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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
Hammerhead Studio in Yokohama, Japan closed in 2014 but this new interactive installation by Lens gives a unique take on what used to be. Shot from above in ultra high resolution video, Giraffe’s Eye allows you to see the daily routines of the artists who inhabited the building with a simple touch of a screen. Really cool idea! See more images and video below.
Here’s a video from a Japanese show about people repairing old things. This episode features Nobuo Okano, a man who has been restoring old books for more than 30 years, breathing new life into a customer’s old English-Japanese dictionary for his daughter.
This is so Japanese, I love it. Thanks to photographer Valerie Chiang for passing this along to me. Watch the clip below!
New York-based filmmaker Erik Shirai successfully funded his documentary, The Birth of Saké, through Kickstarter and it recently screened at Tribeca (Variety gave it a great review here). The film explores how saké is made at a family-owned Japanese brewery named Tedorigawa. It looks beautiful and sad. Watch the official trailer below.
Nobumichi Asai and a team of digital designers and make-up artists return with a new video expanding on their “Omote” real-time face tracking and 3D projection mapping idea. They now refer to this as “face hacking”. This kind of technology will be amazing for live performances, watch the video below.
There’s an element to this story that is quite delightful but it also has the makings of an epic horror movie. Nagoro is a small village in the mountains of southern Japan, now home to three times as many life-sized scarecrows as people. The dolls are being made by 65-year old Tsukimi Ayano, who moved back to Nagoro after years of being away to take care of her father. Ayano has slowly replaced residents, who’ve either moved away or died, with a whimsical scarecrow.
The 35 remaining residents are now vastly outnumbered by the dolls and living in what has to be the most surreal village during the day, and pretty much my worst nightmare at night.
The image above gets creepier the more I look at it. Have a look at more images from Nagoro below.