It doesn’t get better than being loved by a fluffy, soft animal. It is said that the love between a guardian and their pet is unconditional; an-almost familial bond that grows bigger and tighter as time goes on.
Thirteen years ago, Japanese photographer Miyoko Ihara began snapping pictures of her now 88-year-old grandmother, Misao, and her odd-eyed kitten, Fukumaru. Misao, a farmer and merchant of fresh vegetables, found the cat abandoned in a shed, and the pair has been inseparable since then. She named the cat ‘Fukumaru” in hope that “God of fuku (good fortune) would follow her. Lucky for the 88-year old MIsao, Fukumaru stayed by her side through hard work and disability. They simply make their life better just by being together. The photographs are just a gilmpse at how wonderful, and important their friendship is to each other.
You can find the complete series in Miyoko Ihara’s book, Misao the Big Mama and Fukumaru the Cat. The book can be purchased directly through Little More Books. (via Before it’s News)
Every winter, nearly two million people from all around the world venture to Sapporo, on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, to celebrate all things winter for one week at the Sapporo Snow Festival. The festival, which has its roots from when the city hosted the Winter Olympics in 1972, has been taking place since the early 1980′s. From enormous buildings, temples and slides to more intricately detailed and finely-sculpted statues, the city’s streets are full of all types of snow and ice works to celebrate the natural beauty of the winter season.
Now the festival draws sculptors and competitors from all around the world for its famous annual competitions, taking place in several different sites around the city. The event has set several World Records, including the audience-participatory construction of the most snowmen ever made in one place (over 10,000 – a record which still stands). The next installment, now the 65th Sapporo Snow Festival, will be held this February 5th through 11th in 2014. (via weirdtwist)
Riusuke Fukahori, a Japanese artist with an endearing obsession with goldfish, paints three-dimensional renditions of the fish by using a complex process of poured resin on authentic Japanese household containers.
Fukahori strives to paint the goldfish as realistically as possible. His love for the funny looking fish goes beyond words, and the only way to truly pay homage to his ‘friends’ is through creating these unbelievably real-looking sculptures made out of resin. Fukahori keeps dozens of goldfish in tanks and buckets around his studio, he sits and watches the goldfish when he feels uninspired or simply needs company.
His work can be quite deceiving; the goldfish look so real that when people first see his work they find it impossible not to try to reach into the ‘water’ and touch the ‘fish.’
Each of Fukahori’s resin pieces [the resin goldfish] are contained in a variety of everyday Japanese household items. His usage of these items in his work reflects a personal touch, as many of the containers used were bowls and cups that he himself used for years.
The goldfish resin sculptures entail very complicated, repetitive, and labor intensive steps. He first pours a layer of resin, then lets it dry, then paints a small portion of the fish, then lets it dry, then pours another layer of resin—he patiently repeats these steps until the final product is achieved.
“I didn’t invent resin and not the first to use resin. I am not a resin artist. I am a goldfish artist. I think it’s obvious which pieces are Riusuke Fukahori pieces because the imitators use the wrong containers. They will never understand goldfish the way I do. They are only copying the craft, not the soul.”
The Painted Breath, an exhibition of new resin works and paintings by Fukahori, will be on exhibition at the Joshua Liner Gallery in New York on November 21st,2013 till January 18th,2014.
Hitoshi Kuriyama creates elaborate light installations using complex clusters of shattered fluorescent light bulbs. With Kuriyama, fluorescent lights and LEDs become life forces that animate the darkness of the universe with an irregular, unpredictable rhythm.
Check out the artwork of Japanese artist Takahiro Iwasaki. “Not only are his small buildings and electrical towers excruciatingly small and delicate, but they also rest on absurdly mundane objects: rolls of tape, a haphazardly wrinkled towel, or from the bristles of a discarded toothbrush. Only on close inspection do the small details come into focus, faint hints of urbanization sprouting from disorder.” (via).
Need to brighten your day? Get ready. This is a stop motion music video from animation duo Katarzyna Kijek and Przemysław Adamski for Japanese singer-songwriter Shugo Tokumaru. Inspired by an everlasting chain of memories, It features a continuous parade of about 2000 silhouettes extracted from PVC plates set to Tokumaru’s quirky track Katachi (which means “shape” in Japanese). Really. I dare you to be sad after watching this.
Yuichi Hirako is a Japanese artist whose paintings and sculptures blend humans, the city, and the forest together into in alternate, animistic realities. The works feel like they’re made by someone who feels life around them as one unified force and doesn’t envision a cataclysmic end to humanity, but just a change in how our form of life is expressed biologically. In Hirako’s work, it’s as though a nuclear catastrophe had dissolved the boundaries between all life forms on earth, leaving behind husks of cars, trees that grow houses, varicolored trees and rivers, and people who have very literally become one with nature. It’s interesting to think about alternate possibilities for life on earth, and if humanity does decide to use all our nuclear weapons, I hope we end up in Hirako’s paintings.
If you think your dog sweaters or home cooked dog food doesn’t quite express the extravagant love you have for your dog, you might want to take a note from Kenya Hara designing and building a house specific to their size and aesthetics. Hara is a japanese art director, designer, and architect who commissioned eleven architects from around the world to design tiny structures based on the personalities of individual dogs. I love these. Partially because it’s reminiscent of the fact that humans effectively designed all these dog breeds themselves, but mostly because it is always fun to see dogs’ complete disinterest to things people have spent huge amounts of time designing for them, like presenting newborn babies with the socks you crocheted for their feet–just having no idea what caring even is, much less to care about whatever this thing on or around you. Yet the elegant maze does seem Papillon-esque and the geometric dome like a neurotic pug. Tons more day-makers after the jump. (via)