Category Archives: CONTEMPORARY ART

Graffiti artists, put your cans away, this train ain’t your usual moving canvas

It is already early evening but you just have enough time to jump on that bus and get your favourite spray cans from your local art supplies shop.

Should the shop be closed by the time you get there, Bombing Science online shop will be there to the rescue, you happily reassure yourself.

You like painting on trains, very much so. But the Genbi Shinkansen train is not or should not be one of them since artists have already been there and have made it beautiful.

The world’s fastest art appreciation

Genbi Shinkansen | Art-Pie
Click to enlarge

“The world’s fastest art appreciation” is what East Japan Railways, the train operator running the service, calls it.

The high-speed Genbi Shinkansen opened last year on the Jōetsu Shinkansen railway line but we only learned about it recently.

The train carried out three round trips daily on most Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, and while speeding through Japan (up to 210km/h), it gives its commuters displays of prominent contemporary artworks throughout its carriages.

Seven of the carriages in fact are used as “rolling art spaces”. All seven show a different artist and which gives passengers a vast choice of material to enjoy.

Even better, not only the indoors are used to display art. Indeed the windowless carriages of the Genbi Shinkansen’s are wallpapered with striking photographs of Niigata’s Nagaoka Fireworks Festival by photographer Mika Ninagawa

Art on display in each carriage

You can enjoy art throughout the entire train. Lose yourself from one end to the other and enjoy modern art created by prominent artists.

Kids have not been forgotten and should find joy in the specifically designed playroom where they can interact with modern art first hand.

We have included below photographs of our favourites carriages

Car #11

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The artwork on display was conceived by incorporating the unique space, light and speed of the Shinkansen, and built around the themes of bountiful harvests, festivals and light. Take a seat and experience an amazing moment of change in which you discover the immensity of the light that surrounds us in the world.

Car #13

Car 13 Genbi Shinkansen | Art-Pie
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We selected this carriage because the art is mainly about landscapes and here at Art-Pie, we appreciate very much the subject. Sip on a coffee while looking at artworks inspired from the GENBI SHINKANSEN route, a traditional thoroughfare in use for centuries around the city of  Joetsu with Mikuni Kaido being the name of an ancient highway in Japan.

Chen Wenling’s farting bull

When we first noticed Chen Wenling’s “What You see Might Not Be Realsculpture, we immediately wanted to find out more about the artist and his work. This is not the name which jumped at us but the rather amusing look of the sculpture – yes it a farting bull!

Here is what Zhu Qi says about Chen Wenglin’s sculptures

Chen Wenling’s sculptures represent the spirit of collective imagery that defines China after her entrance into consumerist society. His work uses a mythological form that encompasses the spiritual insemination that overtook a generation with materialism in the 1990s, as well as the self-awareness and post awareness era everyday spirit of Chinese after the 1990s.

"What You see Might Not Be Real” (or the Farting Bull)
“What You see Might Not Be Real” (or the Farting Bull)

Zhu Qi adds –

Two main themes are prevalent in Chen Wenling’s sculptures, the first being an expression of the extreme human condition, the latter being an expression of the spiritual imagery of a consumer society.

The “farting bull”, we will refer to the work above using this – so much more fun, is a reflexion ab about the infamous global financial crisis.

The man getting crushed by the bull is Bernard (Bernie) Madoff who is an American fraudster and a former stockbroker, investment advisor, and financier. He is the former non-executive chairman of the NASDAQ stock market, and the admitted operator of a Ponzi scheme that is considered the largest financial fraud in U.S. history.

Chen Wenglin’s “farting bull” has also been used in several other sculpture works. We included below a few examples of these as well as more about the “What You see Might Not Be Real” sculpture – the piece first described above

"What You see Might Not Be Real” (or the Farting Bull) | Art-Pie"What You see Might Not Be Real” (or the Farting Bull) | Art-PieChen Wengling | Art-PieChen Wengling | Art-PieChen Wengling | Art-PieChen Wengling | Art-Pie Chen Wengling | Art-Pie

Jean-Paul Bourdier’s stunning body painted photographs

Jean Paul Bourdier | Art-Pie

When I first saw these pictures by photographer Jean-Paul Bourdier, I was completely amazed by the clever compositions and juxtapositions and even more by the colours which shine in front of your eyes.

My immediate second thought was that these must be digitally manipulated but I was glad to find out that they do not appear to be, the models used here would get body painted.

What a superb piece of body art mixed with photography these are.

All the pics below were taken in the deserts of West America with an analog camera. You can find more of these body paintings photography in his book entitled Bodyscapes 

About the author

Jean Paul Bourdier is the author of Leap Into The Blue, Bodyscapes (introduction and dvd by Trinh T. Minh-ha), co-author with Trinh Minh-ha of Vernacular Architecture of West Africa, Habiter un monde, African Spaces and Drawn from African Dwellings. Production designer of seven films and co-director of two films directed by Trinh T. Minh-ha.

Awards include Guggenheim, American Council of Learned Societies, NEA, Graham, UC President’s Humanities, and Getty. Professor of design, drawing and photography in the department of architecture at UC Berkeley.

Jean Paul Bourdier | Art-Pie

Jean Paul Bourdier | Art-Pie

Jean Paul Bourdier | Art-Pie

Jean Paul Bourdier | Art-Pie

London Art Fair – artists we enjoyed, Matteo Massagrande

We strolled through the London Art Fair for the fourth consecutive year and as always stumbled upon remarkable artworks from ever so talented artists.

In this series, we will tell you why we liked a particular piece from these artists as well as posting more works. We hope you will also enjoy it as we did.

Feel free to comment too at the end of this article. Let’s get started….


Matteo Massagrande

'Salice' by Matteo Massagrande | Art-PieWe stumbled upon the piece called “Salice” – mixed media on board, 80 x 120cm and instantly liked the smoky and hazy atmosphere of this piece achieved in using panels. It made us want to go and explore the scene that was presented in front of our eyes.

About the artist

Matteo Massagrande was born in Padua, Italy in 1959. Massagrande is an accomplished painter and a talented engraver. He has exhibited in over one hundred exhibitions internationally in the past 30 years.

Other works from this artist

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By Matteo Massagrande | Art-Pie By Matteo Massagrande | Art-Pie 8