RANDOM ART - I
The Gao Brothers are siblings engaged in producing minimalistic pop art with a focus on exploring the modern Chinese condition (generally, by using communist iconography, with Mao being a favorite). Based out of Beijing, the pair initially became known for sculpture installations, pieces which were characterized by: i) a “sterile” modern polish & ii) an array of colorfully abstract shapes. However, since the late 1980s, they have dabbled in all sorts of art mediums, especially photography.
“Brotherhood” (read: male love) is a strong running theme in all of their works, which spills over to emphasize kinship, community, and peace. Having suffered the loss of a father figure early on, the brothers attempt to artistically negotiate their own emotions alongside the collective memory of nation still finding its way in the shadow of a darkly past where wanton violence was the order of the day (akin to the “scar” movement in the literature world). Described by Laura Vigo (Montréal’s Musée Des Beaux Arts curator for Asian art) as being, “extremely shy, seemingly fragile, and undoubtedly queer,” the Gao brothers live in a small art world where the heart is close to home. Yet, despite it all, the brothers have managed to master an approach to politico-pop art that juggles voyeuristic humor, graphic sexuality, as well as sublime simplicity.
The Gao Brothers, Zhen and Qiang, are two Chinese artists born in 1956 and 1962,in Jinan, in the province of Shandong, located in the north east of China. Nowadays, they work in the artists district called 798 Art Zone in the Dashanzi Art District. When asked about their work, Gao Zhen, the elder brother, explained through an interpreter that “1968 was a crucial moment in the Cultural revolution, where many political “cleanings” took place. Our father, a simple laborer was thrown into jail. We still don’t know if he actually committed suicide as the authorities told us or if he was killed during his incarceration”.
Listen to Tokyo Distortions by Holobeams & Broken Machines.
Holobeams & Broken Machines, the brainchild of Glasgow-based producer Iain Foxwell, shares the love for all things awesome (namely, Japan) in this great piece of chillwave. Actually, the track is a must-have for any big fan of [anything]wave. Not really, but it’s an excellent pastiche of dreamy sequences interspersed with Yakuza voiceovers. Oh, can’t forget the cicada sample either. Yeah, a cicada sample. CICADA SAMPLE, BRO!
The Dead Sea - Bandicoots
Ambient music occupies a soft spot in my heart. When all the complicated details in your life comes knocking every morning at your door asking for this, that, and everything in between, I know that I can escape to this simple world where soothing tunes melt away all those worries. Anyway, nice solo guitar in this particular gem. This genre of music really does bring home the idea of simplicity being key.