One of the most interesting aspects of the biggest twice-annual art and design events here in Tokyo – the Design Festa – is the wall sized paintings. Every event dozens of young and old artists rent a booth, or several, to live paint a huge painting during the two day event. Even the smallest booths costs a couple of hundred dollars to rent so you can imagine the out of pocket expense for the bigger booths! Most of the live painters don’t bother selling any art but some people have a little side business selling postcards or books but the vast majority of them don’t even get to take the painting home at the end of the festival. Neither are they in it to make contacts, in fact most artists are so dedicated to finishing their project in the two days they have that they have no time to chat to visitors. Some even wear headphones while paintings to really enable them to concentrate on their work. I’d really like to get to know them though, I want to know what drives them to spend so much time and so much money on something like this! Here’s a small selection of some of the live paintings that caught my eye at the latest Design Festa, earlier this month. Enjoy!
One of my favorites from this year’s Design Festa was Mr Masato Homma and his very low-key no thrills exhibition of customized tin dolls, known as Buriki-ningyo here in Japan. Even as a kid I remember sometimes seeing photos of old tin toys that would move around if a spring in the back was wound up and came in all sizes and shapes. Cuesukeya, as he calls himself in the world of toy making, takes standard sized tin doll and customize them, for collectors and fans of old-style toys all over the world. Here’s four of his dolls in Japanese style but he’s got many others on his Flickr page, including Hulk Hogan! I love the details and the clean simplicity of these toys, they are almost works of art and would fit in well in any modern art gallery around the world I think. He’s got a Facebook page as well. If you ever visit Kyoto I also recommend the tin doll museum.
At the twice yearly Design Festa I saw this wonderfully creative papercrafter and his amazing creations! Most of his work is of dragons but there’s a few people and other animals as well, tigers and even a kitty! The deisgner’s studio is called Siryu (his official site is here and his blog is here). He is located in Nagoya and came over to Tokyo for the weekend, which explains why I have never seen his work before. I got a model-kit of a small golden dragon for myself. It looked really complicated but now that I’ve read the instructions I realize that it’s easier than it looks. It’ll make a great Christmas present to one of my craftier little relatives.