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Spoon & Tamago Member Lecture with Kimono Researcher Sheila Cliffe

Join us on September 5th for an online talk with Dr. Sheila Cliffe: kimono researcher, author and stylist. A longtime resident of Japan, Sheila will discuss kimono fashion history, recent developments after the internet broke the kimono world hegemony, as well as her own work as cultural bridge and ambassador for kimono fashion.

The online lecture will be available to Spoon & Tamago members. Already a member? Awesome! Members will automatically be receiving a link by email to join. Not a member? Consider joining us and getting access to this talk, as well as many other perks!

Online Member Lecture Series with Sheila Cliffe
WHEN: September 5, 2020 (EST) | 7:00 – 7:40 PM
WHERE: Zoom Meeting
HOW TO JOIN: All members will be receiving an email with a link to join the meeting.

UPDATE: members now have access to the archive recording below. Sign in to view. 

Bakers, Knitters and Illustrators are Remixing the 2025 Osaka Expo Logo

Earlier this week Osaka announced that they had chosen a bizarre, googly-eyed character as their logo for the upcoming 2025 Osaka Expo. And over the next 24 hours the Japanese public reception appeared to shift from utter confusion to disgust and then to adoring the little red creature. The public quickly warmed to Inochi no Kagayaki-chan, an endearing nickname borrowed from the Expo’s theme, and opened their arms to it. From illustrators and bakers to knitters and even monks, remix culture quickly set in and social media has been buzzing with creations. Below are some of our favorites.

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Artist Transforms 70-Year Old Countryside Train Station into Immersive Art Installation

the exterior of Inakadate Station | photo courtesy Inakadate Village

A 70-year old train station in Inakadate Village, located in the Northern region of Aomori prefecture, has received an unexpected facelift. A local artist who goes by the name Goma was commissioned to illustrate the interior — everything from floor to ceiling and even trash cans — and transform it into an immersive art installation.

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Sculptural Satsuma Kiriko Glasses Designed by Shizuka Tatsuno

Satsuma Kiriko (薩摩切子) is a type of cut glass Japanese craft that dates back to the mid-1800s. It was originally manufactured by the Satsuma clan but the craft was almost completely wiped out after several wars ravaged the region. Today there are a handful of studios and craftsman that are faithfully creating reproductions and one of those is Satsuma Vidro. The Kagoshima-based studio recently partnered with designer Shizuka Tatsuno on a new brand of contemporary tableware called grad, a nod to the gradients that result from the craft.

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The Ancient Japanese Art of Sleeping In

“a rooster and a couple” (1767) by Harunobu Suzuki

Are you planning on sleeping in this weekend? Well, you can try hiding your alarm clock, lowering your heavy curtains and wearing an eye mask. Or, since you’re already turning to Japan for their art of tidying, forest bathing, fixing, and accepting things, you might as well try their art of sleeping in.

In 1767, Harunobu Suzuki, a Japanese designer of woodblock print art, created this print titled Niwatori to Danjo (鶏と男女) which translates to ‘a rooster and a couple.’ It depicts a male and female couple who are looking forward to spending a long, fun night with each other. And to ensure they’re not woken up early they’ve brought out a pot of sake and are trying to get the rooster so drunk that it doesn’t crow in the morning.

And judging by the look on it’s face, the rooster may have caught on the the couple’s plan. This print, along with many others, is part of a large Ukiyo-e exhibition in Tokyo that’s going on now through September 22, 2020.

Have a great weekend!

Akihabara Train Station Now Home to Wall of Over 150 Gachapon Vending Machines

a wall of over 150 gachapon vending machines newly installed at Akihabara Station

For fans of the miniature capsule toy-dispensing gachapon vending machines, Kenelstand is your new best friend. Wall-to-wall gachapon vending machines filled with fun, whimsical and sometimes surreal miniature toys have recently popped up at train stations around Tokyo.

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Origami-Inspired Optical Illusion Oil Paintings by Momo Yoshino

Kami #63 and Kami #62 (2020) installation view at Seibu Shibuya

Yoshino Momo is a Tokyo-based artist and painter who renders architectural optical illusions on flat canvases. Her “Kami” (or paper) series, which she began in 2014, is inspired by the the Japanese art of origami and skillfully replicates the lines and shadows that emerge from folded paper.

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Designer Wallpaper: Twilight at Nihonbashi by Shinji Tsuchimochi

Shinji Tsuchimochi is a Tokyo-based illustrator who creates views of Tokyo and Japan that are inspired by ukiyo-e but produced with a contemporary sense of whimsy and surrealism. This image is titled “Twilight at Nihonbashi” and is one of his most recent works, which the artist has kindly allowed Spoon & Tamago members to use a wallpaper on their favorite device. 

To continue you’ll need a Spoon & Tamago membership plan. If you’re not a member, consider supporting Spoon & Tamago by becoming a member. You can read all about our membership program here. Thanks!

Tree Rings of Light Illuminate 35 Years of Art & Design at Spiral in Omotesando

The Spiral design complex in Tokyo’s Omotesando neighborhood opened in October of 1985 with the concept of connecting lifestyle and art. And for the past 35 years it’s done just that with several creative marketplaces and rotating art exhibitions. For its 35-year anniversary, graphic designer Shin Obita, inspired by tree rings, has created in installation of light on the store’s windows.

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