For every day I spent in the greatest city last year I will be writing a post on either a Tokyo based photographer or a series set in the metropolis. An ode to the city.
This is part 2 – Sakura by phantastic420 – Exactly one year ago I had just woken up in Shibuya, ready to take on Tokyo. The smell of Sakura wafted through the city streets and in through my hotel window, it’s a smell that will forever remind me the great city.
phantastic420‘s instagram feed is one of my favourites, abundant with beauty and colour – every day allowing us to escape to the nature of Japan, travelling through the seasons and weather from snow to sunshine. Make sure to follow!
Often photographers and editors have a hard time choosing the black shade of black they want for an image, like painters some photographers avoid using absolute blacks due to the contrast and unrealistic feel, obviously this technique is only applied to relevant projects, some are enhanced by using absolute black. We rarely as people experience the colour black unless it’s man made, even our shadows aren’t absolute black.
Rather than simply hinting towards a colour Todd Antonycompletely changes his dark areas in this project Sun City Poms, when this technique is applied in the right circumstances it can make a photograph, this is one of those times making the images soft and quite flat, almost like sports cards and complimenting the bright colours.
The film Dredd is the most visually stunningly film I have seen in a long time. Especially in the slow motion shots in which the characters are on the illegal drug “slowmo”. This attention to detail and surreal beauty is something I want to take into account with my final pieces. Here are some of the most beautiful shots from the film.
Beautiful New World is an Art exhibition that focuses on the idea of a new world, along with the 21st century came a great expectation of peace and growth in Japan, but it soo became the most violent and destructive time in recent history. Whilst WWII was harmful, post war provided great growth for Japans economics. However in the last 30 years Japan has suffered from some horrendous events such a earth quakes, tidal waves and economy crashes. Influenced by the theme of a new world which is so current in Manga, the world being destroyed and trying to rebuild itself is featured in thousands of manga stories, these art pieces comment on the lust for a better place, an escape from reality which is so predominant in Japanese pop culture. (off the top of my head I can think of 3 or 4 manga series I have read where creating a new world is the main theme.)
The exhibition itself features the work of 34 creative people, spanning across all art forms, and is divided into 3 sections, Beautiful real world, New media world and End of the world and future world.
The main theme of this section is understanding beauty and reality. Question both of their meanings and re-exploring how we understand them. The pieces are based on the representation of females in Contemporary advertising and fashion shoots. It also takes direct influence from manga..
Japanese manga and animations that illustrate gender-specific features in the boy’s world / girl’s world; and works that focus on “kawaii” culture, as well as the personal world-view of hitori-asobi(solitary play) that deviates from this culture.
This piece by Kaneuji Teppei has a direct reference to Japanese popular culture, using the brightly coloured structured hairstyles which feature in anime and manga to create a Big foot type creature.
Paramodel is an “art unit” formed in 2001 by Yasuhiko Hayashi (2001 Fine Art graduate from the Kyoto City University of Arts) and Yusuke Nakano (a Nihonga [Japanese-style painting] graduate from the same university). Their title comes from the combination of the words, “Paradise” and “model”, and the fusion of these two concepts is essentially the launching point of their creations. Although the unique talents and interests of these two individuals hardly ever intersect, they manage to work in parallel towards the same vision of constructing intricate models of Paradise using toy parts, like plastic train tracks and mini-cars. Engaging in this poetic, yet paradoxical practice of remodeling paradise, this art unit presents their visions in a variety of media, including installation, objets, animations, painting, sculpture, and photography. –www.azito-art.com/paramodel/
These pieces by Paramodel play on the miniature culture within Japan, the sushi presented on the truck plays on the idea of Kawaii culture within Japan, the need for everything to look cute and sweet.
