This Malala Portrait Has An Estimated Value of $80,000

A portrait by one of Britain’s leading portrait painters, Jonathan Yeo, has an estimated value of  $60,000 to $80,000. What’s so special about the portrait? It happens to have one of the most widely known icons of our generation, Malala Yousafzai.

If you don’t know who Malala Yousafzai is, then you ought to learn up. Malala was only a young girl when she became an activist for rights to education and rights for women. At the young age of 11, she began blogging about her life under Taliban rule. This was so powerful that in 2009, a New York Times documentary was filmed about her life. Her actions were seen as unacceptable and in 2012, Malala was shot in the head and neck by Taliban gunman in an attempt to murder her. The strong young lady survived and continues to fight for what she believes in.

The canvas, which measures nearly one meter by one meter, has been on display at the National Portrait Gallery in London.

“The funds raised will support the work of the Malala Fund, including helping young Syrian refugees in Jordan and girls freed from child labor now attending school in Pakistan,” said Malala. ”I hope that whoever buys the painting knows that their generosity will directly help children in some of the most challenging environments in the world.”

Yeo met Malala back in 2013 and painted the young girl in Britain. ”I hope the painting reflects the slight paradox of someone with enormous power yet vulnerability and youth at the same time,” he said.

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Time Travel Through South Korea

Korean artist Sungseok Ahn was shocked when he paid a visit to Seoul, Korea. Many of the historical landmarks he had studied about had transformed into bright and shiny skyscrapers over the years.

These emotions inspired Ahn to create the art project “Historical Present.” The idea behind the project was simple. Ahn projected an old image of a popular site onto its current state. The pictures were usually taken at sunrise or sunset when the light is ideal for beaming.

Ahn got the black-and-white photographs of Seoul in it’s former state from an old picture book that was published by the Japanese government when Korea was under imperial Japanese rule. His projections have framed Seoul’s best known and historic surfaces such as the Gyeongbokgung Palace and the Great South Gate.

Using this method of “time traveling” and showing us both the past and present of South Korea, Ahn allows us to “question the way we treat our history and explores the dynamics between space and time at the same time.”

Ahn says this project is about “the “psychological void that emerges as we live our lives forgetting.” He adds that the project is a reminder that “someday…we’re [all going to disappear] likes people in old pictures. Things change and we’re gone.”

Though his words are sad and clearly mourning the past, the photographic in “Historical Present” are nothing short of beautiful.

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Julie’s Kitchen: Introducing the Food Collage

Here at Audrey, we’ve seen all sorts of art mediums. We’ve seen a Jackie Chan portrait made entirely of chopsticks, cultural art made from make up, and even stop-motion art using a tissue. Well Julie Lee is here to add her name to this list of creative artists.

Lee is the mastermind behind popular blog, Julie’s Kitchen. Her form of art? Food collages. Lee defies all parents who have told their children not to play with their food and the results are beautiful. Using goods from the Saturday Santa Monica Farmers Market, Lee creates captivating photography.

“My food collages on Instagram started out as a way to showcase seasonal and local offerings from neighborhood farmers markets,” Lee writes on her website. “It’s evolved into an ongoing project in the study of plant design, exploration of color theory, and pure, unadulterated food-love. Let’s be real– I like to play with my food. Thanks for letting me nerd out.”

The julieskitchen instagram account has nearly 60,000 followers and for good reason. Her photos are both beautiful and delicious. Check them out below.

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Sailor Moon Characters Re-imagined as The Avengers

Yesterday, we showed you what happens when an artist re-imagines some of the most beloved Disney characters in the opposite gender. Today, we have yet another artist blowing us away with creativity.

An artist known as Jei Shepard caught our attention for this impressive artwork. Not much is known about this artist. In fact, all we know is a list of interests on Jei Shepard’s tumblr which include Iron Man, Avengers, X-Men, Batman, Supergirl, Mass Effect, Sailor Moon, Dragonball Z, Final Fantasy, BBC Sherlock, Grimm and Agents of SHIELD.

Luckily for us, Jei Shepard decided to take two of those interests for a crossover: Sailor Moon and the Avengers. The result is better than anyone could have expected.

Even though these girls aren’t actually Marvel superheros, they certainly look good in the outfits. Check it out below and be sure to support Jei Shepard’s art here.

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Talented Artist Gender-Bends Disney Characters

Not much is known about the Canada-based artist Sakimi Chan, but one thing is certain: this is one talented artist.

Although Sakimi Chan’s Facebook was only created in January 2014, it has already gathered 124,000 likes and for good reason! According to the Facebook description, Sakimi Chan loves to ”draw fantasy, sci-fi and gender bending.”

It seemed only a matter of time that the digital artist took on beloved Disney characters. Sakimi Chan recently gained viral attention for her gender-bending of Ariel, Belle, Pocahontas and various other characters we grew up with.

Check them out below and be sure to support Sakimi Chan’s work through these sites:
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Jackie Chan Portrait Made Entirely of Chopsticks

A few months ago, we showed you the art of Red Hong Yi. Referred to as the artist who “loves to paint, but not with a paintbrush,” Hong Yi utilized make up to recreated scenes from Chinese myths and create cultural and traditional symbols of the country such as opera masks, firecrackers, cherry blossom trees and goldfish.

Luckily for us, Hong Yi continues to use unique mediums for her work. She has made portraits out of flower petals, sunflower seeds, candle wax, bamboo sticks and coffee cup stains. She’s even painted an entire portrait using a basketball as a brush.

Most recently, Hong Yi has payed homage to actor, action choreographer, comedian, director, producer, martial artist, screenwriter, entrepreneur, singer, and stunt performer, Jackie Chan.

