art

Venus de Milo gets her arms back thanks to Japanese figure company

Even if you know nothing about classical art, there’s a good chance you’ve at least seen photos of the Venus de Milo, the Greek statue of a lovely woman without arms. With a height of 203 centimeters (6 feet, 8 inches), the statue is larger than life in every sense of the phrase, save her missing limbs. What happened to her appendages remains a mystery to this day, and, we imagine, it will likely continue to be that way for approximately forever.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t imagine what the sculpture looked like! And thanks to FREEing, a Kanagawa-based company, we won’t even have to stretch our imaginations too much, as they’re producing a “Venus de Milo” figure…with arms!

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“Hong Kong is not China” illustrations cause controversy online

A set of infographics claiming to show differences between Hong Kong and China has been attracting attention online – much of it negative.

The striking images, which were created by a Hong Kong artist and posted to the Facebook page of Local Studio HK (本土工作室), cover topics such as cultural differences, politics, habits and censorship. As you might expect, it’s ruffled more than a few feathers.

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Titans Attack on Kyushu with the upcoming re-opening of Attack on Titan Exhibit

Following the success of the Attack on Titan Exhibit at the Ueno Royal Museum last winter, the exhibit and the Titans are moving down to Kyushu just in time for summer vacation.

Although it mostly remains the same as the one shown earlier in Tokyo, this time around the exhibit includes extra shots of the Titans out and about exploring some of the southern island’s most famous tourist spots. Apparently even Titans need a break from attacking and devouring mankind every now and then!
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Famous Japanese wildlife photographer charms cats across the world 【Video】

Mitsuaki Iwago is a notable wildlife photographer, and is the only Japanese photographer to have his work grace the cover of National Geographic more than once.

So far he has journeyed to over nine different countries to photograph cats, and he doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon. Iwago believes that by studying cats we can better understand people, and has mentioned his affinity for shooting felines during multiple interviews.

Apparently the cats feel the same way about Mr. Iwago – just check out this footage taken from one of his past adventures!

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Anime becomes reality, becomes anime again as Attack on Titan artist draws posing cosplayers

Attack on Titan creator Hajime Isayama is actually pretty new to the manga and anime scene, with the runaway hit franchise being his only notable work out of just three total published properties.

The giant-people-eating-regular-sized-people anime and manga series has been met with wide praise and probably, like, 400 billion trillion copies sold globally. But being a fresh new kid bursting onto the scene with no significant prior work and basically hoovering up every single yen that ever was and ever will be has earned Isayama a little undue ire among other anime creators.

To wit, some other creators – including, famously, Gundam mastermind Yoshiyuki Tomino – have passive-aggressively attacked Isayama’s drawing ability, with Tomino dismissing it as “crude.” But don’t worry, guys: Isayama says he’s practicing regularly to become a better artist, specifically by having people cosplay as Attack on Titan characters and drawing them!

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Official ukiyo-e project brings a bit of historical Japan to a galaxy far, far away

Japan is just as crazy about Star Wars as the rest of the world and everyone is eagerly awaiting the new movie, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, on December 18, 2015 (Good news! It’s being released in Japan at the same time as most of the world!). So it’s the perfect opportunity for a number of Star Wars affiliated projects to get under way. One project is striking a chord with our love of Japan and our love of Star Wars as it combines a traditional art form with a very non-traditional universe.

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Want thousands of dollars for your manga fan art? Rose of Versailles creator judging contest now

It’s been made into an anime TV series, live-action film, and Takarazuka stage musical, but more than anything else, it’s the original manga that’s captured the hearts of Rose of Versailles fans. Set against the backdrop of the French Revolution, the series’ themes of desperate love, self-sacrifice, and challenging gender norms have been striking a chord with readers for over four decades.

Unlike last year, there’s no new volume of Rose of Versailles coming out this summer. However, there is still going to be a ton of new illustrations in the form of entries to a Rose of Versailles fan art competition that’s accepting submissions online right now, awarding impressive cash prizes, and being judged by the manga’s creator, Riyoko Ikeda herself.

