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1136

Year 1136 was a leap year starting on Wednesday of the Julian calendar. The Kedah Sultanate is established at Qodah Darul Aman. Béjaïa repeals a Genoan naval assault. February 5 – Treaty of Durham: Stephen I of England concedes Cumberland to David I of Scotland. May 28 – The people of Novgorod depose and imprison hereditary prince Vsevolod of Pskov. September or October – Battle of Crug Mawr: Owain Gwynedd of Wales defeats the Normans, securing control of Ceredigion. Duke Grimoald of Bari, supported by rebels against King Roger II of Sicily. In Russia, the Novgorod Republic is established in the north west of the region. Melrose Abbey is founded, by King David I of Scotland; the Saint Denis Basilica is completed in France. Peter Abelard writes the Historia Calamitatum. Amalric I of Jerusalem, monarch Marie I, Countess of Boulogne, vassal ruler William of Newburgh, English historian April 15 – Richard Fitz Gilbert de Clare May 24 – Hugues de Payens, first Grand Master of the Knights Templar November 15 – Margrave Leopold III of Austria November 21 – William de Corbeil, Archbishop of Canterbury date unknown Abraham bar Hiyya Ha-Nasi, Spanish mathematician and astronomer Zayn al-Din al-Jurjani, Persian physician Gwenllian ferch Gruffydd, Welsh princess and rebel leader

Relativity (M. C. Escher)

Relativity is a lithograph print by the Dutch artist M. C. Escher, first printed in December 1953; the first version of this work was a woodcut made earlier that same year. It depicts a world; the architectural structure seems to be the centre of an idyllic community, with most of its inhabitants casually going about their ordinary business, such as dining. There are doorways leading to park-like outdoor settings. All of the figures have featureless bulb-shaped heads. Identical characters such as these can be found in many other Escher works. In the world of Relativity, there are three sources of gravity, each being orthogonal to the two others; each inhabitant lives in one of the gravity wells. There are sixteen characters, spread between each gravity source, six in one and five each in the other two; the apparent confusion of the lithograph print comes from the fact that the three gravity sources are depicted in the same space. The structure has seven stairways, each stairway can be used by people who belong to two different gravity sources.

This creates interesting phenomena, such as in the top stairway, where two inhabitants use the same stairway in the same direction and on the same side, but each using a different face of each step. In the other stairways, inhabitants are depicted as climbing the stairways upside-down, but based on their own gravity source, they are climbing normally; each of the three parks belongs to one of the gravity wells. All but one of the doors seem to lead to basements below the parks. Though physically possible, such basements are unusual and add to the surreal effect of the picture; this is one of Escher’s most popular works, has been used in a variety of ways

PHUNK

PHUNK is a Singapore-based contemporary art and design collective founded by Alvin Tan, Melvin Chee, Jackson Tan, William Chan in 1994. They have exhibited and collaborated with artists and fashion brands around the world, producing work across a diverse range of mediums. PHUNK was awarded Gold and Silver medals by Promax Asia in six consecutive years between 2001 and 2006. In 2007, the collective was conferred the Designer of the Year Award at the President’s Design Award in Singapore; the work of PHUNK is influenced by popular culture and its ever-evolving series of metaphors and iconography. Having grown up in the ‘70s and ‘80s, its members are inspired by Hong Kong's kungfu movies and Cantonese TV series, Japanese anime and manga, American TV programmes, DC and Marvel comics, British indie pop, new wave and American rock music, as well as MTV; these continue to be part of a recurring theme. Upon entering art college in the'90s, they began looking to various art and design movements such as the Bauhaus, Situationism, Pop Art, Swiss Modernist and Postmodernist design.

This drove them to explore work that blurs the boundaries between commercial design. PHUNK is known for taking an experimental approach to their projects, combining various contexts and symbols to create a signature visual language and system. To date, they have produced across the fields of art, publishing, music and interactive art, exploring mediums ranging from silkscreen prints, mixed media pieces and sculptures to acrylic and vinyl figurines; the members of PHUNK met as design students at LASALLE College of the Arts, where they studied Visual Communications. They had thought of starting a band while in college, but decided to found an art collective to further their shared interest in visual art. After graduating in 1994, they started PHUNK as a streetwear label. While the business endeavour did not take off, the name PHUNK remained. Between 1995 and 1997, the artists served a two-year period of mandatory National Service with the Singapore Armed Forces, they spent their weekends creating visual works and experimenting with various modes of artistic expression.

They began to produce visuals and graphics which they sent out to friends and family. This led to their founding of type foundry Guerilla Fonts, which saw them create original digital typeface designs; these typeface designs were sent to Garage Fonts in Del Mar, California. In 1998, Garage Fonts began distributing Guerilla Fonts' typeface designs worldwide. PHUNK was invited to write the introduction to the book New Typographics 2, published by Japanese publishers PIE books, they subsequently founded Trigger Magazine. The launch of the magazine at Zouk further initiated a series of themed nights that the club became known for. PHUNK started a long-standing working relationship with MTV Asia in 1999, while in the design sphere, their creation of Phiz dingbats, marked the start of the collective's unique illustration style; the early 2000s saw PHUNK gain recognition globally. Their artwork featured in numerous group and solo exhibitions, including the retrospective showcase A Decade of Decadence, held at the Singapore History Museum to commemorate their 10th anniversary.

In 2004, they were selected to represent Singapore at the Place project, which opened at the Museu Valencia de la Il.lustració i La Modernitat, in València, Spain. The following year, PHUNK exhibited as part of the Gwangju Design Biennale, subsequently presented at London Design Festival 2006 as part of 20/20 Singapore Design Movement; the collective furthered their foray into publishing with the launch of two books during this period: Transmission 02: Utopia and Mono Number One: Phunk Studio. In 2007, PHUNK was selected to exhibit at the Young Talents show in Art Cologne, where they were nominated for Best of Show, they launched several solo exhibitions, including Universality, which opened at the Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei. PHUNK was appointed as artists for the Circle Line Art Project by the Land Transport Authority, they began collaborating with Levi Strauss & Co. on a number of T-shirt series that were launched in Europe and Asia Pacific, presented a solo exhibition at the Levi's flagship store in Paris.

That same year, PHUNK was recognised for their work for MTV's Top 100 Hits show packaging, receiving the Certificate of Typographic Excellence at the 54th Type Directors Club’s Type Design Awards. They were subsequently commissioned by MTV Asia to re-design their on-air channel. 2007 saw PHUNK launch Universality, an art book published by Page One. PHUNK made history when they were named Designer of the Year at the President's Design Award 2007, becoming the youngest recipient of the highest design accolade in Singapore. In 2008, PHUNK was named as part of the inaugural design jury for the Cannes Lions, they were invited to participate in STPI’s artist-in-residence program, for the BMW Young Asian Artist Series. They launched TRANSMISSION, an experimental, multi-disciplinary laboratory that saw them mentor and share their experience and skills with younger creators. Subsequent editions were held in 2010, 2012 and 2014. Elsewhere, PHUNK was represented at New Wave – Singapore's Contemporary Design Culture, an exhibition hosted by the Center for Creative Communications in Shizuoka, Japan.

They launched a solo exhibition at the Korea International Art Fair, was named as one of 50 Local Heroes in Singapore by Time Out. A collaboration with Giordano on the World Without Strangers – Giordano Tee Projec