Uguisudani is a neighborhood in Tokyo located slightly North of Ueno Park. Although it doesn’t have many famous tourist attractions to it’s name, the area is known as a center of the arts and academia, thanks to its proximity to art schools and the Tokyo National Museum. Last month in January, a new hotel called the Landabout opened just steps from Uguisudani Station.
Japanese student and bicycle enthusiast Hiroto has merged traditional Japanese craftwork with bicycle-making to create what he calls a wa-modern bicycle. Borrowing both the technique and naming of Japan’s traditional wooden latticework, Hiroto is calling his piece “Kitsure.”
Daigoro Yonekura is a Japanese artist who creates abstract paintings that resemble billowing plumes of smoke or ink. At once both mysterious and beautiful, they pull the viewer in, offering familiar shapes and forms but leave us at that: a question-mark, asking ourselves, what exactly are they?
Eliza Scidmore was a force to be reckoned with. In the late 1800s to early 1900s she traveled extensively across Asia, writing, photographing and publishing several books. She was one of the only women photographers employed by National Geographic and would later become the first woman board member of the magazine. Japan was of particular interest to Scidmore, who visited numerous times and captured everyday life in Japan over 100 years ago. Some things have changed, but some things really haven’t.
Spoon & Tamago is proud once again to partner with the Ronin | Globus Artist-in-Residence Program. As media sponsor and judge, we’ve supported the program since its inauguration and are excited to be coming back for a 5th year. Open to Japanese artists, this annual program seeks to stimulate cross-cultural dialogue by providing the opportunity for Japanese visual artists to live, work, and exhibit in New York City.
On February 1, 2020, Louis Vuitton will open their new Osaka Midosuji store. Although not necessarily a flagship, the new location, designed by Jun Aoki, is Japan’s largest and features a façade reminiscent of a ship’s mast and sails billowing in the wind. The elegant and intriguing design is inspired by Osaka’s history as a port town. Indeed, during the 1600s, shipping agents were established in Osaka and distinctive cargo vessels known as higaki-kaisen transported sake, along with other goods to current-day Tokyo.
The artist Miya Ando’s solo exhibition at Asia Society Texas encompasses numerous sections of the Yoshio Taniguchi-designed building. “Form is Emptiness, Emptiness is Form” is comprised of several wooden and metal works that Ando has manipulated in such a way that asks visitors to consider time and the pervasiveness of change.
It was back in 2018 when Beams first announced a series of haute couture items with bag and storage maker Ziploc, which at the time seemed more like a gimmick more than anything else. But the brand is doubling down on the intriguing collaboration with a Tokyo pop-up shop, as well as new items and accessories hitting stores across Japan.
Rie Sakamoto is a graduating art student from Japan’s Tama Art University. For her thesis exhibition, she decided to turn her eyes to the lowly rubber band, a stationary item overlooked in contemporary design, which values functionality and scarcity. Working entirely with rubber bands, which have limited functionality and are definitely not scarce, Sakamoto created a line of garments that were on display at an exhibition in Tokyo last week.
On a semi-annual basis, Japanese paper company Takeo curates solo exhibitions by Japanese graphic designers, inviting them to experiment with the company’s paper and printing technologies. The results are often inspiring in ways that you didn’t think paper could inspire, and their latest exhibition was no exception. Their 15th “Aoyama Creators Stock” feautred graphic designer Masashi Murakami.