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.
On Sunday I visited the Tokyo Good Design Expo 2012 at Odaiba’s Big Site exhibition center. The expo is devoted to showcasing the best of Japanese industrial design, but there’s also room for a few foreign exhibits. While there for work I managed to snap a few pictures of some of the bigger items, including this wonderful miniature fire truck, a Shoshin Speed Sprayer, 3S-FSC600TL. This fire truck really must be the smallest in the world! While only being 119.5cm tall, it has place for one driver and a whooping 600L of high pressure water to quench fires places that would otherwise be difficult to access.
Continuing with the rescue theme I also saw a fantastic looking water ski, complete with a patient carrying sled, allowing a team of paramedics to perform first aid and resuscitation while at the scene of an accident at sea. I hope all marinas and bigger beaches get these soon! Toyota also had a clever way of displaying their car in two colors, by the use of mirrors and open spaces. I liked it enough to post it here! There were also quite a few architecture exhibitions, the one that I liked the most was for a plan of multi residence timber frame buildings that are quick and easy to set up by even low skilled workers after disasters and in disaster struck areas where many people have been made homeless. Great ideas! Let’s see if I can make it back again for next year’s expo!
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.
Walking through Tsukiji (築地) the other day, I found a few interesting sings. The first one is an incredibly cute (and rotund) Maneki Neko, a poster advertising the special sale Saturdays (second saturday of the month) here at Monzeki Street, a traditional fish monger area in Tokyo. I have a feeling this particular maneki neko isn’t trying to get business as much as just trying to score some nice fish for itself! Then there’s the harried looking octopus trying to clean up after all the litter bugs in the area. The sign reads roughly “if you litter one piece someone else will litter three pieces”. I agree. The last is one of my favorite signs in Japan! It’s a tiny sign on the side of a bridge ins a place that is not accessible to the general public so you really only find it by chance! I think it is a warning sign for tsunami but I’m not sure. It could also be a warning sign for alien space monsters with eyes on its tentacles or possibly some sort of Lovecraftian monster. Who knows? The kids are really in trouble though. I would really love to hear the backstory on this strange and wonderful metal sign!