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Local art jewellery designers collaborate to create stunning works for Noh performer

Patsy Kay Kolesar
Nov 2nd, 2013

"A clearly stated and consciously shared purpose is the foundation of great collaborations."

--Twyla Tharp

 

How do you make a creative collaboration work?  And work well?  For the past year I have been working with two other metal artists on creative collaborations.  We came together because we all had the same purpose.  We wanted to work on interesting projects that brought attention to jewellry as a fine art. 

We all knew what we didn’t want: to stand awkwardly behind a table anxiously waiting for people to approach us to see what we were trying to sell them.  In our industry this method of interacting with the public seems to be the norm, and when we each began our art careers we all paid our dues with this method.   We came together with the goal of creating a new way for the public to interact with us, with an approach that would be  exciting and engaging for everyone.  

The fascinating world of artist Manabu Ikeda

Yukiko Onley
Nov 28th, 2011

Photos by Yukiko Onley.

Manabu Ikeda decided to come to Vancouver when he received a scholarship from the Japanese Ministry of Culture one year ago. He chose Vancouver, he says, because he wanted to see how people lived and how the city looked, being situated right next to a vast natural wilderness.

Ikeda was unsure, though, how he would respond to such a landscape. He was so used to seeing Japanese landscapes, which are far smaller in scale but more intricate in details, and are the main inspiration behind his work.

Ikeda's art work is amazing. They are the most detailed pen and ink drawings in colour I have ever seen. And his images are mesmerizing. 

Kokoro Dance brings otherworldly performance to Wreck Beach

Yukiko Onley
Aug 20th, 2011

Kokoro Dance Wreck Beach Butoh performance is one of Vancouver's yearly summer events. I had the opportunity to photograph the rehearsal before the actual performance last month.

It was a gray and cold day. I was dressed quite warmly, but the dancers were of course totally naked, which made me feel a bit sorry for them. There were 10 dancers this year, most of them over 40 years old, except three younger dancers. The Dancers this year were Barbara Bourget, Jay Hirabayashi, Ahn Tuan Luu, Philippa Myler, Irene McDermott, Bill Bevis, Juliette Crump, Martin Pratt, Nina Bialecki and Rober Seaton.

Haida manga artist Michael Nicoll Yhagulanaas

Yukiko Onley
Jun 28th, 2011

Photos by Yukiko Onley

Even before I knew who he was, Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas stood out in a crowd. This was at an Anthropology Museum reception in Vancouver last November.

It wasn't hard to guess that he was an artist of some kind because of how he looked. He was wearing funky eye-glasses, his light blond hair had a stylish cut and he was wearing a fun print shirt. But when he told me he was Haida, I realized that I had had a fixed image of how Haida people or any other First Nation people should look. He did not fit my image at all.

 

Yahgulanaas told me that he does 'Haida manga art' -- "manga" being Japanese comics. Although manga has become a popular art in recent years, it was originally developed in late 19th-century Japan, and was a form of story-telling in the style of comics.

Active Michael Levin photographs stillness

Yukiko Onley
Apr 21st, 2011

Michael Levin is an accomplished Vancouver photographer who, curiously, is better known internationally and nationally than locally. He has won numerous awards, including the Professional Fine Art Photographer-of-the-Year Award in 2007 and 2009 from the prestigious PX3 Prix De La Photographie Paris Award, the only photographer ever to win twice. He also won the Professional Photographer-of -the-Year Award from the International Photography Award in New York in 2006, from among 34,000 professional photographers.

Daring models inspire photographer Rick Legal

Yukiko Onley
Mar 30th, 2011

Photographer Rick Legal has almost exclusively photographed nudes in recent months.The shy photographer somehow has no problem finding bold models comfortable with being seen with no clothes on.

Legal has a unique point of view which sets his nude photographs apart from those of many other photographers. His approach to subjects is direct. His photographs are stark, but intimate. They are not necessarily pretty, but almost always erotic.

Legal's models are not just passive pretty faces or bodies exploited by male perspectives on what a woman's body should look like. They seem to be not only comfortable in their nudity, but also confident with their own bodies. They appear to enjoy being seen and photographed.

 

Shy, bold photographer Rick Legal

Yukiko Onley
Jan 26th, 2011

The Eastwood Onley Gallery, which I co-own  with Peter Eastwood, is hosting a photography exhibition by  photographer Rick Legal in April.

Rick Legal is relatively new to the Vancouver Photography scene, nevertheless his nude photographs constitute some of the most powerful images I have seen.  There are two other photographers I can think of, whose works are also very strong but in a different style.  One is the highly controversial Japanese photographer, Nobuyoshi Araki.  His works are controversial and some  are considered to be pornographic.  Ralph Gibson is an American photographer who also photographs nudes, but his works are virtually abstract.

View Nobuyoshi Araki's work.

Solitary artist Wayne Ngan

Yukiko Onley
Dec 12th, 2010

I have seen many pieces of Wayne Ngan's work, but only met him once or twice.  He had been on my list of people whom I wanted to photograph for many years.  I finally had the chance last week.

If his works are reflection of who he is, he is in tune with nature and his inner self.  Regardless of its size and shape, his pottery has perfect proportions that are  pleasing to a viewer's eye.  When I hold one, it gives me a sense of satisfaction.  The weight is what I would expect to feel:not too heavy, but not too light either.  Because it is made by hand, it fits into your hands.

 To my surprise, he was quite talkative.  During the photography session, which lasted a little less than one hour, he repeatedly said that what was most important to him was to explore his potential as an artist for the time left to him in this world, which he assumed would be about ten years.

Christopher Gaze has a perfect smile

Yukiko Onley
Oct 15th, 2010

I have always wanted to photograph Christopher Gaze. He is a well known cultural figure who founded The Bard on The Beach  Shakespeare Festival in Vancouver 20 years ago.  But I wanted to photograph him without a smile. In all the photographs of him I've ever seen, he has a perfect smile.  I wanted to see what he looked like without it.

I wrote a letter asking him to participate in my project of photographing people in the arts and culture community. I sent him my portfolio. That was early in the spring of 2009, but I heard nothing from him.  Six months later, I found out that Christopher Gaze was on the board of a charity organizations in town whose founder I knew.  So, I asked him to ask Christopher Gaze to respond to my request.  Again, nothing happened. I told myself that he was just too busy to be bothered.

Mime artist Yayoi Hirano is always moving forward

Yukiko Onley
Sep 30th, 2010

I met Yayoi Hirano through a mutual friend three years ago here in Vancouver.  At our first meeting we discovered that we went to the same high school in Japan, and became friends right away.

Yayoi has been a mime artist all her life and has an impressive track record before she came to this country eight years ago. Shortly after she got married and settled here, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.  It slowed down her professional activity for a while.  As soon as she recovered well enough to perform, Yayoi was right back into her creative world.

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