art

Don’t trust your eyes! Let these unique pieces of art challenge your perception of reality

Don’t trust your eyes! Let these unique pieces of art challenge your perception of reality

Getting tricked is usually no fun, but not in the case of brilliant art that tricks the eye. Take for instance, the work of Japanese art university student Hikaru Cho, an example of which is shown in the picture above. Does that look like an ordinary cucumber to you? We certainly wouldn’t blame you if you said it does, but read further to find out what the object really is!

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Awesome origami artist recreates the creatures of Monster Hunter 【Videos】

Awesome origami artist recreates the creatures of Monster Hunter 【Videos】

Although it’s had only limited success internationally, in its home country of Japan, the video game series Monster Hunter is a massive hit. New titles have been released for the series at a pace of more than one a year, and the franchise can count 17 titles since it began in 2004.

Monster Hunter is popular enough that you could argue that it’s become one of Japan’s national pastimes, so maybe it was only a matter of time before someone thought to combine it with another of the country’s favorite cultural activities, the paper-folding art of origami.

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55-foot tall statue of Buddhist goddess of mercy could be yours for just 10 bucks

55-foot tall statue of Buddhist goddess of mercy could be yours for just 10 bucks

For the most part, Japan isn’t really sold on the idea that bigger is better. Sure, you can find giant parfaits and monstrous sashimi bowls, but that’s to be expected, since saying you’d rather have less of either is a sure-fire way to blow your cover to the human resistance that you’re secretly one of their killbot overlords in disguise.

Artistically speaking, though, the generally preferred aesthetic is graceful understatement, which doesn’t really necessitate ostentatious scale. The one major exception to this, however, is images of Kannon, the Buddhist goddess of mercy and compassion.

Giant-sized statues of Kannon can be found at a number of locations in Japan, and now, if you’re lucky enough, you could own one for less than 1,000 yen.

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Welcome to the whimsical world of Yuko Higuchi

Welcome to the whimsical world of Yuko Higuchi

Tokyo is home to a large number of talented artists, but recently one in particular has been standing out. Japanese people and netizens around the world have become captivated by the versatile art of Ms. Yuko Higuchi, whose surreal works both delight and cause you to slightly question the state of her mind. Her style has been described as “dark kawaii (kawaii=cute), blending the real with the fantastical and seemingly drawing heavy inspiration from Alice in Wonderland (in fact, it looks like Alice and friends even make cameos in some of the pictures!). The pictures of anthropomorphic cats and fairy tale-like girls are especially popular. Even if you’re not usually a fan of art, you should definitely take a minute to look at these pictures – they may be just the thing needed to convert you!

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Fan sews amazing felt versions of Totoro, Sailor Moon, Final Fantasy Black Mage and more

Fan sews amazing felt versions of Totoro, Sailor Moon, Final Fantasy Black Mage and more

As someone who learned to drive a car before he could ride a bike, there are a couple of things that slipped through the cracks on my path of acquiring basic life skills. Sewing, for example, is still an arcane art to me. After all, why go to the hassle of making my own clothes, when there are plenty of stores perfectly willing to take my money in exchange for a new shirt or pair of jeans?

But maybe I’m missing the point. After all, knowing how to sew doesn’t just mean you can design your own wardrobe, it also means you can create awesome anime and video game figures made entirely of felt.

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Life-size Attack on Titan monster to appear in projection-mapped form in Kawasaki

Life-size Attack on Titan monster to appear in projection-mapped form in Kawasaki

For such an ordinarily listless bunch, hit anime Attack on Titan’s titular monsters sure have been busy lately, collaborating with hamburger chain Lotteria, appearing in their first smartphone game, and even helping one fan get a job.

But now comes literally the biggest Attack on Titan promotion yet, as a life-size recreation of the 60-meter Colossal Titan is set to menace Japan in projection-mapped form at a shopping center in Kawasaki.

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Anthropomorphized characters amaze, frighten us, leave us wanting more

Anthropomorphized characters amaze, frighten us, leave us wanting more

Anthropomorphized characters are both incredibly popular and prevalent in Japan, as you’re probably already very aware. From battleships to Japanese companies and municipalities, there’s seemingly nothing that can’t be made human–and probably cute as well! And, perhaps as a challenge to what we assume must be Rule 38 of the Internet–anything can be anthropomorphized and if it hasn’t been anthropomorphized yet, someone will do it–one Japanese Internet user took to 2Chan to request, simply enough, “Images of anthropomorphization, please.”

