This is a blog about all of my capricious obsessions: design, coffee, fashion, and a host of other things.
Travel isn’t about an itinerary or doing super luxurious things. It’s about being immersed in something else. Curating is better than accumulating. Edit out the unnecessary and only take what you really need.
Neutral is a new typeface from Kai Bernau — underway since 2005 — that aims to homogenise a number of popular 20th-century sans serifs “to create a typeface free of all connotations or associations that could distract a reader from the text, a font that delivers the character of the written material untouched by the character of the typeface design”. His influences included Plato’s doctrine of Ideas, the Conceptual Art movement, and, most interestingly:
… the ideas of 16th-century tea ceremony master Sen no Rikyū, who greatly influenced the wabi-cha style of chanoyu tea ceremony. This style tries to attain perfection in the essential aspects of the ceremony by the removal of anything which could divert the focus from the essential elements: the tea and the interaction of host and guests.
CJO's novelty lies in its saturation. It's rare to see urban photography projects really engage with the loudness and magnitude of the city's being, not only because of the difficulty in representing those macro-elements, but also because it takes time. The volume of images required to even hint at the sheer gigantism of urban environments is a colossal project, made even harder by the more standard challenges of composition.
Simply put, there’s more work here than in many similar projects, and it builds a world that teeters between hyperreal and surreal. Winding subterranean pathways shot elegantly and immersively; the dusty stone color of a rain-soaked street; the punctuation of street art tucked away into an alley—all of this is woven together with a staggering density. It’s the city as it feels, a towering assemblage of inextricable spaces that form a precariously functional chaos.
CJO’s project reproduces one of the most enjoyable and difficult-to-capture aspects of urban life—the feeling of becoming lost in a much larger, much older, organism. To get a sense of that specific delirium through photography alone is absolutely wonderful.