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This amazing sand sculpture museum is tiny Tottori Prefecture’s hidden tourist gem

Remember when Tottori Prefecture finally got a Starbucks after all these years of being one of the few places in the world without one? Oh man, that was crazy.

Tottori is just one of those places. The kind of area that’s so quiet and uneventful that not even Starbucks, the corporate giant that’s more than happy to smother historic cultural heritage sites with their over-roasted beans and pricey lattes for a quick buck, spent decades more or less pretending it didn’t even exist. The Prefecture’s population of just over half a million is shockingly small by densely-populated Japan’s standards, and it’s just generally ignored by the rest of Japan as a place that, well… doesn’t have much to see, to put it kindly.

But wait a second! What’s this?! Tottori has been sitting on an amazing tourist draw in the form of a sand sculpture museum that features mind-boggling, award-winning and massive sand sculptures and they basically haven’t even really told anybody about it.

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Never-before-seen Miyazaki sketches to go on show at Tokyo exhibition this summer

Illustrations by legendary anime director Hayao Miyazaki are among the 130 artworks going on display in Ikebukuro, Tokyo, next month.

The exhibition of background illustrations and character sketches, which have never been on public display before, celebrates the 40th anniversary of Nippon Animation’s World Animation Theatre, the weekly TV anime showcase which Miyazaki and Isao Takahata both worked on before founding Studio Ghibli together in 1985.

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Popular manga artist’s shockingly great doodles from school prove he’s always had talent

I’m sure we all remember that one kid from our grade school days that was scarily good at drawing. The kid that would hastily – and incorrectly – finish up his math problems so he could back to sketching in his notebook. The one that could caricature Mr. Goetz’s sort of goofily small head from memory on request (no offense, Mr. Goetz).

If you were to dip back in to your long-forgotten box of grade school stuff – you know, the one mom keeps around specifically to embarrass you when you bring a new woman home to meet the family – and found one of that kid’s sketches, though, they probably aren’t going to look as good as you remember them. Hell, that kid’s probably not even a Disney animator like he always said he’d be, either. He probably works in the cafeteria at your old middle school because he never paid attention in math class.

On the other hand, there’s at least one insanely talented manga artist whose grade school/high school doodles hold up just as well today. In fact, they might even be better than the stuff he’s drawing now.

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Turn your extra TCG cards into epic shadow boxes, no special tools required

If you’re a player of any kind of trading card game (TCG) then you probably have multiples of certain cards from booster packs lying around, so why not try this epic way to use up those excess cards?

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Blackboard art contest produces entries that will take your breath away

Idle hands are the devil’s play things, so why not occupy them with a monetary prize incentive? Japanese blackboard maker Nichigaku noticed that students have been creating some very impressive artwork on school blackboards. So what better way to promote Nichigaku’s product than to sponsor a nationwide chalk art contest?

Students all over the country submitted incredible pieces of art that turned that “boring thing you stare at every class” into something beautiful that you can’t believe was created with just chalk. Join us after the jump as we show you some of the best submissions from the Nichigaku Blackboard Art contest.

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Time to say “I doodle!” Wedding guests RSVP with cute sketches and drawings

Everyone loves weddings, don’t they? A Western-style Japanese wedding usually involves a fancy (though usually fake) church, tons of great food, and multiple dress changes for the bride. In short, it’s excellent entertainment! Some potential wedding guests in Japan have been getting so excited at the thought of attending a wedding, they’ve been gleefully doodling all over their RSVPs! Let’s take a look at some of these cute sketches!

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Bamiyan Buddhas destroyed by Taliban reborn via Chinese couple, projection mapping

The giant stone Buddhas at Bamiyan were the tallest in the world at 55 and 38 meters (180 and 125 feet) in height. From their cliffside alcove, they watched a millennium and a half pass in Afghanistan, resisting the degenerative influence of time and the introduction of Islam, until religious fanaticism in the form of the Taliban and a great deal of explosives finally brought them down.

