art

Ninja restaurant designer creates tiny villages in bonsai trees

Ninja restaurant designer creates tiny villages in bonsai trees

If you’ve ever wanted to see villages and merchant markets from your favourite role-playing games come to life, then we’ve got quite the collection for you. These are the amazing three-dimensional artworks of Takanori Aiba, a Japanese artist who also designed Ninja Akasaka, the famous ninja restaurant in Tokyo and the 1958-themed Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum.

Aiba is now drawing on his experience in architecture and combining it with his origins as a maze illustrator to produce stunning worlds within the tiny branches of bonsai trees and out of the crevices of unique rocks. From Ghibli-style seaside towns to a bustling hotel built inside the body of the Michelin man, these elaborate designs will simply take your breath away.

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Princest Diaries: Artist uses Disney Princesses in Rape Awareness posters

Princest Diaries: Artist uses Disney Princesses in Rape Awareness posters

An artist has been causing controversy online recently with a set of posters featuring Disney princesses in incestual embraces with their fathers. Entitled “The Princest Diaries”, the three posters in the series are designed to raise incest and rape awareness using simple imagery and characters well-known to people of all ages and nationalities. Disney fans may find the following pictures disturbing but according to the artist, this is exactly the point.

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Japan’s most successful manga artists draw their characters for the camera 【Video】

Japan’s most successful manga artists draw their characters for the camera 【Video】

Although most manga artists have a team of assistants backing them up, compared to live-action films, comics allow for a much more direct transmission of the creator’s vision. Movie and TV programming are by nature a collaborative effort, and you can’t really watch a scene go from concept to finished version in real-time.

With manga, though, you can give a talented artist a pen, and within minutes see him or her transform the emptiness of a blank sheet of paper into a character that will inspire and entertain countless fans, like in this video featuring some of Japan’s most popular manga artists and characters.

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Low standards for Pokémon virtual art in new DS game inspires fans【Photos】

Low standards for Pokémon virtual art in new DS game inspires fans【Photos】

While many people love the Pokémon video game series for its addicting gameplay, there is no denying the popularity of the hundreds of cute characters featured in the famous Nintendo franchise. Earlier this month in Japan, the new Nintendo DS game Pokémon Art Academy was released and is already inspiring Japanese amateur artists to create their own Pokémon masterpieces. But some on Twitter recently have discovered how the video game may be just a little bit too easy on these virtual artists and began sharing some of their very “special” artwork.

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Jaw-dropping! There’s something wrong with Nagoya Station’s Nana-chan

Jaw-dropping! There’s something wrong with Nagoya Station’s Nana-chan

Nagoya’s resident six-meter mannequin has been looking a little long in the face recently. What on earth’s going on with her?!

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Artist Takashi Murakami immortalises heckled Tokyo assembleywoman in dot-art portraits

Artist Takashi Murakami immortalises heckled Tokyo assembleywoman in dot-art portraits

Sexism and discrimination have been rather hot topics here in Japan following an unpleasant incident at a Tokyo political assembly on June 18, during which female politician Ayaka Shiomura was taunted and mocked by assembleymen while giving a speech about pregnant women and working mothers.

In response, world-famous Japanese artist Takashi Murakami has taken the unusual step of creating and hanging a series of portraits of the politician in his Tokyo cafe.

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This picture book of Taiwanese high school girls – what’s that about then?

This picture book of Taiwanese high school girls – what’s that about then?

“Hang on a second,” I hear you cry. “An illustrated book of pretty girls in school uniforms? Who’s buying this? And why?”

Let’s take your questions one by one.

“What is the ‘Collection of Taiwan High School Uniforms, exactly?”

It’s the latest book of illustrations from artist Wang Chong-ju. Right down to the number of pleats in the skirt and the stitching of the school crest, he’s illustrated and explained the girls’ uniforms of 51 schools in northern Taiwan.

“So they’re sexy schoolgirls?”

Well…the girls in this book aren’t depicted as sexy – in fact, Wang drew them to a strict six-point checklist:

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How do you hide a 760-tonne ship? Paint it so bright it dazzles

How do you hide a 760-tonne ship? Paint it so bright it dazzles

A retired pilot ship sits in a Liverpool dock, painted in vivid red, yellow and green stripes. This is a “Dazzle Ship”, decorated with a unique and eccentric British camouflage method originally developed during World War One.

