Dystopian ‘Collaged’ Figurines by Hiroki Tsukuda Depict The Darkest Hour

all images courtesy Nazuka Underground

The Contemporary artist Hiroki Tsukuda was born in Kagawa in 1978 and grew up in Japan during the 80s and 90s. Like many of us, he steeped himself in the fantasy and science fiction-based franchises of the time including Star Wars, Gundam and Monster Hunter. The dark and bleak futures depicted in the works of fiction seemed to be just that: fiction. But we continue to find ourselves in times war, poverty and social unrest. It is this discrepancy that is the driving force behind the artist’s work, which includes disassembled and reassembled “collaged” figurines from the artist’s personal collection, as well as dystopian, detailed drawings that present themselves like advertisements from an alternate reality.

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Tilde: A Series of Woven ‘Ami-Gasane’ 3D Printed Products

In all honesty, I’m not a huge fan of 3D printing. Most of the products I’ve come across have felt cold and mechanical. In other words, not something I would want to use on a daily basis. But this series of products called tilde, created by Kyoto-based studio Shingei-sha, is the closest thing I’ve seen to getting 3D printing right.

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The Tottori Museum Invited Visitors to See Their Tyrannosaurus Exhibition, Dressed Up as Tyrannosauruses

Tyrannosauruses posing for a picture at the Tyrannosaurus Exhibition | all photos courtesy Tottori Prefectural Museum

It was a surreal scene today at the Tottori Prefectural Museum. Over a dozen Tyrannosauruses, perhaps the most fearsome animals of all time, freely roamed the halls of the museum. But thankfully they weren’t there to feed. They were there, in fact, to see the new Tyrannosaurus Exhibition which had just opened.

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Momoka Miyoshi Sculpts Buddhist Guardians on Their Day Off

The Nio (Benevolent Kings) are wrathful and muscular guardians that stand outside Buddhist temples across Japan and other parts of East-Asia warding off evil spirits with their fierce and intimidating expressions. But that’s only when they’re on duty. When they’re not working, the guardians must certainly have ways to wind down, take the edge off and relax those muscles, right? That was essentially the idea that led artist Miyoshi Momoka to create a series of terracotta sculptures.

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3D-Scanned Stones Create Vessel for Human-Made Interventions

Product design typically results in materials being molded or modified to meet our needs. But the “Nosemono” series from Kyoto-based Shinkogeisha takes the opposite approach. The natural material–in this case, stone–is left untouched. Instead, it is 3D-scanned, enabling it to become a vessel for human-made parts and pieces that attach to it like a puzzle piece and render it a functional object.

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Morito Project: A Series of Lifestyle Products Inspired by the Forest

all photos by Hiroto Gozaoka courtesy Morito Project

Morito Project is an initiative aimed at highlighting the circular relationship between forests and woodworkers. Specifically, designer Shinnosuke Harada worked with artisans to source hinoki wood that was leftover from the thinning process. While necessary to cultivate healthy forests, wood leftover from the thinning process is typically discarded as it is considered sub-standard. But the designer came up with a range of lifestyle products that could be made from the wood, each inspired by the forest itself. The collection was on display at the Milan Furniture Fair this week.

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In Residential Tokyo, A Locker-Style Cemetery

There’s a reason why you don’t find many cemeteries in the middle of cities. When land prices come at a premium, the economics of sprawling tombstones simply don’t make sense. But as lifestyles change and evolve, so too does our relationship with the deceased. And in turn, so do the cemeteries and ossuaries that look after our deceased and offer a sacred space where we can revisit their memories.

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New Illustrations of the Ghibli Theme Park, Set to Open in Fall 2022

The Ghibli theme park will be divided into multiple areas. It is scheduled to open in phases beginning in 2022

Back in 2017 we reported that Studio Ghibli and Aichi Prefecture had reached an agreement to host Ghibli Park, a large-scale Ghibli-themed amusement park that would be the first of its kind. The plans called for the Aichi Memorial Park, a former expo site that had previously hosted several Ghibli exhibitions, to be renovated into Ghibli Park. We now have substantial details about the park, which will open in several phases with the first phase being November 1, 2022!

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You’ll Soon Be Able to Stay in One of Japan’s Most Beautifully Designed Prisons

photos by Masashi Mizowaki and Takaharu Yagi courtesy The Asahi

Spending the night in jail is usually not a good thing. Unless of course you’re staying in Japan’s Nara Prison, a historic red-brick structure built in 1908 with western archways and onion domes that lend an air of castle more than incarceration. The prison shut down in 2017 but is being preserved for its architectural and historic significance. The renovated structure will reopen in 2024 as a hotel.

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Matchbox Maker Calls it Quits, Effectively Extinguishing the Flames of an Era

all images courtesy Nittosha

Phillumeny–the practice of collecting matchboxes–is about to get a lot more difficult. Japan’s largest manufacturer of matchboxes, Nittosha, has announced that they’re shutting down their business line in June after fulfilling all existing orders.

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