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August 24, 2014

Lane Coder x Larry Letters

A Fine Art-Inspired Trip to the Californian Outback

“I think there’s an inherent narrative that happens when taking pictures in Big Sur,” says American photographer Lane Coder of his recent collaboration with fellow image-maker, Larry Letters, in the remote Californian outback. “It’s a place stuck in time a little bit, you can still feel the presence of hippies past and present.” The pair, who found an affinity between their work while studying at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, escaped the confines of the studio for the great outdoors in between commissions for Vogue Japan and The New Yorker. “I find beauty in the details as well as giving the ‘whole’ picture; I think it helps tell a more complete story,” says Coder, who snapped the two aerial shots from the plane during his return journey back to New York. While they managed to fit in an impromptu fashion shoot using the rugged landscape and giant redwoods as a backdrop, the trip was not without a touch of danger, says Letters: “Killer seagulls, a bit of debauchery, a couple of trips to the hospital, fine wine in Wine Country, alien-like jellyfish, and California’s gorgeous, chameleon-esque light.”

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Return of the Sun

Filmmakers Glen Milner and Ben Hilton Witness the Greenland's First Dawn of the Year

Set against the expansively beautiful and iridescent landscape of Northern Greenland, Glen Milner and Ben Hilton's subtle and touching short visits the annual sun-welcoming ritual of the country’s Inuit population, which celebrates the dawn after more than 40 days of complete winter darkness. Following the daily routine of an Inuit ice fisherman and his son, Return of the Sun examines the affects of the changing climate on their livelihood and community, and pays tribute to the locals’ innate adaptability. “While we were there our fisherman lost hundreds of pounds of fish due to ice breaking away and lines being lost, rare for this time of year,” explains Milner. “The fishermen were already thinking of new ways to hunt and the Inuit attitude in such a harsh environment proved inspiring.” Although the pair had previously worked together on diverse projects including Rwandan genocide prisoners and a short on experimental rock band Rolo Tomassi, filming in Greenland’s harsh environment offered unique new challenges. “Filming in such low temperatures with high winds is grueling. Keeping the camera out of the battering snow, keeping it warm and getting sound away from the winds was really tough, and it's so dark,” says Hilton. “But emotionally, you see nature at its most inspiring and its most intense.”  


Ilulissat, Greenland. 

Longitude and Latitude
69° 13 min N; 51° 6 min W.

Average daily temperature

Average daily wind speed
5.6–11 km/h (Force 2, Beaufort Scale).

Affect of changing climate
Ice depleting by up to 15 meters (49 feet) per year in Ilulissat, meaning 20 billion tons of iceberg break off and pass out of the Ilulissat fjord annually.

Hours of darkness per day while filming 

Days of total darkness per year 

Average sunlight per year 
On balance, 1,878 sunshine hours––approximately 5.1 sunlight hours per day.

Traditional first annual sunrise
January 13 (13 minutes before 13:00).

Sunrise in 2011
January 11.

Number of inhabitants 

1 x 4x4, 6 x planes, 1 x small fishing boat, dog sleds.

Number of dogs per sled 

Sony F3 with Zeiss ZF lenses.

Length of shoot 
Two days traveling to location, six days filming, two days traveling back.

Clothes worn while filming 
North Face everything.

Average number of layers of clothing 

Skin care 
Arctic skincare packs and lots of ChapStick.

Food during filming
Equal mix of fine dining and Pot Noodle.

Safety equipment 
Not enough.

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Secret Cities: Beijing

Beijing Design Week Director Beatrice Leanza Casts a Sharp Eye On The Chinese Capital

From a concept store nestled in an imperial courtyard to al fresco Sichuanese dining, newly appointed director of Beijing Design Week (BDW) Beatrice Leanza offers up a specialist’s guide to her city. A resident for the past decade, Leanza’s intimate knowledge spans its dusty hutongs (alleys), crumbling 600-year-old Dashilar shopping street and the 798 art district, home to expansive galleries and exhibition spaces. Her fascination with Chinese contemporary art began while studying in Italy, and arriving in Beijing in 2002 she worked at the China Art Archives and Warehouse, founded by the renegade Ai Weiwei. “China was coming out of the 1990s, the underground years,” Leanza says. “It was the moment of the institutionalization of the artistic system, the birth of museums and galleries.” She went on to found BAO Atelier, a global think tank. After curating an exhibition of Chinese, Japanese and Korean art collective Xijing Men at 2011’s Venice Biennale and consulting for institutions such as MoMA New York and London’s Royal College of Art, stepping up to the role of director at BDW feels organic. Beijing, Leanza says, is the cultural “heart and soul of the Chinese people. It’s here that most of the prominent artistic movements or practices take shape—it has this all-encompassing nature that no other city in China has.”

Located in a hidden courtyard house once home to the last empress and tucked away in the Mao’er hutong, Wuhao is filled with hand-picked furniture, jewelry, and clothing by Asian and international creators. In the central building an original mirror from the early 20th century and a traditional Kang (day bed) set the scene for seasonal collections inspired by Wu Xing, the five Chinese elements of water, metal, fire, earth and wood. 
5 Mao’er Hutong, Dongcheng District

Lost & Found
Setting up shop in the historical hutong area around The Confucian and Lama temples, Lost & Found houses items of a truly local vintage, with Chinese chairs, tables, cabinets, office desks, screens, lights and even clothing that revive an Old World simplicity. It's also a functioning atelier, where craftsmen's studios and workshops can be visited by appointment.
57 Guozijian Street, Dongcheng District

The Temple Hotel
Built during the Ming Dynasty as an imperial printing house for Buddhist sutras, The Temple Hotel later became the residence of one of the most important religious authorities of the Qing Emperors. Located north of the Forbidden City, the newly restored complex and its surrounding pavilions and rooms are complemented by an installation by artist James Turrell and works by design titan Ingo Maurer.
23 Shatan North Street, Dongcheng District

Transit restaurant
The best Sichuanese restaurant in Beijing sits on a half-hidden corner in the pedestrian area of Sanlitun Village North, an open air mecca for luxury and fashion seekers. 
N4-36, Third Floor, The Village North, Sanlitun Lu, Chaoyang District

Xian Bar
For those who have longed for an alternative to Sanlitun Village’s congested bar scene, live music lounge and whiskey bar Xian (named after a legendary ‘wine immortal’ whose sculptural portrait guards over the adjacent river) is just few minutes away from 798 Art District. 
22 Jiuxianqiao Lu, Chaoyang District

Ubi Gallery
Nestled in the bustling, 600-year-old area of Dashilar on the southern side of Tiananmen Square, this atelier and gallery features limited edition pieces by international contemporary jewelry and ceramics creators, with interiors and display furniture from Local Design Studio featuring Dashila(b). By the time BDW comes around in September, Ubi will be housed in a fully restored tea house dating from the late 19th century. 
9 Zhujia Hutong, Dashilar, Xicheng District

Fei Space
One of the earliest concept stores in Beijing, Fei Space sits next to the international galleries of the city's well-trodden Art District. Mostly devoted to fashion, clothing and accessories by local designers, the venue also shows select international creatives alongside rare vintage pieces, as well as containing an exhibition space devoted to young Chinese talent.
Second Floor, B01, 2 Jiuxianqiao Lu, 798 Art District, Chaoyang District

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