The Women of Osamu Tezuka

tezuka osamu women 1

The illustrator and manga author Osamu Tezuka was a visionary who single-handedly catapulted Japanese comics into a league of their own. Without the “god of manga,” the art form would surely have evolved differently. Tezuka proved that comics were not only for kids. Under his talent and imagination they could effectively tackle complex topics like immortality, religion and Hitler.

And those who were familiar with his nearly 700 series of works know that Tezuka wasn’t afraid to point his pen at the female body. On numerous occasions both slender and sumptuous nudes were incorporated into his work. And now, thanks to a titillating exhibition at Gallery Kai, the sensuous protagonists of Tezuka’s world will be on display for all to see. (Needless to say, there is some mild nudity after the link.)

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Japan’s Vanishing Terraced Rice Fields

Japan’s Vanishing Terraced Rice Fields

The Japanese can do amazing things with their rice paddies but the real beauty lies in the ancient art of terraced rice fields. Referred to by some as “Japan’s pyramids,” terraced rice fields were the work of ancient farmers who carved wondrous, majestic stairs into the side of cliffs for more effective farming. But with the onset of modern technology and agricultural machinery farmers began abandoning these old platforms for more profitable farming. Photographer Kit Takenaga decided to photograph and capture the terraced rice fields before it was too late.

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1 Week Salad: Toshiba’s Organic Salad Grown in an Old Semiconductor Factory

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For quite some time now Toshiba’s Yokosuka factory, a sprawling 1,969-square-meter facility southwest of Tokyo, has been lying idle. But now the former facility that manufactured semiconductors is turning over a new leaf. Workers at the plant have undergone a major career change and are now using state-of-the-art technology to raise crops like lettuce, baby leaf greens, spinach, mizuna and herbs.

It’s quite a shift, you might think. But there are actually more similarities between semiconductor production and farming than you might have imagined.

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Warped Embroidered Fruits and Vegetables by Sayaka Miyata

sayaka miyata (1)

Sayaka Miyata is a young Japanese artist who creates otherworldly compositions of fruits, vegetables and other plants using embroidery techniques. Her works is rooted in the art of textile-dyeing, for which she majored in college. But she began incorporating embroideries into her textiles to give them depth and volume. Her style evolved in graduate school when she began experimenting with a sewing machine, giving her embroideries the warped look of a computer glitch.

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The Mirror: 30 Major Artists Descend Upon an 80-Year Old Office Building in Ginza

the mirror ginza

the 80-year old building in ginza where a massize art show will take place

Art shows taking place in soon-to-be-demolished Tokyo buildings seems to be something of a trend this year. First there was BCTION, which featured over 70 emerging artists sprawled throughout different floors. Next is THE MIRROR, which is bringing major artists and architects like Kengo Kuma, Kohei Nawa, Lee Ufan and Anish Kapoor to an 80-year old office building in Ginza that once served as Nagoya’s House of Commerce.

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Close Enough to Walk Apart: the art of Tsukasa Kanawa and Shinya Kato

close enough to walk apart

The Japanese Artist Tomokazu Matsuyama has maintained a studio in New York since 2004. We visited him in 2013 when he employed 2-3 assistants. Now that number is closer to 10. But artwork isn’t the only thing this small factory produces. Each assistant is an artist in their own right.

One of them is Meguru Yamaguchi, who’s already graduated. Now, two of Matsuyama’s younger protégés – Tsukasa Kanawa and Shinya Kato – are stretching their wings and showcasing their own artwork as part of Gowanus Open Studio.

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Seasonal Steel Paintings by Miya Ando Seek Balance Between the Man-Made and Natural

Miya Ando kisetsu

Miya Ando once told us “I think of myself as a person who works with light.” And light is certainly crucial in viewing her works. But take the modest statement with a grain of salt because, when creating her works, the part-artist, part-alchemist is usually armed with a breather mask, heavy gloves, a blow torch, sandpaper, grinders and a slew of pigments and chemicals that would make any chemistry teacher jealous.

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A Cubic Rubber Band That You’ll Never Want to Throw Away

nendo cubic rubber band

Natural rubber bands have been around since the 1600s and they were patented (and formally institutionalized) in England in 1845. But despite their long history, they’ve always pretty much remained the same shape, which is, of course, circular. This is only natural as the circle shape seems to be most fitted for holding objects. And the only criticism people seem to have is that they are overly expendable.

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Neighborhood Globe: the artwork of Yasuhiro Suzuki

yasuhiro suzuki exhibition zipper boat

“Zipper Boat” (2004) | unless otherwise noted images courtesy the artist

He’s parted the waters of a lake using a zipper, he’s turned castles to chocolate and he’s made eyeballs fall from the sky. But he’s not the next savior. He’s Yasuhiro Suzuki, a young Japanese artist who has a penchant for re-envisioning the ordinary as extraordinary.

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The Fab Mind: a new exhibition co-curated by a journalist

THE FAB MIND: Hints of the Future in a Shifting World

THE FAB MIND: Hints of the Future in a Shifting World has a broad aim. It is not limited to tangible design products, but focuses on the aspirations and activities of those who seek to understand and resolve social issues through design. Enter journalist Noriko Kawakami and the Stockholm-based art and design curator Ikko Yokoyama. Together they aim to showcase the minds capable of examining society and human “fabrication” endeavors through a fabulous lens.

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