⟨ Book ⟩

Gazing at Nature

Strange Plants III

Words / Elva Pang
Translation / Iris Heung
上古時代的人類對大自然非常敬畏,認為宇宙萬物皆有靈性,崇拜同時亦學會謙卑地相互依存。這種情懷雖於現今文明社會中難以復見,細心看卻又以不同形式呈現出來。

 

The ancient people had a great respect for nature. They believed in the spirituality of the universe. While worshipping the nature, they also learned how to humbly co-exist with it. This attitude may be hardly observed in our modern civilized society, but it is, in fact, expressed in a different manner if you examine carefully.

由洛杉磯的獨立創意工作室Zioxla出版,《Strange Plants》系列的第三集延續與之前兩期所進行的對話,共分成「Pollination」、「Petals」、「Regrowth」三大部分,請來五十位藝術家,以不同的角度與媒介探討大自然。當中最吸晴的有烏克蘭情侶攝影組合Synchrodogs,以人於奇異的荒漠中游走來表現與自然既赤裸又親密的關係,照片怪異中表現強烈的情感,其中一張赤裸的女性伏於沙漠上的照片更成為封面。另外,書內亦有由美國藝術家Rosson Crow繪畫大量遍地叢生的仙人掌,層次分明、充滿奇幻色彩的畫面帶來極大的視覺衝擊。而曾與潮流品牌Off-White合作的紐約藝術家Othelo Gervacio,則結合美艷而凋零的花與幽默的插畫,對以鮮花作禮物的行為作出提問,富當代藝術色彩之餘,強烈的違和感亦引起人們深刻的反思。

藝術家們以怪異又美麗的作品表達對大自然的看法,從光怪陸離的畫面帶領讀者重新探索與凝視身處的環境,既獨特又令人深刻。

The Los Angeles based creative agency and independent publishing house Zioxla has recently published the third book of the Strange Plants series. Strange Plants III continues with the dialogue in the first two books to talk about nature. Through distinctive points of view and the use of various media, the discourse of fifty artists is put into three sections namely “Pollination”, “Petals” and “Regrowth”. The most captivating unit among the contributors could well be Synchrodogs, the photographer couple from Ukraine. The picture they made with a nude lady crouching in a desert was even featured as the book cover. Each of the other contributors renders a plant in their own aesthetic. The cactus field drawn by the American artist Rosson Crow has a dazzling gradation of magical colors that is an exceptional feast for the eyes; The artist from New York, Othelo Gervacio, who once had a collaboration with the streetwear brand Off-White created humorous illustrations of fabulous and withering flowers juxtaposed together. Using a contemporary illustration style, the clashing images are Gervacio’s medium to invite viewers to question the nature of offering flowers as gifts.

The artists used their own bizarrely charming presentation to express their thoughts on nature. Through the grotesque images, readers are led to a special journey of reexamining the surrounding world that would make a big impression on their mind.

《Strange Plants III》的「Regrowth」部分是由十位藝術家向中國攝影師任航致敬的作品,以第二集中任航的黑夜蓮花池的作品為靈感,延續這股神秘又浪漫的情懷。

 

“Regrowth” in Strange Plants III is a tribute to the Chinese photographer Ren Hang. Ten artists departed from the inspiration they have got from the photos he took in lily-pad-filled ponds at night and carried on his legacy to shape a mystical and romantic world.