japanese art, design and culture

Posts from — January 2009

yard house by TNA Architects

Niwa no ie (yard house) is the latest brainchild of architects Makoto Takei and Chie Nabeshima of TNA (who I featured in my series on Japanese architects). It’s a weekend getaway home that was constructed onto the side of a mountain in Nagano prefecture. Personally, I don’t think I would sleep very well in this house. But I do like how you enter through that trap door on the floor.
Photos are, as usual, by architectural photographer Daici Ano.

January 30, 2009   4 Comments

great stop-motion piece

I came across this great stop-motion animation that made my day so I felt like I had to post it. I did a lot of stop-motion in school and it takes a REALLY long time and a lot of patience. So kudos to the animators. The video at hand is Israeli singer/songwrite Oren Lavie‘s new music video that was done by Yuval & Merav Nathan.

via C-Mon

January 29, 2009   4 Comments

Minority Rev

Check out how this old/ugly industrial building in Fukuoka, Japan was converted into Minority Rev’s (a high-end fashion boutique) flagship store. What a great low emissions project by Case-Real that emphasizes coexistence with your environment!

and here are 2 shots of the interior, just in case you were curious.

January 27, 2009   Comments Off

CLASKA 701 someone’s atelier

Kicking off the new year with some gorgeous new work is Norihiko Terayama of Studio Note (remember “folling flower” from 2008?).

“CLASKA 701 someone’s atelier” (2009) is an installation that was conceived within a hotel room of boutique hotel CLASKA. The goal of the installation was to transform a hotel room into an atelier of an unknown person. The visitor then has the unique experience of imagining who’s room this might be and what kind of person he or she is. Perhaps the person is a dreamer who takes long walks in the woods, collecting flowers, branches, and any other artifact that inspires them.


January 26, 2009   Comments Off

here’s one to finish off the week

Fifty People, One Question: Brooklyn from Crush + Lovely on Vimeo.

My answer? At the home I stayed at in Paris. It would preferably be warm and sunny. With one of those breakfasts with lots of bread, cheese, salad and wine. That would be really nice.

Have a nice weekend! Good night and sleep tight.

via swissmiss

January 23, 2009   6 Comments

Queens International 4!

Yuka reminded me that Queens International 4 is approaching….tomorrow! The art show celebrates the diversity of queens, supposedly the most diverse county in the nation, with immigrants comprising roughly 50% of the residents. There are 2 Japanese artists (well, one is a group) participating; Yasue Maetake and Okamoto Studio. But I’m particularly looking forward to Ms. Maetake’s theatrical sculptures about nature, humans and coexistence.

Here are some shots from a show she did in NY 2 years ago at the Harris Lieberman Gallery. (photos courtesy of Harris Lieberman Gallery)



Okamoto Studio is an ice sculpture practice based in NY. I’m not sure what kind of work will be on display, but that should be interesting as well!
okamoto1tif okamoto2tif

The show will be on view for 3 months at the Queens Museum.

January 23, 2009   Comments Off

found this while sipping my morning coffee



I’m not sure what it is but that doesn’t matter. I love the colors and textures and it’s just what I needed to get inspired this morning.

found on Japanese industrial designer Ootomo Gaku’s newly updated website.

January 22, 2009   4 Comments


I first came across the webpage for intentionallies, a Tokyo-based architecture firm, as an undergrad taking a digital art course. They had just begun teaching Flash in school and this website blew me away!! It really got me interested in digital design.


January 21, 2009   Comments Off

geografia by Drill Design

Geografia is a new line of stationary-type products with themes relating to geography, topography and the earth. Drill Design insisted on using all sorts of advanced printing techniques (which were done by Marumo, a company that has been in the printing business since the early 1900s) as a means of conveying this earthly information. I really love the color scheme too. What a cool way to get excited about geography!

earth’s axis, 23.4 degrees is an assembly-required globe that is designed to replicate the exact tilt of the earth’s axis. The continents rise up above the bodies of water using a Patented 3D printing technology.


altitude of 200 pages is a memo pad that has cuts to resemble contour lines.

memo1 memo3

planning on paper are a series of notebooks with the plans for some of the most famous metropolitan cities printed on them.

note2_washington note1_kyoto

from the river to the river are a series of bookmarks modeled after famous bodies of water. And each string represents a river that flows into, or out of, the lake.

bookmark11 bookmark5


January 16, 2009   4 Comments

Shigeichiro Takeuchi magazine rack

What a gorgeously elegant magazine rack designed by freelance designer Shigeichiro Takeuchi. I’ve seen a lot of magazine racks that look amazing, but don’t really consider ease of use. But by designing a way to stack magazines horizontally Takeuchi has created a clever workaround for removing magazines that are at the bottom of the pile.

shigeichiro1tif shigeichiro2tif

shigeichiro3tif shigeichiro4tif

January 15, 2009   2 Comments