Here are some playgrounds that will make you want to be a kid again, or at least make you wish there wasn’t a social stigma against grown adults gleefully frolicking around a children’s play area sans one’s children. Designed by Monstrum, a Danish firm founded by Ole B. Nielsen and Christian Jensen, these playscapes are by far the most remarkable I’ve ever seen. Located all across Europe, their stunningly imaginative features range from the fantastical (a spider web netscape strung up below a giant spider) to the dreamlike (a blue-and-red-striped playscape seemingly designed by Dr. Seuss) and also to the slightly creepy (the bendy playhouse pictured above looks a bit haunted and/or hungry).
They’re practically art installations just as much as they are play areas, and Monstrum is certainly very enthusiastic about them. “MONSTRUM believes that playground design should be a reflection of the world surrounding us,” says their official website. “We see the world as a place full of colour. We meet boys that like pink and girls that likes trees, so why only play on a monkey frame and a sandbox, when you can play in a moon crater or a submarine or a giant spider or an enormous snail or a Trojan horse or a rocket or an ant or a princess castle. The fantasy is infinite.”
The phenomenon that is Harry Potter is something that can’t really be explained. For some unexplained reason, half the world’s population latched onto the tale of the Boy Wizard and his adventures in the magical land of 1990’s Great Britain, and made JK Rowling and Daniel Radcliffe very rich and famous people.
As an ardent fan myself, there are several things I would have liked the Potterverse to explain to me, answers I will only accept via a personal letter/email/owl from the author herself, just so I know she really cares. And before you all run to the comments section to bitterly accuse me of not doing my research, the ONLY source material I am going from here is the 7 novels. The movies are called ADAPTATIONS for a reason. They are not canon, and neither are video games, fanfiction, that crazy website thing, or the ramblings of deranged Internet comedians.
In case you didn’t know (and how could you not?), superhero epic “Marvel’s The Avengers” sees its long-awaited theatrical release in American theatres this coming Friday, even though its UK release was last Thursday, when I went and saw it (if you will allow me to gloat and grin and dance merrily down the street for a moment or two). To celebrate, I thought I’d take a look at the ten finest examples to come out of the cinematic superhero genre, which I have listed below along with justifications for each entry. Some of the films are based on comics, some of them are original; some of them are straight-faced, some of them are comedies; some of them are bloody, one of them was made by Pixar. And hey, one of them might even have a certain Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and The Hulk in them (nudge, nudge).
Take a quick glance at the image above and you’d be forgiven for thinking that it depicts nothing more than a boring, commonplace apartment block, perhaps the kind you pass by every day on your equally boring work commute. Take a longer look and you may come to suspect that the workers who built this drearily designed construction became confused over how exactly a balcony works (a stroll outside the balcony door will surely result in imminent death). Take a closer look and you may come to realise that the logically challenged building depicted in the image above is not a building at all, or at least not one compatible with human use.
This is in fact a small-scale model created and captured by German photographer and artist Frank Kunert. Entitled “Apartment with Balcony,” it is part of Kunert’s satirical “Small Worlds” series, in which he assembles meticulously detailed, ingeniously absurd urban environments and photographs them for our viewing pleasure. Like the rest of the project’s entries, “Apartment with Balcony” was painstakingly modelled with deco boards, plasticine and paint, and was not photographed until Kunert was certain that it was absolutely perfect; as you can see, it looks glorious. If you wish, check out the rest of the series below, which is sure to raise a smile, a giggle and a ton of admiration.
- No Comments
- Apr 25, 2012
Shanghai-based artist Hong Yi is certainly not the most conventional of artists; while most virtuosos in the world of art construct their creations with paint or pencil or metal or marble, Yi (who prefers to be called “Red”) uses any everyday object she can get her talented little hands on, and does wonders with them. In the past, Red has assembled portraits of Taiwanese actor-singer Jay Chou out of coffee stains, of Canadian pop sensation Justin Bieber using Korean chilli paste, and of Chinese basketball player Yao Ming, painted not with a paintbrush but – rather appropriately – with a basketball.
Her latest project is no less peculiar: it is a portrait of famed Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou (director of martial arts action flicks “Hero” and “House of Flying Daggers”), made entirely out of bamboo sticks, pins and 750 pairs of socks. Why socks? “When I first moved to Shanghai, I stumbled upon an old residential alleyway and saw bamboo sticks poking out of windows with laundry hanging onto them, waving in the air,” explains Red. “I thought that was an incredibly beautiful sight. And the amazing thing is seeing something so traditional in a modern, bustling city like Shanghai.”