Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello everyone, we at Floating World Projects want to wish all our American friends a very happy Thanksgiving. We hope you are able to spend time with your friends and family, and eat a lot of delicious food! And hopefully all of you outside of the US have a lovely day too!

This year we're thankful for a lot of things- the wonderful people who've worked with our group, the art we've made together, and the incredible experiences of traveling. We're grateful for all the opportunities that are opening up for next year, so that we can share what we're doing with so many more people!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Special Announcement: Donations

As you may or may not have noticed, there is now a friendly Paypal "donate" button located in the right-hand sidebar. Since becoming a nonprofit this fall, Floating World Projects is working on a number of new ideas and events in both artistic and musical spheres, but we need your help to realize our goals.

If you donate $50 or more, you will receive a compilation cd featuring FWP musicians. If you donate $100 or more, you will receive a one-of-a-kind, small printed glass piece in varying sizes signed by the artist. These would make excellent and unique gifts for your loved ones for the holidays! Below is an example tile, and there's a gallery of other samples here.

If you donate to our group, your contribution will go to:

  The Road to Hebron
-       Video post-production and research for “The Road to Hebron” documentary film, focusing on the ancient al-Natsheh glass factory in Hebron
-       Arabic translation
-       Video publishing
-       Travel to the West Bank in January 2011
-       Transportation of recording equipment
-       Additional video equipment for recording
-       Follow up travel to Hebron to finish final documentation, August 2011

-       Transportation of 4 Turkish artists to the US to participate in an artist residency at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, MAY 2011
-       Art supplies for 2 upcoming residencies 2011
-       Preparations for September exhibitions 2011in Boston and Seattle
-       Transportation / Accommodations / Music recording July 1 August 1 2011 in Turkey

We'd really appreciate any support you are able to give, either monetarily or just by getting the word out about our organization! Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Artist Spotlight: Oben Abright

This post is part of a series spotlighting the range of artists and musicians involved in Floating World Projects. See all.

San Francisco-based artist Oben Abright has been drawing, painting, and sculpting since he was in elementary school, taking after his artist parents. After studying at the Lorenzo deMedici Institute of Art in Florence, he received his BFA in Glass from the California College of the Arts in 2004.

Working from his own drawings and photographs, Oben creates closely-studied portrait sculpture out of glass, metal, and clay. For some pieces he sprays oil paint on certain areas and wipes it partially off, creating a colorful, textured look. His series are inspired by neglected or war-torn areas and the people affected, giving widespread problems a more intimate focus. He believes the three-dimensionality of his pieces makes them more impactful than photography or written reportage, and hopes to raise awareness through the stories his works tell.

His "Market Street" series looks at homeless residents of San Francisco through confrontational portraits from the waist up, with many of the subjects shown bundled up or huddled over. 
Gabe (Seated)
mold blown glass, oil paint, cement and steel

Market Street Series IV 
mold blown glass and oil paint

Zee Cee
mold blown glass and oil paint

Market Street Series VIII
mold blown glass and oil paint

Oben's newest series is currently on view at the Echt Gallery in Chicago in an exhibition titled "Portraits of Loi Tailang Burma", with pieces modeled after photographs he took while visiting Burma to document the under-reported genocide of the Shan- an ethnic group within a mountainous area of Myanmar- and other minority peoples in the region. They have been pushed out of their homes by Burmese troops and thousands are living as refugees in Loi Tailang, a border city near Thailand. His sculptures offer a forthright and honest depiction of these men, women, and children in a detailed, textured, and bold style.

Nang Ga
preparatory sketch for sculptural installation

Orphaned Boys

While in Istanbul with other Floating World Projects artists, Oben focused on street photography of the gritty and neglected areas of the city, and is now working on a new portrait series based on these images. He will also be traveling to Palestine with FWP next year to work on the planned documentary of the al-Natsheh glass factory in Hebron.

Oben's official site
Echt Gallery official site
"The Art of Suffering"- an account of Oben's experiences in Burma by Antonio Graceffo

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Artist Spotlight: Javelin

This post is part of a series spotlighting the range of artists and musicians involved in Floating World Projects. See all.

The Brooklyn-based group Javelin is made up of cousins Tom van Buskirk and George Langford, who started making music together around 2004. They collect sounds from a variety of sources, both sampling other artists- many culled from their assortment of bargain vinyl- and making their own instrumentation for an eclectic, layered style, incorporating countless genres, loops, and ideas into a few minutes of music. It's a dancy, funky rollercoaster ride filled with fun surprises along the way. Their live shows involve a number of boomboxes tuned to the radio and improvisational rapping, resulting in an ever-evolving "sound" that can't be pinned down.

The duo released their latest album on Luaka Bop (David Byrne's record label) in 2010, titled No Más. Their self-released record Jamz n Jemz was listed as one of Pitchfork's "Albums of the Year" in 2009. You can download two of their mixtape mp3's below (right click and "Save as") and see some fun music videos!

Andean Ocean Tape (30:00)
World MIDI Classics, Vol 2 (13:01)

Javelin on Myspace
Javelin on Luaka Bop, where you can stream tracks off No Más
Javelin's official site
Pitchfork interview

Javelin Music Video- "Soda Popinski"

Javelin Music Video- "Education!"

Friday, November 5, 2010

Artist Spotlight: Ayse Balyemez

This post is the first in a series spotlighting the range of artists and musicians involved in Floating World Projects.

Ayse graduated from the Ceramic and Glass Design Department of Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University with a BFA in 2003 and MFA in 2009 and designed tableware decorations at a decal printing company for five years. She has worked as a lecturer in transfer printmaking techniques and is currently a research assistant. Her art has been exhibited in several shows in Turkey and Europe. She creates intricately decorated plates and ceramic mounted wall pieces as well as small sculptures, and with other Floating World Projects artists she produced a number of colorful glass panels with interlaced silkscreened images. Her aesthetic fuses text, photography, and pattern for a colorful, multi-dimensional effect.

Check out Ayse's blog, where she posts photos of new work! (text is primarily in Turkish)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Preparing for Exhibition in San Francisco

From January 1-February 4, 2011, the Public Glass gallery in San Francisco will be opening a new exhibition from Floating World Projects! On display will be a combination of pieces inspired by stays in Turkey and the West Bank, collecting a number of new painted glass works from our artists. The event will serve as a fundraiser for a planned documentary about glassblowing in Palestine.

Here's a preview of some of the pieces that will be shown, including an impressive 14'x4' assemblage of glass panels. The glass is painted in successive layers, and then projected images will be applied with a low-fire enamel marker.

One piece experienced a serendipitous kiln mishap that led to some interesting heating effects.

In the upcoming months, we'll keep you updated with news regarding this exciting exhibition, and look forward to seeing some of you there at the January 29 opening!