I’ve blogged about Tokyo Design Week, TDW, the big design oriented event taking place every year in Tokyo. Here’s some more photos of some of the fashion exhibitions I liked, three designer’s whose work is inspired by the 18th century painter Ito Jakuchu, and in particular his famous painting of birds. The first dress is by Tamae Hirokawa (廣川玉枝), White Phoenix, inspired by that famous Ito painting with the same name. The second exhibit is Yasuhiro Mihara (三原康広), Yakuchucamo, and is a camouflage pattern of fighting birds. Last but not least is Kosuke Tsumura (津村耕佑), Anima, a puzzle dress.
Among the many good exhibits at this year’s Tokyo Design Week I found these pieces by famous feather/flower designer Kosei Komatsu (小松宏誠). He has a terrific web site here. Instead of using flowers for his arrangements he relies on feathers, and in this case, part of a bird itself to create these stunning pieces. The bird makes it feel almost gothic. The theme of his work and many other artists was Ito Jakuchu, a singularly important 18th century painter. If you are into traditional Japanese art you are bound to have seen some of his many famous paintings. The connection between the birds and animal scrolls of Ito and the present day pieces by Komatsu are very obvious.
Nothing beats window shopping, especially in a country like Japan where the prices are high and the window decorations are fantastic. Here’s the latest christmas window decoration campaign from Isetan in Tokyo’s Shinjuku district called “How to Make Wonder Christmas”. While their copy writers will never win gold medals they sure struck gold when they found the amazing Finnish illustrator Klaus Haapaniemi to decorate their shops from inside and out. The windows are meant to be seen in a series and shows a christmas fairy tale in each window, 12 in all. The characters from the story then returns inside the store as statues, ceiling decorations and floor stickers. At the information desk you can pick up beautiful little pamphlets with more details of the story.
The shop windows are even animated and interactive with a live video feed that will track your face on the sidewalk and add animated features to turn you into a reindeer- or an owl-character on an in window-display. Fun for all ages. They also have a service where you can download animations for your cellphone and a campaign site. If you are in Tokyo over christmas, I recommend you stop by Isetan in Shinjuku and see the cutting edge in store window design.
Edit (2010 August 31st): I just found the redesign Klaus Haapaniemi made of one of my favorite books ever, Patrick Süskind’s “Perfume”. Have a look here! His book designs are absolutely gorgeous!
I had the wonderful opportunity to see this wonderful paper craft art installation by a genius of the name of Wataru Itou (伊藤航), a young student of a major art university here in Tokyo. The installation is hand made over four years of hard work, complete with electrical lights and a moving train, all made of paper! Clearly, this man must have created one of the most stunning examples of Paper Craft in the world? At the exhibition you will also have the chance to see a video showing Mr. Itou at work in his studio, cutting and folding piece by piece. The exhibition is called Umi no Ue no Oshiro (A Castle On the Ocean ), 海の上のお城. It is exhibited at Umihotaru, a place which in itself is a major attraction: a service area in the middle of the ocean, right between Tokyo City and Chiba Prefecture. If you haven’t checked it out yet, use Google Earth for a close up of what is probably the weirdest parking lot in the world. Well, it’s more than a parking lot actually, but I am saving a more detailed description along with photos for another post. For now, enjoy this wonderful work of art!