Food for thought‘[...] do not think that good design can make a poor product good, whether the product be a machine, a building, a promotional brochure or a business man. But [...] good design can materially help make a good product reach its full potential. In short, [...] good design is good business.’
Thomas J. Watson Jr., IBM CEO

Tsunami, a beautiful illustrations-project

April 23, 2011, 2:27 PM

Tsunami is a laudable project started by the CFSL community, gathering illustrators and other artists to create works as homage to the March 11 Japanese catastrophe. The best works have been included in the Magnitude 9 book, which you can buy and help raise money for the Give2Asia fund.

There are so so many beautiful works, the techniques ranging from awesome watercolours, pencils, ink, photo-only, typography to even oil-like Photoshop paintings, like this ‘Island of the Dead’ reinterpretation (the classic painting, by Arnold Böcklin). Obviously, there are some child-like drawings too, but even some of those have their own touching effect. Be warned, there are 17 pages of entries so far, but most of them are really worth it.

As expected whenever there’s a Japanese-related contest, the Japanese sun is the most used symbol, but there are a lot of anime & manga characters present too: Astro Boy, Godzilla, Pikachu, Akira, mechas and many more. Plenty of samurais as well, Mount Fuji, kimonos, temples, toriis, ukiyo-e-like or Hokusai waves, bamboo umbrellas, koi fish, dragons, Noh-theatre and other folk-related characters.

Among these, it’s no surprise that Miyazaki’s characters are some of the most heart-touching: Totoro, Catbus, the Kodama or the Laputa Robot — all of them being nature protectors or spirits in their original stories. There’s even an over-whelmed Porco Rosso (or maybe he’s resting a bit between searches).

Here are some of my favourites:

• this touching Totoro, by Virginy Coste:

• another equally touching Totoro by Redec (you can visit his blog too):

• a simple-yet-strong one by Sylvain Guinebaud:

• one unrelated to Miyazaki, but nontheless beautiful, by Mista Benny:

• and last but not least, this beautiful Laputa robot, protecting Totoro (if you look carefully, you can see yet another Miyazaki character) — by Sébastien Vastra:

Many thanks to Florian Nistor for the find
— hopefully, you’ll get your website up & running soon, mate! :)

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Shadowing the invisible — art by Kumi Yamashita

March 13, 2010, 10:39 AM

Last year I had the pleasure of visiting both Tate Modern in London and The Pompidou Centre in Paris. The overall feeling that I got was that most of the modern art is born out neglecting the classic art, by going against it, breaking ‘the others” rules. Only few of the modern artists have come up with new, different takes on art. The rest are tied to the context, many times their art being nothing more than unestethic junk unless you know the artist’s historic background.

Such an artist is Kumi Yamashita, from Earth’s sister planet, Japan. Her work impresses through the gentleness of the subjects and especially through the maddening techniques used. Playing with light and shadows, thread, paper and many other materials, her installations manage to surprise, to awe the viewers. Take a look yourself:

Light, Aluminum, Shadow Permanent display at the 2nd floor of Nanba Parks Tower, Osaka, Japan.

Light, Aluminum, Shadow Permanent display at the entrance hall of Takikawa Hall, Hokkaido, Japan.


Constellation (Boy), 2007
Brads and Thread on Board
(the child is a young Muhammad Ali, all made from one uncut thread!)

Pathway, 2007

Clouds,2005
Light, Aluminum, Shadow
Permanent display at the 3rd floor of Stellar Place Sapporo JR Tower

Lovers, 1998
aluminum sheet, light, cast shadow

You can see more works on her website. There is also a japanese show (hosted by Takeshi Kitano :P) that had her as a guest, you can see it here, on Youtube.

And here’s a wonderful detail of “City view”:

(via Alecs Stan & booooooom.com)

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Enchanting minimalism — Jun's paintings

October 25, 2009, 12:11 AM

I can’t help but feel envy each time I see an asian artist that manages to express so well and so differently the light’s glow and its playfulness, nature’s vast array of colours, the shadows in their multitude of tints and shades, the feel of tranquility while looking around on a simple, normal day. All I know is her name, Jun, from the blog ii-ne-kore. Her website is in japanese, and sadly, in spite of the tons of anime that I’ve watched to this day, I still can’t read or speak the language :) But little does that matter, all you have to do is admire her work—no words are necessary.

081022crescent

081026kyoto

081102mirage

081205gomen

081218gassui

090114friday

(via ii-ne-kore, thanks Simona)

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Street Art In Japan

February 3, 2008, 6:25 PM

A very interesting Flickr set about street art in Japan.

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japan-street-art3.jpg

(via PingMag)

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