Tokyobling's Blog

Wataru Itou – A Town Bridged By the Setting Sun 夕日に架かる街

Posted in Places by tokyobling on December 2, 2011

The name of this work of art, a moving, lit installation in lacquer, paper and cypress wood is called 夕日に架かる街 in Japanese, which although is pretty straightforward has my stumped as for a good translation in English. A Town Bridged By the Setting Sun? I really don’t know how to say it in English. This is the latest work by the young super nova of Japanese art, Wataru Itou (伊藤 航), whom you might remember from the glorious paper castle I posted a couple of years ago. This one was exhibited in Tokyo’s Marunouchi Building a couple of months ago. Of course the rope way car is moving! I’m looking forward to following his career!

Siryu Paper Craft Dragons

Posted in Design Festa 2009, Stuff by tokyobling on November 14, 2011

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.

The Best Shop Guide Ever – Yamaha

Posted in Places, Shops by tokyobling on January 10, 2011

You know how it is when you visit a deparment store or a huge shop with a wide selection of goods: you go to the information desk where you get a pamphlet or you go check out their wall guides, which contains about a bazilion items. Men shoes, are they seperate, under the heading of shoes or mens wear? Am I currently in building B or in the New building or in Old Building Annex 2? Where do they keep traditional lacquer ware? Under household items on floor 5? Gifts on floor 10 or are the cold Ceremonial Boxes?

Especially in Japan, with it’s mix of Hiragana, Katakan, Kanji and Romaji, it becomes very hard to quickly scan the guides for just the information you are looking for.

Not so with this fabulous Yamaha music department store in Tokyo’s Ginza district. They use a visual guide with actual paper craft dioramas of each department store floor! Complete with sales clerks, utilities and customers! You can see exactly what kind of items goes where and what each floor looks like. If you have an image of where you want to go but can’t remember which floor it was, a quick glance at this 3D guide will help you. If you are just browsing and curious to the various services and spaces they offer, nothing beats this visual guide.

I have studied information technology and communication theory since high school, and let me tell you, I am amazed I have never seen this way of presenting a store guide before. Just excellent! Make sure to check it out if you happen to be passing through Ginza. Actually, the whole Yamaha store is just amazing. Beautiful, well designed, great staff and interesting stuff on sale. The whole first floor is a design/event space where you can try out the latest musical gizmos. Yamaha continues to be the most forward thinking music business in the world.

Paper Lanterns

Posted in Stuff by tokyobling on December 20, 2010

Do you remember the photo of a stone lantern I posted last in this blog post a while ago? Well, in case you were itching to get your own personal stone lantern, some crafty Japanese art student has just shown you how! Take a look at these life sized replica paper stone lanterns, made out of beer can boxes. I couldn’t locate the artist to ask for instructions but it looks pretty straight forward to me. I don’t think these will last for centuries though! Found at a local temple last month and shot with my D3S. Total overkill I know, but that’s the camera I brought with me.

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