The art of new media has changed the ways in which we view the world. The works that tune into the new possibilities of communication and physical sensibilities are becoming ever important in considering contemporary society; such works take interest in what effect technological development in images and sound has on human sensations. The idea that perceives human relationships, or relationships between human and the environment as fluid, rather than predetermined, could be the driving force behind such developments. The works to be on exhibit in this section encompass a broad range of works, including not only those works that incorporate new technology, but also those that relate to the urban environment, fashion, and objects. – Taken from the online catalogue
some of the exhibited work:
Hiroshi Fuji’s work looks at consumerism and a culture who chuck out anything that isn’t up to date. His sculptures are made from discarded items, he tries to take unwanted objects and turn them into something interesting. All the parts are childrens toys.
All featured artists:
Atelier Bow-wow, doubleNegatives Architecture, Tsumura Kosuke, Fuji Hiroshi, Ikeda Ryoji, Oshii Mamoru, Yokoyama Yuichi, National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan)
Section 3 End of the World and Future World @B.T.A.P.
This section touches on the deep-seated apocalyptic world-view in Japanese society and culture, together with the visions for the future that are projected as result. The apocalyptic world-view is shaped by the disintegration of society and the collapse of urban cities, caused by natural disaster, war, and genocide as such, as well as death and the fear of facing death, while the visions for the future are projected in forms of cities in rejuvenation and futuristic cities. Some of the works in this section signify eternity and sustainability in relation to these themes. – taken from the catalogue
some exhibited work
Hatakeyama Naoyas stunning landscapes toggle between the destruction of the world, juxtaposed with landscape photos with no sign of human life, making us think about the beauty of the world, and putting us in the position of imaging a new world.
– Project Viva Riva – Sutanda
2001 200cm × 200cm × 300cm
aluminum, brass, motors, other monuments (Revival) Play arose from the “ruins of the future.” Work was born doll suit atom was picked up in the ruins of the nursery of Chernobyl, the sun that had been painted on the wall has become a group. Doll rises senses radiation 20 times, objects located beyond the line of sight of the sun shine at the same time. Stand up on two legs is also a big step in the process of human growth and human evolution.
Tomoko Yoneda’s photographs of an end is seem less kitsch and colourful as some of the work in the exhibition, however it’s message is strong. Unless accompanied by it’s title the photo holds no real connection to the idea of a new world, but with the title we imagine we have reached an end of a story, perhaps a family or couple fleeing to the new world after a long series of events.
All featured artists:
Fujihata Masaki, Hatakeyama Naoya, Miyajima Tatsuo, Miyamoto Ryuji, Ohmaki Shinji, Urasawa Naoki, Yanobe Kenji, Yoneda Tomoko
The exhibition as a whole
There is no doubt that this exhibition would have been one worth seeing. Rarely are so many forms of art in one place, the interesting idea is that all artists work is based along the idea of a Beautiful New world, but each result is completely different, and that the repetitive use of a new world narrative within Manga has a big enough influence and has become such a big part of japanese pop culture that many artists are using it as their influence for work.
I recently watched a film called confessions, it made me think of this module, because I went through a journey of feelings which were all evoked by music and lighting. I wanted to find a specific clip, but couldn’t. I really recommend watching it because it’s a great film with a gripping storyline. And it creates a sense of dread throughout the film and then twists that in the end. I won’t give too much away but heres the trailer.
There is also a great scene in this video, which reminds me of my piece. The boy has a backwards ticking alarm clock, he hates life and wants to go back to time when his mother was there, it is referenced throughout the film, and then when certain events happen (don’t want to spoil it) the clock stops, and then it starts ticking forwards, then it cuts to a shot of his eye. You can see parts of this clip in this video. I couldn’t find the original scene. This video also shows the beautiful use of slow motion in the film.
not to mention the beautiful use of music and screen space usage which make this film so amazing.
Elisa Wessel is a Visual Artist and Photographer. She started in 2001 and since then has created a great portfolio of work. The thing i love about her work is the combination of generic high fashion and advertising poses, make up and general styling, and how she combines that with brilliant lighting and editing to create stunning images that make you stop and stare.
British photographer Alan Jaris creates images of light, literally. Most images are refracted patterns that occur as beam of light passes through textured glass, using light filters to change the colours. The images are captured like photograms but straight onto film. It’s hard to choose one image of his because they are all so breath-taking, so here are a few of his images.