[Miniatuart] Limited Edition ‘Spirited Away’ Aburaya (Unassembled Kit)

Here’s something I found when I was browsing model-kits to buy, and wanted to share cause this is simply amazing.

I wish I could buy it and assemble it myself, but this papercraft model-kit costs about $600+ USD, so I’ll never be able to afford it ಥ_ಥ. Just look at those details though!!!

Please don’t remove the credits~ All images belong to HobbySearch.

This is the main corridor at the Lower Bath House, one of the oldest remaining structures in the semi-abandoned resort town of Sharon Springs.  Dating to roughly 1876, this building is holding up relatively well despite years of abandonment - though many of the individual rooms have major collapses in the walls.

Print available here.

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A Cup of Salt Tears

Victo Ngai

Besides the fact that Irene Gallo being one of the best ADs, I am always excited to work short story art there’s no way to tell what kind of subject matter will come along. 

This piece accompanies Isabel Yep’s novelette A cup of Salt Tears - an eerie yet beautiful story. You can read it here. The audiobook of IQ84 by Murakami Haruki accompanied the working of this piece, it was quite the perfect track. 

Makino’s mother taught her caution, showed her how to carve her name into cucumbers, and insisted that she never let a kappa touch her. But when she grows up and her husband Tetsuya falls deathly ill, a kappa that claims to know her comes calling with a barbed promise. “A Cup of Salt Tears” is a dark fantasy leaning towards horror that asks how much someone should sacrifice for the one she loves." 

While I was doing research for this project, I learnt a lot of interesting facts about Kappa (河童 "river-child”), including their obsession with shirikodama (尻子玉 “Small Anal Ball”). It’s believed that kappa lure their victims into the water and gain power by taking their shirikodama, a mythical ball said to contain their soul which is located inside the anus. Check out the amazing manga by Hokusai titled 同河童を釣るの法 (“How to fish for Kappa”).

Watercolour Spirited Away Portrait Wall

Felt like doing another wall of tiny portraits after the previous Jurassic one :> 

Sultan Amir Ahmad Bathhouse - Kashan, Iran

A traditional Persian bathhouse, it was constructed in the 16th century during the Safavid era. It’s named after Imamzadeh Sultan Amir Ahmad whose mausoleum is nearby.

The bathhouse also functions as a tea house

A landscape view of the lobby of the Imperial Baths in Sharon Springs, NY.  The enormous spa complex offered a wide range of services to the Ashkenazi Jewish visitors to the town, of course segregated by sex.  The lobby features 20’ ceilings crowned by a giant green skylight; in the not-too-distant past, I shot a model in this lobby.  Sadly, by that point the cast iron fountain from which visitors could drink the distinctive mineral water the town was known for was removed.

Print available here.