Gelek Samphel_April 28

Many scholars regard Picasso’s creation of the “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon” in 1907 as the beginning of modernism. There is no doubt that Picasso has made many new innovations and breakthroughs, but it has not broken the boundary between “elegant” art and “common” art. Under Picasso’s pen, art is still a palace work that should be placed in the museum. All trends that followed after Picasso from cubism, expressionism, futurism, or post-war American abstract expressionism, all did not break the “high” and “low” in art. Whether it’s Jackson Pollock who was a major figure in American abstract expressionism or other artists, they all wish their work end up in a museum. 

But it is the pop artists represented by Andy Warhol who appeared in the 1960s that really made this breakthrough, Cans, Coke bottles, posters, Marilyn Monroe, politicians, everything can become the artwork of the artist. This group of artists also includes James Rosenquist, who painted street billboards. Whos billboards design is mostly gum, cola can, etc., on a very large scale. At that time, pop art was indeed an underground art, and no one could imagine that it would succeed.

 American brands aim at the common, while European brands aim at the elites. The cultural differences between the two are huge. When commercial advertisement posters and alike become the subject of art or even replace art, the “high” and “low” of art are truly broken, The recognition of pop art means that non-mainstream art with a prominent commercial focus has a mainstream status. Many years later, Rosenquist ’s art has been well received, and his works can be auctioned big price, even entering major art museums. 

The inversion of mainstream and non-mainstream requires two conditions, one is timing and the other is to follow the “trend.” In the context of the development of the entire art, if a consortium or a country wants to create certain art, there is an opportunity to become “mainstream”, the most typical representative is the American abstract expressionism. Abstract expressionism was developed by the United States in order to compete with the Soviet Union and create its own unique artistic and cultural trend.

Incertain context, Japanese design has become a mature design system comparable to Europe and the United States, because of the coexistence dichotomy of mainstream and underground. Japanese design is greatly influenced by Europe and the United States. Even in terms of art and culture, Japan can find very deep traces of Europe and the United States. However, in the process of Westernization, Japanese society still fully retains many national traditions and characteristics of itself, a two-track system of international and national, a perfect fusion between world wide mainstream and local underground.


“About Contemporary Art.” j Paul Getty Museum,


“Modern Art Was Cia ‘weapon’” Frances Saunders –


“Picasso and the Painting That Shocked the World”: How a Picture Of Five Women Ignited Modernism

2018 Posted: March 21 –

Gelek Samphel March 31

Barthes believes that in mass communication, linguistic messages are in fact omnipresent. It buried into images, such as captions attached to illustrations, subtitles on films, dialogues in short films, etc., writing and speaking continue to dominate the functioning of information structures. For the connection between images and verbal messages, Barthes proposed two concepts, anchorage, and relay.

Because of the polysemy of symbols, the multiple and constantly changing meanings are often hidden under the same signifier. Therefore, if the language information is not “marked”, the meaning of the image will be difficult to establish. In order to overcome the uncertainty of the symbol, The language was used as a tool to identify, interpret, and stabilize the meaning of the image. Roland Barthes called this function “anchorage”. The language helps readers identify the explicit meaning of the image. (Denotation), at the same time limit the hidden meaning of the image (connotation), and even try to package the implicit meaning of the image into self-explanatory meaning.

As a means of reproduction, images do not objectively and fairly reflect the real world. Their meaning has yet to be further stabilized, decoded, and interpreted. Images can also be regarded as the perspective of the photographer to understand the world. When analyzing an image, it is necessary for the viewers to consider both the social and cultural context of the photographer and the context in which the image is applied, so as to understand the cultural meaning and hidden ideology symbolized by the image itself.

Gelek Samphel_March 24

Image result for united colors of benetton controversial ads

United Colors Of Benetton’s ads are full of diverse elements that are very rare in the 1980s and 1990s and involve topics such as racial discrimination, religious conflicts, various political issues, and even AIDS that seem to have nothing to do with fashion. Benetton teases leaders of several countries on the theme of “unhate”. Pretty embarrassing for these mighty leaders kiss each other on weekdays! The brand has strong humanistic care and faces the audience with the most authentic and original appearance. Boldly present the contradictions and realities of the real world.

Image result for d and g china

November 2018, Originally on the evening of the 21st, Shanghai would hold a fashion show called “The GreatShow”, The incident stems from a series of commercials recently released by D & G, in which clips of a model using chopsticks to eat pizza and pasta in strange poses are accused of discriminating against Chinese. Perhaps D&G never done any research on their market and arrogance took hold of them, this is very dangerous for the brand to be aware of its audience, however, I feel this ad was done purposely as some discriminatory statement of its designer was exposed on the internet, therefore, it is pretty questionable if this ad is done mistakenly or purposely.

Image result for nike controversial ads

Colin Kaepernick has been a controversial figure in the United States for recent years. In August 2016, Kaepernick chose to kneel in protest of racial discrimination and judicial injustice in the United States during the NFL national anthem, which triggered an extensive discussion among NFL players, the league and even politics. He became a leader in fighting for the rights and was therefore considered “unpatriotic” by many people, including President Trump. However, this Controversial ad campaign helped Nike sales surged 31%. After Nike enabled Kaepernick to appear on the billboard, Trump immediately stepped forward and said that the move passed the wrong message. On social networks, many netizens dissatisfied with Nike’s advertising have expressed protests by burning shoes, discarding, and cutting labels. This campaign has perfectly presented its headline “Believe in something, Even if it means sacrificing everything.”

