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)
For anyone who grew up in the 80′s & 90′s, Hiroyasu Sakaguchi’s House T will look vaguely familiar, namely because House T is laid out like a level in Mario, or most other Nintendo games for that matter. All the spaces in a house that we have gotten used to as individual, semi-private rooms have been stripped of their walls and joined into one long inter-connected space. I love it because it reminds us of the tension between psychological and physical space, how we compartmentalize various aspects of our life into respective spaces. House T reminds me of Gordon Matta Clark’s work, albeit much cleaner, Japanese, and way less punk rock, but the altering of our perception of space is in them both. (via)
Japanese artist Mr. built an installation in the Lehmann MaupinGallery that is a gorgeous messy heap of cultural garbage/treasure. Using old anime posters, tarps, wood veneer cabinets, bouncy balls and the like, Mr’s installation overwhelms us with the incredible amounts of Stuff we as a society create; a physical version of contemporary internet culture’s constant sensory overload. His show is up for another three days, so if you’re in the NY area, catch it while you can! Press release:
“Mr. has envisioned a complex, chaotic installation that serves as immersive sculpture by forcing viewers to interact with the work and places them in a scenario that is psychologically unsettling. His new body of work aspires to blur the distinction between the interior and exterior through the construction of structures and atmospheres inhabited by familiar objects that are conversely used to communicate the unfamiliar: in this instance, an experience most people have not lived. Viewers are given insight to the psychological state of Japan all the while remaining alien to the experience. Composed of garbage and everyday objects from Japanese life, this installation stands as a reminder of the debris that blanketed Tohoku in the aftermath of March 11.”
Since 2001, Japanese photographer Tsuyoshi Ozawa has been traveling around the world photographing young women holding guns fashioned mainly from vegetables. As part of the process, the ingredients are chosen by Ozawa’s models and make up a hot-pot dish native to their country. After the portrait is completed, the “gun” is disassembled and Ozawa and his model share a meal made up of its parts.
Vegetable Weapon, a collaborative project promoting peace, will be on display at Misa Shin Gallery in Tokyo from September 21-November 2, 2012.
Japanese artist Yukinori Yanagi uses a pretty unique technique in his work. For years now, he’s created custom ant farms with colored sand and used the natural lifecycle of ants to manipulate images rendered with the sand. His work using national flags is some of his best. Soviet banners assembled into a pyramid. Japanese Hinomaru fractured by tunneling ants. The strong symbolism inherent in banners and flags lends the work a lot of power. The ants show us that even things that once seemed unshakable are susceptible to decay and eventual ruin, even at the hands of seemingly tiny, insignificant forces. (via)
Yuken Teruya skillfully cuts intricate trees and other shapes out of banal, everyday objects like dollar bills, toilet paper rolls, and cereal boxes. The artist completely transforms what usually amounts to trash into delicate, beautiful art. Really makes you reconsider which material objects are “special”. Even the things we constantly overlook are full of creative (and even spiritual) potential. Teruya has a new piece in a recently opened group show at Denver’s David B. Smith Gallery. (via)
Japanese artist Chiharu Shiota, who is based in Berlin, creates sculptural installations. Often surrounding miscellaneous items like clothing or furniture in tangled nets of twine, she places strict limits upon perception within her work. The stringy elements of her installations almost exist as clouds obstructing the objects that make up each piece. In this way, a work is viewed simultaneously as a singular object and as a product of its environment. Here, airy materials compound into an extremely weighted whole, repositioning our impressions of worldly material. (via)