Talk Talk is a regular feature where our artists introduce themselves and share some of the experiences that have shaped their work. This edition features Eloise Grills from Melbourne whose comic Sexy Female Murderesses is now available at The All Story.
Eloise Grills is an award-winning essayist, comics artist, and poet. She works from a studio in North Melbourne, as part of the Meat Market’s studio program. In addition to her recent comic publication with Glom Press, her debut poetry collection, If you’re sexy and you know it slap your hamsis out now through Subbed In. Her first full-length illustrated essay collection, Big Beautiful Female Theory, is slated for publication in 2020.
Did modern life stop making sense or did we just start making nonsense? That’s what we’re here to find out in Teach Me How To Be Human the debut exhibition by Haein Kim & Paul Rhodes.
Teach Me How To Be Human is a fun, sometimes raunchy, and often surreal look at all the little episodes that make up our everyday lives, told as if they were being observed by a robot who is trying to understand exactly what is going on. Artists Haein Kim & Paul Rhodes talk here about making the show, their favourite robots, and strange human activites.
What have been the most significant influences that have made you the artist you are today?
Haein Kim: I grew up in a pretty conservative Korean household where anything with a sexually explicit nature was taboo, except, weirdly, buttholes. I think that has deﬁnitely informed my humour: lots of poop and fart jokes. Growing up in such conservatism has made me push more towards a rebellious road. For a few years I was exploring sexuality through my animations but now I think I’ve chilled out a bit on that stuﬀ. Now that I live in a cute apartment with Paul I want to draw more peaceful and fun things.
Paul Rhodes: I like collaborating with artists. I get a buzz from bouncing ideas oﬀ people and ﬁlling spaces. Creating an animation team in 2017 to make Peepin with Haein was mad.
What is your show Teach Me How To Be Human all about?
Haein Kim: Anything and everything to do with human nature. Weird things people do, like lifting weights and going to a sweaty space to get sweaty, eating lunch in a bathroom cubicle because you don’t want people to see you eating alone, falling in love, falling out of love, girl issues. Why do girls go against girls? I like the idea of it being from the perspective of a robot observing what makes people people.
Paul Rhodes: The slogan Humans are trying to be more like robots and robots are trying to be more like humans sounds pretty cool. I find it annoying when people think robots won’t be able to replace artists or the creative industries. I really like the idea of robots making art and music better than we can. I really like the idea of beta-robots making shitty art too.
Talk us through the process of making the work in this show.
Haein Kim: All the work for the show was made in a tiny shopfront studio we renovated ourselves. For my canvas pieces I used acrylic paint and my A3 drawings just some very casual colouring pencils. I’m not really elitist about the materials I use. As long as I can get work done that I’m happy with, I’ll use anything.
Paul Rhodes: I pumped all my vector files through a Robot arm holding Sharpie pens. I’ve never done it before and thought I had broken it multiple times.
Have you found yourself observing people more closely since starting work on ths show? Any stories you’d like to share?
Paul Rhodes: In our apartment there’s so much weekly drama that our landlord updates us on. No. 6 is a grumpy lonely man who always complains via email about any tiny thing that goes on outside, like bike positions, messy gardens, peeling paint, if the person who sweeps the front area is insured or not. No. 4 is a sculptor who rents out his shed to No. 6 so he sometimes takes No.4s side on matters. No. 1 is an older white woman who wears fake tan. She has a Jamaican ﬂag in her window and says ‘man’ suspiciously similar to ‘muuun’ and she says it all the time. No. 7 is an old man named Marto who buys award winning ice-cream from Smithﬁeld.
What would you say is the strangest human activity?
Haein Kim: Procrastination. I think everyone procrastinates. When I procrastinate I compulsively clean up my entire apartment and organise my whole life, from daily to ten year goals. On the other-hand, I know a girl who would literally lie in bed for hours looking at the ceiling instead of getting work done. It’s such strange human behaviour … do animals procrastinate?
