FILM | TSUNEO GODA + SADE RELEASE ANIMATED SHORT FILM “BY YOUR SIDE” TO BENEFIT THE CHILDREN OF JAPAN’S GREAT EARTHQUAKE

March 11, 2014  |  Animation, art, Film, Japan  |  Comments Off

By Your Side - Sade & Goda Tsuneo/dwarf, the studio behind Domo-kun from Zapuni on Vimeo.

In an attempt to raise awareness of the needs of Japanese children who have been traumatised by the devastating impact of the Great Eastern Japan earthquake of 2011, the creatives at Zapuni today released the new animated short film “By Your Side” on the third anniversary of the earthquake. Two years in the making, musician Sade, animator Tsuneo Goda, and filmmakers Dwarf and Gregory Rood came up with this little gem to express a feeling of love and solidarity with the affected children of this natural disaster. Watch now and support at Zapuni.com Read More

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JAPAN///NEWS///GIANT GUNDAM STATUE TO TOWER OVER TOKYO THIS SUMMER

April 8, 2009  |  art, Cool Shit, Japan, News  |  Comments Off

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A 59-foot-tall "life-size" statue of  the legendary GUNDAM robot is scheduled be built at Shiokaze Park on Tokyo's artificial Odaiba island this July as part of BANDAI’s "Mobile Suit Gundam 30th Anniversary Project." The statue will be a perfectly accurate rendition of the original RX-78-2 Gundam model from the 1979 anime series constructed of fiberglass-reinforced plastic over a steel frame. In an effort to awe children and induce heart attacks in the elderly, the robot will feature an automated moving head unit, and a body that emits light at 50 individual points and shoots mist from 14 different orifices. Following last week’s missile launch over the island nation by North Korea, Japanese officials are reportedly in talks with Bandi’s top brass to dispatch the fighting robot to the hermit kingdom to grapple with Kim Jong Il on his home turf. Not to be outdone, US officials are said to be considering outfitting the statue of Lincoln in DC with his own battle suit and steaming light show…

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The forthcoming life sized Gundam in "light show" mode...

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The slightly less imposing bronze Gundam statue outside Shinjuku's Kamiigusa Station in Tokyo proves Japan's distaste for presidential statuary...

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SPAIN///FIRST LOOK///TAKASHI MURAKAMI AT THE GUGGENHEIM BILBAO

March 12, 2009  |  art, First Look, Japan, Murakami, News, Openings, Spain, Video  |  Comments Off

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As Japanese Pop Art master TAKASHI MURAKAMI's retrospective "© Murakami" show continues on its epic world tour, the grandiose GUGGENHEIM BILBAO museum plays host to its latest and most daunting stop to date. Settling into the swooping Frank Gehry-skinned art palace, the show—fresh off its recent stop in Frankfurt, Germany—replicates its general outlay previously established at the initial MoCA LA, and Brooklyn Museum stops, but this time the artist's epic painted and sculptural works are finally housed in a venue as aesthetically compelling as the whole of Murakami's oeuvre. HAVE A LOOK: Read More

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FILM///”TRAVELING WITH YOSHITOMO NARA” BY KOJI SAKABE

March 11, 2009  |  art, Film, Japan, Nara, News, Video  |  Comments Off

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NYC///FIRST LOOK///YOSHITOMO NARA ROCKS MARIANNE BOESKY GALLERY

March 11, 2009  |  art, First Look, Japan, Nara, News, Openings, Uncategorized  |  Comments Off

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Japanese art sensation (he’s bigger than Murakami in his native land) YOSHITOMO NARA brought some much-needed heat to NYC last week with his eponymous new show of paintings, drawings and large-scale constructions at MARIANNE BOESKY GALLERY. Forming the centerpiece of the exhibition is a pair of large “Smurf houses” that double as mini art studios that were executed in conjunction with installation artists GRAF, who, together with Nara form the collective YNG (Yoshitomo Nara + Graf). Constructed from reclaimed wood, the forms of the two immense sculptures recall stylized tannenbaums, with their roof shingling evoking exaggerated tree needles. Small cutout windows and hanging lights punctuate the sculptures, providing them with the feel of a house or some surreal abode. The structures are hollow and present interiors replete with drawings and paintings all created in the artist's hand, and with a multitude of stuffed animals from fans selected by the artist. Though Nara has previously exhibited these types of moveable spaces before, the dwellings in this exhibition have a quieted sentiment to them. Each object within feels carefully considered in its placement. The frenzy of personal effects including photographs, CDs and beer cans, all evoking the turmoil and inspiration in the artist studio, has been removed. Instead the stillness of the structures, with their looming spires, presents a protective shell to the interiors. Though possible to peer into the structures and glimpse their holdings, they cannot be entered and the viewer must be content to remain on the exterior. The paintings, rendered on both canvas and wooden billboards, depict lone portraits of dreamy-eyed figures. Pencil and colored pencil drawings on found envelopes and discarded papers similarly parse the psychological landscape of their subjects. A dedicated rock fanatic Nara’s opening included live performances by Japanese bands by OORUTAICHI and M.A.G.O., proving that normally stuffy Gotham art openings can indeed rock and or roll. Nara is yet another artist participating in the "Stages" charity art show to benefit LANCE ARMSTRONG's anti-cancer LIVESTRONG foundation during his run in this year's Tour de France. Keep an eye on ST for more details coming soon. Meanwhile, HAVE A LOOK: Read More

