Monir Farmanfarmaian continues to dazzle as she explores kinetic art

The art has been shown in various city over the world. (Image supplied)
Updated 17 October 2018
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Monir Farmanfarmaian continues to dazzle as she explores kinetic art

  • Iranian artist Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian is 94 and has displayed her art all over the world
  • Farmanfarmaian’s latest exhibition features mixed-media installations

DUBAI: At 94 years old, Iranian artist Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian would surely be forgiven for resting on her considerable laurels. Her work, after all, is featured in several of the world’s leading museums, including Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, the Guggenheim in New York, and London’s Tate Modern. She even has a museum all of her own in Tehran.
As her latest solo exhibition proves, however, Farmanfarmaian isn’t even close to slowing down yet. “The Breeze at Dawn Has Secrets to Tell You,” which opened at Dubai’s Third Line Gallery late September and runs until November 3, features mixed-media installations created by the artist this year (including new iterations of her famed Mirror Ball works from the Seventies, originally inspired, apparently, by children playing football in the streets.

The exhibition continues Farmanfarmaian’s exploration of math, Islamic cosmology, and Sufi mysticism (the title comes from a Rumi poem) but also introduces an entirely new practice for the artist, as she experiments with kinetic art for the first time. Her familiar geometric mirror mosaics are, the gallery explains in a statement, “framed by curtains of reverse-painted plexiglass strands that one imagines could oscillate in the wind.” Several of those works also feature suspended pendants, further mirroring the shapes from which they hang.

“Each of the shapes possesses mathematical attributes and, consequently, its own meaning. Thus, the triangle becomes a symbol of harmony representing the sould and the three forms of action: mental, physical and verbal, while the square is synonymous with stability, the four cardinal points, and the four seasons,” the statement says.
Back in the 1950s, Farmanfarmaian worked alongside some of modern art’s most-famous names, including Andy Warhol, Frank Stella and Jackson Pollock. “The Breeze at Dawn Has Secrets to Tell You” shows that —  over half a century later — Farmanfarmaian still, remarkably, retains the kind of energy and playfulness that helped drive her then-contemporaries, while her mastery of technique has continued to flourish.

 


BTS’s agency apologizes over K-Pop band member’s A-bomb shirt

Updated 14 November 2018
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BTS’s agency apologizes over K-Pop band member’s A-bomb shirt

SEOUL, South Korea: The agency for K-pop superstars BTS apologized Wednesday for members wearing a T-shirt depicting the explosion of an atomic bomb and a hat with a Nazi emblem.

Japanese TV broadcasters recently canceled planned appearances in that country after images went viral of the musician wearing the shirt. The South Korean band ran into more trouble after news surfaced that another member wore a hat featuring a Nazi symbol in a magazine photo book and band members flew flags with what appeared to be the Nazi swastika during a past concert.

“We would like to again offer our sincerest apologies to anyone who has suffered pain, distress and discomfort due to our shortcomings and oversight in ensuring that these matters receive our most careful attention,” the band’s agency, the Big Hit Entertainment, said in a statement

The T-shirt portrayed an atomic bombing juxtaposed with the celebration of Korea’s 1945 liberation from Japan at the end of the World War II. The United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki before Tokyo’s surrender.

Before its division into North and South Korea after the liberation, the Korean Peninsula was colonized by Japan from 1910-1945. Many in both Koreas still harbor strong resentment against the Japanese colonial masters. But in South Korea, it’s extremely rare for anyone to publicly celebrate or mock the atomic bombings.

BTS’s agency said the A-bomb shirt’s wearing was “in no way intentional” and that it wasn’t designed to “injure or make light of those affected by the use of atomic weapons.” It said it still apologizes for “failing to take the precautions that could have prevented the wearing of such clothing by our artist.”

Regarding the hat furor, it said all apparel and accessories used for the photo book were provided by a media company involved in its publication. It said the flags in question were aimed at symbolizing South Korea’s restrictively uniform and authoritarian educational systems, not Nazism.

“We will carefully examine and review not only these issues but all activities involving Big Hit and our artists based on a firm understanding of diverse social, historical and cultural considerations to ensure that we never cause any injury, pain or distress to anyone,” the agency statement said.

The seven-member band, which has worldwide following, was the first South Korean artists in May to top the Billboard 200 albums chart with “Love Yourself: Tear.” The band began its Japan tour earlier this week.

South Korean K-pop and movie stars are extremely popular in Japan and other Asian countries.