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Seonna Hong : Fine Artist and Animation Art Director


Seonna Hong is a US-based artist and animation Art Director. I think she has a wonderful eye, especially for capturing nature, I love her colour choices and the ability she has to evoke atmosphere with such deft simplicity. Her background is originally in teaching art to children, she then migrated to the animation industry and in 2004 received an Emmy for her work on “My Life as a Teenage Robot” for Nickelodeon the US Cable Channel. Her most recent exhibition was in New York “Our Endless Numbered Days” (2007).

From her bio :
“Hong’s paintings continuously reflect her exploration of personal evolvement and how environment such as family, friends, and society can shape one’s existence.”

In May 2008 she will be showing work at a group show in Tokyo, Japan organised by Kaikai Kiki Co (Toyko & New York-based organisation dedicated to showing and promoting young artists). This will be Seonna’s first show out of the US. She has a great blend of steady animation commissions together with a prolific output on the art front including books. I am not surprised at all to discover there is a waiting list to buy her work, she is represented by sixspace a gallery based in California, USA.

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Two cycle schemes trying to make a difference: “Ciclovia” in Bogota and the “Velib” in Paris.

Well, it seems cycling has been deemed newsworthy in the UK at last. Naughty David Cameron has been found running a red light and going the wrong way down a one-way street on his bike. Something I would never do of course.
In an effort to balance out this negative press I urge you to take a look at this link: www.streetfilms.org/archives/lessons-from-bogota/ or click on the youTube image below.
It features a short film made all about an amazing scheme called “ciclovia” in Bogota where the usually car-laden streets are given over to pedestrians and cyclists every Sunday. It has been a massive success and shows how an area can be transformed if designers put community needs at the heart of things.
The film was made by a non-profit group aiming to reclaim New York back for its people. They want to improve the quality of life and make the streets safer for all New Yorkers; pedestrians and bicycles, skaters, rollerbladers, in fact any non-vehicular modes of transport. Via their website they provide evidence to back their case and a platform for discussion and dialogue on the issue: www.streetfilms.org.
Most people do agree that we must find alternatives to the car. Ideally, we want easy, cheap, practical and acceptable modes of transport. The rise of cycling in London has been dramatic since 2000 with a reported 83% increase in journey’s by bike. It shows the desire is there to use pedal power but conditions need to be right to make it happen and attitudes need to change.
In August last year Paris introduced a scheme called “Velib”, 20,000 bikes were dotted around 750 sites within the city centre for anyone to hire. One must purchase either a subscription (£20 for unlimited use all year) or pay per trip when the first half hour is free and then the cost is roughly a euro an hour. The system operates with either a pre-validated swipe card or the users credit card which then allows quick release of any bike from the bike’s locked collection points. Bikes do not have to be returned to the same spot.
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Use of the “Velib” has been high, with 1.6 million trips in the first month each bike being used roughly 30 times each day and that is despite many technical glitches suffered at the scheme’s start. The bikes also carry advertising space to subside some of the scheme’s costs. Using the bike as a portable marketing tool has encouraged advertisers to introduce schemes to Seville, Cordoba, Brussels and Vienna and is probably the most likely way a large scale scheme similar to the Parisian one may be brought to the UK.
Suprisingly, many of the Velib users are switchers from public transport rather than car-ditchers, so not quite the anticipated effect the French mayor had hoped for. However, it is still early days and has possibly started a slow sea change in opinion; the acceptance of the bike as a popular, even trendy, method of getting from A to B in a cosmopolitan and busy city. Could the UK be next to follow?

Iris pattern watermark for images

One thing caught my eye this week regarding the hot topic of preventing unlicensed use of photography images and how to identify the copyright holder. It involves work by John Daugman, the original inventor of Iris Recognition. Here is a link to an interesting way forward being investigated by Canon, possible use of the photographer’s individual Iris pattern, thanks to the PhotographyBay Blog for spotting this one, fascinating.

news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7251621.stm eye_iris.jpg


mantra

A really good friend of mine pointed me in the direction of this blog theglassdoorknob.blogspot.com. This is the post that caught my eye, just in case you cannot find it from the link (as it was January post). It’s the bit about not accepting common wisdom that something is going to be difficult or impossible and therefore we give up without even trying. How many of us are guilty of that!!

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from Jan 10th 2008 theglassdoorknob.blogspot.com

this week i started taking yoga classes again after a long time away from the mat. i had such an amazing first class, and i left the studio with an important insight.we were working on bow pose. as soon as the words left the teacher’s mouth, my body began to tense up and tighten. while i do have the flexibility to move myself into this pose, holding myself up comfortably has always been difficult. she guided me through the pose and though i did exactly as i was told, thoughts were running through my head. this is hard. i can’t hold this position much longer. my stomach hurts, etc. soon, i was told to release the pose and rest.before trying the pose again, the teacher said, “now before you even get into this pose, find a way to be comfortable, to be at ease here.” instant transformation. my perspective shifted and as i practiced bow pose this time, it was, to my amazement, much easier and more comfortable. in fact, i kind of enjoyed it for the first time in my yoga practice.how many times in life do we bring our pre-conceived notions along for the ride? we assume that we are going to have difficulty, pain and we close the door to the possibility that we can find comfort or ease in this space.