30.07.15 by Jeff

Trippy Animation of the Day: Hiraoka Masanobu’s Spectacular New Short

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Japanese animator Hiraoka Masanobu returns with another mind-melting surreal feast for the eyes. Masanobu’s style is so recognizable now and yet the films remain as unpredictable as they always were. Watch the animation below.

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28.07.15 by Staff

Artist Spotlight: Naomi Okubo

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Wonderfully detailed paintings by Japanese artist Naomi Okubo. More images of Okubo’s work below!

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22.07.15 by Staff

Star Wars Japanese Woodblock Prints

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“Rhythm Force” is a project attempting to renew interest in the traditional Japanese craft of Ukiyo-e (woodblock printing) by replacing the folk-tale imagery typically depicted with scenes from Star Wars. Artist Masumi Ishikawa designed the prints and master engravers carved the wood blocks.

Limited edition prints of three hand-carved compositions are available through the Japanese crowdfunding site Makuake. See more images from the project below!

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15.07.15 by Staff

Hayao Miyazaki Un-retires

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Studio Ghibli founder and iconic animator Hayao Miyazaki is working on a 3D animation about a caterpillar named Boro! The only hitch: the ten minute short will take about three years to make. And once it’s finished it’ll be screening exclusively at the Studio Ghibli museum in Japan.

“I intend to work until the day I die. I retired from feature-length films but not from animation. Self-indulgent animation,” he said at the time in reference to his short films for the Ghibli Museum. He added then that while neither CG animation or hand-drawn animation is better than the other, he fears the latter is dying.

“I think talent decides everything. More than the method, what’s important is the talent using it. There’s nothing inherently wrong or right about a method, whether it be pencil drawings or 3-D CG. Pencil drawings don’t have to go away, but those who continue to use the medium lack talent. So sadly, it will fade away” – Hayao Miyazaki (source)

09.07.15 by Jeff

Tokujin Yoshioka’s Tornado: 2 Million Straws

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Tokujin Yoshioka’s first solo-exhibition in Kyushu features “Tornado”, an installation created using more than 2 million transparent straws, which sprawls across the entire gallery enveloping his other works. See more images below!

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22.06.15 by Jeff

Japanese Photographer Kiyoshimachine

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Photos by Fukuoka, Japan-based photographer Kiyoshimachine. More below.

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17.06.15 by Staff

Music Video: “King” by Grades

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Official video for “King” was awarded Video of the Day by VOTD.tv. Directed by Taichi Kimura, with animations by Rapparu, Grades’ video features Laika Takasu as a little girl living out her superhero fantasies, anime style. Watch the highly adorable video below!

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02.06.15 by Jeff

An Interview with Tokyo-Based Illustrator Wakana Yamazaki

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Our first-ever Booooooom t-shirt is for sale until Thursday! 3 more days and then it’s gone forever! Purchase it here.

The artist behind the design is Tokyo-based illustrator Wakana Yamazaki. We commissioned her to create a graphic in her wildly original style, and this junk food man was exactly what we were hoping for! Below is a short interview with Wakana.

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Jeff Hamada: Where are you living right now, and what’s your favourite thing about living there?

Wakana Yamazaki: I live in Chiba Prefecture. Favourite thing is a lot of friends are living near and easy to commute to the workplace in Tokyo.

JH: Do you like natto? I love it, but lots of my Japanese friends hate it.

WY: It has strong unique smell, but I love it! I buy natto rolls for lunch as well.

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JH: Have you traveled much outside of Japan?

WY: I sometimes go for a trip to Asia because the travel expenses are low. I plan to go to Vietnam with a friend next year.

JH: Vietnam is amazing I was there a year ago! What do you and your friends do for fun in Chiba?

WY: I envy you! Did you go to Suoi Tien Theme Park in Vietnam? I really want to go there. In Chiba, I go to music festivals and Disneyland, and the big flea market is fun. And it’s fun to create together at friend’s house.

JH: I didn’t go to the theme park – next time! Can you describe the last dream you had?

WY: I could not remember it well, but I often have dreams that usually mix B movies.

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JH: What’s your favourite B movie?

WY: “Terror Vision” “Killer Klowns from Outer Space” Both movies I like are silly.

JH: You have a very unique illustrative style! Something about it reminds me of the Beatles’ Yellow Submarine animation (which was done by a Canadian animator, George Dunning). What things are influencing your work?

WY: I was influenced by Seymour Chwast of the push pin studios. His old picture book is colorful and graphical, and it’s really great. I like psychedelic illustrations of the 70’s and 60’s, and comics of Guy Peellaert. Of course I also love Yellow Submarine animation.

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JH: I would love to see your work animated, is this something you’ve ever though about?

WY: Of course, I’d be really glad if it comes true. When drawing the work, it seems that it’s moving in my head. I’d like to visualize it.

JH: What are some Tokyo-based bands I should check out?

WY: Well, I don’t hear so much Japanese music. A metal band I like is “Ningen Isu”. I recommend it to heavy metal fans.

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JH: Do you do illustration as a full-time job? Or you have another job too?

WY: I work as a freelance illustrator while doing the work of the design in a company.

JH: Can we end this interview with a quote that you like?

WY: A Japanese proverb “好きこそ物の上手なれ”. “Nothing is impossible to a willing mind.”

 

Wakana Yamazaki on Tumblr

Wakana Yamazaki on Instagram