And the Internet gave him exactly what he wanted, with everything from Lipton Ice tea and Doraemon in sexy/creepy human form to an anthropomorphized version of Monday itself. Click below to see what was on display! (Note: Not all of these images are entirely safe for work.)

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Massive Warhol exhibit visits Mori Art Museum in Tokyo, over 600 works on display

Massive Warhol exhibit visits Mori Art Museum in Tokyo, over 600 works on display

Even before his first visit in 1956, Andy Warhol had been largely well-received by people in Japan. Pieces like “Campbell’s Soup I” are just as easily recognized here as anywhere along with other pieces of the artist’s highly prolific and vast range of work. But with this massive collection stored far away in The Andy Warhol Museum in America it’s been hard for his Japanese fans to experience it all until now.

The museum is taking its collection on a tour of Asia including a three-month stay at the Mori Art Museum in Roppongi Hills, Tokyo. The exhibit titled Andy Warhol: 15 Minutes Eternal boasts nearly 700 pieces of art and film as well as some other exhibits designed to take visitors deep into his world as it existed decades ago.

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Determined “willy artist” draws penises for his wife every day for a year…This must be true love

Determined “willy artist” draws penises for his wife every day for a year…This must be true love

What should you do with a new whiteboard? Well, draw penises on it, of course! That’s what a creative husband did to his wife’s whiteboard. When he told her that he was going to draw a penis on her new whiteboard, she challenged him to do so for a year, and the determined mister managed to complete the challenge with a great variety of penis drawings!

That’s more penises you’ll see in a day than you’ll probably see in a year. Unless you’re a nurse or doctor, or… okay, we don’t wanna know. Anyway, here’s 365 days worth of weenie drawings in three minutes!

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Lego brick creations that look good enough to eat

Lego brick creations that look good enough to eat

With the right amount of creativity, Lego bricks are the keys to other realms and the building blocks of otherworldly creations. But put in the hands of a spatially challenged, uninspired Lego novice, those little bricks continue to resemble the little pieces of plastic they really are. That’s why it’s so impressive when someone masters the art of building with Lego. Artist, Sachiko Akinaga, is one of those Lego masters and she’s managed to create plastic food that will make you want to take a bite.

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Square Enix announces new Romancing Saga project! Don’t fire up your PS4 just yet though

Square Enix announces new Romancing Saga project! Don’t fire up your PS4 just yet though

Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest may be video game developer Square Enix’s two biggest series, but the Saga franchise could make a solid case for the company’s third-most important intellectual property. While the initial title in the series was the Game Boy’s Makai Toshi Saga, or Devil World Tower Saga, the more eloquently named Super NES follow-up, Romancing Saga, is where the series really took off, and 10 games are now counted as part of the Saga saga.

2014 marks the 25th anniversary of the Saga franchise, and in celebration Square Enix is collaborating with a partner that’s at once completely unexpected and totally obvious: Saga Prefecture.

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18 different makeovers for China’s prominent poet

18 different makeovers for China’s prominent poet

Nothing says fun like defacing one of your country’s beloved historical figures. Queen Elizabeth with a lightning bolt across her face à la glam rock band Kiss, George Washington with a Hilter mustache, and whatever it is that’s going on up in here are just a few examples of the lengths people will go to have a little fun with history.

Even Du Fu, often called the greatest Chinese poet of all time, isn’t immune to the idle hands of creative doodlers. Let’s take a look at 18 different Du Fu makeovers by Chinese artists.

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Japanese zipper maker and British artist team up to create futuristic headwear/terror

Japanese zipper maker and British artist team up to create futuristic headwear/terror

On the surface, Japanese zipper manufacturer YKK occupies an enviable position. The company’s global market share is estimated at as high as 90 percent, and until technology finally makes good on Back to the Future II’s promise of self-attaching apparel, future demand for the company’s products is likely to remain strong.

That said, zippers aren’t the most glamorous field to work in. As with any manufactured good, there’s obviously a tremendous amount of engineering and logistics talent at YKK, but it’s not hard to imagine the company wanting a moment in the limelight, something that demands a little more attention.

Well, YKK’s collaboration with British designer Ava Rajcevic is sure to get plenty of attention, at least for as long as people can look at it without the horror warping their minds.

