Category — Art
Kyoto-based artist Mari Kamei, who I’m going to go ahead and dub the “human shredder,” loves to cut. Whether it’s milk cartons, paper cups, biscuit boxes or cake boxes, if it’s shredable Kamei will shred it. “I’m not trying to create paper cut-outs. It’s more about the action of cutting,” said Kamei in an interview filmed for her upcoming show at AS2 Gallery in Kyoto.
Using a spiral cutting process, Kamei carefully shreds each object, often opting to preserve small portions of each to reveal their previous form. There is something wonderfully crude about her method, which – much like the gesture drawings students do in drawing 101 – focuses on the action rather than the end product.
March 27, 2013 Comments Off
Junichi Arai’s retrospective exhibition at the Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery presents 60 years of his work as an experimental textile designer. Perhaps most well-known for his collaboration with fashion icon Issey Miyake, Arai’s work is Avant-garde yet stunning.
Multi-colored metallic fabrics are suspended and lit so that they seem to be moving like flames or bursting volcanoes. Major works are suspended from the ceiling and visitors are encouraged to meander through and inspect them at all angles. As I snaked my way through the shimmering fabrics I noticed I could see other visitors but they couldn’t see me, like a gold plated one-way mirror.
The exhibition also presents videos of Arai explaining his methodologies, which combine handcraft weaving and dying techniques with cutting-edge technology. Some of the most interesting pieces were the shibori style textiles where the metallic-coated threads were melted and removed in some parts of the cloth to leave behind sheer, metal-tinged translucent surfaces.
Arai continues to work and experiment with new technologies, and constructed new pieces specifically for this show. I actually caught a glimpse of him while visiting the exhibition and though he is small in stature, he has plenty to say. The exhibition ARAI Junichi: Tradition and Creation closes this Sunday, March 24th. Click here for videos of the exhibition and Arai’s own description of his work (in Japanese).
March 25, 2013 Comments Off
Artists know that a portrait can communicate much more than a likeness. Personal identity, cultural differences, illusory moments can be captured through portraits. Portraits are created in a dizzying variety of media, including painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, video and other time-based media, even images based on individual DNA.
- Introduction to the National Portrait Gallery’s 2013 portrait competition
In what is being called the largest artwork ever made out of rice, Saeri Kiritani, a NY-based artist who originally hails from Kanazawa, has been named one of the winners of the National Portrait Gallery’s 2013 portrait competition. Titled, 100 pounds of rice, Kiritani glued together over 1 million grains of rice to create a 5-foot high portrait of herself. Even the hair is made from rice noodles.
We are what we eat, expressed Kiritani, in a statement describing her work. “I grew up in Japan, where rice was the biggest part of my diet. It still is. You could say that the cells of my body are made mostly from rice!”
Kiritani’s sculpture, along with 48 other entries, will be on display at the National Portrait Gallery for an entire year until Feb. 23, 2014.
You can check out our other food-related articles right here.
March 21, 2013 1 Comment
Snow Flower (2012) | photos by Osamu Yamazaki | click to enlarge
Kanzashi is a traditional Japanese hair ornament that’s often worn on special occasions and accompanied by a kimono. Although they’ve been around for thousands of years, their popularity peaked in the mid-1800s as they evolved from a simple stick into rather extravagant form. And even though it’s been in decline along with many customary garments and accessories, the tradition is still very much alive and well.
Take, for example, these breathtaking Kanzashi, each hand-crafted by a woman who goes only by the name of Sakae. She uses resin to create floral kanzashi that look so stunning it’s hard to believe they’re real. Her inspiration to create was a common one: “I saw a girl dressed up for coming-of-age day and I thought she would look just perfect with a blue, translucent hair ornament. But nothing of the sort existed. So I decided to make one. Up until that point I had never made anything.”
Depending on the complexity of the pieces they can take anywhere between 3 and 30 days. She sells her pieces through Yahoo Auctions in Japan and although non are on sale now, previous records would indicate they sell from anywhere between 15,000 – 45,000 yen. When new pieces go up for sale she’s promised to post updated on her facebook page.
