Oddooki by Seung Yul Oh, Te Papa Tongarewa, 2008
Back in 2008, on the Sculpture Terrace of New Zealand’s national museum, Te Papa Tongarewa, overlooking the sparkling turquoise ripple of Wellington harbour, PJD, Occasionally Travelled and I ran into some Oddooki (see photo at left). “What are Oddooki?”, you might well ask, as we did, that sunny day. Well, Oddooki are the creation of Auckland-based (until recently!), Korean-born multimedia artist Seung Yul Oh, and they are fun, they are playful, they are everything that interactive sculpture should be, and they are surprising.
Oddooki sketch by Seung Yul Oh, Te Papa Tongarewa
Egg-shaped birds, sculpted in high-sheen vivacious colours, Oddooki are eye-catching and engaging. Give an Oddooki a little push, it will roll from side to side, making a gentle chiming noise as it does. Oddooki have endured in each of our minds since we found them that day, and they remain some of the most interesting and innovative sculpture that we have seen. Definitely, sculpture for enjoyment and access by all ages. So, it was with great excitement that PJD and Occasionally Travelled last week checked out some new Oddooki, on show in Auckland at the Gus Fischer Gallery.
A lot of people go to Luzern (or, Lucerne, for the Francophones) to see the famous wooden bridge (Kapellbrücke). And indeed, we saw the bridge…but Luzern has other things to offer the intrepid explorer. Not that much exploring is necessary. The directions were clear.
Luzern is an old city, strategically located, surrounded by its lake, and mountains. The city quickly developed an independent identity, and as with all medieval cities with an independent identity, it quickly established a need for walls. The canton of Luzern was one of the original members of the Eternal Swiss Confederacy, and its importance as a trade centre meant that it has long been an important regional hub, a role that continues today. Of course, such cities are often the focus of rivals, seeking greater influence, and it is Luzern’s city walls which we climbed to on this beautifully sunny Swiss day.
For anyone who is excited about the impending release of The Hobbit film (part one only, somehow they managed to string it out into two films… how?!), Wellington is certainly the place to be right about now. With just four days to go (as the billboard on the front of the Embassy Theatre reminds us! See below), all sorts of Hobbity kinds of events are kicking into full gear…
Today we checked out the Hobbit Artisan Market, in Waitangi Park.
Look who appeared on the front of the Embassy Theatre (our local cinema, definitely the best place to catch a film in town, as it is both beautiful on the inside and out) today. That’s right folks, Wellington is continuing to be Hobbit-ified (or should I say Tolkien-ised or Weta-fied?) more and more as the days count down to the world premiere of Sir Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit. Overnight (street closure? Why not?!), the front of the Embassy (where the premiere will screen) was decorated with a new Weta Workshop creation, replete with over-sized hobbit-hole and Gandalf watching over Courtenay Place (if we can’t have Sir Ian McKellen in town for the premiere, we can have a giant sculpture of his character’s likeness, right?!). It’s definitely going to be a focal point in this city over the coming days and doubtless will look great at the end of the red carpet in nine days time…
… we had some fun taking photos of this latest Hobbit-related sculpture in the city tonight.
Photos by PJD and CIA, Wellington, 19 November 2012. Gollum is already in town too.
Sometimes, you see a piece of design – graphic in this case – which is just so cool, it’s worth taking a photo of.
We do love Swiss design (who doesn’t?!) and the high quality of graphic design posters advertising various events as we wandered around Zurich was inspiring. Photo by CIA, Zurich, Switzerland, May 2012, International Experimental Film and Video Festival, Zurich, 2012.
Recently when we were at the lovely Whitechapel Gallery in London, we discovered their amazing bookshop. For an incredibly compact space, this little shop packs a real punch, with an amazing selection of books spanning art, design, architecture, crafts, politics, philosophy, literature and the list goes on. I’m still dreaming of it, and would like to return one day when I can afford to pick up a few titles… This is one book I really should have bought to take home with me that day though.
Photo by CIA, Whitechapel Gallery, London, September 2012.
Before we moved to live in the Netherlands, people warned us that as vegetarians, we wouldn’t have much luck with (or get much joy out of) Dutch food. Whilst it is certainly no vegetarian paradise, we didn’t find it all that bad. Certainly, there were even some Dutch foods (mainly of the sweet variety, such as appeltaart and stroopwafels) of which we became huge fans during our time living in Holland.
Moving to the Netherlands equipped with only limited Dutch language skills meant our trips to the supermarket in the first few months were quite challenging and made for some interesting exchanges as we navigated the payment system at the checkout, as well as navigating the aisles (such as when I eagerly utilised my fledgling Dutch language skills and asked a supermarket staff member “How are the eggs?” rather than “Where are the eggs?”). Being foreign in a country suddenly adds a level of challenge to daily tasks and interactions such as going to the supermarket which you’d otherwise take the ease of doing for granted. As a tourist, it can be fun, but when you are trying to integrate into a different society for an extended period of time, it can be tiring and frustrating. Read more