Origami Cupcake

Japan Trip Onsen

Announcements, Inspiration, Japan, News

No Comments


Share this post

After doing a lot of research we decided to make the lovely Marukyu Ryokan in Shuzenji, Izu, as our splurge accommodation for the trip. A ryokan, or traditional style inn, they serve traditional food, the artform-like kaiseki-ryōri, and have heavenly hot spring baths, including private open air baths on the roof.

Read more…

Japan Trip Osaka

Announcements, Inspiration, Japan, News

No Comments


Share this post

Known for its nightlife, eating and entertainment Osaka is fun place to visit. We visited the Dōtonbori / Amerikamura / Shinsaibashi areas for food, drink and some shopping. We also went to watch Kabuki theatre while we were in the area. Other things we did in Osaka included: visiting the castle, visiting the aquarium (on of the world’s largest), watching more fireworks, and eating crab.

Click here to read more about our Japan trip and itinerary.
Read more…

Japan Trip Kyoto

Announcements, Inspiration, Japan, News

No Comments


Share this post

Kyoto has been called Japan’s “Cultural Capital” and is filled with temples, gardens, and other historic sites. It’s also home to the famous geisha districts, Gion being the most famous. Although seeing a geisha in these areas is by no means guaranteed, we got lucky and managed to see four in total. I also was privileged to attend a wedding wearing formal kimono. As my appreciation for kimono has grown I’ve come to view it as an artform and language. While dressing in kimono for a photoshoot might be an enjoyable experience for foreigners, getting to experience it “for real” as part of Japanese culture elevates it above mere dress or costume. We also came to experience the Gion Matsuri, which was enjoyable, although our planning could have been better – we always seemed to arrive at events either really late or really early.

Click here to read more about our Japan trip and itinerary.

Read more…

Japan Trip Nagoya

Announcements, Inspiration, Japan, News

No Comments


Share this post

I’ve pretty much left these Japan pictures languish on my computer, so I thought I should finally just post them all. For more details about our trip and itinerary check here. We were only in Nagoya for one day to watch the sumo. It really exceeded my expectations and I would encourage other foreigners to give it a try too. The atmosphere of the ring, the ceremony, and literal clash of titans all make of a memorable “only in Japan” experience. We were also lucky enough to run into a small festival by coincidence, one of the many good things about visiting Japan in summer, although the downside is the oppressive heat and humidity.

Read more…

Japan Trip Tokyo: Odaiba, Harajuku, Shibuya & Fireworks

Announcements, Inspiration, Japan, News

2 Comments


Share this post

Here’s part two of my stay in Tokyo. Check out my previous post for pictures of Ueno, Akihabara and Tsukiji. I’m not going to repeat myself, so check out that post if you’re interested in my itinerary and hotel details. Now onto the pictures…

Read more…

Japan Trip Tokyo: Ueno, Akihabara & Tsukiji

Announcements, Japan, News

1 Comment


Share this post

Traditional Japanese breakfast at Sawanoya Ryokan

It took a long time but I finally managed to take my dream trip to Japan. It was twenty-one days in three cities, sweltering heat and with one jam-packed itinerary. That’s a slight exaggeration, I left carefully scheduled blocks of time free for “spontaneity”. It was amazing and exhausting. But perhaps the best thing were those little moments you can’t take pictures of. Chatting to salarymen over shochu, or soaking in the best bath of my life. I can’t wait to go again.

You can also check out some videos we took on YouTube.
Read more…

Graffiti by Hush: Tags, Kimono & Geisha

Art, Inspiration, Japan

1 Comment


Share this post

Graffiti by Hush: Tags, Kimono & Geisha

This is my second post featuring graffiti by Hush. While Hush’s earlier works focused on imagery of girls from anime and manga, this image has been superseded in his later work by the image of the geisha. Like the anime girl, the geisha is an ideal; the mythical epitome of “oriental beauty” which exists only in the Western imagination.

Hush’s technique has also progressed. While his work still retains the detail and complexity of his collage-like images, his newer work is more painterly. Spray-painted tags are layered against traditional Japanese textile patterns, while a color palette of rich vermilion, turquoise and gold reflects the sumptuousness of embroidered silk.

Check out my earlier post: Graffiti by Hush: Doe-eyed Anime Girls

Read more…

Graffiti by Hush: Doe-eyed Anime Girls

Art, Comics, Anime & Manga, Inspiration, Japan

1 Comment


Share this post

Graffiti by Hush: Doe-eyed Anime Girls

Hush‘s work seems more like collage than conventional graffiti. Appropiated images are densely layered so that doe-eyed anime girls mix with Grecian sculpture and seemingly random images. Typography also has a strong presence in the form of comic books sound effects, Japanese kanji and calligraphic tags. The result are richly layered works which frame his anime heroines within the larger history of art and popular culture, blurring the lines between the artistic and the pornographic.

Part 2 focusses on Hush’s newer work on the image of the Geisha.

Read more…

Monuments Gone to Waste: The Art of Ikeda Manabu

Art, Inspiration, Japan

1 Comment


Share this post

Monuments Gone to Waste: The Art of Ikeda Manabu

Massive structures and piles of wreckage are the subject of Ikeda Manabu‘s work. His monumental images are filled with an incredible detail. The spires of a church and the slides of a waterpark alike are buried the debris of an overgrown civilization. It’s a dystopia reflecting the spectacle and excess of our own contemporary society.

Read more…

Sublime Tropics: The Art of Edwin Ushiro

Art, Inspiration

No Comments


Share this post

Sublime Tropics: The Art of Edwin Ushiro

Edwin Ushiro‘s works are the result of a unique mixed media approach. His works fuse digital and traditional techniques, combining paint, ink, iron transfers, and other materials to create works that have a distinctive luminosity.  Each image tells a story based on Ushiro’s childhood memories of his native Hawaii, as well as the islands’ own folktales and ghost stories. The result is a gorgeous mixture of realism with dreamlike nostalgia in sublime sun-drenched landscapes.

Read more…