Japanese artist Takahiro Iwasaki transforms rolls of duct tape into complicated topographical maps and stray threads into tiny, astonishingly intricate sculptures. Carnival rides that might just be big enough for a flea emerge from sheets and towels while itty-bitty electrical towers rise up out of toothbrush bristles.
Tomokazu Matsuyama’s Matsuyama spent his childhood between Japan and America, bring up questions about his national and individual identity. This is reflected in both the style and subject of many of his paintings as he draws influences from both modern art and Japanese art from the Edo and Meiji eras.
Japanese artist Masao Kinoshita creates awesome painted fiberglass anatomical sculptures depicting subjects who have no skin. Some of the most impressive examples of his work depict deities such as Ganesha or the Yoga Asura. Their stylized musculature and skeletons are beautifully posed and incredibly detailed.
We already thought Kewpie Dolls were wonderfully creepy things, but Kinoshita’s version, entitled Q, takes that inherent creepiness to a whole new level.
Japanese artist Takahiro Iwasaki created an awesome and incredibly detailed scale replica of the Byodo-In Temple that appears to be floating in space atop its own reflection.
The Byodo-In Temple is a beautiful 10th century temple near Kyoto, Japan. This version of it, entitled Reflection Model (Perfect Bliss), was built between 2010 and 2012 using Japanese cypress, the same material used to build the real thing back in 1053. It is currently on exhibit as part of the 7th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art in Queensland, Australia.
With roughly three hundred works by some sixty artists, “Tokyo 1955–1970” presents an extensive roster of art produced in the capital of Japan during this key period. The exhibition .. encompasses not only Gutai, Anti-Art, and Non-Art—movements that have been well known in the US for some time—but also aspects of postwar Japanese art hitherto less known in the Western Hemisphere, including the graphic realism of Hiroshi Nakamura and Tiger Tateishi and intermedia projects by the collective Jikken Kōbō (Experimental Workshop). The heterogeneity of material in the show—ranging from painting, sculpture, photography, and film to performance, design, and architecture—demonstrates that the history of the avant-garde in Tokyo was not monolithic, but instead made up of multiple compelling narratives that paralleled other developments in radical art around the globe. — Reiko Tomii, ArtForum
PDF Catalog can be viewed here: (LINK large file, new window) interactive exhibit supplement here: (LINK full browser recommended)
Japanese sculptor and illustrator Maico Akiba created an awesome series of sculptures entitled SEKAI, which means “world.” Each beautiful piece depicts an animal with a miniature ecosystem growing on its back, complete with tiny people and remnants of human civilization, such as utility poles, power lines, and buildings that have been reclaimed by nature.
Title: Komainu Culture: Japanese Time Period: Muromachi (about 1450) Material: cyrpress wood, gold lacquer (Urushi), and crystal Description: “Komainu are lion-like guardian dogs usually placed at the entrances to temples and shrines. Koma is the Japanese name for Koguryo, an ancient Korean kingdom, and inu means dog. This indicates that the motif may have come to Japan from China via Korea. Technically, only an animal with the horned head and closed mouth is called komainu; the animal with the open mouth is a lion (shishi). This distinction was lost over time.” Source: Indianapolis Museum of Art