Archives for posts with tag: Japan

Autumn is finally upon us, and time for all things pumpkin spice (don’t get us started), as well as corn mazes and such. Which got us thinking… have you ever seen rice paddy art? Originating in Japan, rice paddy art is achieved when people plant rice of various types and colors to create giant pictures in a paddy field. Inakadate, a Japanese village in the prefecture of Aomori is thought to be the birthplace of this fascinating art form that dates back not thousands of years, but to the early 1990s. As a way to revitalize their village, officials of Inakadate decided to cleverly capitalize on a natural resource of 2,000+ years as a way to boost tourism and celebrate their culture. Since then stunning aerial masterpieces have been created year after year, gaining Inakadate recognition not only through local tourism but also through astounded onlookers by way of the internet (much like yourself). Media company Great Big Story, with their uncanny ability to tell stories, recently produced a beautifully shot piece profiling Inakadate, which garnered their stunning landscape and ingenuity further attention.

Via greatbigstory.com and vill.inakadate.lg.jp

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It is often said that art has a way of transporting viewers, whether conjuring past memories or sometimes through the immersion of visual stimulation. In the case of London-based Japanese photographer Chino Otsuka, such transport is a bit more literal, and turned on herself as both photographer and subject. Otsuka’s series Imagine Finding Me is a sort of conceptual time machine, where she digitally inserts herself into childhood photos. In her own words, Otsuka says, “A new journey has begun, on board a time machine built from digital tools. I’m traveling back, transported to places where I once belonged, cities where I once visited and on arrival I find myself from the past. Navigating through the labyrinth of memory I become a tourist of my own history. And throughout this unique journey I keep a diary.” We are absolutely taken with the concept, but it’s Otsuka’s adept skills with said digital tools that really make this series shine. In the hands of a less capable photographer, this would not have been nearly as effective. Huge success any way you look at it.

Via chino.co.uk

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Chalking has been growing in popularity for years, in part due to the increased visibility of incredible artists like Dana Tanamachi (here) and others (here and here). There seems to be a mini movement in Japan right now involving blackboards and chalk (more here). As the saying goes, “everything old is new again”, blackboards, which are now being replaced with whiteboards, possess a sort of novelty these days. Hirotaka Hamasaki, aka Hamacream, is a Japanese art teacher with incredible skills and thousands of Instagram followers. His ability to recreate intricate familiar works of art (on a chalkboard, no less) is just stunning. Though the impermanence of this medium is a bit unnerving to us (we’d want to preserve these works for a long time), they are no less brilliantly executed for having been created with chalk. Truly inspiring.

Via Instagram and Twitter

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Japanese artist and student Hikaru Cho seems to employ her stellar artistic skills with a single purpose: illusion. Whether it be illustration, body painting, or sculpture, Cho aims to woo viewers with deception… in a (usually) playful, lighthearted manner, of course. Her work can be a bit unnerving at times… adding extra eyes, misplacing ears, etc. On the other hand, she also likes to play with food, disguising one food as another, for example. No matter that subject matter, Cho’s work certainly intrigues. Her personality shines through, which is impressive considering her tremendous skill set. It’s hard to believe she’s still a student! Cho certainly has a bright future ahead… we’re going to keep an eye on her.

Via hikarucho.com

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We’ve seen the work of Russian artist Eiko Ojala before, and it’s really special. His latest piece, a landscape, certainly qualifies. He’s clearly expanded his repertoire from colorful portraits to a more detailed and illustrative style, complete with shadows. Simply awesome.

Via Behance

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