japanese sculpture

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


These pixelated versions of everyday objects looks like they’re made of LEGO bricks, but they’re actually works of ceramic sculpture created by Japanese artist Toshiya Masuda. For a playful series entitled Low Pixel Masuda has sculpted everything from a fried egg and a pair of running shoes to a life-size tricycle, a cigarette burning in an ashtray, and wilting flowers. Each sculpture is a tangible work of art that looks like it would blend right into the background of an 8-bit video games.

Visit his Toshiya Masuda’s website to view more from his series.

[via Booooooom!]


Takashi Murakami (b. 1962, Japan)

Part 3 of detailed exhibition views of Takashi Murakami’s In the Land of the Dead, Stepping on the Tail of a Rainbow at the Gagosian Gallery, West 24th Street, New York, November 10, 2014 - January 17, 2015

Photographs by Blair Prentice (iheartmyart)

See Part 1 or Part 2 of the photographs from the exhibition.  


Takashi Murakami: Website | Twitter
Gagosian Gallery:  WebsiteTumblr | Twitter

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Japan, Heian period (794–1185), late 11th to early 12th century

Lacquered and gilded Japanese cypress

Apsaras, or hiten in Japanese, are flying celestial beings that accompany Buddhas. These two examples, which display apsaras riding clouds and playing musical instruments, are believed to be part of a group of twelve or fourteen that formerly adorned the mandorla of an eighty-foot-tall statue of Amida at Jōruriji, a Pure Land sect temple in Kyoto. Although the disks and flying sashes are later additions, the apsaras themselves, carved in high relief in Japanese cypress and gilt, are dated to the turn of the twelfth century, when the Amida statue was installed.

From the Metropolitan Museum