Jonas Yip is a familiar name in Southern California–a prolific photographer and book maker, he spearheads the Open Show LA evenings in Los Angeles, is a vital part of the Lenscratch team, and in addition to being a father and friend, he is a talented musician. His newest project, Thirty Three + a Third, merges the worlds of art and music with work sourced from one of our earliest visual influences, the album cover. As Jonas states: “I set out to conceptually merge this forgotten album art and the spin of the record player to create a sensory experience of motion and music.” The result are celebrations of color and form, rivaling Jasper Johns and Frank Stella paintings from decades past.
Jonas Yip is a photographic artist based in Los Angeles. Born to a poet-writer-professor father and an art historian mother, he was raised in a creative environment steeped in art, music, design, architecture, and plenty of travel. Jonas has published two books, Somewhere Between (2017) and Paris: Dialogues and Meditations (2008), in collaboration with renowned poet and scholar Wai-lim Yip. A related exhibition, Paris: Dialogue, traveled through Asia and was also exhibited at the San Diego Museum of Art. The series has been accepted to the permanent collections of the San Diego Museum of Art and the National Museum of Chinese Literature in Beijing.
Jonas has a new book Somewhere Between (National Taiwan University Press, 2017) featuring his photography/poetry collaborations with his father, the noted scholar and poet Wai-lim Yip. Take a look inside the book here.
Thirty Three + a Third
I grew up, like many music lovers of a certain generation, listening to music with my friends, sprawled out on the living room rug, and scanning album covers for art and information—very different from today’s solitary, playlist-driven, shuffle-play, music-on-the-go experience. We would flip through our records, scanning and choosing from albums whose covers we knew by heart, and listen through all the songs, in order, side A then side B, appreciating the arc of the songs from start to finish as the artists intended. Central to this experience was that artfully designed album cover, a 12″×12″ object to be handled with both hands, from which we slid the vinyl and the liner notes, which we studied carefully to glean lyrics and background information and discover who wrote which song and who played what. Over time the album cover itself came to represent the music… seeing the object and the art on the record shelf was enough to trigger the feeling of listening to the album. Today, unfortunately, that album cover art has been almost completely lost: an afterthought, relegated to appear only as pixels on a small screen as a song comes up on our smartphones, if at all.
For my project, Thirty Three + A Third, I set out to conceptually merge this forgotten album art and the spin of the record player to create a sensory experience of motion and music. Each extended exposure transforms the original cover art, chosen from albums that were important to my own personal musical development, into an abstraction of color and motion, evoking the feeling of listening to music in earlier days, when watching the record spinning on the turntable and poring over the album package were all an integral part of the experience. – Jonas Yip
Follow this series on Instagram at @jonasyip_thirtythreeandathird.
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