japanese art, design and culture

Posts from — April 2009

Yoriko Yoshida’s Surgical Masks

These masks would be perfect for stylish individuals also wanting to protet themselves from the swine flu! More on illustrator Yoriko Yoshida’s website!

via Pink Tentacle

April 30, 2009   6 Comments

Gelitin at the Tomio Koyama Gallery

“To view the current show you must climb a rickety little bridge, then crawl through a small hole smashed through the wall. As you come through the other side, you see a large installation resembling a traditional Kyoto rock garden.
It’s not until the large garden rocks begin to shift that one realizes that each of them is actually a part of a human body, contorted to fit above the ground.”

I’m super intrigued! That was John Jay describing the current show at the Tomio Koyama Gallery in Tokyo. The 4-person Austrian collective Gelitin launches a full-blown assault on the serenity of the Japanese garden by ambushing you with the nude form of the human body. The whole beauty (form) vs vulgarity (function) thing is an interesting concept and reminds me a lot of the work of Spanish photog David Blazquez, who’s human furniture shots I came across on French Blast.

New Yorkersdon’t feel left out. You too can get in on the Gelitin awesomeness over at Deitch Long Island City.

via The Moment

April 28, 2009   3 Comments

AWA by nosigner

Checking in on the ongoing show (coverage here & here) at the boutique hotel CLASKA, Japanese designer nosigner will be showcasing AWA, a series of furniture and products he designed for the Tokushima Wood-Bamboo Workers Association.

Triangle  / Square  / Rhombus (2,000 – 5,000 yen)
A series of triangle, square and rhombus-shaped desk organizers. Each one is magnetic, allowing you to create your own kick-ass pencil holder!

Hex (200,600 yen)
A sofa inspired by a hexagonal crystal. I like how the plywood wraps around the sofa and creates a side table that feels like it’s part of the sofa.

Squares (450,000 yen)
Squares is a cabinet of perfect rectangles, which, by definition, is a rectangle built by squares of all different sizes. And for all you geeks like myself who are fascinated by this sort of things, there is an online database of perfect rectangles! I love the Internet.

Is it just me or do those look more like squares than rectangles?

Caresser la Maison
Template in CLASKA

April 27, 2009   3 Comments

David Sedaris on quitting smoking in Japan

In his book When You Are Engulfed in Flames, published in 2008, David Sedaris has a chapter called Quitting Smoking in Japan, in which he humorously chronicles his experience living in Japan for 3 months. Here he is reading a few excerpts from that chapter on David Letterman. Hilariously  great way to end the week!

Fast-forward to about 5:50 for the reading.

Via Tokyo Mango

April 24, 2009   Comments Off

Architect Café

Looking for an architect in Japan? Head over to Architect Café, a new concept café that facilitates meetings between individuals and architects. It’s basically like speed-dating for home-builders. They have an extensive database of architects that you can sweep through by name or by portfolio, and decide on a style you like that way! And don’t worry…they offer a bunch of spaces where you can sit down and explore the possibilities with you architect without committing to a relationship!

April 23, 2009   Comments Off

Free style candle shade

I love this candle shade designed by 16A Architects back in December of ’08. Made out of a belt of stainless steel, the shade conforms to your every touch, allowing you to mold it into different shapes depending on your mood!

April 23, 2009   4 Comments

Nowhere But Hayama

Japanese architect Yasutaka Yoshimura recently completed Nowhere But Hayama, one out of 3 locations of a new seaside resort known as Nowhere Resort, situated on the Western coastline of the Izu Peninsula. Nowhere But Hayama opened earlier this year following Nowhere But Zushi. The last location, Nowhere But Sajima is slated to open later this year. The pictures look great! And this is right by the ocean?? Sign me up!

Nice to see projects like this developing an English interface as well.

April 22, 2009   4 Comments

composition chair

The good people over at Kyouei Design just sent news of a few new product designs. I think my favorite would have to be the composition chair. Made out of hard aluminum, the designers hand crafted these chairs in a technique akin to Isamu Noguchi; no melding or bolts….just the material. That’s pretty impressive!

See their other new products HERE and HERE.


April 21, 2009   Comments Off

Bang! Bang! Draw!

If you’re in LA this Friday head over to Poketo Studio for some great music and great art! Japanese illustrator Heisuke “PCP” Kitazawa will be showcasing his work, accompanied by music from Her Space Holiday, who’s website illustrations are the work of none other than aforementioned Kitazawa.

Check out more of his great illustrations HERE!

April 21, 2009   Comments Off

SLIDE house by Komada Architects

komada architects SLIDE house (4)all images by toshihiro, courtesy komada architects | click to enlarge

Located just 10 minutes from Nishiogikubo Station in Tokyo, SLIDE – the recently completed co-op by Komada Architects – represents the finest in modern living. Consisting of 9 units built around a central courtyard, the structure gets its name from the way each unit is linked by a network of stairs which, in turn, creates slabs of slides throughout the exterior.

I think I just found my dream home.

komada architects SLIDE house (5)

komada architects SLIDE house (6) komada architects SLIDE house (7)

komada architects SLIDE house (8)

komada architects SLIDE house (9) komada architects SLIDE house (10)

komada architects SLIDE house (1)

komada architects SLIDE house (2)

komada architects SLIDE house (3)
source: press release

April 20, 2009   Comments Off