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LA///YOSHITOMO NARA IN THE WILD WILD WEST

January 9, 2009  |  art, Japan, LA, News, Openings  |  Comments Off

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One of the Southland's finest shows of the New Year is actually one that opened very quietly on the cusp of last year's holiday season and probably got lost in the shuffle along the way. Simply put, YOSHITOMO NARA's eponymous show of new paintings, drawings, and large scale sculpture at Culver City's venerable BLUM & POE GALLERY is an incredible collection that locals should run, not walk, to see. Nestled among the artist's trademark renderings of Keane-eyed boys and girls in a variety of media sits a full-scale prairie-style wild west wagon filled to the brim with drawings, canned food, and vintage tchotchkes as a centerpiece, succinctly exemplifying Nara's fascination the West and all that it represents. Make no mistake; the show is a knockout on all fronts with Nara operating at the top of his game in all media, especially in a series of black & white drawings that exhibit some of his finest linework to date. A closing date of February 7th comes as a godsend indeed for his legion of fans who have yet to make the pilgrimage. HAVE A LOOK: Read More

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FILM///FIRST LOOK: ASTRO BOY THE MOVIE

December 3, 2008  |  Animation, Film, First Look, Icons & Legends, Japan, News, Otaku  |  Comments Off

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A curiously shirted Astro Boy runs out to kick Speed Racer's ass...

2009 is gonna be a huge year for otaku Anime & Manga fans when the legendary ASTRO BOY finally hits the big screen in modern computer animated form in an eponymous feature based the highly successful Japanese franchise by OSAMU TEZUKA. Nicolas Cage's inclusion in the film as voice "talent" will surely be a low point but hopefully they don't mess this flick up completely. We need something to redeem last year's "Speed Racer" fiasco bad...

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TOKYO///DESIGN///LOVING THE HONDA PUYO: A CAR WITH NO EDGES THAT GLOWS IN THE DARK

October 7, 2008  |  Autorama, Design, Japan, Kustom Kulture, News  |  Comments Off

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HONDA's wondrous soft glow-in-the-dark egg of a concept car with the dirtiest name of all time, the "PUYO," has been making the car show rounds for a minute now but our fascination remains undiminished. Created entirely without hard edges, inside and out, the new Japanese family commuter pod operates without a steering wheel (a gamer-friendly joystick handles the "directionality"), runs on an advanced hydrogen fuel cell, is enclosed by a totally transparent dome, is surrounded by a silicone "gel body" that literally glows in the dark, and contains an interior that spins a full 360 degrees so that the car never needs to reverse. It also flys and swims underwater. Not really, that doesn't kick in till the 2011 model. HAVE A LOOK: Read More

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JAPAN///TOYBOX///USUGROW AT THE VADER PROJECT…

July 22, 2008  |  art, Art & Commerce, Japan, News, Tokyo, Toybox  |  Comments Off

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Ewoks and George's last 3 movies made us hate Star Wars but Usugrow's gangster Darth brought us back... 

If you're like us the last thing you wanna look at is another painted toy/object show. Keeping that in mind, we couldn't help but be stoked to catch a look at the ill work of our boy USUGROW at the Japan touchdown of the VADER PROJECT 2008 at MAKUHARI-MESSE in Chiba this weekend. Lending his signature black ink linestyle and to-die-for lettering to a creamy vanilla Darth Vader helmet (a real one at that) for the show honoring the 3oth anniversary of Star Wars in Japan, the mysterious artist proved that there's still fresh blood in the murky waters of this tired genre. Other good looks came from amazing Japanese toy sculptor T9G, and an amazing Vader as samurai helmet. Of course the hoards of Japanese otaku nerd girls in stormtrooper uniforms wasn't too hard on the eyes. Now the only scary thing is knowing that a painted Han Solo-in-Carbonite sculpture show is undoubtedly on the horizon. HAVE A LOOK: Read More

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TOKYO///ART & COMMERCE///CHANEL’S MOBILE ART MUSEUM HITS JAPAN…

June 4, 2008  |  art, Art Crimes, Art Stunts, Japan, News, Openings  |  Comments Off

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Karl Lagerfeld's spaceship has finally landed, and P-Funk is the house band...

As big companies struggle to find new ways to connect the dots between their brands and the art world, OG fashion giant CHANEL has boldly gone where few have been able to afford to go before and created their own incredible traveling UFO-like art museum dubbed the "CHANEL CONTEMPORARY ART CONTAINER" which has just touched down in Tokyo's Yoyogi Park near the hipster hub of the Harajuku subway station. And what does this incredible land-based flying object house, you might ask? Why an obligatory self-congratulating collection of original art pieces by 20 international artists including (among others) YOKO ONO, THE BLUE NOSES, DAVID LEVENTHAL, DANIEL BUREN, LEE BUL, NOBUYOSHI ARAKI, PIERRE et GILLES, and STEPHEN SHORE, of course, all paying homage to the couture house's signature product, the Chanel quilted purse. While we can think of fewer items less inspiring to build a traveling art exhibition around, we're more than impressed by architectural futurist ZAHA HADID's incredible modular spaceship-like structure that was commissioned by the company's chief creative director and resident Earthbound alien, KARL LAGERFELD. With stops scheduled in New York, London, Moscow, and Paris through 2010, there's a good chance a great deal of well-heeled aficionados will get their chance to prowl the pod's Kubrick-ian white corridors and possibly even be granted an audience with the mobile museum's resident MC, Hal. HAVE A LOOK: Read More

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