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Amazing Cosplay at DragonCon

Comics, Anime & Manga, Inspiration, Japan

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I once read that “conventions are places in which shame is transformed into pride”.  I was reminded of this while watching this amazing video of cosplay at this year’s DragonCon. These are people who have turned labels like nerd or otaku into badges of pride, and you can really see all the positive feelings and carnival atmosphere. If the four minute video isn’t enough for you, you can also watch the twenty minute long spectacular below.

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Takashi Murakami’s Superflat Monogram and More…

Art, Comics, Anime & Manga, Design, Fashion, Inspiration, Japan

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Takashi Murakami is an internationally recognized artist whose work should be familiar to anyone interested in contemporary art. Murakami coined the term “superflat” to describe both his own work, and an entire movement of Japanese pop artists inspired by both traditional Japanese arts and popular culture in the form of anime and manga.

Murakami’s work blurs the line between commercial illustration and fine art, perhaps best demonstrated in his work for Louis Vuitton. The art animation/commercial  Superflat Monogram is the beautiful result of this collaboration, and it looks simply stunning in  glorious HD.

In additiona to Superfalt Monogram I’m also featuring two more of Murakami’s video works; Super Flat First Love and KaiKai & Kiki. Enjoy.

You can check out Murakami’s official website here.

Pictures via Nong Jia Nu.

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Butterfly Woman: The Art of Lady Aiko

Art, Comics, Anime & Manga, Inspiration, Japan

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Femme fatales, kimono clad shoujo heroines, horror movie monsters and hello kitty all populate the vibrant art of Lady Aiko. A fine artist who is also a street artist, Lady Aiko’s work is a heady mix pop culture done in a combination of collage, stenciling, silk screening and hand painting.

Yet despite diverse influences her work is instantly recognizable, with imagery linked together by the themes of her work; femininity, sexuality and the beauty of human life. The repetition of motifs as well the combination of unexpected and ‘hidden’ imagery creates works that seems larger than the sum of their parts.

Visit her official website here.

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Beautiful Dolls from Souldoll

Comics, Anime & Manga, Design, Inspiration, Japan

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I’m not very knowledgeable about ball-jointed dolls in general, but I can’t help but love these from the Korean company Souldoll. Their dolls have beautiful features, slightly exaggerated but still relatively realistic. I love using these photo’s as reference for my own artworks.

They also clothe their dolls in some fabulous fairy-tale outfits, the style is reminiscent of lolita but they push it to the extreme to create really exceptional outfits. It’s like doll couture.

You can visit their official website here.

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Sensual Figures by Audrey Kawasaki

Art, Comics, Anime & Manga, Inspiration, Japan

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Audrey Kawasaki is a Japanese artist known for her beautiful and erotic paintings done on wood; her trademark material. The wood grain works well with Kawasaki’s elegant linework and delicately modeled characters. While you can definitely see the influence of Art Nouveau, Kawasaki’s work has is own sensual appeal.

Click here for her official website.

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Sci-Fi Samurai by Tenmyouya Hisashi

Art, Comics, Anime & Manga, Inspiration, Japan, Traditional Japan

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Tenmyouya Hisashi is a Japanese artist creating “Neo Nihonga” or  “Neo Japanese painting”, contemporary art which combines classical Japanese painting techniques with subject matter from pop culture.

His works are created with a foreign audience in mind and Tenmyouya plays off Western perceptions of Japan. Imagery is taken from the media; from video games to science fiction and martial arts movies , and then pushed to the extreme.

Visit his official website here.
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Kaiseki Ryori: Japanese Haute Cuisine

Inspiration, Japan, Traditional Japan

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Kaiseki Ryori is traditional Japanese multi-course cuisine originating from the tradition of the tea ceremony. Although kaiseki has now evloved into the luxurious food of banquets, cha-kaiseki is still served to precede the chaji tea ceremony.

Kaiseki courses include different methods of preparation; raw, grilled, fried and deep-fried. Fresh seasonal ingredients are used and plates are decorated with garnish reflecting the seasons; maple leaves in autumn and cherry blossoms in spring. In this way kaiseki retains some of the contemplative nature of the tea ceremony, a reminder of the transience of life with each course meant to be savored to the fullest.

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Georgeous Cinematography in Sakuran

Design, Inspiration, Japan, Photography, Traditional Japan

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Sakuran was the directorial début of photographer Mika Ninagawa and was based on the manga by the same name. The film has some exceptional cinematography, not to mention gorgeous sets and costumes in rich jewel colors. Although the movie does lag in places, it’s much too pretty to miss if you have any interest in oiran or geisha.

Pics via AsiaBeam.

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Beautiful Images by Natala Kantala

Art, Comics, Anime & Manga, Design, Inspiration, Japan

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Simply superb art by Japanese illustrator Natala Kantala. The combination of delicate linework, detailed backgrounds and beautiful colors make for work that is top class.

Click here for his official website.

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Silence Television: The Work of Gianmarco Magnani

Art, Comics, Anime & Manga, Design, Inspiration, Japan

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I love the clean cool lines in these works by artist Gianmarco Magnani aka Silence Television. His works are simple with elegant compositions.

Instead of backgrounds, text and logos are used as decorative elements, adding another layer of meaning to his works. Similarly the band Sixty Watts does not it exist, it’s entirely fictional but serves as the focal-point for Gianmarco Magnani’s music-themed works.

You can check out the Silence Television website here or buy prints at his Society 6 page.

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