The British navy had tried different methods of disguising ships, but none had proved effective. Realising that it must be impossible to successfully conceal a boat, marine artist Norman Wilkinson suggested a radical, opposite approach: a design that would instead confuse and disorientate the enemy, making it difficult for a U-boat commander to estimate the boat’s speed or direction. The Dazzle Ship was born.

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Fan makes awesome Final Fantasy art with just a screen door, ink, and a toothpick

Fan makes awesome Final Fantasy art with just a screen door, ink, and a toothpick

Back in the heyday of Nintendo’s NES, video game hardware wasn’t advanced enough to handle the kind of polygon-based visuals that are the industry standard today. Instead, artists had to bitmap their characters.

Bitmapping involves laying down squares of color, called pixels, to form an image. It’s essentially a digital mosaic, and with enough time and dedication, you could perfectly recreate the cast of your favorite 8-bit classic using a sheet of graph paper.

Or, as one retro fan in Japan recently did, a screen door.

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Luxembourg-based hobbyist’s video game dioramas are epic, wonderfully nerdy, and not for sale

Luxembourg-based hobbyist’s video game dioramas are epic, wonderfully nerdy, and not for sale

“I’m from Luxembourg and I have a retro hobby. I make 3D paper dioramas of classic videogames.”

Hobbyist Wuppes’ self-introduction is refreshingly humble for someone displaying their creations online, but it hardly does them justice. Made from paper and card, these dioramas of worlds, scenes and characters from 16-bit video games are created with breathtaking attention to detail, with not a single pixel misrepresented, raising the once flat images up to give gamers the world over something new to pore over and wish they could own.

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Special exhibits on Studio Ghibli’s art and architecture coming soon to two Tokyo museums

Special exhibits on Studio Ghibli’s art and architecture coming soon to two Tokyo museums

For any serious anime fan making a trip to Tokyo, a visit to the Ghibli Museum should be at the top of their list. Not only is the design of the building bursting with subtle references to the works of esteemed director Hayao Miyazaki and his compatriots, the on-site theater also screens Ghibli shorts you can’t see anywhere else, such as the heart-warming follow-up to My Neighbor Totoro.

This summer, though, two more Tokyo museums are getting in on the act with special exhibits focusing on the architecture of Studio Ghibli plus artwork for the animation house’s newest film.

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7-year-old turns cash into “art”, parents decidedly unamused

7-year-old turns cash into “art”, parents decidedly unamused

How did you first learn about the value of money as a child? Did you save up your allowance in a piggy bank until there was enough to buy a cool new toy? Or how about taking care of the neighbor’s cat for a small reward?

Or maybe you were never actually taught how to spend your cash wisely, and to this day keep a tall stack of credit card bills around in case you need to blow your nose.

Speaking of money going down the drain, that’s pretty much what one Japanese 7-year-old was found guilty of the other day. He was given a 1,000-yen note, worth roughly US$9.80, and told to “use it however you want.” While most other kids would have jumped for joy and rushed to the nearest toy store, this kid had a much more…creative idea.

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“Boner Spider-Man” statue tragically removed from perch above South Korean playground

“Boner Spider-Man” statue tragically removed from perch above South Korean playground

For a serious artist, there must be no greater tragedy than to see your life’s work rent asunder by a hateful public that doesn’t understand your message.

South Korean artist Eunsuk Yoo must be heartbroken, then, now that the Lotte Shopping Center in Busan has elected to remove his now-infamous Boner Spider-Man sculpture from high up on one of the center’s outer walls, because they just couldn’t grasp his high concept message.

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High schoolers’ epic stop-motion fight jumps between the third and second dimensions 【Video】

High schoolers’ epic stop-motion fight jumps between the third and second dimensions 【Video】

In Japanese schools, it’s the responsibility of students to clean the classrooms at the end of the day. But while some kids take this responsibility seriously, others are more interested in goofing off while their more earnest classmates do the majority of the work.

This has to be extremely frustrating. For example, imagine you just put in the time to diligently wash the blackboard, only to reach the end, turn back, and discover someone ruined your efforts by doodling over the section you’d already cleaned. You’d probably be pretty angry, right? But would you be so angry that you’d start a brawl that almost destroys the entire schoolhouse?

If you were the star of this amazing stop motion video, you would.

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Snacks turned into art — these impressive visual creations are all made from food!

Snacks turned into art — these impressive visual creations are all made from food!