In addition to managing his first K-Pop band, JJCC, Chan is also celebrating his 60th birthday this year. In honor of this, Red Hong Yi decided to create a portrait of him. Of course, this isn’t just an ordinary portrait. It’s created with 64,000 chopsticks.

In the video description, Hong Yi writes, “Jackie turns 60 this year and being an artist who paints without a paintbrush, I spent a looong time thinking about what material to use for his portrait! He is an actor, a martial arts master, an environmentalist and is a world-renowned face! I finally decided on chopsticks – a symbol of the Chinese culture, Jackie has used chopsticks during his kungfu scenes in a few movies like the Fearless Hyena and Karate Kid. I used disposable bamboo chopsticks to show that disposable materials can be reused and made into something else more meaningful and beautiful. I spent a month collecting these chopsticks from cafes, stalls and factories in Zhejiang and Beijing, then tying each of them up. So honoured to present it at his concert on 6/4/14. Happy 60th birthday, Jackie!”

 

 

Must-See Origami Street Art

When Paris-born Mademoiselle Maurice spent time in Japan, she experienced earthquakes, a tsunami and the nuclear power plant explosion of Fukushima. The devastating experiences inspired the 29-year-old artist to remind others of the beauty life still has to offer. Maurice decided to do this by using an art she learned in Japan: origami.

During her stay in Japan, Maurice learned of the thousand paper crane legend. The ancient Japanese legend says that anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes will be granted a wish. This legend is most known through the story of Sadako Sasaki who developed leukemia at the age of 12 because of exposure to radiation from the atomic bombing of Hiroshima during World War II. In the popular book Sadako and The Thousand Paper Cranes, Sadako folded a little over 600 paper cranes before succumbing to her illness. Moved by her efforts, her friends and classmates decided to fold the rest in her honor.

Maurice realized that she too could create beauty and emotions through origami. Rather than put her work up in museums, Maurice has decided to practice her craft in the streets so that the public could enjoy it.

According to her website, the goal of her work is to “break the monotony of urban living to bring a carousel of emotion to those who see her work.”

It takes her many days to complete each art piece. Mademoiselle Maurice has decided to involve local schools, organizations and volunteers to help her fold the beautiful paper creations and create art as a community.

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Check out her official website here. 

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“It’s not what it seems” by Hikaru Chu

A 21-year-old Japanese art student has been attracting quite a bit of attention for her art. In particular, the work of Hikaru Chu seems to be gaining popularity because of her talented ability to trick our eyes.

Using acrylic paints, Chu has taken a number of items and has disguised them to look like something entirely different. She has titled the series “It’s not what it seems” and has given audiences a kick out of trying to guess what the object is without the disguise.

Chu’s attention to detail, color and texture proves that her talent is beyond her years. Check out the photo series below.

And trust us when we say her other art pieces are just as impressive and convincing. She has been able to make it look like a woman’s head completely detaches and a man’s back is made entirely of books. Don’t believe us? Take a look at her artwork for yourself.

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What appears to be a cucumber…
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… is actually a banana.
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What appears to be a tangerine…
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… is actually a tomato.

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What appears to be an eggplant…
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… is actually an egg.
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What appears to be a daifuku rice cake…
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..is actually an orange.

I Think I Am In Friend-Love With You

Story by Ada Tseng. 

Comic artist and illustrator Yumi Sakugawa’s first book tackles the intense feelings that can come with platonic love between best friends. 

Little did Yumi Sakugawa know that when she posted her comic I Think I Am In Friend-Love With You on Tumblr, it’d go viral and gather enough online fanfare for it to be published in print as her debut comic book. Sakugawa, who studied fine arts at UCLA and has had her worked published on websites like The Rumpus, Sadie Magazine and Wonderhowto, penned the story about an adorable one-eyed monster who has met its ideal best friend — but isn’t quite sure if the friend reciprocates the same feelings.

The idea is based on “friend-loves” that Sakugawa has had in the past. For her, they’ve mostly been male friends where the line between platonic and romantic is blurred, but the story, told through ageless, genderless characters, can refer to any type of platonic love. “I don’t want to date you or make out with you,” the monster clarifies in its confessional letter. “Because that would be weird. I just so desperately want you to think that I am this super- awesome person, because I think YOU are a super-awesome person.”

Sakugawa wrote the book as a therapeutic way to sort out her own intense emotions about this unique type of friendship. But once it was out in the blogosphere, she found that readers sometimes interpreted the book’s message differently. While some thought it’d be a cute gift for a best friend, others thought sharing the comic might be the worst way to reject a person who you suspect has more-than-friendly feelings toward you. The book can be a Rorschach test for people’s own views on friendships and relationships; Sakugawa herself welcomes all different interpretations. “Maybe my next book should be a sequel called Friend Zone,” she jokes.

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Excerpted from I Think I Am in Friend-Love With You, copyright © 2013 by
Yumi Sakugawa and published by F+W Media, Inc. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved. 

This story was originally published in our Spring 2014 issue. Get your copy here

Japanese American National Museum Introduces New Tattoo Exhibition

L.A.’s own Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo opened its newest exhibition last week titled Perseverance: Japanese Tattoo Tradition in a Modern World, which explores the history of traditional Japanese tattoo art and its relevance in mainstream culture today.

Curated by Takahiro Kitamura and photographed and designed by Kip FulbeckPerseverance dives into the rich history of Japanese artistry by focusing on its roots in ukiyo-e prints. The exhibit also features the work of seven internationally acclaimed tattoo artists Horitaka, Horitomo, Chris Horishiki Brand, Miyazo, Shige, Junii and Yokohama Horiken, along with tattoo works by selected others.

Perseverance opened on March 8 and will run until September 14.

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