Gelek Samphel_March 17

The “media is the message” emphasizes the importance of the form of the media, that is, the media itself. The other dimension opposite to “form” is “content”. Taking mobile phones as an example, “mobile phones” themselves are a form of media, and what we watch through mobile phones, such as news, pictures, videos, etc., are all media content (also known as “messages”). If you ask which of form and content has a greater impact on us, I think most people’s first reaction is the latter, that is, content. After all, what people directly read and receive is the main factor affecting cognition and attitude, rather than Abstract form concept. The media changes people’s thinking and life unknowingly. In other words, new media forms change our experience of ourselves and society, and this influence is ultimately more important than the content of the specific message it conveys.

McLuhan analyzed media as human extensions, it extends our body and senses, For example, wheels are extensions of feet, clothes are extensions of skin, and houses are extensions of collective skin. The second is the extension of senses. For example, a printed book is the extension of vision, especially in this “electric age” our senses has been greatly extended, radio, telegraph, telephone, television and other emerging media. These extensions have impacted human society at different levels, from the revolution to certain things being treated differently in different cultures.

After the release of the Apple iPhone, smartphones gradually replaced personal computers as one of the most used hardware. “We can really say Mobile phones are an extension of human organ functions to some extent. “Due to the maturity of the smartphone industry, the era of mobile Internet with apps as the core has officially arrived. The form of the media is gradually fragmented, and it cuts apart the scenes, time, and relationships with which we are exposed to information. With the emergence of tablet products, box products, smart wearable devices, home intelligent products, and in-vehicle systems, all these took us to a new era. The media is no longer isolated, and the information is not isolated. Messages flow between multiple screens in an instant. Messages are organically connected together through a personal ID with a smartphone as the core, and new messages are constantly created in this flow.  Every new medium is changing our thinking and behaviors.

Gelek Samphel – March 10th

 ”not to make creative decisions as prompted by feeling but by intellectual criteria.“ as Karl Gerstner stated. Design with feelings is really a designer’s taboo, we should design to solve the practical problems of specific groups by presenting meaningful concepts and ideas. These ideas and concepts should be based on research, to understand what people really care about, we need to really understand their situation.

Design is the perfect control of the internal details, which can withstand the test of time. What do we value the most when choosing a suit?  It is the size of the fabric of the suit; when choosing a CD player, in addition to its appearance, we are more concerned about the function of the CD player. Any kind of design cannot be separated from its basic functional attributes.

When designing, designers need to grasp the essence of the product and the core demands of users. This is not only reflected in visual design, but also in product interaction and user experience. For example, when you choose a mobile phone, will you pay more attention to the appearance of the mobile phone or the smooth experience of using its functionalities? Design is not only about the surface level visual comfort,  in the era of the mobile Internet, we need to focus on the experience of deep interaction. If Apple only pays attention to the exquisite appearance of their phone but ignores the experience and product interaction, architectural design only pays attention to the appearance of the surface but does not consider the comfort of the occupants, then graphic design only creates the illusion of “good-looking” but cannot convey the message of the product. All these are undermining the essence of design.

Gelek Samphel – February 25th

The philosophy of the Bauhaus focuses on the needs of people rather than the artistry of the product itself. All craftsmanship aesthetics must keep up with the pace of mechanized mass production. The Bauhaus existed for only 14 years from 1919 to 1933, but the influence of the Bauhaus on the world as a thought and style continues to this day. 

The most important “heritage” left by the Bauhaus are the following: First, the Bauhaus has formed a modern design art education plane, which advocates the combination of teaching and practice, The combination of teaching and production has established a set of scientific design art teaching methods and systems, laying the foundation for modern design art education. Second, it emphasizes the social responsibility of design. The motive and purpose of design should serve the public. Third, clarify the definition of design, emphasize the scientific nature of design, distinguish it from art, and establish a design system centered on concepts and problem-solving.

The Bauhaus design style is almost ubiquitous and has profoundly influenced our lives. Such as IKEA furniture, What we can see every day, from plastic lunch boxes, men’s and women’s bathroom signs, and even small speakers, are the products of the Bauhaus movement in the early 20th century, even all of Apple products, mobile phones, computers, iPad, are filled with feelings of Bauhaus.

Gelek Samphel_Feb 18

After the Industrial Revolution, the emergence of large-scale production of machines, division of labor, and commerce made the old way of life began to disintegrate. But people do not have new rational thinking about this new lifestyle. Businessmen firmly believe that the artistry of a product is something that can be bought from the market and applied to industry, equating decoration with design, rather than tightly combining art and technology to form an organic whole. From the 19th century onwards, handicrafts turned to mechanical processes for the production of daily necessities. Since then, technology and art have been separated, and they have been combined with science, and the products have become unified, standardized, and batched. At the same time, the production of large machines has a profound impact on the art world, and a gap has emerged between artists who meet the needs of the public and artists who are self-isolated.

Many avant-garde artists emerged in this period of time, such as Filippo Tommaso Marinetti. In Marinetti’s Futurist Manifesto, he praises the pursuit of passion for adventure. In Marinetti’s his Manifesto, women and violence is mentioned, My understanding is that since this is a revolution, tradition needs to be abandoned to its absolute, the common perception of women must change and violence is the method to make this happen, and violence indeed has progressed world, as world war 2 has modernized this world but for a huge price. Although it is cruel to say, we are definitely benefiting in this aftermath of WWII. 

 In such a human society, these futurists were the first to realize the need to move forward and the “cage of history”, Human beings already controlling machine serve themself  (this is not experienced by any previous civilization ), the old way must be updated to reach a new balance as it is not suiting the contemporary society.