japanese art, design and culture

Posts from — February 2008

Mystery Revealed

So ever since the beginning of the week I’ve been watching workers scurry around the site of the Rockefeller Christmas Tree, trying to erect something that resembled a photo I’ve seen once from Coney Island. It involved lots and lots of light bulbs attached to curved steel. Yea…sounds like an amusement park right? Well the mystery has been revealed! “Electric Waterfall” is a sculpture by London-based artist duo Tim Noble and Sue Webster. The two artist’s work have always involved light or shadow in some form or another. In this piece, which will be on display at Rockefeller Center (GMAP) through April 4th, the duo toys with fears of mixing water (simulated, that is) with electricity.

electricfountain1.jpg electricfountain3.jpg

Photo: Michael Nagle for The New York Times

February 21, 2008   Comments Off

Marron Design Shop


I just love these photos from design shop Marron in Berlin. Even though the NY weatherman is forecasting snow today, I’m beginning to look forward to spring! Especially those curtains in the second picture. I can almost feel the warm breeze coming into my room.

Marron was conceptualized and opened late last year by an interior design duo Sandra Baumer and Thomas Schultz. The store has a seasonally rotating line of products that are hand picked by the owners. What’s great about this store is that the people you buy from actually know what they are talking about, and they willingly provide design and layout advice for lost souls who can’t make up their mind between the industrial or seashore-inspired lamps.

If you’re ever in the neighborhood I highly recommend a visit. (GMAP)

February 20, 2008   Comments Off

Clarion Hotel Sign

Looking for the ultimate experience in scandinavian design? Well this new hotel will get you close! Clarion Hotel Sign just opened its doors at the beggining of the month. All 10 floors (and 558 rooms, making it the largest hotel in Stockholm’s largest hotel, by the way) are decked out in scandinavian designer themes. For example, floors 6 – 10 are complete with furniture by Arne Jacobson, while the 3rd floor is a collaboration of works between Bruno Mathsson and Gunilla Allard. And don’t forget about the exterior! Swedish heavyweight Gert Wingårdh was responsible for the architecture.


clarionsign3.jpg clarionsign4.jpg

clarionsign5.jpg clarionsign6.jpg

February 15, 2008   2 Comments

Chiharu Shiota

Some amazing pics from “waiting,” Chiharu Shiota‘s first solo exhibition in the U.S. It’s so unnapropriate for Valentine’s Day that I just had to post it! Almost brings back memories from the first time I saw Ring or Ju-on.
I have the utmost respect for labor-intensive art such as this.

Currently on display at Goff + Rosenthal through March 10th.




February 14, 2008   Comments Off


What a messy messy morning here in NYC. The snow looked so pretty last night until someone had to go and mess things up by turning on the rain…. I wish I was here ↓↓ right now, sitting by the river, sipping on a beer.





I don’t speak German but let’s just pretend that Kranhauscafe means “crane house cafe.” This structure was built in the 1960s after Germany emerged from a near-total collapse of their country and transitioned into a period of prolonged economic growth (Wirtschaftswunder). This crane house had been rusting for over 30 years until the current owner fell in love with it when he spotted it on a bike ride one day in 2002. He immediatly negotiated with the city to sell him the building, which he than fixed up a bit, per the photographic evidence. The first floor is a cafe that has become a darling to the locals. There is also a loft space upstairs where visitors can spend the night!

Wilhelminenhofstraße 76 Berlin

February 13, 2008   1 Comment

Hotel Everland

Originally comissioned in 2002 for the Swiss National Exhibition, Everland is the brainchild of artistic duo L/B (Sabina Lang and Daniel Baumann). It’s actually a one-room hotel that has been traveling around Switzerland (Yverdon and Bergdorf) and then found a home atop the Museum of Contemporary Art Leipzig in Germany. Now, until the end of 2008, it’s sitting on the roof of the Palais de Tokyo in France with unbelievable views of the eifel tower.

Think it’s impossible to book a room? Well with a little bit of luck you just might be able to… tomorrow! The next available night, Sunday April 13, 2008 will be available for booking tomorrow (February 13, 2008) !!!!!
All you have to do is randomly check back to this page several times a day and that one-roomer could be yours for the night.




February 12, 2008   Comments Off

Facelift for Fauchon

Who knew that tea could be so stylish?? Fauchon, which has a 120-year history of providing parisians with elegant teas and breads, recently had their flagship store revamped by architect and designer Christian Biecher. Biecher is well known for his works around the world, including Parisian restaurant Korova, the hip Rue Saint-Honore Joseph store, and Issey Miyake’s Tokyo headquarters. The store is located at 30 place de la Madeleine in Paris.




February 11, 2008   Comments Off

Elisabeth Arkhipoff

Check out this great installation I found as I was browsing through the web. It’s from 2001, but I had somehow come all these year without ever knowing about it. The piece is titled, “No Soda: No Fun” by artist and designer Elisabeth Arkhipoff. The materials? IKEA furniture and spray paint!

“No Soda: No Fun.” (2001) Rooseum-Center for Contemporary Art

February 4, 2008   Comments Off