Archive for April, 2005

Lesson 3

Friday, April 22nd, 2005

Lesson 3(and a quick writeup because I need to do some more visual reference).

With our simple sketches in hand, Séra takes a look and critiques them for both form and content.

- One interesting observation: idealism can be dangerous – it was a weapon of both the KR and fascist governments. If we incorporate idealism into our works, what is it in the service of? What is our intent? Is it just a lazy shortcut?

Quote for the day: (as best as I can translate) “The first job of an illustrator is always to look.”
We discuss visual techniques for memory and nostalgia: Wong Kar Wei uses a blue tint for his ‘Days of Being Wild’, while his Chung King Express uses a blue tint to indicate night time, neon, cities. ‘CKE’ also has a good setup and example of subjective vision.

Student Chan Nawath (art teacher from Mit Samlanh) takes great interest in this as well as the use of color in depicting the past in ‘Impasse et Rouge and ‘Water and Earth’. He’s a big fan of Bilal, I must bring in my copy of ‘Immortel‘.

We move on to Katsuhiro Otomo’s ‘Memories’, a masterful work. Discussion continues on depicting history – alternative history, (i.e.) ‘Cannon Fodder’ and Séra notes a citation in his own work of Jaques Tardi, another classic artist who weaves his narrative around historical frameworks.

(I doubt that a Anglophone class would have such an emphasis on cinema, which I don’t mind at all. It raises another question for me: why is there such an Anglophone/Francophone comics divide?)


Lesson two

Wednesday, April 20th, 2005

Lesson two

we start from the ground up and put pen to paper. I often use marker pens, and haven’t touched a brush or nib pen in years. Séra puts us to the test. Can we draw a simple, straight line or cross-hatch with professional tools? We’re given rulers, erasers, India ink, all the necessities. (The coffee is a nice touch.) We swap pens and brushes and draw lines, cross hatch and stipple. He carefully evaluates the pages afterwards.

Beyond this, there’s more discussion of form and content. (We’ve been joined by some more students, back from Khmer New Year. He asks us to come up with a single image for our next class, leading us to illustrate one day in Phnom Penh.

Tomorrow: Phnom Penh premiere of the new book!


Workshops in PP

Tuesday, April 19th, 2005

Workshops in PP

If you read this page regularly (and you should) you’d know that Khmer-French comic artist Séra has arrived in Cambodia, to premiere his new book, conduct workshops, and reconnect with his former home.

Piseth and I have been nudging artists from October 2005’s exhibition to come to the Café Litteraire on the 21st, as well as help locate some students who are interested in visual storytelling.
We ‘sat in’ on his first workshop yesterday. It was a good structural underpinning of the basics of comics: where did the modern day form begin? Where does the name come from? What are vernacular comics in France and Cambodia?
After showing some examples of various old and current forms, we had a surprise in the showing of a short film, Chris Marker’s La Jetee. Comprised almost entirely of static images, it’s a good reminder that visual language is all about assembling a succession of images. Each image, each panel is like the blink of an eye and we interpret the flow.

After the workshop I’m a bit tired, like you feel when suddenly leaving a cinema after a good film. I guess I have. It’s also quite a good feeling to be talking about comics, I don’t get to talk about theory much here.


April Exhibition

Tuesday, April 12th, 2005

Cambodian/French Artist Sera returns to Cambodia for an exhibition of his new book, and some workshops for young artists.

The Exposition is open to the public from April 7th.
Thursday April 21st (6pm) the artist will present the exhibition to the public, followed by a Café Littéraire / Rencontre and a dedication of his new book, ‘Water and Earth’ at Carnets d’Asie. More details at link below.

April Sera Exposition