╳ Trong G. Nguyen

╳ Born in Saigon, 1971, Trong G. Nguyen is a modern-day Renaissance Man— an artist who got his MFA in painting but refuses to let himself be categorised, and whether he’s producing iPhone apps, archival inkjet prints, videos, sculpture cakes, infinity mirrors, applying oil to canvas, or commenting on the non-reality of reality TV (as he did on Bravo’s Work of Art), Nguyen’s left-of-centre work aims to make people stop and think— about life, love, and their relationship to art itself.

╳ Based in New York, Mr Nguyen has exhibited internationally in numerous exhibitions, including recent solo shows at Coleman Burke Gallery (New York), Galerie ZK (Berlin), Galerie Quynh (Ho Chi Minh City) and Fruit & Flower Deli (New York). His 2007 installation, ‘Library’ is simply brilliant. For this piece, Roland Barthes’ last masterpiece ‘La Chambre Claire’, was neatly divided into 48 short chapters— each denoted on the top right corner of a mylar rice packet. Housed within each packet are grains of rice displaying a single word written in ink with chapter titles written on grains covered with gold leaf. As a complete story, the packets are displayed in groupings of three, forming a total of four columns and rows. TCL particularly loves his whimsical use of the library book due reminders printed onto the mylar packet fronts complete with rubber stamped due dates!

╳ Also of interest, is Mr Nguyen's ‘artist-as-company’ project Humanitarians Not Heroes initiated in 2002. Established under the umbrella of a legitimate business, HNH markets one type of product a year intended for wide consumption and distribution. The project occupies traditional and novel retail spaces to sell and disseminate concepts that intersect art, fashion, design, and socio-politics. Examining the valuation of objects whose complex functions follow simple form, HNH's mission operates at the perimeters where art and capitalism converge.

To view Mr Nguyen’s portfolio please follow this link.


╳ How Pinteresting

 ╳ One of the fastest growing social services in the world, Pinterest is the coolest pinboard-style social photo sharing website that allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections and Thread Count Lab is so enthralled we’ve added a ‘pin it’ button to our scrapbook articles! Users can browse other ‘pinboards’ for inspiration, 're-pin' images to their own collections or 'like' photos. In short, Pinterest's mission is to connect everyone in the world through the 'things' they find interesting.

╳ Founded by Ben Silbermann, Pinterest won best social media app and people's voice award for best functioning visual design at the 2012 Webby Awards. Pinterest’s beauty lies in its seamlessly designed interface: on the main Pinterest page, a ‘pin feed’ appears, displaying the chronological activity from the Pinterest boards that a user follows, elegantly lined up the images look beautiful: additionally, Pinboards can be used in so many different ways— teachers can plan lessons and students can pin and organise sources and collaborate on projects. Especially well-liked among ladies, the most popular subjects are food, DIY and crafts…so don’t hold back there are several ways to register a new Pinterest account— either receive an invitation from a friend already registered, or request an invitation directly from the Pinterest website. Happy pinning!

╳ Images (top to bottom)

Pinterest logo

Thread Count Lab's pins chronologically arranged

4 of Thread Count Lab's boards— Pattern, Drink, Ephemeral and Invisible

╳ Summer Lanterns

╳ Summer in Marjorie Colas’s studio will be a beautiful experience with these divine specimens… Ms Colas explains: ” Comme l'été n'est pas vraiment là cette année, j'ai décidé qu'il sera bien présent dans l'atelier avec cette toute nouvelle collection de photophores.  Les fleurs s'invitent sur les photophores pour des soirées entre amis.”  Translated from French, her thoughts reads something like this: “As the summer is not really here this year, I decided it will be present in the workshop with this new collection of lanterns.  The flowers on the candles invite the evening with friends.”

To discover more of Ms Colas’s projects please follow this link.

╳ Looking For Absolution?

╳ Combining a blend of über-slick packaging and one-of-a-kind illustrations, Absolution is a brand of bespoke unisex organic cosmetics (quite a mouthful!). Each product can be adapted to the skin’s moods by adding a drop of one of their highly concentrated boosters, La Solution +, allowing treatments to directly target your skin’s unique needs, from both its internal and external environments. Beautifully packaged and with a commendably high level of sustainability, Absolution’s products have received a swarm of accolades for devising a stunning, sophisticated and desirable range of products that ooze class.

╳ So what sets Absolution apart from other brands? Firstly their brand philosophy and production methods. This brand is aimed at, and conceived to meet the needs of both women and men looking for the right balance between eco-consciousness and an urban lifestyle, for those people who are concerned with their beauty, wellness as well as that of the planet. And secondly, the packaging: this is the first contact individuals have with the brand, therefore it’s important that the packaging expresses a vision of beauty that will become part of daily life, and this brand’s packaging certainly reflects its spirit and soul.

