True Spectacle: Cover Star Teddy Lo’s ‘Gon Kirin’
On our first cover is the “Gon Kirin” fire-breathing light dragon art car, the creation of Teddy Lo, an extremely talented international lighting artist from Hong Kong/New York. Lo created “Gon Kirin” for the Burning Man festival in Black Rock City, Nev., and has shown the art car at events around the world.
Why is Lo on our premier cover?
Well, 71 Magazine’s criteria is, and has always been, to find and profile the most unique talent in the arts world which also has a Texas connection. Besides Burning Man, Lo’s amazing dragon art car showed in El Paso last year for the Chalk the Block! Festival. Created with metal artists Ryan Doyle and Henry Chang on a 20-foot airport transport vehicle chassis, together the artists installed added hydraulics, propane burners, audio systems and LED lighting arrays. The light dragon also showed at Maker’s Faire, where it garnered 13 blue ribbons.
Lo says he learned a lot from the collaborative experience of building the dragon regarding creativity, industrial design, budgeting and large-scale management of international projects created with mobile pyrotechnic, LED interactive light and audio capabilities. And while the art car continues to evolve, the current end result is true retro-futuristic spectacle.
Photographed by Dallas photographer Cliff Baise, this shot of “Gon Kirin” at once expresses art, fashion, lighting and spectacle, with a smiling, high-fashion, 21st-century ringleader (doubling as a Batman villain) pointing the way to the future: of 3-D art, lighting, design, fashion, repurposing, multimedia assemblage and the structure of modern events themselves. We are in the age of high-tech tribal gatherings at their best. And Lo is on the cutting edge of all that this encompasses.
A cover this intriguing, mysterious and exotic isn’t easily found, even as it only hints at what’s inside a publication, hopefully inspiring readers to turn the page and venture inside. The final pages bookend the cover with a semi-panoramic version of this shot, expanding the scope and vision and, we hope, implying our own expansion of vision and scope. If you extrapolate out from there, the breadth of creativity is limitless.
We hope you’ll join us on the journey of exploration. If this doesn’t say, “launch” and “we’ve arrived,” in a very creative way, what does?
See “Gon Kirin” in action: Gon Kirin in El Paso, Texas
Experience Teddy Lo’s art: Teddy Lo Studio
Get our premier issue: 71 Magazine Premier Issue, Nov/Dec 2017