One of Japan’s more famous artists, but still relatively unknown outside the country is Tokyo University professor Yoichiro Kawaguchi (河口洋一郎) whose pioneering work in computer graphics and almost organic CGI creations have been inspiring art students in Japan since the 1970’s. This man was doodling on his computer before I was even born! I saw this work, the Gross Tendril, at Tokyo Design Week last year. It is a good example of his funky pop-art influence sculpture that is clearly grounded in mathematics and algorithm. Maybe you remember the gun toting samurai warriors that I posted a few days ago? Mr. Kawaguchi is from the same little island as those guns – Tanegashima.
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.
At last weeks Tokyo Design Week event, I saw this interesting project by students at Kyushu Sangyo University (九州産業大学). It’s a structure that has been maximized to be used as a musical instrument with all walls and ceilings covered in various pieces of wood, metal and paper. When you entered you got a pair of drumsticks and as you proceed through the tunnel you are presented with a lot of options for making noise. I think a determined trio of explorers could make and drum and bass band envious! It was a lot of fun to go through, and the little girl in front of me had even more fun!