerous by some, it became legal in New York only in 2013.)
In the spring, Artworks ADL, the art exhibition fundraising arm of the Anti-Defamation League, an organization that works to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and advocate for justice and fairness for all, asked Bitar to submit a piece for the show they mounted to mark their 100-year anniversary. The exhibition, entitled, “Imagine a World Without Hate,” appeared in June at the Benrimon Gallery in Chelsea.
Hue is down with this theme, and this photo. We all have interpersonal conflicts; that’s life. It’s hard to remember, sometimes, that the other person is human too. Thanks for reminding us, Mr. Bitar.