It’s been a fun and exciting year here at S&T headquarters. 2013 marked the launch of something that’s always been a twinkle in my eye since the start of this blog 7 years ago: the Spoon & Tamago Shop. It means a lot to not only write about Japanese art & design, but to also be able to deliver something to someone’s hands. I see it as an extension of learning about Japanese design.
Below are our most-read blog posts of 2013. They say web traffic is unpredictable, but going through the top 10 made me realize something. A large majority of our posts that did the best, actually were the best. By that I mean that they were stories that we spent a lot of time on and, in many cases, we were the first to report on them amongst Western media outlets. Sometimes we were even ahead of the Japanese media.
So thank you to all our readers who keep coming back, as well as those who are just discovering S&T. I wish you all a Happy Holidays wherever you are in the world.
Our most-read post this year was about ingenuity and invention. A 73-year old retired man took a seemingly boring tool, Microsoft Excel, and used it to create some amazingly beautiful landscapes. Take that financial analysts!
Everyone dreams about discovering treasure in their attic. Well that’s what happened to @Kya7y earlier this year when she discovered this amazingly intricate hand-drawn maze that her father had created 30 years ago. Coming home after his job as a school janitor, the father spent his nights creating the masterpiece. It took an astounding 7 years.
We reached out to the daughter and became the first outlet to carry prints of this amazing work of art. It was also an important catalyst in actually launching our shop.
Everything that Tokujin Yoshioka does is amazing, which is why he’s featured in our explore page. It also explains why he’s in the top 3 for an incredibly poetic piece. For 6 months he subjected crystals to the tonal vibrations of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake. The resulting bed of crystal growth became part of his solo exhibition that took place over the Summer.
“Nature shows us a beauty that exceeds our imagination,” he says. “The forms of nature are unique and cannot be reproduced. This endows them with mysterious beauty and makes them fascinating to us”.
Some questioned it’s acoustics but conceptually it wowed the world. Japanese architect Arata Isozaki teamed up with British-Indian sculptor Anish Kapoor to create an inflatable concert hall. Dubbed Arc Nova, the mobile venue toured the earthquake and tsunami-ravaged areas of Tohoku, delivering hope and encouragement in the form of music.
I love reviewing art school exhibitions and uncovering talent in the creative youth. In fact, the student work sub-genre is one of my favorites. And one of our most popular posts was a relatively recent feature we did on two girls who photographed coupled cuddling. And they did it with x-ray machines. Romantic? No. Intimate? Absolutely.
Interestingly, this was our only post to make the top 10, that wasn’t published in 2013. Last year we broke the story about a small sculptor on a quest for true love. A rate type of puffer fish found in Amami-Oshima creates underwater sand sculptures designed specifically to attract mates. It’s a fascinating story and I suggest you read it in its entirety, if you haven’t done so already.
We even helped coordinate a BBC shoot about the puffer fish for an upcoming documentary.
The title says it all. When it comes to latte art, it’s hard to beat Kazuki Yamamoto.
Giving first priority to the legitimate inhabitants of this forest in Japan, architect Keisuke Kawaguchi, designed a home to fit in between the gaps of trees.
For a White Day project FabCafe in Shibuya let guys come in and make gummy replicas of themselves to give to that special lady.
Last but certainly not least is another student project. Daigo Fukawa took his rough sketches of tables, chairs and other furniture, and turned them into actual pieces.
Thanks again for reading! Want to get caught up over the holidays? Check out our top posts from previous years!