Sauna Art Appears at Underground Experience in Tochigi Prefecture
10.November.2021 | SPOT
From October 30 until November 23, 2021, a unique underground experience is taking place at a former quarry in Oyamachi, Utsunomiya. UnderMuseumChallenge 01 GATE invites guests to enjoy massive pieces of artwork while pondering the boundaries between society, nature, daily life, and the body. The main focal point of the exhibition is the Genki Furnace, a piece of sauna-inspired art.
Usually, this old quarry isn’t open to the public. This year’s event will offer two types of tickets: one allowing visitors to view art and drive through the underground space, and the sauna art experience. Takashi Kurimayashi’s art will certainly stick with you, so either choice is a positive one. The sauna art experience will invite guests to stand within the furnace as they are surrounded by hot herbal steam. The website asks that visitors bring a swimsuit, change of clothes, and their own towel.
The quarry is located about a 30-minute drive from the center of Utsunomiya. Stone from the area is well-known across Japan, and this particular region was named a Japanese Heritage Site in 2018. Last year, more than 700,000 tourists visited the region.
Special Regional Exhibition ‘UnderMuseumChallenge 01 GATE’
Running: October 30 – November 23, 2021 / 9:30-16:00 (Last Entry at 15:30)
Address: 1446 Oyamachi, Utsunomiya, Tochigi
Admission/Participation Fee: ¥1,000 each
Special Website: https://www.under-museum-project.com/
Rose Garden ~Spring Rose Festival~ Opens at Ashikaga Flower Park in Tochigi
13.May.2022 | SPOT
Starting May 9, Ashikaga Flower Park is celebrating spring with the Rose Garden ~Spring Rose Festival~ event. Since April, the Fujinohana Monogatari Ofuji Festival has been drawing guests to the park to see the symbolic wisteria. As the weather warms up, the rose festival will be held at the same time as the Great Wisteria Festival 2022, which is scheduled to end on May 22.
Guests can enjoy the rainbow-colored world of wisteria and roses, which are at their best until the middle of May. From now until May 15, visitors can also see the flowers lit up each night.
Come visit Ashikaga Flower Park and enjoy 2,500 roses from 500 different varieties!
Rose Garden ~Spring Rose Festival~
Dates & Hours:
May 9 – May 15 / 8:00-20:30 (Includes Night Illuminations)
May 16 ~ / 9:00-18:00
Official Site: https://www.ashikaga.co.jp/
teamLab Opens 8th Annual Art Exhibition at Mifuneyama Rakuen in Saga Prefecture
From July 15 until November 6, 2022, the ‘teamLab: A Forest Where Gods Live’ exhibition at Mifuneyama Rakuen, an ancient forest at the Takeo Hot Springs in Saga Prefecture. The massive event is held each summer and fall and was named CNN World’s ‘Best Outdoor Art Exhibition to Visit’ in 2021 and one of the Top 10 Art Installations in the world by DesignboomMagazine in 2017.
Works on Display
Universe of Water Particles on a Sacred Rock, 2017
Drawing on the Water Surface Created by the Dance of Koi and Boats – Mifuneyama Rakuen Pond, 2015
Ever Blossoming Life Rock, 2017
Life is Continuous Light – Azalea Valley, 2017
Rock Wall Spatial Calligraphy, Continuous Life – Five Hundred Arhats, 2017
Split Rock and Enso, 2017
Resonating Forest – Cherry Blossoms and Maple, 2017
Megaliths in the Bath House Ruins, 2019
Graffiti Nature – Living in the Ruins of a Bathhouse, Red List, 2017-
Resonating Forest in the Ravine, 2019
Abstract and Concrete – Forest Entrance, 2018
Flowers Bloom in an Infinite Universe inside a Teacup, 2016
Forest and Spiral of Resonating Lamps in the Forest – One Stroke, Summer Forest, 2018
Mifuneyama is said to have risen from the Ariake Sea 3 million years ago. The 500,000 square meter Mifuneyama Rakuen Park was created in 1845, at the end of the Edo period. The park is home to megaliths, caves, and forests that have been slowly shaped over thousands of years. teamLab believes that the shapes and textures of these objects are important, serving as traces of ancient people and natural changes over time. The concept of the project is that non-material digital technology can turn nature into art without harming it.
