27.01.15 by Jeff

Foam Magazine #40 After Araki / Heaven and Hell

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In my opinion, the most beautiful photography publication on the planet right now is Foam Magazine (and has been for awhile). There is no one touching them, not even close. This gorgeous issue “After Araki / Heaven and Hell” features contemporary Japanese photographers whose work has been directly influenced by Nobuyoshi Araki.

I took a whole bunch of photos of the issue, and rather than try to describe how amazing it looks I’ll just let you peek inside and make up your own mind. As far as magazines go, it ain’t cheap, but it’s less than you’d spend on any art book.

Thank you to the crew at Foam, the issues you send over are always the highlight of my week. Take a look inside “After Araki / Heaven and Hell” below.

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02.01.15 by Jeff

Future Technology: “Face-Hacking” Real-Time Face Tracking and 3D Projection Mapping

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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.

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16.12.14 by Jeff

Mina Hamada

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Works by Louisiana-born, Tokyo-raised, Barcelona-based artist Mina Hamada (no relation to me). More below.

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11.12.14 by Jeff

Life-Sized Scarecrows Outnumber People 3 to 1 in Dying Japanese Village

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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.

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05.12.14 by Jeff

Tetsuya Ishida

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Surreal paintings by the late Japanese artist Tetsuya Ishida, who sadly committed suicide in 2005. Would have loved to see lots more work from him. More images below.

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03.12.14 by Jeff

Video of the Day: Hebocon – Absurd Japanese Sumo Wrestling Robots Battle To Be Crowned ‘Crappiest’

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This video makes me proud to be Japanese. Hebocon was a contest held last year in which 31 “technically ungifted” Japanese people built robots and pitted them against one another in a sumo-style tournament. The crappier a robot was, the more respect it was given. One girl forgot her robot on the train, on her way to the tournament, and went and had a beer instead. She was praised for her ” act of supreme crappiness”.

Robots that made it to the venue to battle were actually penalized if they were deemed too high-tech, and there was a trophy, designed by a third-grader, for the most low-tech robot. The winner of the tournament ultimately felt ashamed for trying too hard. Watch the video below, at the end you can see all the robots in action (I love their names).

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21.11.14 by Jeff

Animated Gifs by Japanese Illustrator Daisuke Nimura

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Terrific animated gifs by Japanese illustrator Daisuke Nimura. More below.

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02.11.14 by Jeff

Satisfying Video of the Day: The Making of a Kokeshi Japanese Wooden Doll

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Watch Yasuo Okazaki turn a piece of wood into a beautiful Japanese wood doll, called a kokeshi. Seeing the doll take shape on the lathe, and watching Okazaki bring it to life with precise brush strokes is extremely satisfying. Watch the video below.

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