初見老東方博物館 Old Orient Museum 的收藏頗為雀躍，一方面很喜歡這種民國初年老上海的風格，也很迷戀這時代揉合異國浪漫的特殊情懷。而蒐藏家Vincent也深深為這些老東西所吸引，第一次在跳蚤市場買下第一張海報時，就立下希望美好的東西，不會因為時間的流逝而消失，也在他的努力下保存了許多珍貴的文物。
1.Hello , Vincent, Please tell us more about your background and what made you collecting the restored vintage posters to MyDesy readers.
I have always been interested in Digital Restoration; mainly as a means to bring the past back to life. We have many treasures that have been lost to time, and will never be seen again. If only a few of them could be saved, it would make the world a better place.
In your country, for example, you had the right idea by saving hundreds of thousands of antiquities and invaluable pieces of art from mainland China when they were in the hands of the communists. I know only because I have seen the books full of beautiful and precious objects saved from destruction, because someone took the time and the thought to rescue them, the world is a better place, and future generations can admire the art of the past.
So, what I enjoy is finding some beautiful piece of art and restoring it to the same condition it was when it was first printed. Recently, I located a beautiful poster from 1930’s Manchukuo, the puppet country ruled by Puyi, the last Emperor of China, and I bought it back to its former glory. That gives me a sense of history and accomplishment. I was even able to contact the actor who played the 8-year old boy in the Bernardo Bertolucci movie, and share it with him, since he knows about the history.
About my own background, I come from an artistic family. My father worked for Paramount Studios in Hollywood, and my sister taught at the Chicago Art Institute, although I have never been formally trained in art, nor attended any art schools. So, you would say I’m self taught, which is not a bad thing, really, because I developed my own techniques in digital restoration which nobody else even knows about, and I probably would not have dreamed of if I was just following everyone else as a student.
In the field of digital restoration, it’s nice to say I’ve gotten a lot of worldwide recognition (and over one million hits) through the museum, as the artist solely responsible for the world’s largest collection of digitally restored vintage posters.
2.When is the first poster and how did you get it?
It was in 2001. I picked up my first poster in a flea market in New York City, with the idea of scanning it and using it as background art for a website I was designing. I started to buy more and more of them because I liked the artistic styles of the 1920’s and 1930’s, and felt that they were a lost bit of history.
You could say I slowly fell in love with them and eventually it became my goal to restore them to new condition so that future generations of art lovers could admire them and respect the original artists. To my thinking, commercial artists have never been given as much respect as fine artists and this is a shame, because many of the paintings done for these posters could hang in a museum, they are so well done.
The main thing to remember is, even in the last ten years since I collected them, they have become harder and harder to find, and many are now extinct, except for my digital record.
3.What is the stander of the collecting selection criteria? And which series is your favorite?
As I indicated before, I love them for what they are. Tobacco posters to me are just as lovely as any others, because cigarettes were not looked down on back then as much as now, and we have to be conscious of that. Even the pinup posters are incredible, although they are mild by today’s standards.
My most difficult restoration was one of a half-nude Chinese woman reclining on a sofa with a parrot in the background and some very 1920’s apartment furnishings. She took over 2 weeks full time (90+ hours) to restore because her poster was faded, folded, torn, and in very bad condition. But, when finished I was incredibly proud of the rebirth. Sometimes I refer to the process of digital restoration as being
My favorite, I would have to say is a poster by a tobacco company depicting an upper class Chinese woman dressed in a 1920’s riding costume and holding a riding crop, looking very much like an aristocratic woman of the times. She is standing next to a magnificent horse, and it’s interesting to point out that in those days in China, the average person or family could not afford the cost or upkeep of family pets, so one can only imagine what social strata she belonged to in order to afford her own horse and horse riding excursions, and such trappings of wealth and privilege.
4.Where can we find you (Twitter/Site/Blog/….)
Sorry, I am trying to avoid some of the modern things we get caught up in. Too busy to twitter, I guess. You can reach me by e-mail any time, at: email@example.com
Or through the art museum at: http://oldorientmuseum.com
5.What, for you personally are the pros and cons of being an artist?
There can be pain as well as reward in seeing the world through the eyes of an artist. Recently, I have begun to appreciate the positive aspects, such as being known as an authority of sorts, and I find myself appreciating beauty where I never saw it before.
6.What do you think about the internet and how does it influent your work?
One cannot say enough about the internet, and how it has changed the world forever. Young people can only imagine what it was like before, but old timers like me have witnessed the changes and can only marvel at the difference. I am able to do things today I could never dream about 20 years ago. When I refurnished my apartment with antiques, I used to make trips every weekend for months, and now I can wander around the world in minutes. I bought a vase from Germany, a porcelain statue form Czechoslovakia, and so on.
7.How does your job influence your life? Do you feel that you see things around you differently for example?
I look for the beauty in things, and even ugliness can be attractive if you know how to treat it. My ideals have changed, but I remain true to my sense of style. Coco Chanel was a beacon of style, and everything she did was directed at that one point. Simple, classical elegance, like a bottle of Chanel No. 5 Perfume. You can’t copy a classic like that. So, my job teaches me to respect style.
8.What are your tools of the trade, both hardware and software?
I do all my work with PhotoShop, with over 8,000 hour’s experience, and I use a Dell Computer (very reliable) with a 20” Mitsubishi Monitor. I worked at a company once and fell in love with the Mitsubishi excellence, and now I can use nothing less.
9.What are your plans for the future? Any new idea coming up, or that you're currently working on, that you're excited about?
Yes, there is a HUGE new project coming up, which I have been working on for over one year, which involves 3 times as many digital restoration works as in the Old Orient Museum, and the cool thing is, they are from all over the world this time around.
For example, an entire collection of fruit crate labels from 1930’s pre-Franco Spain, vintage movie posters from Asia to Mexico, and memorabilia from the best hotels from Paris to Morocco. All pieces (over 350) have been digitally restored and have never before been seen in the re-born condition anywhere or anywhere else. It’s all exclusive, and I hold the copyrights on everything.
This time around, it’s not a museum. The digitally restored pieces are just a part of a larger collection, which is going to be an online art gallery. We are also including pictures from talented photographers from around the world.
I am sorry I cannot divulge any more details at this time (TOP SECRET), but when the site launches I will surely invite you and your readers to check it out.
10.Once again, thank you very much for the interview. As a final word, do you have any tips for upcoming artists and designers?
“Be true to yourself and let yourself evolve without being influenced by others, especially those critical of you and your work. Today, I am my own biggest critic, and when I do something sub-standard, sooner or later I will recognize it and delete it from my body of work. To me, this is an opportunity to replace it with something better and more perfect. Eventually, the world will come to see you and your work and appreciate it. If not, it’s their loss, not yours.”
As my favorite Philosopher said (Apostolius, 150 B.C.), “In the Land of the Blind, the One-Eyed man is King”.