Wednesday, December 1, 2010

For Jenna K:

Hayao Miyazaki
Born January 5, 1941 in Tokyo, Japan; Hayao Miyazaki is recognized as one of Japan’s greatest animation directors, starting his career back in 1963 as an animator and attributed to many early classics of Japanese animation. In 1971, he moved to the A Pro Studio with Isao Takahata, then to Nippon Animation in 1973.  For the next five years, he worked for Masterpiece Theater TV Animation. By 1978, he directed his first TV series called “Conan, the Boy in Future”. He than joined Tokyo Movie Shinsha in 1979 to direct his first movie Lupin the Third: The Castle of Cagliostro. Miyazaki releases his movie Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind in 1984, based on the manga he had started two years previous. His success in the film followed to the establishment of a new animation studio, that he named Studio Ghibli. And since than Miyazaki has directed, written, and produced many other films along with Takahata and Toshio Suzuki. Miyazaki’s film, Princess Mononoke, released in 1997; received the Japanese equivalent of the Academy Awards for Best Film and was also the highest-grossing domestic film of Japan’s history at the time of its release. (USD$150 million) His latest film, “Ponyo” (2009) is based off the classic tale of “The Little Mermaid”. The film’s main characters Ponyo: a goldfish who wants to become a real girl, who’s father protects and maintains the balance of nature within the sea—befriends a five-year-old boy named Sasuke, who lives with his mother on top of a hill surrounded by the ocean, while his father works out at sea on his boat.
 Hayao Miyazaki enjoys making films that have flying and action scenes, and usually focuses on young protagonists or children that play a key role in the films plot. Frequently in his films, he makes references to nature, ecology, and pollution by man. Found greatly in his “Spirited Away”, where the main character meets a Water Spirit who’s polluted and unrecognizable by garbage and debris.
            Sometimes called the “Walt Disney of Japan”, but dislikes the title and was quoted expressing that 2-D animation disappeared from Disney, because they made so many uninteresting films. He also says that it has become too conservative in the way that they create films, and also feels that 2-D and 3-D could coexist happily. Miyazaki is an Anglophile, which is an individual appreciation of English History-including his favorite American cartoon character, Bugs Bunny, particularly of the Bugs Bunny shorts directed by Chuck Jones.

Minneapolis Institute of Arts
M.I.A. was exciting, and it had been many years since I had visited the museum. Seeing many of the same artifacts I had seen back in middle school, but many more things they had added since than, adding onto the wonder of the building. For the pieces I have chosen, placed side by side-demonstrates how fragile the nude form compared to the feel of armor from the past.


            At first, the piece confused me. The noises and dim lighting made it hard to decipher the point of the structure in the middle of the room. But further inspection, realized its concept-the rising and setting sun, in the east and west, created by the projections on the corners of the walls. I still don’t completely understand the piece. Possibly, that man could create something beautiful using modern technology to recreate something that has been around since the beginning.

Popular Fronts
Seeing this place, made me more interested in the design in advertising of the business world, and how it can really affect how people view and buy products. Compared to how it use to be, growing up in the 90s with commercials that ended with “batteries not included”, to seeing how children today find their future toys off websites featuring online games with the toy characters.

The Walker
The piece I chose from the Walker was titled “Rug” and was created by Robert Brerer in 1968. It seems so simply made that it feels like nothing went into it except for the idea of sticking a fan beneath a thin sheet and allowing it to move about its area. I’m guessing that the artist wanted to give it the illusion of life. By taking the inanimate sheet and giving it motion is enticing, but eerie to watch it hover and float in small circles, and causes the viewer discomfort with its presence. I felt like the piece was an intruder within the gallery of the surrounding pieces, but that may have been its purpose—to draw discomfort and alarm from its movements to its audience. I found it interesting, but confusing about its full intentions.
A piece of artwork could be explained as either something expressed using a feeling and than followed by the production of a piece inspired by the feeling. Or what the artist feel as they are making the piece, what feelings go into it and how each emotions affect the materials used. I see neither of these in the piece, apart from the time it took to cut the sheet and obtain the fan. To me, no feelings were really put into the idea, only an idea and nothing more. Maybe the statement made beforehand was “Hey, let’s mess with some people today!”.
I couldn’t find anything about this piece, even though I had heard about it a few months previous to seeing it. I remember thinking “and that’s art enough to be put into The Walker?” And than I thought for a moment and realized “Shit, it’s the freak’n Walker. It belongs here.”

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