On the evening of November 9, 2015, Christie’s held an evening sale entitled The Artist’s Muse at the Rockefeller Center in New York. Modigliani’s Nu Couché (1917-1918), which had won the most attention prior to the sale, sold for 120 million US dollars, equivalent to 1,084 million Chinese Yuan, to Shanghai collector Liu Yiqian. This set a new auction record for a work by Modigliani.
In translating an interpretation of an artist’s life or work, we must read a large amount of associated literature in order to gain an understanding of the artist’s life, personality traits, the school of art to which they belong and the background to their painting. Only then can we strive to present an accurate interpretation of the original text.
While translating the introduction to Nu Couché, we encountered the phrase “wild bohemian lifestyle”. What word should aptly be selected to translate “wild”? We did not literally translate into the equivalent of “crazy” but rather tailored the translation to mean “dissolute” which was able to integrate his personality, excessive drinking, drug-taking and endless affairs of the heart with the concept of life being “too short so one should enjoy it to its utmost”. We strove to recreate the reality of the artist’s life for the reader in order to enable the reader to truly enter his artistic world.
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At Axios, we have always done our best to avoid a mechanical word-for-word translation style. So we worked alongside the Charlotte brand team as they entered the Chinese market and looked at the thinking behind the creativity of their advertising, so we could use the right language to convey a vivid sense of the unique charm of Charlotte beauty products. Through online enquiry, comparison of similar products already on the market, and even going as far as to personally experience the products, our team developed an in-depth understanding of the story of the Charlotte brand, product features and market prospects. This enabled our translation to serve as important and authentic publicity for the products.
With our rich experience in film and TV translation, Axios provided translation services to the Globe Theatre for stage captions and promotional materials. Our translations included the touring production of The Merchant of Venice at the National Centre for the Performing Arts, as well as The Complete Walk, a special event to mark the four hundredth anniversary of the death of Shakespeare, which was included in the China Shanghai International Arts Festival.
Our translation team were invited to watch a performance of The Merchant of Venice at the National Centre for the Performing Arts. Seeing how, because of our adept handling of the translation, the audience quickly understood the humor and burst into laughter at the appropriate moments, deeply touched us and gave us pride in building a bridge between cultures. We also became even more determined to continue honing our skills and promoting our spirit of craftsmanship to deliver outstanding translations which bring joy to audiences.
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