Wisteria (left) and Cherry Blossom kanzashi (right) (both 2012)
source: YouPouch (JP)
March 18, 2013 Comments Off
In an attempt to lure back customers to their department store and shake off what’s been a 16-year decline in shopping, Isetan Department Store in Shinjuku has been renovating each of their floors since 2007. Well the work has finally been completed. And just last week they held an opening ceremony, unveiling their “Fashion Museum” theme of blending art and shopping – a strategy they believe will be the future of retail.
In the spirit of showcasing art, their first installation is a grand one in which they’ve commissioned botanic artist Makoto Azuma to create large-scale frescos that appear throughout the department store. Titled “Collapsible Leaves,” the artist has used thousands of actual leaves and meticulously folded them into various forms that give new life to the plants. But like all his work, the installation is inherently short-lived and will only be on display through March 26, 2013.
Source: Makoto Azuma
March 14, 2013 Comments Off
Wataru Yamamoto is a 27-year old photographer currently finishing up a Master’s degree at Tama Art University. In a series titled “Leaf of Electric Light,” currently part of the Bio Art exhibition, Yamamoto uses a process known as Kirlian photography to create ghostly, ephemeral images of leaves.
Originally thought to be able to capture some form of mystical energy field, or aura, of living organisms, Kirlian photography involves using high voltage to generate an electric discharge of an object, which is then captured on film. Although science has largely debunked the myth of the so-called energy fields portrayed, the process – as Yamamoto proves – is still useful in photographing objects in new light.
His work is currently on display at the BioArt exhibition in Tokyo.
March 13, 2013 Comments Off
Husband and wife artist duo Lori Kirkbride and Nao Matsumoto just launched a kickstarter campaign to get their new gallery space up and running. It’s a former knitting factory located in Ridgewood, Queens and they’re trying to have it ready to coincide with the Bushwick Open Studios event (May 31 – June 2) but need one final push to make it happen.
Above: before and after shots of the new lorimoto gallery
Last year we visited Nao Matsumoto in his Brooklyn studio.
March 13, 2013 1 Comment
In her series “Milky Way” Japanese sculptor Mihoko Ogaki creates eerie, figurative sculptures made from Fibre-reinforced plastic. The pieces, whose postures indicate they are either on their death bed, or very close, are punctured with thousands of holes and then embedded with powerful LED lights, creating an effect much like the one you get from a planetarium.
Ogaki is no stranger to morbid themes, having analyzed the topic greatly in previous work. however, this latest series is very much about life and the living individual. It is also the first time in her work that she uses the image of a human being. Life itself appears to radiate from the sculpture, which at times almost appears to be a deity that holds the universe within it.
Born in Japan, Ogaki went to art school in Japan. After graduating she moved to Germany where she spent over 10 years. In 2010 she returned to Japan and is currently based in Toride (Ibaraki prefecture).
Ogaki’s work was most recently on display at “Arte Fiera Bologna 2013″ earlier this year.
March 12, 2013 2 Comments
Keita Akiyama is a 25-year old in-house product designer at a kitchen utensil manufacturer. But he’s also a member of the Denka Bijutsu (literally, electronic art) collective where, among other things, he envisions and creates beautiful drawings of fictitious plants. But not just any plants.
“What if there existed, someplace in this world, acoustic plants? Why would they make sounds? How would they make sounds? And what would they sound like?” With those questions and a vast imagination he created his series, “Sound Flora.”
If you know me at all you know I love seeing process shots and sketches. And Akiyama has a great blog where he posts about how he goes on nature walks, documents his findings, and then comes up with ideas.
His work is currently on display at the Bio Media Art show through March 24, 2013.
March 12, 2013 3 Comments
Image Credit & Copyright: Martin Rietze (Alien Landscapes on Planet Earth)
Today’s Astronomy Picture of the Day is this awe-inspiring photo of Sakurajima Valcano in southern Kyushu erupting. It was photographed by Martin Rietze, who was down there in January to capture the action, which included molten lava bombs, billowing black smoke and lightning. In other words, it looks like all hell is breaking loose.
But I can’t help but wonder if this was a conscious decision on the part of NASA to post this image on March 11th, 2013, the 2-year anniversary of another destructive force of nature: the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.
March 11, 2013 7 Comments