Interview with So Yoon Lym

When I initially saw New Jersey-based artist So Yoon Lym’s series of intricate cornrow paintings, entitled “The Dreamtime,” I was immediately struck by the complex beauty and artistry of the hairstyles she depicted. After learning that the series was inspired by heads of teenagers in Paterson, NJ, a town only 20 minutes from where I grew up, I was bewildered; how could I have overlooked these incredible hairstyles on the heads of people around me? Lym seemed to be documenting an ignored craft. An art educator, Lym has been on sabbatical for the past year, operating out of the Lower East Side Printshop in Manhattan and creating a CMYK silkscreen print series of Paterson’s landscapes entitled “Alone Together.” I recently caught up with the artist for a discussion of her work, life, and their intersections.


I know that as a teenager, you studied with famed sumi-e painter Ung No Lee in France. What lessons stuck with you from that experience?

Ung No Lee taught me three important art lessons: first, that the essence of art is about “nature,”  Second: one doesn’t need to constantly be sketching or drawing to make art.  He would tell me that I needed to observe carefully, study and memorize, so that when I painted, I would understand what I was painting from memory.

When I studied with Ung No Lee when I was 16, I didn’t understand why he and his wife had chosen to live in a tiny studio in the poorest neighborhood on the outskirts of Paris. I used to think that he could have easily sold off many of his paintings and live a more comfortable lifestyle, but Ung No Lee didn’t want to devalue his paintings by selling his artwork [...]

Aubrey Beardsley passed away 116 years ago

Yesterday would have marked 116 years since the passing of the decadently influential Victorian illustrator Aubrey Beardsley. To celebrate his life I’ve found these fashion images created for LIFE magazine where backdrops of Beardsley iconic illustrations were used for a fashion shoot in 1967 in regards to the then current exhibition at the V&A museum dedicated to his   work. Working with the illustrators the model has been turned into a monotone dream resembling Beardsley’s surreal and erotic characters. The exaggeration that Beardsley often applied to his character never resembled the then current fashions during the turn of the century and the parallel between the 1960s futuristic aesthetic against the intricacy of Beardsley’s drawing sets a gorgeous comparison.



Images scanned by Sweet Jane from LIFE magazine February 1967, Photographer: Greene-Eula, Aubrey Beardsley V&A 1966 exhibition promotional material also from private collection, additional Aubrey Beardsley illustration scans from the Best Works of Aubrey Beardsley published by Dover.


Fibrous House

The built environment contrasts so heavily with biological growth, even though buildings and plants both come out of the ground. Do you ever look around and wonder why anyone even started building, disrupting inherent order? Yet our contemporary sheltering needs have gotten quite sophisticated, and require systemic separation from the elements. What if we could have shelters with integrated systems, generated through biological influence? Architectural explorations derived from biological algorithms begin to connect us back to the earth visually, while their experiential effect is not yet known.


Roland Snooks’ work extracts information from biological systems to create architectural systems. He focuses on the complex swarm algorithm and its stigmergy: when a high population of individual agents intuitively move together, such as birds flocking in perfect separation or schools of fish cohesively traveling. The flocking agents are simulated through algorithms written in programming languages such as Processing and Python. The code is finessed until outcomes resemble the patterns found in nature.  The nonhierarchical agents continuously communicate and learn from each other, nonlinear feedback loops occur, and when the agents are assigned geometry, such as a strand in the Fibrous House, architectural form emerges.

Traditional architectural design occurs linearly through an analysis of the intended use of the building, form emerging out of that analysis, architectural systems then employed to that form. Snooks prioritizes the “agency of architectural elements, not agency of use” and the resulting architectural proposals invoke frozen natural growth, with just enough thickness and interior space to use, with a potentially sublime spatial effect.

The strand-agent architectural proposals excite through their novel tectonics and process, new forms resulting from new design methodologies. A building is composed of more than just an interior [...]

1000 Tattoos: 25 Years

To mark the 25th anniversary of their  monograph tracing the history of tattoo, Taschen have released a special edition of 1000 tattoos. From 19th-century engravings to tribal body art, from circus ladies of the ‘20s to classic biker designs, the tome studies tattoo from an art historical perspective, in the context of the designs themselves, edited by German gallerist Berkard Riemenschneider and Dutch tattooist and author of encyclopedic title The Lexicon of Tattoos Henk ‘Hanky Panky’ Schiffmacher; “The tattoo world has always scrupulously preserved its own history.”


Photographs of TATTOO – Pigments of Imagination

Věra Chytilová has passed away

The pioneer of Czech New Wave cinema Věra Chytilová passed away on Thursday at the age of 85. Most famous for her 1966 film Sedmikrásky (Daisies) where she explored the excessive desire for pleasure in a Soviet Czechoslovakia the film followed two young girls and their anarchic pursuits for fun. The film was banned by the Communist government but still remains one of the most influential pieces of art house cinema. Besides from this authoritarian influence to her working life  Chytilová remained powerfully dedicated to her vision regardless of the Soviet Union’s controlled film industry.

Her use of cinematography involved a non linear approach where she didn’t rely heavily on verbal or literary connections but rather created a manipulation of images together to make meanings in her films. This can make a jolted viewing experience but non the less her films are really quite inspiring for these reasons besides from their important historical  factors.

You can watch the film below.

UGLY / BEAUTY Editorial

Creative Direction – Joseph Delaney
Photography – Daniel Fraser
Styling – Matt King
Makeup – Roseanna Velin
Hair – Jonathan de Francesco
Nails – Jen McColl
Styling Assistance  - Christa Livock
Models – Ekaterina @ Models 1 & Nicole G @ TESS

For clothing credits please click on each image.