All posts filed under: Art/Design

Macoto Takahashi: An Invitation into his Fairytale World 「高橋マコトの世界」

Macoto Takahashi (born in Osaka in 1934) is one of the leading manga artists of the 1950s. Ever since his debut in 1957, he dedicated to Shōjo manga.  Shōjo, shojo, or shoujo manga is manga aimed specially for teenage females readers. Their narrative ranges from historical drama to science fiction and they are always focused on romantic relationships. During the early 20th century, the most important illustrator associated with this style was Junichi Nakahara. You can see this artist’s influence in Takahashi’s young female characters with their big sparkly eyes, long eyelashes, wavy hair adorned with flowers and ribbons and fairytale pastel dresses. Large sparkly eyes were invented by Junichi Nakahara in the 1930s and further popularised  by Macoto Takahashi around 1956.  In the 1950s, artist often placed a star-shaped highlight next to the pupil.. This become the key visual marker for identifying a comic as shōjo manga. In regard to what these eyes signify, some have argued that starry eyes symbolise “the love and dreams” of the characters.  「…」In other words, the eyes literally are the windows of the soul; by looking at …

Arita Porcelain Episode 2 「有田焼創業400年事業 – つたうプロジェクト/ 東京ミッドタウン」

In 1616, Japan’s first porcelain was fired in Arita (Saga Prefecture in Western Japan), and this year marks the 400th anniversary of this important event. The city of Arita has always been a major production area and their beautiful porcelain has been highly demanded within Japan and abroad. The first 400 years are seen as the foundation years also known as EPISODE 1, a chapter that is currently coming to an end. As part of a new era or EPISODE 2, Arita porcelain artisans are reintroducing their artworks to meet a more contemporary market. Tokyo Midtown is holding a pop-up store featuring a wide range of beautiful homeware, from plates to cups and bowls for Japanese traditional dishes, all in a variety of shapes, colours and motifs. Choco, Keisan   More info HERE (Japanese only) Sino•Nome, Rikyu  More info HERE (Japanese only) Futamon, Tasei More info HERE (Japanese only) IKOMI, Fukuju More info HERE (Japanese only) Sumisome, Denpei Noutan, Shin. More info HERE (Japanese only) Kajiken.  More info HERE (Japanese only) Gosu, Soekyu. More info HERE (Japanese only) Zoa- Japan, Marubun.  More info HERE (Japanese & English)      (Movie by: SagaKouhouMovie All credits go to them)   ARITA X NOBU, is a unique collaboration by world-renowned chef, Nobu Matsuhisa …

Tokujin Yoshioka: KOU-AN Glass Tea House 「ガラス張りの茶室、京都に デザイナー吉岡徳仁さん制作」

Last July, I read about Tokujin Yoshioka‘s KOU-AN Glass Tea House installation in Kyoto and wrote a post about it. But the minute I saw KOU-AN I wanted to go to Kyoto to see it, take my own photos and experience it first hand. I finally travelled back to beautiful Kyoto a few weeks ago and visited KOU-AN Glass Tea House, in Shogunzuka Seiryuden Temple. Seiryu-den Temple is stunning.  Built on a mountain top where you can look down the whole cityscape of Kyoto and surrounded by red and yellow trees which added an even more magical feeling to the whole scenery. I swear I had butterflies in my stomach. I’m a fan of Yoshioka’s architecture, art installations and designs and I just couldn’t wait to see “KOU-AN”. And here it is… The walls, the flooring and the roof are all made of glass offering a modern take both on traditional tea ceremonies and traditional tea houses. The glass is the perfect material to integrate this installation to the surrounding nature. There are glass benches surrounding “KOU-AN” so you can sit there when tea ceremonies are taking place. Traditional tea houses have scrolls and …

Caran d’Ache Ginza Boutique 「カランダッシュ 銀座ブティック / 銀座」

Swiss brand Caran d’Ache opened a new flagship store in Ginza where you can enjoy their full product range in their own store for the first time in Japan. Caran d’Ache was founded in 1915 in Geneva, and initially specialised in graphite and coloured pencils. Later they diversified its activities to include wax oil pastels, mechanical pencils and the first ballpoint pens. Caran d’Ache is the pen name by which Russian-born French illustrator, Emmanuel Poiré, achieved worldwide renown in the 19th century. The new store is small and elegant, and everything is neatly arranged, ordered and aligned. They have a fantastic array of pencils, art stationery, pens, oils and pastels, that make great gifts for art lovers. They also have a counter where you can test their products before you decide what you’d like to buy.   The ideal place to indulge your love of stationery ♡ I’d like to thank Caran d’Ache’s staff who kindly let me shoot their lovely boutique… ありがとうございます!!     Caran d’Ache Ginza: 2-5-5 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, Tel:03 3561 1915, Official Website HERE, Follow HERE   All photos on this blog were snapped by me unless otherwise …

Takashi Murakami: “The 500 Arhats” 「村上隆の五百羅漢図展」

Japanese artist Takashi Murakami, is one of the biggest names in the contemporary art scene.  I like to call artists like him “super artists” since he can create a wide-ranging body of work that bridges fine art, painting, sculpture, design, animation, fashion, and popular culture. From early on, Murakami was a follower of anime and manga.  He attended Tokyo University of the Arts planning on those degrees but eventually majored in Nihonga. During the early 90s Murakami was discontented with the contemporary art scene in Japan so most of his early works conveyed a strong social criticism message expressing his frustration with the lack of a reliable and sustainable art market in post-war Japan.  He later earned a scholarship and during one year, he participated in PS1 International Studio Program in New York and forged his new strategy: he would establish himself as a contemporary artist in the Western art scene and then import himself back to Japan. He coined the term superflat, which describes both the aesthetic characteristics of the Japanese artistic tradition and the nature of post-war Japanese culture and …