╳ When interviewed by *Qompendium’s Kimberly Lloyd about launching a new cosmetics brand in a super-saturated beauty market, Isabelle Carron, Absolution founder and Creative Director had this to say: “I started using organic cosmetics four years ago, and my skin really changed. I am convinced that organic products are really better for the skin and health but moreover they are as efficient (if not more) as the traditional cosmetic products. I also strongly believe in the philosophy that the skin is a living ecosystem, a communication interface always balancing to be at its best according to various information it receives. Whether external such as weather, pollution, heat, air conditioning, etc. or internal such as diet, smoke, sleep, moods, etc. Therefore our skin doesn't need the same kind of care every day. There is no other cosmetic brand offering the possibility to treat our skin daily according to its very specific need.

Finally, I also was the opinion of that organic ‘codes’ were not modern enough, always about communicating an expression of nature, flowers, green, etc. I was looking for more than just that; for something that can express more than just the fact that it is organic. Being organic has become such a common thing that I didn’t believe it was going to be enough to appeal to the consumers by giving them just a fact and some typical organic aesthetics.

For me there was a real niche, a real place in the market for a new proposition, with more spirit and soul, with a great quality and organic high standard. It was time to create a daring product to communicate differently to people who are ready to go for organic but not willing to go for it by giving up on pleasure of all senses. I tried to merge all these objectives in one brand, and so Absolution was born.”

╳ Thread Count Thought: we love her ‘step away’ from run-of-the-mill images. Ms Carron has demonstrated that ‘green’ doesn’t always have to be ‘green’.

To learn more about Absolution cosmetics, please follow this link to their website.

╳ Images (top to bottom)

Isabelle Carron, Absolution founder and Creative Director

Absolution products

*Qompendium is an evolving and ever-changing platform for philosophy, art, culture and science, represented by a series of print publications: magazines, books and monographs.


╳ Hosted at the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters in Copenhagen, the 2012 Symposium on Scientific Visualisation (Sciviz) will feature a host of speakers and events celebrating scientific visualisations. Traditionally, art and illustration have played a key role in making scientific graphics; however recently the field of data visualisation has vastly grown with computer science, animation and graphic software, advanced art techniques and ever-expanding technologies that facilitate highly sophisticated tools to handle graphic design and data analysis. In fact, this area is now viewed as a fully-fledged genre.

╳ The symposium’s aim is to explore how connections between art, design and science inspire and advance research, innovation and working processes in scientific data visualisation; and amongst the speakers, Thread Count Lab’s Alessia Giardino will be sharing ideas and processes of her work in visualisation. Titled ‘Concrete And Nanotechnology: Shaping Sustainable Surfaces Through Design,’ Alessia will discuss how she focuses on innovation, and materials in particular, to highlight their sensorial and aesthetic features. Talks and discussions will also address how visual ideas and intentions are transformed by the use of different tools and technologies and how to meet the challenges of cross-discipline collaborations in the aim of establishing best practices for the community to create, perceive and understand visualisations.

╳ Images (top to bottom)
Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters, Copenhagen

Concrete Wallpaper, Alessia Giardino

For further information about the 2012 Symposium on Scientific Visualisation please follow this link.

╳ Carved Tyres

╳ Taking the concept of eco-friendly in another direction, it’s hard to believe that each one of these used car tyres is hand-carved. Talented and multi-faceted, Belgian artist and decorator, Wim Delvoye has created a collection of amazing decorative tyres titled ‘Pneu’. Delvoye’s own personal way of describing his artwork in an ironic fashion is ‘glocal’ referring to a combination between ‘local’ and ‘global’. The tyres feature intricate pattern work with various motifs such as florals and Art Deco and Mr Delvoye does an incredible job working with the original shape of each tyre when designing individual patterns.

╳ Born 1965, West Flanders, Mr Delvoye is a neo-conceptual artist known for his inventive and often shocking projects. Much of his work is focused on the body. He repeatedly links the attractive with the repulsive, creating work that holds within it inherent contradictions— and it has been said that “one does not know whether to stare, be seduced, or to look away.” He has developed an art that offers a reinterpretation of artworks of the past while laying down a lucid and amused glance at contemporary society. He explores art history, Gothic cathedrals and sculptures of the 19th century, from Bosch and Brueghel to Warhol, simultaneously revealing the beauty of daily objects such as his 2007 car tyre pieces.

╳ In the words of Robert Enright, from Border Crossings magazine, he characterises the artist: "Delvoye is involved in a way of making art that reorients our understanding of how beauty can be created." Wim Delvoye has an eclectic oeuvre, exposing his interest in a range of themes, from bodily function, to the Catholic Church, and numerous subjects in between.”

╳ Images (top to bottom)

Untitled (Car Tyre) 2009

Untitled (Car Tyres) 2007
MONA, Hobart (Tasmania)

╳ To learn more about Wim Delvoye’s work, please follow this link.

