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Lang Shining in Qing Dynasty (1644-1911)

Michelangelo, Leonardo Da Vinci, Vincent Van Gogh—these are names or artists you’re probably well aware of but, do you know anything about Lang Shining? You probably don’t! Chinese Painter, Lang Shining, left such an impact on the painting world that his works are very highly regarded today.

Named as Giuseppe Castiglione at birth, Lang Shining was an Italian artist who served as missionary in China between 1715, and 1766, the year of his death. Born into a wealth family, Lang Shining started learning painting during his formative years. He had a private tutor who taught him how to paint. In 1707, at the age of 19, Shining joined Geno’s Society of Jesus, a religious congregation of the Catholic Church. Lang Shining was a Jesuit, but he never went to become a priest.

Several other Jesuit painters were employed by Kangxi Emperor, the fourth emperor of the Qing Dynasty during the late 17th century. This was what paved the way for Lang Shining’s journey to China. In the early part of the 18th century, Shining was invited to China for work by the Jesuits based in the country. Shining arrived in China in 1715, and he stayed there till the end of his life.

Lang Shining has a lot to his credit. In addition to producing many painting masterpieces, he designed and decorated many structures including the chapel of St. Francis Borgia and the Old Summer Palace’s Western-style palaces. As far as Shining’s paintings are concerned, they were an amalgamation of European and Chinese cultures, themes and sensibilities. He used Chinese materials for his paintings, but the paintings reflected the Western atmospheric perspective and techniques of shading. Some of the best work of Lang Shining include the One Hundred Horses, Immortal Blossoms of an Eternal Spring, Brocade of Spring, White Falcon and Yellow Panther paintings.



Are you looking for creative and visually appealing…

Are you looking for creative and visually appealing coffee table reads?
New and inspiring short reads or image-based books of fashion and photography are featured this month.
Check out what is popular in Fashion and Photography with an outsider view into their worlds.

More Than Human ដោយ Tim Flach
He captures stunning images of species in a vivid and captivating book.

The Vocabulary of Style
This elegant book takes you through the history of fashion through Chanel’s eyes with images of clothes and accessories in all genres.

Style is Instinct by Lori Goldstein
Renowned stylist gives you a backstage pass into fashion with her book Style is Instinct. For fashionistas, this is a must-read.

Alexander McQueen: Working Process
by: Nick Waplington
Nick Waplington is a talented photographer who was allowed to follow and document Alexander McQueen during his fall/winter collection, which sadly ended up being his last. This book helps you get a peek of how one of the most beloved fashion designers worked.

Chloé: Attitudes
Feminine fashion at it’s finest with the soft and timeless Chloé and the build of the 60 year history of the chic designs and well appraised fashion label.

The Asylum
by: Simon Doonan
The love/hate relationship with fashion and the crazy world some fit in but also despise at the same time. Step into the madness of his words and maybe you will find some comfort in similarities of thought.

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And He Is Back

Ryan Reynolds returns to Hollywood A-list and it has …

Ryan Reynolds returns to Hollywood A-list and it has nothing to do with Blake Lively

This towering (1.88m) Canadian from the sleepy town of Vancouver is the object of envy by men the world over. Before he became Mr Blake Lively, he was Mr Scarlett Johansson. Some men have all the luck.

Late last year, together with Lively, Reynolds welcomed baby daughter James. The couple says this is just the start of what they hope to be a family of eight eventually.
And Reynolds’ luck hasn’t seemed to have run out just yet. After a series of box office tankers such as the Green Lantern and R.I.P.D, Deadpool, the superhero flick he headlined, sent the sexy actor back into the A-list after opening to USD135 million on opening weekend.

Director Tim Miller says, “I imagine that for Ryan, slipping into Deadpool’s persona is like putting on a favorite shirt that’s been worn so many times it feels like a part of you.” Like the superhero character, the handsome actor is smart in a goofy sort of way.

Despite calling Reynolds a “regular guy”, Miller is clearly a fan. “He treats everyone with a casual respect and friendliness that goes beyond mere professionalism. And he’s so funny that he’s got the crew and me laughing all the time. I ruined a lot of takes because I was back behind the monitors spluttering with laughter.”

And the accolades keep coming. “He’s also incredibly generous when working with the other actors, the crew and myself. Both in advice and also just trying to make the process as smooth and easy as it can be for everyone on the set. And I mean everyone – from the top of the hierarchy to the bottom. The entire crew loved him.”

Following on the movie’s success, a sequel is reportedly in the pipelines and Miller has his sights set on Reynolds. “He’s a brilliant actor and so much more. He’s extremely professional and, for a director, very ‘user friendly.’ He can adapt and adjust effortlessly to changes in tone and notes I throw at him.” We can’t wait.

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Free Expression

Grace H. Gutekanst interviewed Peter Klashorst, an anti-dogmatic artist travelling between…

Grace H. Gutekanst interviewed Peter Klashorst, an anti-dogmatic artist travelling between three countries and selling art around the world. Upon first meeting him at his studio in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, he greeted Gutekanst in tiny boxers and tiny boxers alone. However, his intelligence and view of the world is outstanding. Klashorst keeps up with world news and pop culture daily and incorporates the tragic insanity of society into his artwork.

Can you tell me a little bit about you?
I came to Phnom Penh when I was 21. I was invited to do an exhibition in the regime and I kept hanging on.

What medium do you usually use?
I have three studios, one in Africa, Bangkok, and here. I work mainly with local materials so it is hard to get classic materials like linen. I work mostly with industrial paints and spray paints. In Bangkok I can work with oils and canvas… and Africa is another story. It depends on what materials I can get my hands on.

