This week I talked with Ramtin Yousefi. Ramtin is currently a junior at CSULB and is majoring in civil engineering. Ramtin came to the states after attending high school in Tehran, Iran. In Iran Ramtin enjoyed playing soccer and hanging out with friends. He is currently living in Irvine. Something i found really interesting about Ramtin was his ethnicity. Ramtin is Persian just like me however, I am only half Iranian. Ramtin speaks Farsi, something I am pretty envious of. I never learned the language and always regreted it. Maybe someday Ramtin could give me some lessons!
Artist: Luis Arias
Exhibition: The Weaving Machine
Media: fabric, wood
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Merilyn Werby Gallery
About the Artist
Luis Arias is currently a senior at CSULB and plans to graduate in the spring of 2016. He is presently enrolled in the wood program. Luis came to the States in the 1980’s from his home country of El Salvador. Besides working with wood and learning how to weave, Luis enjoys soccer, watching and playing, and also loves to travel. He has been all over Europe and some of his favorite places are Spain, Italy, and Portugal. He plans to go back to Europe as soon as he graduates.
Luis doesn’t give formal names to any of his pieces. All of pieces are functional. For example he makes deck chairs, shelves, mirror frames, stools, and even a loom. The loom was the centerpiece of the exhibit. It seemed to be completely made of wood with a few metal bits like screws and rods for structural purposes. For the exhibit, Luis would demonstrate how the loom works, creating interesting patterned fabric. This is how he would create seats for his deck chairs. One deck chair (pictured above) particularly stood out for me. The frame is completely made out of wood. It had a beautiful finished feel to it, as opposed to a rough one. As mentioned before he used the loom to weave the seats. This one in particular was very colorful. It had stripes of blue, orange, and different shades of yellow. It sort of resembled a mini hammock and was very comfortable to sit in.
Luis draws inspiration from mathematics. That can be seen in the preciseness of his work and also its functionality. Luis’ simple design reflects his belief in a simple life. After talking with him, it becomes clear that he thinks that modern society has become too complicated, too convoluted. Unnecessarily so. His work is very transparent in the sense that you can see how everything works. I thinks thats how Luis believes society should work. Everything out in the open.
Synthesis / My Experience
I had a great time speaking with Luis. He is very down-to-earth. Despite being much older than me, I felt we shared very similar ideas and interests. I think we can all learn something from Luis. He works with his hands and knows how to get things done. And when he doesn’t know how to do something he will go out of his way to not only figure it out but master it. His work is simple but there’s beauty in that. I would love to one day have a piece of his to not only own but use. Like that beautiful deck chair. Perfect for lounging and sipping lemonade.
Artist: Sovanchan Sorn
Exhibition: F*ART; Fiber Arts Group Show
Media: Fiber, wire rush
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery East
About the Artist
Sovanchan Sorn is currently a senior at CSULB and plans to graduate in the spring of 2017. She is presently enrolled in the fiber program. He interests include sculpting, which is seen in her art. She also enjoys the hit show Narcos on Netflix and working with children- over the summer she teaches art to children. When it comes to her own artwork, she really finds the joy in the process, the laborious aspect of whatever she is working on.
The piece of Sovanchan’s I observed is untitled however, it was previously named “tears” But she insists this is no longer its name and it is now going to be a part of a larger series of works. The sculpture was made with a material she called wire rush. It looks like metal wire covered in fabric, maybe cotton. The piece looks delicate, like its about to fall apart. Its kind of astonishing to see this thing to hold its shape and not collapse in on its self, This perception is probably due to the fact that the “wire” is so thin. The shape doesn’t really resemble anything i can think of. The best comparison I can make is that of an oblong pear. Its curvy. Bulbous even. The color is a golden yellow. And near the top of the sculpture, there are tassels.
I think the piece is about hardships. Sovanchan mentioned how her family immigrated from Cambodia in ’82 when the country was in the middle of a civil war. Her parents were even put into concentration camps. As I stated earlier the piece looks delicate. This could symbolize and reflect the fragility of politics, government, and even relationships. Yet the piece stays standing, which implies hope. Something I feel Sovanchan wanted to resonate with her audience. The sculpture also reminded me of a bird cage. This could signify a sense of being trapped. Whether that be in an unjust country or in poor living conditions.
Synthesis / My Experience
I had a great experience at the F* ART exhibit. Talking with the artist was really eye opening. I even was able to interact with some of the pieces on exhibit which i always thought was a big no-no. Sovanchan’s art really resonated with me. My father came to this country when his own was in the midst of a revolution. He came here looking for a new and better life. He was full of hope yet at the same time vulnerable and I can see that reflected in Sovanchan’s work.
This week I spoke with Sam Tan. He is currently a junior at CSULB and he is majoring in Biology. Sam is originally from Chicago, well he is born there at least. He moved to the LA area (La Habra) in the seventh grade. He attended high school there where he played on the volleyball team all 4 years. Sam Tan is from Chinese decent. Both his parents were born in China and moved to the states later in life together. Sam and I both appreciate hip-hop culture, which was something i found really interesting about him since he hails from Chicago, a mecca of great hip hop talent such as Kanye West and Common. I wish Sam all the best with his ventures at CSULB!
This week, Ramtin, Sam, and myself made a cooking video. I think we accomplished what we set out to do. Make something pleasing to watching, maybe even a little soothing. I think it is also somewhat educational. The video could potentially teach you how to make guacamole. At first we were thinking about talking during the video, but we felt that there is too much pressure to be funny or really articulate so we decided against it. Something that none of us had experience in but really wanted to try was stop motion animation. We did little research about it and thought it would be better to just wing it and figure it out as we went along. It turned out ok but theres definitely room for improvement. The camera we used was a Cannon Rebel T3i. And the editing software was iMovie from my macbook.