These Crochet Playgrounds Are All the Rage in Sapporo, Japan

Toshiko Horiuchi-MacAdam is the artist behind these genius playgrounds, located at the open air Hakone Open-Air Museum in Sapporo Japan. What’s so fascinating about these crocheted playgrounds is that the idea came as a ‘happy accident.’

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::: This is Horrorgami, Origami Gone Mad :::

Marc Hagan-Guirey

is the mastermind behind Paper Dandy and this Horrorgami series. 

This whole series is entirely composed of Marc’s favorite haunted houses that he has recreated so carefully and precisely. Each of these masterpieces is made from one solitary piece of paper and without any glue whatsoever.

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Japanese Posters and Magazine Covers from the 1920’s and 30’s

From a graphic designer’s point of view, these selected pieces really stand out – not only compositionally, but in the style, the execution, the precision, placement of elements, eye flow, use of color, juxtaposition, foreshadowing, perspective, typography and all of the other buzz words you can throw in there. They all work so well and serve as exemplary pieces, together to represent this collection, but also each stands out uniquely in their own way.

What I love in seeing examples from artists this era is the pure artisanship on display. With a ticking clock in today’s design world, I feel the true mastery of art and technique has gotten lost in the concept of time. It’s become more about getting done what you can in the time allotted, rather than doing your best in however long that takes. Quantity first – and as a result, quality suffers. Whereas back then, it was more important to take time to master the art of using pen and ink on paper, as you can see in their various styles of illustration in each of these pieces. You were known by the work attached to your name. That meant something in order to be distinguished as an artist – regardless of where you lived in the world. However, the Japanese took honor and their work to a much more serious level.

From a historical point of view, they represent best Japan at that time – the influences of the war, the changes in political views and social changes that were moving through the nation. These also represent some of the European influences with hints of Cubism, Constructivism and Surrealism in these works.  These ads, posters and magazine covers mark the beginning of when communication design emerged in Japan. Some people referred to these works as “city art” with hopes of appealing to urban consumers through avant-garde visuals, trendy at that time with styles initiated in the West. The significance around these pieces as a whole created an awareness of the larger world, and therefore, they established many of the principles of early graphic design in Japan.

 

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From the book of Modernism on Paper: Japanese Graphic Design of the 1920s-30s by Naomichi Kawabata

 

To see more examples, please visit this link here.


This Takes Doodling to a Whole New Level

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Sagaki Keita | Illustrator and Artist from Tokyo

This 28-year-old artist, Sagaki Keita, was born in 1984 and lives and works out of his hometown in Tokyo. His intensely layered pen and ink illustrations consist of millions of expressive doodles that are so freely released on paper – yet he carries with each a pure intent of creating a fine art piece when complete.  The numerous myriad of these playful characters which are comprised of individual pen strokes and overlapping lines… these whimsical elements fill in the gaps or they are layered on top of each other to in the end make up shading on a cheekbone or create the shadows of muscle tones. Just absolutely brilliant – the technique! To see more of his work, click here.

MODA Exhibit Piece

This was one of my exhibit pieces created for MODA (Museum of Design Atlanta). It features a branch that’s over 30yrs old – which was brought back from Tokyo by my teacher. She, of course, lent this to me temporarily for this event. It reminds me of a skater or ballerina being hoisted up by her partner.

To see more of my ikebana arrangements, check out my company’s site, The Flower Sculptor.

MODA Exhibit Piece

presenting: japanese digital artist HR-FM

Check out all 50 pieces on display now at Eyes On Walls.