Their loss was a cultural and artistic tragedy, but this week the Buddhas were reborn through the magic of 3-D projection mapping and the efforts of a civilian Chinese couple.

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U.K. gamebook’s redone cover tells you everything you need to know about Japanese fantasy RPG art

A fundamental difference in the way Japan and the west approach fantasy role-playing games is how much more optimism Japanese creators tend to apply to the genre. Consider the most common opening scenarios for the two regions. How many western RPGs start with a group of grizzled and profiteering adventurers, brought together in a shady tavern by tales of riches waiting to be claimed? About as many as there are Japanese ones that begin with some plucky, clean-cut childhood friends leaving their bucolic village on a quest to see the wonders of the world and help strangers along the way.

The gap even extends to visual designs, with much western fantasy art looking like it’s covered with a thin film of dust, blood, or mead. Japan, on the other hand, likes to believe that everything can look sleek, freshly scrubbed, and even sexy in a medieval setting.

One of the founding fathers of fantasy gaming, though, isn’t right pleased about that aesthetic.

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Amazing 3-D printing pen 3Doodler gets a cheaper, slimmer version and workshops in Tokyo 【Video】

About a year ago, we took a look at the 3Doodler, an amazing crafting tool developed by U.S.-based WobbleWorks. Described as a 3-D printing pen, the 3Doodler uses plastic filament to let you draw in mid-air, creating physical objects instead of flat images.

Now we know what you’re all thinking: Where are those 3-D printed Mr. Sato statues we talked about making in our previous article? Well, it turns out we don’t actually have the artistic skills to properly capture the likeness of the head of RocketNews24’s Vice-President of Craziness. Oh, and also we’re cheap.

Thankfully, it looks like there’s a way to solve both of those problems. The updated 3Doodler 2.0 is easier to handle and less expensive than the original model, and there’s even a series of  upcoming workshops in Tokyo that’ll teach you how to get started drawing three-dimensional works of art.

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The secret reason why this Pikachu tattoo is one of the best you’ll ever see

Tatts, booze, and Pikachu. It’s not always a combination that goes down well but in this case, it’s given birth to something very special.

Netizens around the world are going crazy for the artwork above, praising the artist for the creative design and commending her for helping a customer out with an embarrassing problem. Can you guess what secret is hidden within the image?

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Gigantic girls take over your favourite Tokyo tourist spots 【Videos】

As a tiny island packed with millions of people, Japan knows all about the small things. From compact serving sizes to tiny houses on narrow streets, everything here is designed for convenience to help cope with the stress of overcrowding and the real possibility of stepping on someone else’s toes.

Now, as Japan throws itself into the 21st century, it’s looking towards the bigger things: its place in the wider context of Asia and the Pacific Region; the 2020 Olympics and, why not; gigantic girls.

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American artist combines ukiyo-e and graffiti art in the coolest way possible

Street art is just cool. Ukiyo-e woodblock prints are also just cool. Put them both together and you get the uber-cool identity-exploring works of Los Angeles artist Gajin Fujita, who fuses Japanese iconography with the U.S. urban vocabulary of graffiti.

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Me want Great Wave: Cookie Monster takes his cookies to 1830s Hokusai ukiyoe woodblock painting

The Great Wave off Kanagawa by legendary ukiyoe artist Hokusai is well-known around the world as one of Japan’s most iconic pieces of artwork. Featuring Mt Fuji in the distance, a smattering of ocean spray and a mammoth breaking wave, this is a scene that’s been admired by millions for well over a century.

And where there’s an audience, there’ll also be a star trying to steal the spotlight. Providing poof to the theory, we present you with Sesame Street’s Cookie Monster, who’s taken his favourite baked goods back in time, all the while singing, “Sea is for cookie, that’s good enough for me ♫ Cookie, cookie, cookie starts with sea”.

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