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Yamato-e Metropolis: The Work of Akira Yamaguchi

Art, Inspiration, Japan

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Akira Yamaguchi is a master of the traditional techniques of classical Japanese painting or Yamato-e. But while the style is reminiscent of Hokusai and Hiroshige, Yamagushi’s the subject matter is not. In its place are surreal and discordant metropolises in which the old fuses with the new. In some of Yamaguchi’s works the classical style initially fools the eye, until you notice elements that are out of place: machinery, guns and trucks.

In many ways these metropolises reflect the realities of Japan today. Yamaguchi argues that since  the Meiji Era Japan has embraced Western ideas to the detriment of it’s own traditional culture. Seen in this context Yamaguchi’s work takes on new meaning; are these traditional paintings being “invaded” by elements which don’t belong, or are the two really fusing together?

The level of detail in his large-scale cityscapes is staggering. Some of these paintings are 2½ meters across, and they feel truly monumental. It’s hard to admire on a computer screen so make sure to click on the images to view them as large as possible.

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Dark Desires by Bruno Dayan

Design, Fashion, Inspiration, Photography

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This is post continues from the last to feature more work from fashion photographer Bruno Dayan. These works are darker and are more blatantly erotic, but in all of them you can see Dayan’s skill as a photographer.

Click here for the first post, Beautiful Dreams by Bruno Dayan.

Or check out Dayan’s official website here.

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Beautiful Dreams by Bruno Dayan

Design, Fashion, Inspiration, Photography

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Bruno Dayan has an amazing portfolio, filled with professional work. This is some of the best fashion photography I’ve seen in a while, and Dayan plays confidently with light and shadow, adjusting his style to suit each shoot. These particular photo’s have the soft and dreamlike atmosphere which I associate with mori girl fashion.

Part two showcases some Dayan’s darker work.

Or check out Dayan’s official site here.

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Delicate Illustration by Keeggy

Art, Comics, Anime & Manga, Design, Japan

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Keeggy is a Japanese illustrator with a distinctive soft and delicate style. Her doll-like characters almost seem to float through the dreamy and surreal images. Lolita and Mori Girl fashions show a definite influence in these works, not only in the clothing but in the complete aesthetic.

You can visit her official website here.

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Vogue: Alice in Wonderland

Design, Fashion, Inspiration, Photography

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Annie Leibovitz did this great Alice In Wonderland inspired spread for Vogue in December 2003. Russian Natalia Vodianova models as a very haute couture Alice in these simple and beautiful shots.  My favorite picture in the series is definitely the Mad Hatter’s tea party. Enjoy.

Via link.

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Sweet with an Aftertaste: The Work of Natalia Fabia

Art, Inspiration, Japan

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Natalia Fabia is an accomplished painter whose work focuses on “hookers”, sultry independent women who are nevertheless real people. Using her friends as reference and painting with an almost obsessive degree of detail Fabia grounds her work . But it’s the reality of Los Angeless , of decadent fantasy made reality: sweet but with an aftertaste.

Check out her official website here.

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Nightmare Landscapes in Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Comics, Anime & Manga, Design, Inspiration, Japan

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Puella Magi Madoka Magica is an anime that’s revisited the genre of magical girl anime and taken it to a much darker place. This is reflected in the series distinctive art style; while the normal world is depicted in Shaft’s usual clean style, the girls have to enter nightmarish labyrinths to fight witches.

The trouble taken with the art direction really shows and  each labyrinth has its own distinct look and feel. Unexpected elements are combined and brought together in elaborate collage like images that are both beautiful and disturbing. Even things that should be cute or silly, like moustached cotton balls, become sinister in this environment. It’s sweet surreal eye candy.

 

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Comic Heroes and B-Movies: The Work of Boneface

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

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Boneface combines imagery from video games, comics and b-movies to create beautiful work with a bold, pop feel. He’s gotten a lot of attention  with his portraits of beat up superheroes, but his larger portfolio has a lot of other great works as well.

Check out his official website here.

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Extreme Cute: Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s PONPONPON

Design, Fashion, Inspiration, Japan

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Kyary Pamyu Pamyu (aka Carrie) is a self-made celebrity. She started as a blogger and has quickly rose to fame. She’s now released he first music video  for her début single “PONPONPON”.

The video is an ode to Harakujuku cute, and the quirky celebrity teamed up with  Sebastian Masuda, of the fashion brand 6% DOKIDOKI, to create this eye-popping video. The bright colors and overload of American kitsch are all hallmarks of Masuda’s brand of “extreme kawaii” and blend well with Kyary’s own style of cute with a side of bizarre. The song is also pretty good.

PONPONPON will be featured on Kyary’s debut mini-album “Moshi Moshi Harajuku” (“Hello Harajuku”), which is due to be released August 17, 2011. Till then you can enjoy this video.

Via Tokyo Fashion.

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Beautiful Girls by Range Murata

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

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Range Murata is a Japanese illustrator known for the high level of detail and technical skill of his work. He’s also worked as a character designer and done conceptual work for various anime including Last Exile and Blue Submarine No. 6.

Check out his official site here.

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