Culture

China’s Cultural Devolution

For the best part of the last 40 years, the Chinese economy has been exploding, growing by an average of 10% per year, with 800 million Chinese lifted out of poverty. Many commentators believe that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is behind this economic miracle and that Communist China will eventually surpass the United States as the world’s most powerful economy. Some even go so far as to claim that its authoritarian system of governance is a credible alternative to democracy.

Moving to Mars

The Design Museum invites visitors to discover the role that design will play in humanity’s journey to the Red Planet in the exhibition ‘Moving to Mars’, which opens this October. Every detail of this extraordinary venture must be designed – from the journey (around seven months), to considering what we will wear, eat and shelter in when we get there and beyond. Over 200 exhibits including original objects and material from NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), SpaceX, Raymond Loewy, Chesley Bonestell plus new commissions from responsible design company RÆBURN, Anna Talvi and Konstantin Grcic tell the complete story of designing for Mars. Two major installations enable visitors to get…

Interview: Dolf de Borst, The Datsuns

“All hail The Datsuns, heroes of the New Rock Revolution,” read the front cover of NME in October, 2002. “The Datsuns are what the world needs,” said Dave Grohl of Nirvana and The Foo Fighters. And so they descended, an antidote to a stagnating UK music scene, introducing a new generation of kids to no-nonsense rock and roll, alongside bands like The Strokes, The White Stripes, and The Libertines. After a ferocious battle between record labels, The Datsuns finally signed an exclusive licensing deal with Richard Branson’s V2 for an unprecedented six-figure sum, going on to collect numerous best-thing-since-sliced-bread awards, and promoted heavily by such deejays as John Peel and…

The Economies of Karma

Good’ is the world’s fastest growing currency  No good deed ever goes unpublished. People chronicle acts of kindness. They note, register and record gestures of generosity. They remember virtue. Too often in business, niceties are eschewed in the name of efficiency, speed, focus, or tooth-and-claw competition. Goodness is equated with weakness; niceness is evidence of naïveté. In such a context and culture, altruism rarely stands out as a brightly-feathered arrow in anyone’s quiver. That paradigm is flawed. And that premise is faltering. I believe we’re on the precipice of a paradigmatic shift. Powerful ideas take time to take hold. Consider the trajectory of Design Thinking. Twenty years ago, IDEO trumpeted the…

Waxing Biblical

With Noah about to hit the big screen, Alan Diment looks at the religiously-thematic aspects of director Darren Aronofsky’s oeuvre. 2014 will see a raft of films inspired by Biblical tales. Among them will be Son of God, a retelling of the Christ story, and Ridley Scott’s Exodus, with Christian Bale donning his Moses sandals. First, we have Noah, directed by Darren Aronofsky, a lavish version of the Genesis story, dealing with water levels that make the recent floods look like a leaky tap.  Russell Crowe, as Noah, will lead a menagerie of survivors onto his purpose-built ark, including his wife and adopted daughter, played by Jennifer Connelly and Emma…

Zoë Wanamaker Interview

The Royal National Theatre of England recently celebrated its fiftieth birthday with a special evening dedicated to showing just a glimpse of the talents that have graced the venue over the past 50 years.  Emily Hennings explains more. The National Theatre began NTLive in 2009, broadcasting live plays around the world for those who were unable to make it to London. Now, five years later, it shows no sign of slowing down with an ever-growing demand for plays to be broadcast live from the venue. The National now broadcasts to over 500 venues in over 24 countries. One success was ‘The Cherry Orchard’ by Chekov, directed by Howard Davies and…

Art of Flight

On my first ski trip, what seems like millennia ago, my friends insisted that we watch Art of Flight. It was a right of passage they said. Sure there were plenty of other cult boarding films out there. But art of flight was really pushing the boundaries. You try carrying five 4K cameras weighing in at 60 pounds a piece into back country. The staff at The Review are always interested in alternative investment opportunities and film is one that is sure to be with us for a long time to come. Cinematography is an art form, one of the last few vestiges that has a trade craft. Taking that…