Paul Rhodes: No, animals don’t have schedules. “Time is a human construct” lol.
Haein Kim: True
Paul Rhodes: I find compulsive lying heaps funny. There was a pastor of a church who faked having cancer. His lie grew to the point where he was singing on stage wearing an oxygen mask to raise funds for his treatments. Later it was found out he didn’t have cancer and he blamed it on his porn addiction.
What about robots? Any interesting robotic encounters or recommendations ?
Haein Kim: Probably Paul’s new robot arm. It draws stuff
Paul Rhodes: 7/11’s $1 coffee machine. I can get 2 short blacks for the price of one (press the short black button twice – hot tip).
What is the impression that you want people to take away from Teach Me How To Be Human?
Haein Kim: I hope people leave a little giddy, I hope people think its fun!
Paul Rhodes: People have told me Newcastle is a raw place. I wanna meet Newcastle people and make new friends. I hope our show is unhinged fun the sort shit that makes your tummy hurt and gives you wibbly ﬁngers.
What is your favourite story?
Haein Kim: My favourite stories are the ones from childhood. My two sisters and I would do the stupidest things. We used to play this game where two of us would chase a sister around the house, pin her belly side down and slice her butt crack with our hands screaming “CREDIT CARD CREDIT CARD.” I don’t remember who came up with this game but it was so funny.
Paul Rhodes: My brother got circumcised because he lost a bet. It only takes 9 words.
Talk Talk is a regular feature where our artists introduce themselves and share some of the experiences that have shaped their work. This edition features Kim Lam aka Dangerlam from Melbourne, whose comics Life Happening and Small Pleasures are available now in our store.
Kim is an illustrator and self-proclaimed spy living in Melbourne with hypergraphia. She enjoys wresting secrets from the universe through the reading of books and people, and manifesting some of this in her drawings. On the side, Kim collaborates with Dr Jason Fox & The Cleverness. Their favourite project to date is publishing the independent magazine The Cleverness Biannual. Occasionally she saves furry little lives by moonlighting as a veterinarian.
Did modern life stop making sense or did we just start making nonsense?
It seems like everybody’s watching but nobody’s paying attention, so for their debut exhibition, emerging artists Haein Kim & Paul Rhodes set themselves an ambitious task: to closely examine “anything and everything about human nature”.
Talk Talk is a regular feature where our artists introduce themselves and share some of the experiences that have shaped their work. This edition features Joel van der Knaap aka Joel VDK from Adelaide whose zines series Roam is available now in our store.
Joel VDK is a comics artist and commercial illustrator, working with a wide variety of clients from around the world. His ongoing series Roam is now into its fourth edition, with all editions available through The All Story. His forthcoming title Fortress—said to be a tale of marauding robots in the post-apocalyptic Australian outback—is due for release in September.
The Cabinet is a regular feature where our artists share stories, ideas, and favourite things. This edition features Nicolas Burrows, an artist, illustrator, and musician based in London whose picture book The Elephant Hotel is available now through The All Story.
Nicolas Burrows is an illustrator and artist working primarily with collage, creating abstract and figurative compositions influenced by outsider art and modernist design. His dynamic, playful compositions have been applied to animation, editorial illustration, textiles, packaging design and record covers. He has made work for The New York Times, Domino Records, Airbnb, Vevo, Modus and The Idler. Nicolas is one third of the Nous Vous collective which has established a bold graphic language across a range of interesting projects.
Talk Talk is a regular feature where our artists introduce themselves and share some of the experiences that have shaped their work. This edition features Carolyn Hawkins from Melbourne whose zines New Neighbourhood and Hard Rubbish are available now in our store.
Carolyn Hawkins is an artist and illustrator living in Melbourne, whose practice involves the use of pens, paper, pixels, ink, gouache, clay, words, and sounds. Much of her work is about houses and the things that live inside them. When not working on zines and design projects, Carolyn plays in the bands School Damage and Parsnip.