Saturday, 25 July 2009

Paris: Gobelins Summer School - The Pompidou

Out of the various museums, Pompidou Centre was the first one that I visited.

Among many things, it is also the museum of modern arts and i stumbled upon a exhibition exhibition I particularly enjoyed. I never know about Alexander Calder's work, or at least not his fascinating toys of circus and animals. I also like his wire sculptures a lot. They are so simple, yet we know in first glance what they are. He has amazingly distilled the essence and main characteristics of a creature or person into simple lines. I am not that big of a Kandinsky fan though. The permernant exhibits are in a configuration that prioritize Women/Women Artists at the moment. I do enjoy seeing many of the examples used in our Visual Culture lectures back in university there. Nothing quite like seeing the real 'piece'.

I find the high-tech architeture design of the building an interesting juxposition with the classical Paris buildings.

However, on a clear day, the top floors of the centre does offer some spectacular view of the cityscapes around.

You can see the Sacré-Cœur in the background of these, on the hill of MontMartre.

With such gorgeous weather outside. I do tend to fell conflicted when walking along the cool dim corridors between the galleries.

Why would I want to look at a second hand interpretation of the world when the world, such an amazing city is right outside, waiting for me to explore? I do feel that even Picasso's work is dim in comparison to the summer iridescence outside.

And outside the cetre was an exhibition of modern fountains.

Here is a colorful one.

In contrast, one that won't look out of place in a Neil Gaiman's novel. It could fit very well in the Beldam's garden.

More to come...

Paris: Gobelins Summer School

GOBELINS, l'école de l'image
Gobelins Summer School - Character Animation 30th June - 15th July

I can't practically find words to describe this amazing experience in the famed animation school in Paris. All the passionate and amazing teachers have so much to impart. If anything, the intensive classes and workshops have shown us how some of the very Best in the world do things.

Meeting another 40+ animators in various stages of their career from 22 countries, who are all so enthusiastic about what they do is another priceless experience in itself.

When it comes to the school's commitment to excellence, the hospitality is great too. Eeven the lunches everyday between the sessions are highlights of themselves.

Each day, we can go into the school as early as 7.45 in the morning and there are at least 3 ways to go to the school from our hostel. I usually pick the bus ride and a short stroll down the pleasant Arago Boulevard.

This is the junction that intersects with the Gobelins Metro Station, another alternative way to get to school.

Each morning, the lectures will be held within the newly renovated hall with air conditioning, quite a necessity in the sweltering Parisian summer.

The workshop facilities are wonderful as well. I like the energy and momentum of a room full of sweaty animators working away.

The view from my workstation in the corner.

Out of the many great tutors and Gobelins alumni we met, I am very pleasantly surprised to meet Max Maleo. I can't call myself a Burning Safari fan without taking a picture with the director.

I will have to repeat that I can't possibly tell you how good it is. If you are really into character animation and is willing to spend 2400€ and 2 weeks, those are definitely time and money well spent. Given the chance, I would like to see these staircases again in that venerated building.

And certainly, I do miss all of you wonderful people!
Alexandre Heboyan (our teacher who work on Kung Fu Panda) and Max Maleo are also in the pic.

Wishing everyone all the very best in their paths ahead and dearly hope to see you again some day.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Paris: Gobelins Summer School - Tour Montparnasse 2

For Part 1, here.

I can't believe how the clouds are all gone and the sky is nearly perfectly clear now.

I feel 'complete', this is as close to perfection as it can possibly get.

The magic did not cease when the giant light bulb was turned off.

The giant fairy's wheel by the pyramids gained added prominence.

On this roof top, I have found something memorable!

Golden veins begin to segregate the cityscape into smaller pieces.

And so, the City of Lights has fulfilled all of my expectations without any doubt.

Paris: Gobelins Summer School - Tour Montparnasse 1

In the days of old, custom existed where young men from Europe finishes their education with the Grand Tour. The journey from France, across the Alps, to the south in Italy served as an education rite of passage. As I was neither born a hundred years ago nor would I necessarily refer to myself as a person of means, a 3 weeks stay in Paris did just well for me. For an animation student, the Gobelins Summer School could hardly be a better way to turn the page into another chapter of my life.

La Ville-Lumière (or "The City of Lights") are filled with so much delights and wonderful things that I will need a series of posts to even begin to sketch the surface of that amazing experience.

And I shall start with one of my favorite series of pictures yet. To wait for the clouds to part, the sun to set, and the lights to be lit, 210 meters above in the sky looking down on almost everything else can be a sublime experience. Long have I not been standing so high up, at times shivering in the chilling wind, and doing nothing but drinking the changing colors of the sky and feasting upon the ever changing shadows across an urban landscape filled with famous buildings in every direction you look.

This is the from the Tour Montparnasse (around 9 - 11pm)
Behold now, how the light changes over the City of Lights.
From intimidating and foreboding rolling storm clouds, everything can change!

Slowly, the ray broke through as the clouds parted.

Here you can see the Luxembourg Garden, Pompidou Center and the Notre Dame, to name a few.

The horizontal green line are none other than the massive Louvre. Sacré-Coeur is visible on the green patch near the top left.

A better view of Louvre (in the shadow) and Sacré-Coeur (in the light)

The dome shaped building is the Panthéon.

Gare Montparnasse (train station) is the building at the bottom right corner.

The wonderful part begins with the sun inching closer to the horizon.

Let's take a break, have a hot coffee to thaw your finger as warmth begin to recede with the sun. The best part will be followed up in the next entry.

here to continue.