As most civilizations with a rich ancient history strive through the struggle to move forward and evolve, when they succeed, the blend of the new and the old is a revolutionary place at which they arrive.
Take the Shanghai Restoration music album by Dave Lang; it integrates ancient traditional chinese instrumentals and blends them with electronic sounds and music created by more modern instruments - not only does the album revive the past, but it breathes new life into the old.
The same applies to Shanghai based artist, Hong Yi's (aka Red) work which I came across in both the NY Times and WSJ.
The portrait is of a famous Chines film director, Zhang Yimou. Yi spent over 3 weeks on the project using white, black and grey socks.
The insight that I had gained from a simple music album (Shanghai Restoration as mentioned above) was now being fleshed into a fuller perspective on most ancient civilizations' struggle. The perspective on evolution through the revolution of art and music.
Yi originally from Australia described her inspiration:"When I first moved to Shanghai, I stumbled upon an old residential alleyway and saw bamboo sticks poking out of windows with laundry hanging onto them, waving in the air. to me that was incredibly beautiful. And the amazing thing is seeing something so traditional in a modern, pumping city like Shanghai."
An unconventional portrait in a conventional setting, being the sock connoisseur I am, I am completely taken with the magic that is captured in this portrait involving, oh you know over 500 pairs of white, grey and black quarter crews. An innovative way to capture the essence of life of one man, but that reminds us all of our own humanity.
The details captured both on each sock and the canvas altogether, is truly beyond words. The facial lines come together to create, raw expression.
Who knew socks could help provide a canvas for an evolving civilization's story!
As always - its always in the details :)
The Sock Connoisseur