Medicom Toy (Japan) introduces Jackson Pollock Bearbricks

Screen Shot 2015-12-31 at 10.14.40 AM

Medicom Toy has tapped Andy Warhol on a number of occasions and now the Japanese toy giant is calling upon another late, great artist: Jackson Pollock.

Featuring 100%, 400%, and 1000% Bearbricks, the collaborative endeavor sees the trio of ursine figures covered in the abstract expressionist’s signature splattered paint motif.

Retailing for ¥1,500 JPY (approximately $12 USD), ¥8,800 JPY (approximately $73 USD), and ¥37,000 JPY (approximately $308 USD) respectively, the Beabricks can be pre-ordered now through January 10, 2016 via Medicom’s web shop, project 1/6 and C.J.MART.

Screen Shot 2015-12-31 at 10.14.44 AMScreen Shot 2015-12-31 at 10.14.42 AM

Banksy “Flower Bomber” by Medicom Toy (Japan)

 

Screen Shot 2015-12-31 at 9.24.50 AM

Japanese toy manufacturer Medicom Toy has launched a collectible inspired by Banksy’s iconic Flower Bomber stencil. After teasing a prototype at its annual Tokyo exhibition in June, the figurine has been produced for retail.

Designed by PERFECT-STUDIO, the toy is constructed of polystone and stands at 360 mm tall. The finished product slightly varies from the all-white prototype seen in the exhibit with bright colors being added to just the flowers — mirroring the tone of the original artwork.

Pre-orders for the piece are available now through January 10 at Medicom Toy’s online store, with shipping slated for May 2016.

Screen Shot 2015-12-31 at 9.24.53 AM

Ai Weiwei gifts politically charged “Letgo Room” LEGO installation to the National Gallery in Melbourne

Ai Weiwei Gifts Politically Charged “Letgo Room” to the NGV Melbourne
Ai Weiwei at National Gallery of Victoria exhibition Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei has gifted his major new installation “Letgo Room” 2015 to the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV). The NGV commissioned the work for its Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei exhibition which opened on December 11 and continues until April 24, 2016.

BlouinArtinfo:

Created using more than two million plastic Lego bricks, the installation comprises twenty portraits Australian activists, advocates and champions of human rights, freedom of speech, freedom of information and freedom of the internet.

Ai established collection points for the Lego bricks around the world earlier in the year, including one at the NGV, after Lego refused to supply him with bricks because the company “cannot approve the use of Legos for political works.”

Portrait subjects include Julian Assange, Geoffrey Robertson QC, Peter Greste, Professor Gillian Triggs, Rosie Batty, The Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG, Archie Roach, Julian Burnside AO QC and Rosalie Kunoth-Monks, among others from a wide range of different fields.

Constructed on the artist’s behalf by a team of almost 100 local volunteers and arts students, the work “attests to Ai’s long-standing commitment to freedom of expression and human rights,” according to the NGV.

Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei includes more 120 than works by Ai Weiwei and over 200 works by Andy Warhol, exploring the full scope of both artists’ practice. The exhibition is presented in association with The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, with the participation of Ai Weiwei Studio.

POW! WOW! Japan (street art festival) 2015 recap

Art collective POW! WOW! has just wrapped up half of its tour of Asia with artists like Case, Fafi, Ben Horton, Kevin Ancell, Omen, Sasu and many more showing their work to the masses.

With dozens of murals painted along the walls of the Tennozu area, crowds poured through to admire the work, marking the event as a resounding success and cementing the showing in an Asian market. Stay tuned for more work as it becomes available.

pwj_bakibaki_monpwj_bakibaki_monpwj_bakibaki_monpwj_bakibaki_monpwj_bakibaki_monpwj_bakibaki_monpwj_bakibaki_monpwj_bakibaki_mon

pwj_bakibaki_monpwj_bakibaki_monpwj_bakibaki_monpwj_bakibaki_monpwj_bakibaki_monpwj_bakibaki_monpwj_bakibaki_mon

The Genbi Shinkansen: Japan’s newest bullet train is the world’s fastest gallery, packed with contemporary art inside and out

GS 0

RocketNews 24 (by Casey Baseel):

From an engineering standpoint, Japan’s famed Shinkansen is already a work of art. Recently, though, the country’s bullet trains have been putting a renewed effort into their appearance, taking inspiration from centuries-old tradition and science-fiction anime.

