Epic Japanese Cake Show: Part 1

No Japanese apartment comes equipped with an oven. That shocked me, until I stopped to think about it, and realized not a single traditional Japanese dish requires baking. Which doesn’t keep them from being some of the most skilled bakers in the world. Like the fiber artists of the Tokyo International Quilt Festival, the pastryContinue reading “Epic Japanese Cake Show: Part 1”

Amazing scenes emerge as you use this notepad

The Japanese design firm Triad just released one of the most Japanese products ever: the Hogwarts Castle notepad. Wait, that’s not Japanese! But…it is. Obviously, people who just need to jot down their grocery lists aren’t going to shell out nearly two hundred bucks. This is about buying an experience, paying for the delight ofContinue reading “Amazing scenes emerge as you use this notepad”

More Haiku Musings On The Ironies Of Modern Life

Elderly uncle buying sake. Do I really have to Check his ID? • This odd store. I’ve never seen a customer here, Yet, it survives. • The forecast changes To match the weather. Sneaky. • Why was my prayer So much shorter? I’m embarrassed. • That gangster Would be more frightening Without the child seats.Continue reading “More Haiku Musings On The Ironies Of Modern Life”

Smart Illumination Yokohama 2019: WOW

This year, there were fewer artworks at the Yokohama Smart Illuminations, but the ones on exhibit were SO worth seeing! Or – more accurately – worth DOING. Because this year the participation element was front and center, and quite a few of them required serious athletic juice from the audience to power them. Here’s aContinue reading “Smart Illumination Yokohama 2019: WOW”

Insanely Detailed Sculptures Made From Japanese Snack Packages

From the nation of insane Japanese modelmakers, this. The artist known as “Karabako Shokunin Harukiru” (That’s “Empty Box Craftsman Harukiru” to you), snips and folds and glues the unlikely medium of Japanese snack food boxes into unbelievably intricate sculptures, and right now there’s a killer exhibit of his work at the Ikebukuro PARCO museum. AndContinue reading “Insanely Detailed Sculptures Made From Japanese Snack Packages”

3-D Goldfish Art: Wait, Those Are PAINTINGS?

Riusuke Fukahori paints 3-D goldfish so real you can’t believe they’re not wriggling. And I know you’ll find this hard to believe, but the exhibit of his work going on RIGHT NOW at the Sano Art Museum in Mishima is so astounding, that in real life, the fish look more real than in the photos. HisContinue reading “3-D Goldfish Art: Wait, Those Are PAINTINGS?”

Rice Field Art

In what has to be the weirdest creative medium next to the Seed Art Pavilion at the Minnesosta State Fair, Japanese farmers have taken to making large-scale art by planting some of their fields in different strains of rice. The only problem is, in order to even see what the picture is of, you haveContinue reading “Rice Field Art”

Under The Umbrella Sky

If there’s a better way to celebrate Japan’s summer rainy season, show me! This is the latest environmental art exhibit at Metsa Village, the same place where Digitized Lakeside and Forest happened last winter. And best of all…it’s free! This path is the entrance to the paying areas of Moomin Village and other attractions, butContinue reading “Under The Umbrella Sky”

“Digitized Lakeside and Forest” Outdoor Art Installation

If ogling giant resonating eggs and gawking at color-changing trees isn’t what you’re planning to do this weekend, cancel your plans and get thee out to Hanno to see this new digital art installation instead! It meanders halfway around the small lake in the Metsa Village recreation area, and it’s everything glow-in-the-dark entertainment should be.Continue reading ““Digitized Lakeside and Forest” Outdoor Art Installation”

Smart Illumination Yokohama 2018: ALL THE YES

Woo hoo, it’s time for the annual art-as-entertainment Yokohama Smart Illumination 2018! This year, for some reason it took a giant leap in quality, and although the artspeak “explaining” each piece is equally opaque in Japanese and English, you don’t need to know what the artist was trying to say in order to have aContinue reading “Smart Illumination Yokohama 2018: ALL THE YES”

Roppongi Art Night 2017

All art, all night long. That’s the idea behind Roppongi Art Night, and although past years have been a bit meh, this year it was totally worth staying out late! These were my favorite bits: Stills can’t really do this thing justice, so here’s a one-minute video for your mesmerizing pleasure: But of course, it’sContinue reading “Roppongi Art Night 2017”

The Secret Innards Of The Catbus And Other Shocking Revelations

It’s not often that I walk through an art show where each piece is more surprising and delightful than the last, but Jason Freeny’s “Plastic Surgeon” exhibit at the Megumi Ogita Gallery really pushed my amusement meter into the red zone! I’m resisting the temptation to be Lady Spoiler of Spoilerfell by posting all theContinue reading “The Secret Innards Of The Catbus And Other Shocking Revelations”

Why I’d Totally Follow This Guy’s Instagram If He Hadn’t Died In 1889

Kawanabe Kyosai. He’d have had the best instagram ever. Of course, these are just a small appetizer – the show is HUGE, and so full of great stuff, it took me over an hour to see it all. If you’re in Tokyo before “This is Kyosai: The Israel Goldman Collection” ends on April 16, 2017, GO. It’sContinue reading “Why I’d Totally Follow This Guy’s Instagram If He Hadn’t Died In 1889”

Flowers By Naked

(I put together this one-minute video because seriously, stills just couldn’t capture how awesome this show is YOU WILL NOT BE SORRY) The name of this exhibition only makes sense if you recognize the name of the digital artists known as Naked, who are the hottest projection-mapping badasses in Tokyo right now. And HOO BOY they did not disappoint! I’m always ready toContinue reading “Flowers By Naked”

Sleeping Bags Of Yore

At first I thought this was some kind of wacky winter kimono from prehistoric, pre-Patagonia days, but no: it’s actually a futon built for two! This fancy sleeping bag was actually used by courtesans when they entertained their customers in Yoshiwara! Back in the day, plenty of men wealthy enough to buy opulent mummy bags for their paramours frequented the pleasure quarters, even though itContinue reading “Sleeping Bags Of Yore”

「Yokohama Smart Illuminations」: Wow. Just…wow.

Last night I went to see what I thought was going to be a modest art-light event on the Yokohama waterfront, secretly expecting that the photos from past years were exaggerating the quality of the illuminations. I was SO WRONG! This event was spectacular. See for yourself! •

Rude Gnomes

As a sort of matter/anti-matter reaction to the See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil Gnomes, the same artist presents the F U Gnome. The Xmas-seasonal appearance of these, er, art objects suggests there has been continuing elf/dwarf/gnome cross-cultural confusion with regard to Santa and his workforce. I admit I’m quite curious aboutContinue reading “Rude Gnomes”

Gnomes Of Enlightenment

See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil… Does that include thinking uncharitable thoughts when you see a foreign blond guy trying to rock a Japanese 2-block haircut? Or hating on the person in the upstairs apartment who seems to be hard of hearing and really really really likes enka music? Inquiring gnomes wantContinue reading “Gnomes Of Enlightenment”