Thank you for Smoking

Everyone has their prejudices. In my experience, they tend to be on a scale – but I find the scary thing is that the prejudice is only voiced, not on how logical it is, but on its popularity. Some folks are racist, but they would be deterred from voicing their prejudice, not because it’s groundless, but because it not popular. As we move up the scale and the idea grows in popularity, prejudice becomes more vocal. Let’s take speeding, for example. People feel free to tear a strip off of people who speed in cars. The reason for this is that the idea has been made popular, because the government…

Debut Contemporary

The Review sits down with Samir Ceric to discuss London’s top art business for talented and emerging artists. Can you explain Debut Contemporary and how it started? Debut Contemporary is a professional development platform designed to assist talented artists to turn their practice into a viable business. It mentors and professionally develops all members, equipping them with the business knowhow, teaching them that knowledge and relationships are worth investing in and will pay off, providing they showcase determination, commitment, resilience and vision. It started when I was approached by two of my collectors with the idea of launching a fashion retail space for designers and jewellers. Before we knew it, my…

Push, Breathe, & Pose

Arnelle Paterson-Mensah looks at the grueling psychological fight against bodyimage and the media during pregnancy inflicted by insolent expectations. Pregnancy is arguably the most overwhelming challenge that a woman undertakes, as it pushes mental, physical and emotional boundaries. Additionally, both mother-to-be and her partner must prepare for welcoming their new arrival with that feeling of lifelong responsibility. Despite this life-changing event, women are forced to focus on their outer being as opposed to their bun in the oven. In recent years, we have been exposed to an unhealthy cult, catapulted by celebrity mothers in the name of trend and vanity that is reductive of the importance of pregnancy. The media…

15th Anniversary Gumball Rally

I remember being 16 years old it was a suitably dull day in my home town so i decided to head into town and loiter as the rest of the youths did. The loitering led to boredom so some twenty minutes later i found myself in GAME purchasing a copy of Gumball3000 for the PS2. A fast paced game that involved driving a range of different vehicles across various countries whilst trying not to crash or get nicked by the eastern European rozzers. This year we were asked by the team at Twisted Land Rover if we should like to join them on the 15 year anniversary of the Gumball Rally travelling…

VIOLENTANGO

A revolutionary new concept for tango arrives this summer with the sensational new act from Buenos Aires. VIOLENTANGO are a five-piece instrumental band from Argentina currently taking South America by storm with an exciting rock-influenced tango defining a revolutionary new chapter for contemporary tango music. A new album “Escape” will be presented on a forthcoming U.K Tour. This fifth independent album commands a definitive release from the constraints of conventional tango music, revealing an exciting outlet of expression and the liberation of an alternative form. This discovery of innovative arrangements proclaims the emergence of a new genre. Recorded at ION, the premier studio of Buenos Aires, Produced by Jorge “Portuguese” Da Silva. Since their last visit to the…

Up in Smoke

One night in 1961, shortly after the Bay of Pigs fiasco, John Fitzgerald Kennedy was planning one final, covert action in mainland Cuba. An action, he assumed, that would go slightly more smoothly than the last CIA funded effort. Two years earlier, in 1959, Cuban revolutionary Fidel Castro came to power and began the process of seizing all foreign property, businesses and land, using the newly created ministry for the recovery of misappropriated assets. Many of the seized assets were American-owned. In response to this, the US administration attempted and failed at numerous covert ground-based guerrilla-tactics, attempting to overthrow the newly created communist party in Cuba. As Fidel Castro struggled…

Keep the Faith

Paloma Faith is not a woman known for doing things by halves. Giant gold palm trees, pianos and suited band members lined the stage at her recent show at Reading’s Hexagon; an exotic, seductive atmosphere cranked up even more when the lady herself arrived in sparkles and fur, an elegant retro-throwback which Faith has become famous for conjuring. But it’s her voice, that voice, which charges the crowd after a rather sedate support act. It’s a wonder that she even needs a microphone as she soars through opener Let Your Love Walk In, the band behind her tight and sharply dressed. This may not be Wembley Stadium, but you wouldn’t…

Push The Sky Away

In 1971 two tourists arrived on Thailand’s third largest island via a coconut boat from the mainland and stumbled across what can only be described as the modern mass interpretation of paradise – white-sand beaches with palms blowing in the breeze, clear blue water lapping the unspoilt shoreline. All set against a scene of lush green hills and rough wooden shacks, a viewing gallery to a simpler time.