From now until September 8th, Japanese artist Risa Fukui has a must-see paper cutout exhibition at the Pola Museum Annex. The Japanese art of paper cutting, also referred to as kirie, has been the force behind some magnificently talented artists like Rogan Brown and Bovey Lee, but never before have we seen it on such a massive scale. In her exhibition called LIFE-SIZED Risa Fukui presents 10 works that look like scribbled portrait drawings, so much so that it is almost unfathomable that they were cut out from a gigantic piece of paper. [Read more...]
The fascinating works of Yuki Matsueda pop out of their box enclosures and frames, penetrating the viewer’s space. Yolks fly out of eggs, figures jump out of exit signs, and kings and queens leap out of playing cards. Matsueda was born in Ibaraki prefecture in 1980. He won the 2010 Nippon Paint Design Center Award and graduated from Tokyo University of the Arts with a PhD in 2010. He has shown in numerous group and solo exhibitions throughout Asia and Europe. [Read more...]
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This one time at band camp, some Japanese kids took over the photo meme known as Hadoukening. Sometimes called Vadering in the US, the trend was started by some Japanese school girls imitating manga martial arts moves from Street Fighter that sent their friends blasting through the air, spread through the world, and reached its peak about two months ago. But these young band kids have revived it, blowing their friends away with tubas and calling it “Tuba Gun” (チューバ砲 or “Chuuba Juu”). [Read more...]
I don’t know about you, but by the time I have peeled an orange, I have a very hard time not quickly eating the juicy insides; the fragrant citrus smell fills the air and the sweet juice is one of the most refreshing tastes imaginable. But one patient Japanese person took the time to dissect an orange down to every last segment, peel, pulp, and drop of juice to arrange this beautifully designed ad for Shizuoka News. From afar the design actually looks like a newspaper, but as you look closer, you can see that the “text” and “pictures” are actually just meticulously arranged pieces of oranges. [Read more...]
Do you have any friends who love mycology and everything related to fungi and mushrooms? There must be someone out there. If you are having trouble deciding what to get them for their birthday, then look no further because Yukio Takano of Japan has an answer: he has created mushroom lamps that light up using LEDs. Perfect for desks, bedside tables or in the living room, these mushroom lights can look quite real at first glance, but as soon as they are turned on glow like something out of the movie Avatar. [Read more...]
Everyday in the world there are friendships between animals and humans. One unique and charming relationship between the species’ is the one of an elderly lady in Japan and her little cat “Fukumaru.” Together they do just about everything in their daily lives. [Read more...]
Do you remember staring at those Magic Eye pictures, hoping to see an image revealed once your eyes reached that perfect blur? Well that magical phenomenon of stereographs was created long before the 1990′s craze, dating back as far as the 1840′s. Double lensed stereoscopic cameras allowed people to capture 2 moments at once and stereoscopes made the prints come to life as they appeared to pop off the page in 3D. [Read more...]
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As a designer, it’s easy to get stuck in the style trends of today… so here’s some typographic inspiration from vintage Japan. Coming from a large collection of 3000 ads from the years 1891 – 1945 (put together by the University of Tokyo), these vintage newspaper pages feature a bold style we don’t frequently see today. Huge glyphs boldly displayed in neat blocks. The emphasis here is often on the arrangement of elements, rather than a reliance on imagery… something to which the both vertically and horizontally orientable Japanese characters lend themselves well. [Read more...]