The latest Shinkansen to be unveiled, though, incorporates design cues more modern than tatami reed floors yet not as futuristic as giant robots. Instead, it’s envisioned as a travelling gallery of contemporary art, allowing for what operator East Japan Railways calls “the world’s fastest art appreciation.”

A special train needs a special name, and the new Shinkansen has been christened Genbi, combining the kanji gen (), meaning “contemporary,” and bi (), “beauty.” The Genbi Shinkansen will run along the Joetsu Shinkansen line between Niigata and Echigo Yuzawa Stations in Niigata Prefecture.

▼ Fittingly, the kanji used in the Genbi Shinkansen’s logo are heavily stylized.

GS 1

Seven of the carriages will be used as art exhibition spaces, with different painters, sculptors, and visual creators represented in each. The contributing artists have been announced as Nao Matsumoto, Yusuke Komuta, Kentaro Kobuke, Naoki Ishikawa, Haruaka Kojin, and Brian Alfred.

GS 2

If you’d like your sense of taste to be stimulated along with your sight, there’s also a cafe. On the menu you’ll find sweets made with rice flour from Niigata’s prized (and pricy) Uonuma-grown Koshihikari rice and butter from dairies on Sadogashima Island.

GS 3

And it’s not like only passengers inside the train will have something pretty to look at, either. The non-windowed side of the Genbi Shinkansen’s exterior is covered with colorful photographs of Niigata’s Nagaoka Fireworks Festival, one of the largest in Japan, taken by photographer Mika Ninagawa.

GS 4

The Genbi Shinkansen goes into service next spring.

InStyle: Hello Kitty is getting her wwn museum exhibit in Seattle this fall

Hello Kitty Is Getting Her Own Museum Exhibit in Seattle This Fall

InStyle (by Tess Kornfeld):

Hello Kitty just turned 40, and she’s celebrating the big milestone by hitting up the West Coast. But she’s not leaving Japan for the sunny beaches of California as you might expect. Instead, our favorite cartoon cat is getting her very own exhibit at the EMP Museum in Seattle, WA.

Starting on November 14, the Hello! Exploring the Supercute World Of Hello Kitty retrospective will be on display, honoring the 40th anniversary of Sanrio‘s bow-wearing and pink-loving pop culture phenomenon—even though we don’t think she looks like she’s aged a day.

The exhibition, which comes straight from the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, will look back at Hello Kitty’s evolution over time. And get ready for some major flashback moments. Among the artwork and pieces featured will be over 600 Hello Kitty products that have been released since the character was just a wee little kitten. Some of the vintage treasures like stationery and the first telephone to feature Hello Kitty go back as far as the 1970s. But the exhibit also features more modern pieces, such as the iconic plush toy-covered Hello Kitty dress worn by Lady Gaga in 2009 (shown above) and a couture bustier that Katy Perry wore to the Brit Awards that same year.

You can catch the fabulous feline’s exhibit in Seattle through May 2016. And the Sanrio star’s East Coast fans may get to join in on the fun soon, too. The brand is hoping to bring the exhibit to additional museums throughout the country, although specific plans have yet to be announced. We’ll be keeping our fingers crossed.

Hello Kitty Doc Martens Boot

“The Gaze of Kitty” by Kazuki Takamatsu

“Kittypatra” by Simone Legno for Tokidoki

Haejin Lee’s unraveling ceramic sculptures 

Haejin Lee - sculpture 4

Beautiful Decay (by Tamara Akcay):

Intertwined strips of ceramics escaping from their original form. Haejin Lee’s abstract sculptures blend perfection and fantasy. A flawless object, face or body part suddenly disintegrates into a uncontrolled harmonized chaos. Fascinated by the indefinite loop of the Mobius strip (a surface with a non orientable property), she brings into her art pieces the transformation of a flat surface into a 3 dimensional rendering. The final piece mirrors two essential aspects for the artist: continuity and infinity.

