photograph © Miyako Yoshinaga Gallery, courtesy the artist
There is a reason why Yojiro Imasaka’s photographs of Hawaii are devoid of any beaches or resorts. In fact, other than the photographic evidence of the artist’s intent, there is no sign of human life at all. It’s not even clear what time period the photographs are from.
The NY-based Japanese photographer lugged his large-format camera to the island of O’ahu, and then further into the mountains, to capture the trade winds: a natural weather pattern on islands that have existed long before mankind.
Back in 2015, the NY-based Japanese creative director Sho Shibuya began creating hand-lettered katakana for each day of the week. Ever since, his Instagram account has been such a joy to follow because, on a fairly consistent basis, he has been posting a weekly series of letters, each brimming with creativity and craftsmanship. Now, in what is Shibuya’s first solo exhibition, his work will be on display in New York later this month.
Tokyo Last Train Map | click image to enlarge
If you live or work in Tokyo, you may *ahem* occasionally find yourself out late, either drinking or working. And Tokyo isn’t exactly the city that never sleeps, especially when it comes to its extensive train and subway system. So if you don’t want to get stuck sleeping in a capsule hotel, you’ll need to do some planning. That’s where the Tokyo Last Train Map comes in handy.
Created by a Japanese designer and map enthusiast who goes by the twitter handle @chizutodesign, the beautiful print lays out all of Tokyo’s trains in radial form, along with the times they leave their first stop and arrive at their last stop. From far away it almost looks like fireworks.
It’s a beautiful visualization of Tokyo’s massive transit system as it prepares to slowly turn the lights out on another busy day. There are a few outliers but, as you’ll see, right around midnight is when you’re going to want to start heading for that train station!
The new V&A Dundee, designed by Kengo Kuma | photo by Ross Fraser McLean
The V&A Dundee, which is Scotland’s first design museum, will open tomorrow, September 15, 2018. It was designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, who used cutting-edge 3D modelling tools to create the unique shape and façade of the museum, which is intended to mirror the appearance of a Scottish cliff face. The curving walls are made from 2,500 individual stone panels, each weighing 3000 kg (together, that’s almost 8 thousand tons of wall!).
In what is a masterful feat of structural engineering, architect Junya Ishigami has sculpted concrete cantilevered display shelves that are up to 12-meters (39-feet) long.
What happens when you reduce an object to its bare-bone minimum? That was essentially the idea behind a new line of cutlery created by Japanese design office Nendo.
We’re absolutely loving the sculptural beauty of these white sand dunes photographed by Yoshihiro Makino during a trip to New Mexico in 2017. Staring at these otherworldly photographs, it’s easy to forget that you’re even looking at sand. With almost no rainfall throughout the year, the “White Sands” in winter are enveloped in crystals of dry gypsum; a vast and silent world that is seemingly devoid of life.
“GIN RICKEY AND GOLDEN TETRA”
The Japanese illustrator Kanta Yokoyama was born and raised in Kamakura, a lovely suburb outside Tokyo that’s situated between sea and mountains. It’s this environment, he says, that helped shape him as an artist. His illustrations are simple but whimsical, and he’s attributed his childhood of catching bugs and going fishing as the reason why his work often includes bugs and fish.
The Good Design Company was founded in 1998 by creative director Manabu Mizuno and, since their inception, have stayed true to their name. For 20 years Mizuno has attempted to “make things better” through design. And that has remained constant whether he’s designing a store, a train, a beer glass or Japan’s most lovable mascot Kumamon. Now, a new exhibition reflects on 2 decades of Mizuno’s Good Design.
the history behinds Japan’s postal 〒 mark (all photos via wikimedia commons)
If you live in Japan, surely you’ve seen it before. It’s a symbol that looks like the capital letter T but with an additional horizontal line above it: 〒. Known as the postal mark (yubin kigo), it’s a symbol that represents the Japanese postal system. Despite a decline in physical letters sent, the postal system is still very much a part of life in Japan as it also offers banking and other financial services (an odd notion in itself as most Americans would never consider banking with USPS) and the 〒 appears on post boxes, delivery trucks and branch offices.