japanese art, design and culture

Posts from — September 2008

Life Cycles

I love these series of images (left) by GoranDA, which I found over at swissmiss! It reminds me a lot of another image of a life cycle (right) by Mitchell Feindberg that I saw over at Design Observer.

While browsing through Mr. Feindberg’s portfolio I also came across this image below, which I found striking. I love artichokes! They’re so funny.

September 30, 2008   Comments Off

I like my calligraphy post-modern

Did you know that Japanese calligraphy is experiencing a surge in popularity in its home country? I think every couple years or so people get tired of being pounded by overseas influences, and thus turns their eyes back onto one of their own traditional gems. But helping calligraphy muster a new following are several young and creative artists who have pumped fresh air into an otherwise stale art.

top: Bewitchingly | bottom: An image of pride. By Gen Miyamura (click to enlarge)

楚の風 (Graceful Wind) by Daizo Kaneko

鳳 (Phoenix) by Daiei Mori

There is so much going on in these text-based works but what I find most awe-inspiring is how they are so deconstructed, yet the essence of the characters and their meaning remains ever so clear!

September 29, 2008   3 Comments

Driftwood Dinosaur

Japanese sculptor Mitsuru Koga’s new work are these fantastical outdoor installations of dinosaur fossils sculpted out of driftwood. While the sculptures are not intended to fool anybody, they are intended to be a dream-like scenario in which our concept of the relationship between time and nature becomes distorted. It totally reminds me of childhood game!

A photobook of the work is going on sale sometime this month, and there’s an exhibition going on NOW over at Ikejiru Institute of Design.

(images courtesy of Utrecht)


September 26, 2008   1 Comment

sir, you look very warm

Time to dig up my turtlenecks!
From left to right, from the Fall 2008 collections of Paul Smith, Tommy Hilfiger, and A.P.C.

September 25, 2008   3 Comments

I heart books and those things that hold our place in them

I love books but I get easily distracted and am therefore usually balancing 3-4 books at a time. That’s why bookmarks are so important to me. There’s also something very romantic about the bookmark. I even think it would be really cool to have a picture book of only bookmarks. Then again, something like that probably already exists. Anyway, I’ve come across some pretty neat bookmarks lately and thought I’d do a roundup.

Modern Styles

The abracadabra bookmark(left) and the leaf bookmark (right) were designed by Korean designer Wonsik Chae. Abracadabra is really neat in that it employs the flow of air to lift the pages.

The Story Behind the Bookmark are a series of fairytale-like bookmarks that sort of act as the bridge between the real and surreal. They were designed by Yuko Tokuda & Yumiko Komiya from Sun-Ad.




Hand Made

Kurt Hasely print bookmarks (left) and Snowsuit bookmarks (right)


If you’re really looking for an original bookmark, try making your own! There’s a neat step-by-step guide right HERE.

September 24, 2008   2 Comments

human blocks

I’m loving these “human blocks,” by Drill Design. A sutbtle display of the notion that all human beings, no matter what size, shape and color, are connected.
Available at h-concept for 9,500 yen.

September 23, 2008   1 Comment

Totoro fans take note

Japanese jewelry designers pfutze have teamed up with Studio Ghibli to design a collection of jewelry based on My Neighbor Totoro (one of my favorite movies of all time, and therefore my son’s to-be favorite movie). They are only available at the Ghibli Museum gift shop but I would totally pay the 1,000 yen cover charge to score one of those rings! )

September 22, 2008   4 Comments

the most inspiring

This image of a broom I found over on A4′s blog really made my day. Look at all those fall colors! I especially love the buds, still attached to the bristles. So mundane, yet so inspiring.

September 22, 2008   Comments Off

Mebius by Atelier Tekuto

Awesome new home designed by Japanese architect firm Atelier Tekuto. Completed last month, Mebius is located in Kamakura, and named after the Möbius loop (pronounced Mebius in Japanese) because of it’s looping hallway. Ah, what a perfect way to end the week. Have a nice weekend!

September 19, 2008   8 Comments

Naoto Fukasawa Juice Peel

Here’s a closer look at some of those amazing fruit juice packaging designs I showed you yesterday. They were designed by Naoto Fukasawa as part of the HAPTIC exhibition curated by Kenya Hara.

September 19, 2008   Comments Off