It’s the Stuff we done cultural round-up, volume 4! These are the most enjoyable cultural things we have digested in our mind-brains lately…
We read: New Engineering by Yuichi Yokoyama
New Engineering is a manga book filled with incredibly precise black and white sequential drawings of people getting up to all sorts of interesting things such as sculpting vast landscapes with strange machines, having fights in libraries and taking part in surreal fashion shows. His pages do not contain many speech bubbles or have much in the way of explanation so it’s up to the reader to make sense of the densely filled, intricate imagery.
Excerpt from New Engineering
Excerpt from New Engineering
Yuichi Yokoyama – Aichi Triennale 2013, Choja-machi Area, Aichi, Japan. Photo by Tamotsu Kido, Courtesy of ARATANIURANO
Yuichi Yokoyama – Colour Engineering 17
He has produced several books as well as large artworks and paintings, making great use of bright colours. As far as we can make out Yokoyama doesn’t have a website, but he does have an interesting profile with an interview and some excellent exhibition images on Azito, an online Japanese art gallery. There’s also an interview on Comics Alliance with some seriously straight-to-the-point, no-nonsense answers from the artist.
We watched: What We Do in the Shadows
What We Do in the Shadows is a New Zealand comedy horror mockumentary directed by Jermaine Clement and Taika Waititi about a group of vampires who share a house in modern day Wellington. We watch the vampires as they settle domestic disputes over doing the housework, struggle to meet new victims and deal with modern technology. We particularly enjoyed the vampires witnessing their first ever sunrise with amazement and wonder via Youtube.
You may recognise Jermaine Clement from the hit comedy Flight of the Conchords and Rhys Darby also appears in a supporting role as a werewolf. In a similar way to Flight of the Conchords, there aren’t so many out and out belly laughs, but more of a general feeling of amusement throughout the film. Here’s link to a nice little interview with the directors by Intro Magazin.
We listened to: Quite a lot of K-pop
This year we have been watching Music Bank on the KBS World TV Youtube channel religiously. If you’re from the UK like us, then the show would remind you of Top of the Pops. Unlike TV here though, where there isn’t a single pop music show any more (Top of the Pops stopped running in 2006), in South Korea there are six or seven regular shows. Another thing that’s totally different to the UK is that the pop scene there is dominated by boy bands and girl groups – there seem to be an infinite number, whereas over here there are a handful.
Anyway, the show is great fun to watch, full of lovely pop music, impressively perfect choreography as well as some real oddities. Here are, in no particular order, our favourite K-pop songs of 2015.
SHINee – View
There’s nothing particularly exciting about the video, but the song is nice and catchy housey pop with a hint of the 90s about it.
Big Bang – Bae Bae
The Big Bang lads gadding around on horses, on a tiny beach and in a neon garden wearing an assortment of outrageous outfits.
Red Velvet – Ice Cream Cake
If we had to pick a favourite, this would be it. Ludicrously catchy pop, with a video that features a giant dog and some spectacular fluffy jackets.
Got7 – Just Right
A charming bunch of chaps with the jolliest song of the bunch and some very impressive dance moves. The official video is nice but this one of them performing on Music Bank shows off their amazing choreography better!
AOA – Heart Attack
An absolute belter! Super catchy song about falling for a man with long thin fingers, wide shoulders and sharp eyes.
2PM – My House
The dapper young men of 2PM would like you to come to their house. Pleasing pop rock with a very classy and slightly spooky video.