╳ LoveLace

╳ Continuing our love affair with lace, Thread count Lab happily stumbled over the exhibition LoveLace currently showing at Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, Australia, until July 2013. Subtitled “Make Lace Not War” the exhibition celebrates the unleashed passions for lace by 134 artists from around the world. Playful and inventive, the works on display present a provocative challenge to traditional concepts of lace. On display, are lace techniques pushed in surprising new directions from human hair knitted into sculptures of human organs to crocheted steel wire and lace patterns carved into the body of a rusty old truck.

╳ Lace offers the mystery of concealment and the subtle interplay of space, light and shadows. Its layering can enhance the human body and create alluring effects in interior design and architecture. The exhibition ranges from bold large-scale installations and sculptures to intricate textiles and jewellery. Materials include gold and silver wire, linen and silk as well as mulberry paper, tapa cloth, horse hair, titanium and optical fibre.

╳ Pieces of particular beauty include “Ediacara laces” by Alvena Hall. The delicate vessels made from a combination of materials including cotton gauze bandaging, rice-paper, cotton thread and whipper-snipper cord to name a few are based on fossils, of the same name, discovered on the underside of wave-rippled rocks high in the Flinders Ranges, South Australia. The artist explains: “researching them I arrived at the notion of ‘time’ as a filter that only selects certain things (under very special circumstances) to become fossils. It is extraordinarily rare for anything as soft and squishy as a 540-million-year-old jellyfish to have its impression preserved. And it’s just as astonishing that such imprints are ever discovered. I fell upon the notion of apparently fragile, transparent lace-like objects to express my wonder at these natural phenomena.”

╳ ­Peter Battaglene and Fiona Tabart’s ‘Arbor Vitae’— a triptych screen made from sandblasted toughened glass. Their artist statement describes the piece as: ‘An organic object belonging to a larger whole, the leaf is symbolic of the relationship we share as part of a larger society. We have therefore titled the work Arbor Vitae from the Latin ‘tree of life’. The graphic expression of this pattern has been enlarged and projected on to three glass panels to create a triptych screen. Precisely registered and finely etched onto both sides of the panel, the thread-like network of interconnected lines and voids, positive and negative spaces, appear expressed in three dimensions to diffuse the screens’ transparency.’

╳ Polish artist Bozena Hanna Kaluga’s polymer boxes encased with woven cloth and wire are simply exquisite. Titled Dominoes II, she explains her work as: “elements of lace enclosed in transparent plastic boxes, isolated from the surrounding space,” and defines the piece as “in essence, a representation of the soul and its fragile elements in our existence— the confrontation of the soul with matter.’

╳ This is a well-planned exhibition and Powerhouse Museum has thoroughly covered all bases. The exhibition (and learning) experience is fully integrated, covering everything from an iPhone app to videos, supported downloadable teaching material, behind the scenes movie clips, online tutorials and slideshows.

╳ Images (top to bottom)

Ediacara laces, Alvena Hall 
Arbor Vitae, Peter Battaglene and Fiona Tabart 
Dominoes II, Bozena Hanna Kaluga

╳ For detailed information about the LoveLace Exhibition, please follow this link

╳ Polluted Lace

  Lace takes centre stage in the analysis of the relationship between textiles and space, in the ‘Lost In Lace’ exhibition, currently showing at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. Aiming to challenge perceptions by showing off the lace-themed work of some of the best contemporary practitioners in the world, Curator Lesley Millar "asked an international group of artists, makers and designers to move beyond their usual margins of practice," and describes her challenge as one of shaping "the perception of the potentially radical relationship between the structure of ‘lace’ networks and architectural space."

Exploring the relationship between textiles – specifically lace – and space through a series of dramatic and ambitious site-sensitive installations, artists’ responses “have been to question the ways in which we move through space and the nature of boundaries and thresholds,” continues Ms Millar. The exhibition highlights the work of a number of artists that employ detailed scientific process and knowledge in their work and in particular we are proud to showcase the recent work of Thread Count Lab co-founder Alessia Giardino. ‘Polluted Lace’ is a tenderly executed piece, brought to life, in part due to the ‘magical’ properties of TX Active® a new type of photo-catalytic concrete developed by Italian cement giant Italcementi Group.

The delicately silkscreened panels (will) reveal over time, depending on airborne pollution, a subtly emerging lace-like pattern. How sweetly ironic that Alessia’s panels, based on her delicate pencil sketches will last a life-time, facilitated by pollution and concrete!

‘Lost In Lace’ Exhibition
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
29.10.2011 – 19.02.2012

Opening times:
Monday – Thursday: 10.00am – 5.00pm
Friday: 10.30am – 5.00pm
Saturday: 10.00am – 5.00pm
Sunday: 12.30pm – 5.00pm