Do you locate between studios?
Yes, I travel around so usually about 2 weeks Bangkok, 2 weeks in Phnom Penh, and then one or two months in Africa.

What is your style/influence?
I am influenced by children, drawings, Rembrandt, and everything in between, cartoons, comics, animations, classical sculpture, Khmer sculpture; I am anti-dogmatic. I don’t have a style. I don’t believe in a recipe… I wake up in the morning and think, “What shall I do?” I look at the internet. Like this morning, I see the GOP debate and Mr. Trump sort of emphasizing the size of his penis, so I thought let’s make a cartoon about that. I never know what comes out. I let my imagination run wild and there’s no holding back. I don’t say that I cannot do this because it is outside of my style. I don’t have a style. I look at a painting of Da Vinci and try to paint like Da Vinci or I look at Rembrandt and try to be Rembrandt, but of course I am not him. Meanwhile I believe in free expression so I do everything I want. Most importantly it’s about freedom; it’s about liberty; express yourself and let yourself go. Even porn inspires me.

Do you paint every day?
Yeah, every day. I have been painting so much for the last few days because I sniffed too much coke. No, no I just made about 300 paintings for a collector last week, so I had overdone it a little bit, you know? Normally, most painters wouldn’t do that. For me it’s like a hallucination; a catharses; throwing every idea that comes into my mind.

How do people contact you?
Everything goes through Facebook, like 99%. It’s fascinating because I used to go to gallery shows myself or try to get an exhibition show or invited to places, but now that’s all gone. Every day you can do a show on Facebook. You can do a new exhibition. You don’t need to have a physical exhibition any more. You can reach an enormous amount of people. Sometimes about 20,000 people look at one photo; one picture. In a gallery, if ten people a day come by then that’s good, but 20,000 on Facebook- that’s crazy! And it’s all over the world from Saudi Arabia to Africa to Asia, America, and Europe. That’s fantastic! You can reach so many people with your pictures. That is totally different from a couple of years ago. I am using that vehicle as a way to promote my work.

And you’ve always been an artist?
Yes, always. As a child, ever since I was existing, I was an artist.

Do you ever collaborate with other Cambodian artists?
Very little here. In Africa, I have been working with other artists a lot. Sometimes they even copy my work and sell it. *laughs* …here not so much. In Bangkok, I was working with several artists, but in Cambodia I don’t know as many Cambodian artists. Most of the artwork I see is very into the tourist thing, you know? There are a few galleries here, but the work to me is not so interesting.

Do you have a favorite painting you have ever done?
I am going to do it tomorrow. No, I don’t have a favorite. Sometimes the worst paintings are the best. It is something you see later on. I am also a writer. Sometimes I really hate my writing, it’s terrible and then a few years later they wanted to reprint one of the books. When I look at it now, it’s not that bad. It is with painting too, sometimes you are angry and make something and hate it. Then a few years later and suddenly you are in a different mood and it looks different. It happens to everyone. Like if you don’t like a movie and a few years later you like it.

How does your writing influence your painting?
I have always been writing, painting, and making music. I have always been doing the creative thing. I went to movie school and studied movies. So now I am working on a new book and combine everything because of technology now. I combine the move aspect, the writing, the animation, drawing, and paintings. I want to make an app. The book is not a physical book but an app book.

It is really neat how you go with the flow of technology and how it’s advancing.
Yes, now you can do it in a more spontaneous way. You can take a picture and draw it in your book, you know? You don’t have to look for a picture or film fragment. The problem before was having to look for all the things and put them together, but technology helps make it more spontaneous. Then it becomes more natural and intended. That is possible nowadays.

I know a lot of artists who are opposed to technology and I love that you use it to your benefit.
Yes, I love both sides. What I love about painting is that it is so primitive and so direct in a way. Painting is one big accident; it’s one big mess. It’s very physical, and then on the other side you have technology for writing and researching. I like both sides of it. First thing in the morning, I wake up, get my ipad, and look at the news and make drawings on the ipad. You can also take an ipad and write at the beach or the bar; before you needed a type-writer.

Can you tell me about that big painting you have in your studio?
So it’s about all those things that happened in Gaza. It’s an apocalyptic vision of our world. It is one of the riders of the apocalypse, one of the four horse men. Also it’s a self portrait; it’s me on the horse. It incorporates death and destruction. It’s McDonalds coming down and lots of red. Also one of the guys in the painting is killed by Isis; Muslims with a head rolling somewhere. It’s about all the things that irritate me but are also a part of our lives. The noose is the reality.

What would you like to see art wise in Cambodia?
The idea was for me to be the first artist at the National Museum and lots of other artists would follow, but that didn’t happen. It is a beautiful museum with a lot of space. The whole subject is very heavy of course, but I think it would be good to continue that idea. To have artists react to the Khmer Rouge period but also talk about the present. Nowadays people are still being tortured and killed but nobody ever learned anything from it. It would be great if there were more galleries and openings about art. I think art is a very good way to change people’s ideas. I think it would be better to bomb Iraq with artists then to bomb with bombs. Parachute a thousand artists and find out what will happen. It would be better than to put a thousand soldiers there because of this whole Isis thing. A lot of these things happening are all ideas and you cannot pull them out of people. If you kill someone, the idea isn’t gone. I mean they killed Bin Laden but his ideas are still in Iraq. So you have to change ideas from within and art is one way to look at the world in a different way and surprise people. The world is filled with crazy artists, but aren’t we all crazy too? Be free more.

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