The dichotomy between perfection and confusion reflects the technical difficulties the artist had to face while conceptualizing the pieces. In order to get a steady work of art, she had to anticipate the weight of the strips once dried and heated. Often created in monochromatic tones, the plain colors add intensity to the sculptures.
Haejin Lee is inviting us to interpret the passage from reality to surrealism. As if the strips, bandages of our exterior enveloppe had to fly away in order to reveal the essence of our souls, imagination and creativity. By acknowledging that the pieces were ‘almost impossible to balance’, the artist insists on the difficulty yet essential need for individuals to unconsciously or not; define their equilibrium.

Discover the work of Haejin Lee, her abstract sculptures and her tableware collection on herwebsite and Instagram

Haejin Lee - sculpture 5

Haejin Lee - sculpture 1

Haejin Lee - sculpture 6

Haejin Lee - sculpture 8Haejin Lee - sculpture 2Haejin Lee - sculpture 7Haejin Lee - sculpture 3Haejin Lee - sculpture 9

Ikenaga Yasunari’s dream-like paintings of women using the traditional Japanese style of Nihonga

Ikenaga Yasunari - Painting

Beautiful Decay (by Hayley Evans): 

Ikenaga Yasunari paints tranquil portraits of women immersed in elegant floral patterns. His work is a curious blend of traditional Japanese-style paintings (nihonga) and modern imagery. Whereas nihonga manifests itself in Yasunari’s bold, monochromatic contrasts and the absence of outlines in the patterns, the subjects are all donned in modern clothing, and their hair and makeup also convey a distinctly contemporary style. Yasunari’s chosen materials are based in tradition, involving a combination of sumi-ink (soot ink) and mineral pigments painted on linen cloth. In exploring modern subjects using traditional techniques, he reinvests an older cultural, artistic practice with an ongoing significance.

The beauty of Yasunari’s work arrives in the interplay between complexity and serenity; much like Gustav Klimt’s decorative paintings wherein patterns coalesce around a highlighted female figure, Yasunari’s works strike a balance between the undulating, seamless background and the subject embraced in its flow. The gentle sepia tones likewise enhance the paintings’ quiet, almost autumnal, atmosphere. Blending gentle imagery with harmonious compositions, Yasunari’s works are meditative portraits embodying youth, reverie, and dreams.

Visit Yasunari’s website to view more of his works.

Ikenaga Yasunari - Painting

Ikenaga Yasunari - Painting

Ikenaga Yasunari - PaintingIkenaga Yasunari - PaintingIkenaga Yasunari - PaintingIkenaga Yasunari - PaintingIkenaga Yasunari - PaintingIkenaga Yasunari - PaintingIkenaga Yasunari - PaintingIkenaga Yasunari - Painting

Sonya Fu’s digital dreamscape paintings

Sonya Fu - PaintingBeautiful Decay (by Stephanie Chan):

Sonya Fu’s digital paintings seek to open the third eye and unlock the limbo between wakefulness and sleep. Rendered in soft vibrant colors, her characters are lit up, though from within or without we are uncertain. Shapes and bubbles of light play on their faces, like projections from an unknown dimension. Their half-closed dreaming eyes add to the eerie yet somehow peaceful quality of the paintings, as though we’re witnessing some mystical wandering of the mind.

Art is a powerful visual language and creating art is a calming and therapeutic process,” Fu says. “I would like to share with people my dreamscape, its beauty and its oddity.

It might be an eerie creature, a whimsical scenery or a disturbed beauty who speaks words of wisdom – they are all embodiments of my subconscious mind.

Sonya Fu - Painting

Sonya Fu - Painting

Sonya Fu - Painting

Sonya Fu - PaintingSonya Fu - PaintingSonya Fu - PaintingSonya Fu - PaintingSonya Fu - PaintingSonya Fu - Painting