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Tokyo artist sketches strangers around town like one of his French girls

Tokyo artist sketches strangers around town like one of his French girls

One of the major differences between photographers and pen-and-paper artists is that a pen-and-paper artist is apparently allowed to stare for extremely long periods of time at complete strangers, sketching them in minute detail to take home and add to his/her collection and possibly publish on the Internet. But if a photographer takes a picture of a stranger, oh boy, it’s lawsuit time!

Take Tokyo-based artist hamahouse, for instance. This guy appears to spend a lot of time sketching complete strangers in Tokyo,and nary a soul seems to mind. Sure, it helps that he’s extremely good at what he does and people’s facial features are sort of made purposely vague in his sketches, but let’s keep in mind a photographer’s work is done in an instant – but a sketch artist needs to sit and stare at you for at least 10 minutes to complete his work.

Here’s a glimpse of hamahouse’s really very cool sketches:

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The Artist’s Daughter: the girl behind Hokusai’s prints

The Artist’s Daughter: the girl behind Hokusai’s prints

Hokusai Katsushika is known throughout the world for his masterpieces such as The Great Wave off Kanagawa, seen on many a dorm wall, and his Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji. He is the ‘father’ of Japanese woodblock prints, or ukiyo-e, and can be credited with popularizing the Japanese art form in the West during the 1800s.

But it’s possible that the prolific artist had help from one of his daughters, who was also a talented ukiyo-e artist in her own right. Read on for a look at some of her spectacular pieces.

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Breakfast art: Instagramer photographs beautiful morning meals

Breakfast art: Instagramer photographs beautiful morning meals

Kei Yamazaki is a graphic designer in Japan who is a self-proclaimed breakfast lover. Her Instagram account is positively bursting with gorgeous images of her homemade morning meals that will make any challenged cook or hungry late-riser jealous. And we hear you, “Yeah yeah, it’s just breakfast, so what!” But 232,238 followers can’t be wrong; these are breakfast plates you’re going to want to see (and eat)!

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Artists use SD cards and Febreeze to create Japanese crests for the modern age

Artists use SD cards and Febreeze to create Japanese crests for the modern age

There’s a lot of art enmeshed in everyday Japanese life. From the pictographs of the kanji writing system to the aesthetics of traditional practices, it’s easy to take for granted the visual symbolism on which a lot of the culture is based. One of the most striking examples of Japanese design is the kamon, or family crest, used for centuries to signify a family name or clan and often seen on the sleeves of formal kimonos and ceramic roof tiles of traditional homes. It’s estimated that there are as many as 30,000 family crests in Japan, and while many Japanese would struggle to identify a large number of them, some crests, such as the chrysanthemum Imperial crest and the Tokugawa shogunate hollyhock design, are easy to identify.

Artists are now using the digital medium to create a number of new kamon to the delight of netizens nationwide. What makes these unique is the fact that the images inside the crest are not flowers or scenes of nature but more modern logos and tools familiar to us through advertising and the digital age. The crest above, for example, might look like a cross design made up of four stylised rectangles, but if you look closely you’ll see something more commonly used in digital cameras: SD memory cards. Featuring everything from Twitter logos to Febreeze bottles, these unique crests are perfect for the tribes of today.

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The 2014 Sapporo Snow Festival【Photo Gallery】

The 2014 Sapporo Snow Festival【Photo Gallery】

Last year we brought you a firsthand account of the 2013 Sapporo Snow Festival, with more images of snow and ice sculptures than you can get your tongue stuck to. This year, we’re sad to say we couldn’t make it out to the annual event up in Japan’s northernmost prefecture, so we’ve been living vicariously through Twitter users. Some of the images we’ve seen are too good not to share, so we decided to give you a little taste of the snow festival through the following gallery of images from Twitter.

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Beautiful website catalogues some of Japan’s most ornate manhole covers

Beautiful website catalogues some of Japan’s most ornate manhole covers

In most countries, you’d never give a manhole cover a second glance. But in Japan, the designs on those metal disks encircled by cement are surprisingly ornate. Most are so beautiful, you’ll have to be careful not to spend the entire day looking at the ground. Now people all over the world can enjoy Japan’s stompable artwork thanks to Hirake! Manhole, a brand new website showcasing manhole cover art across Japan.

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