Now, we’re aware that we here at RocketNews24 have maybe just a tiny bit of weakness for tasty treats (or is it just me?) and we’ve featured many edible works of art on our site, from magnificent Kirby tarts to adorable cat-shaped sweets, but we have to say this particular work has certainly impressed us with its unique simplicity. Who would have thought that a good ol’ Oreo cookie could be changed into an artistic presentation with a few scrapes of the hand (albeit some very skillful scrapes)? And if you’re familiar with Japanese ukiiyo-e block prints, you may have the feeling that you’ve seen the image created with the cream somewhere before. Yes, this actually is a surprisingly expert recreation of the famous ukiyo-e print by Hokusai Katsushika titled the Great Wave off Kanagawa, or sometimes referred to simply as The Wave, and  once you compare it to the painting, we think you’ll agree that the execution really is quite superb!

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Amazing time-lapse video turns Tokyo into a floating, endless metropolis

Amazing time-lapse video turns Tokyo into a floating, endless metropolis

Two features of Tokyo make an immediate impression on visitors. First is the sheer size of the teeming metropolis, as it seems to envelop you from all sides. Second is the otherworldly atmosphere imparted by its futuristic architecture, intricate network of crisscrossing train lines, and the fields of neon that come to life like blooming flowers after sundown.

These two characteristics have been captured, interpreted, and enhanced in an entrancing new video from Yokohama-based visual artist Darwinfish105 which gives the impression of floating through a Tokyo without borders or end.

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Disney movies with a grumpily ever after ending are just as epic and way funnier!【Pics】

Disney movies with a grumpily ever after ending are just as epic and way funnier!【Pics】

If there’s one thing that we can’t hide, it’s probably our love for Disney animated movies! And we’re pretty sure we are not the only ones who are great fans of Disney’s works. Just last week, we caught a glimpse of Game of Thrones characters in a Disney-esque setting, and this week, we found something even more intriguing…

The Internet’s celebrity feline, Grumpy Cat, is out to thwart Disney’s happily ever after endings in these brilliant illustrations!

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This crazy Love Live anime tattoo just keeps going (and going) from here

This crazy Love Live anime tattoo just keeps going (and going) from here

By far the most popular series today among Japan’s ultra-hardcore anime fans is Love Live. With a bevy of cute girls, pleated skirts, pop idol competitions, and nary a prominent male character, it’s checked off enough of the necessary boxes to give it a solid pedestal on which its charismatic cast has been placed.

Fans of Love Live even have their own nickname, as it has become common to refer to them as Love Livers. Yes, grammatically that makes no sense, but you can’t expect the franchise’s fan base to stop and correct the odd nomenclature. They’re too busy celebrating the birthdays of Love Live’s dozen-plus idol singers by buying merchandise, sending online salutations, and, in the case of one fan, getting a giant tattoo of his favorite character that covers his entire – and we mean entire – back…

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Irezumi: Getting tattooed in Japan【Photos】

Irezumi: Getting tattooed in Japan【Photos】

I was in the second grade when I first realized that I would some day be tattooed. It wasn’t a particularly big deal to me at the time; just something that I knew I’d eventually get, kind of like a driver’s license. It’s been a few years (okay, over a decade) since my very first tattoo, and I’ve slowly accumulated a bit more ink, though I’m nowhere near finished–something you’ll likely hear from most of the tattooed people you’ll meet.

Naturally, when I became interested in Japan, one of the things that caught my attention was the beautiful art created by the country’s talented tattoo artists, though circumstances have largely conspired to prevent me from collecting any “traditional” Japanese tattoos. However, I recently got the opportunity to get something a bit more “Japanese” and decided to share the experience in order to help you get an idea of what tattooing is like in Japan in case you’re thinking of getting some ink of your own.

Join us after the break for an original, needles-and-all close-up look at what it’s like getting a tattoo in Japan.

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What Sailor Moon characters would look like if they were born in the Western world

What Sailor Moon characters would look like if they were born in the Western world

Have you ever wondered what Sailor Moon soldiers would look like if they travelled to an alternate reality and were drawn by a western hand? Well, thank goodness for fan art because one clever artist has delivered the fantasy. This unique collection of Sailor Moon pictures has the scouts looking more like Disney stars rather than sparkly-eyed anime characters, and with heartbreaking back-stories in each beautiful portrait, you’ll be seeing the girls in a totally new light.

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