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.
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.
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.
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 (現), meaning “contemporary,” and bi (美), “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.
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.
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.
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.
The Genbi Shinkansen goes into service next spring.
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.”
Beautiful Decay (by Christina Nafziger):
Artist Soo Kim severs, cuts, and reconstructs photographs until they become a more ethereal, delicate version of what they once were. Kim’s work portrays buildings fading away, and creates new geometric forms from different objects. Her cityscapes turn into beautiful framework of a concrete jungle after she slices them into their new form. They become a new, unique style of architecture and design that is created from layers of hand altered and manipulated photographs. Her highly architectural work examines these manmade forms in the midst of their environments. She often snips away at the manmade structures, but leaves the lush landscape in the background alone.
Often using photographs of scenes from different cities all over the world, these once extremely diverse places now are stripped down to their bones where they look somewhat similar. Soo Kim’s hand-cut structures unify these contrasting places, creating a balance of harmony. The incisions in her layered and cut two-dimensional work form a sense of volume, a three-dimensional element is added with her manipulation of foreground and background. Soo Kim’s art can often be more abstract, creating more vividly colored work with the same incredible cutting technique. Not always focused on architecture and manmade structures, the artist’s body of work also includes several ephemeral scenes of nature. With a light and airy palette, her tree branches droop, curve, and jut out of the composition in every direction, creating an amazing sense of depth.
Make sure to check out more of her work on Angles Gallery’s website, where she is represented.
Contemporary Japanese artist Takashi Murakami will be the latest to show his own private collection to the public, linking up with the Yokohama Museum of Art to present “Takashi Murakami’s Superflat Collection.”
Taking its name from the postmodern art movement Murakami himself founded, the exhibition promises to display a unique and diverse range of pieces from the likes of Edo period painter Soga Shōhaku, the multitalented Rosanjin, fellow modern pop artist Yoshitomo Nara and German painter and sculptor Anselm Kiefer.
Tickets for the display will be on sale from October 2 until November 30 while the “Superflat Collection” will officially open January 30, 2016 and remain on display through April 3.
Yokohama Museum of Art
3-4-1, Minatomirai, Nishi-ku, Yokohama
This exhibition is the first large-scale public showing of the renowned contemporary Japanese artist Takashi Murakami’s private collection centered around contemporary art.
Murakami (b. 1962) received the first PhD in Nihonga (Japanese Painting) to be granted by the Tokyo University of the Arts Graduate School of Fine Arts and has since come to be known worldwide for his extremely polished works blending contemporary art and traditional Japanese painting, high culture and pop culture, East and West. He has held a number of solo exhibitions at prestigious museums around the world.
While energetically pursuing his creativity as an artist, Murakami has also been active as a critic, curator, gallerist, and producer. In recent years, in particular, he has become an avid collector, acquiring a wide variety of artworks in and out of Japan with a perceptive eye and unique aesthetic sensibility. This little known collection, while loosely focused on contemporary art, includes old Japanese and Asian artifacts, European antiques, contemporary pottery, and folk art and crafts. Murakami’s guiding concept of Superflat not only refers to formal aspects he identifies with Japanese art, such as flatness of the picture plane and decorativeness, but also extends to a view of art that rejects hierarchical divisions between different artistic genres or eras and frees artistic activities from definitional boundaries. It is a dynamic, expansive concept that applies to the entirety of the artist’s life and activity as he wrestles with the big question, “What is art?” from various angles.
This exhibition of Murakami’s unique collection, with its overwhelming quantity and diversity, will provide an insight into the sources of the artist’s aesthetic ideas, the nature of art and desire, and the mechanisms that create value in contemporary society, while also encouraging viewers to question art’s conventional context.
The ’60s are alive with this new release from pop culture toy company Medicom Toy, featuring American artist Andy Warhol. The figure cleverly showcases Andy’s faultless style from the 1960s, complete with his signature shades, leather jacket, faded jeans and brown leather shoes.
Available in both 400% and 1000% sizes, Andy will be available for pre-order within Japan starting July 24 to August 10, for approximately $75 USD and $290 USD respectively.
Ai Weiwei will now be able to leave China for the first time in four years as the controversial artist has had his passport returned to him by the Chinese government. Weiwei first had his passport revoked back in 2011 after being arrested and placed under house arrest for 81 days in relation to allegations of tax evasion — just one of his countless run-ins with the regime. At the time of his arrest, the incident saw the artist pleading via video for the return of the passport while fans and protesters launched an “Ai Can’t Be Here” campaign to draw attention to the predicament.
Speaking to The Guardian, Weiwei said he plans to go to Germany to visit his 6-year-old son while the newly-bestowed freedom came completely out of the blue:
I have no idea why. This is not something I can say… I feel pleased. This was something that needed to be done… I think they should have given it back some time ago and maybe after so many years they understand me better.