The creative team will be holding a number of other high-profile exhibitions this year, including installations in Paris, Tallinn, Shanghai, and Geneva. Their sauna collaboration with TikTok for teamLab Reconnect in Roppongi made huge waves in 2021–guests would take alternating hot and cold baths to experience intense physical sensations while surrounded by digital art.
teamLab: A Forest Where Gods Live
Running: July 15 – November 6, 2022
Location: Mifuneyama Rakuen (4100 Takeo, Takeocho Oaza Takeo, Takeo City, Saga)
Official Site: https://www.teamlab.art/jp/e/mifuneyamarakuen/
Fendi and Harajuku Omotesando Keyaki-kai Collaborate on #FendiTsunaguOmotesando Art Project
Italian luxury fashion brand Fendi has teamed up with Harajuku Omotesando Keyaki-kai on a new street art project! ‘TSUNAGU – Omotesando Street Art Project’ was unveiled on April 29, 2022.
The project, which aims to improve the city’s scenery and share positive messages, is on display in Omotesando, a popular area with young people. The canvas is the formal site of the Oriental Bazaar, an iconic part of Omotesando for over four decades. Under the theme of ‘hope,’ three young artists will be displaying their artwork in a massive temporary enclosure on the site. Hopefully, Japan really will open tourism soon so that guests from around the world can enjoy these inspiring pieces!
The first piece of art was unveiled on April 29 and was drawn by Dai Tamura, a young Japanese artist who has attracted worldwide attention after becoming an illustrator for the NBA. The dynamic and powerful compositions vividly depict endangered animals and plants alongside delicate flowers to symbolize hope for the futures of these beautiful creatures.
Be sure to keep an eye out for the next installation coming soon!
TSUNAGU – Omotesando Street Art Project
Location: Oriental Bazaar Former Site
Address: 5-9-13 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Official Site: http://www.fendi.com
Popular illustrator and alcohol ink artist Jiji will release her first artbook in May!
This is the first collection of works by Jiji to be compiled and released. ‘Jiji ILLUSTRATION AND MAKING BOOK’ will include around 110 illustrations, including both past creations and new images made exclusively for the book’s release. The compiled illustrations were made in a variety of ways, including with alcohol ink, fountain pens, and by digital means.
Jiji ILLUSTRATION & MAKING BOOK
Release Date: May 2022
Price: ¥2,530 (Tax Included)
Fujinohana Monogatari Ofuji Festival 2022 Opens at Ashikaga Flower Park in Tochigi
21.April.2022 | SPOT
The Fujinohana Monogatari Ofuji Festival 2022 in Tochigi began slightly ahead of schedule on April 16, 2022.
After temperatures rose to higher than normal over the past few weeks, Ashikaga Flower Park’s symbolic wisteria bloomed earlier than expected. If the high temperatures persist, the blooming process will speed up considerably, with some flower clusters growing up to 10cm in a single day.
The park is one of Japan’s top destinations for wisteria, boasting 350 trees that typically bloom from mid-April to mid-May. The stunning flowers, which dangle from wooden trellises, come in many colors including violet, blue, pink, white, and yellow. Each color tends to bloom at different times: pink first, followed by purple, white, and then yellow wisteria. CNN praised the massive wisteria tree as looking similar to the “tree of souls in the film Avatar,” and the park was the only place in Japan selected as one of the ‘10 Global Dream Destinations’ in 2014.
Fujinohana Monogatari Ofuji Festival 2022
Running: April 16 – May 22, 2022
*Illuminations: April 20 – May 15, 2022
April 16 – April 19 9:00-18:00
April 20 – April 22 8:00-20:30
April 23 – May 8 7:00-21:00
May 9 – May 15 8:00-20:30
May 16 – May 22 9:00-18:00
*Dates and hours are subject to change depending on blooming conditions.
*Click on the link below to see the current flower status.
HERALBONY GALLERY to Hold 8th Original Exhibition Highlighting Artists with Disabilities
HERALBONY is currently holding its 8th exhibition of original paintings featuring pieces by Kaoru Iga. The art is available to view at the HERALBONY GALLERY in Iwate Prefecture, which showcases creations made by artists with disabilities.
Kaoru Iga’s colorful artwork features unique textures and an abstract worldview. The works featured will be on sale at the gallery and on the official HERALBONY online store.
Iga’s paintings don’t show any specific objects or people, rather focusing on color, shape, and texture. Some pieces are rough, some pieces are gentle, and some utilize various textures or overlapping lines. Together, the works are like a single piece of music consisting of multiple movements.
Iga, who has played the cello for many years and honed his ability to connect with others without words, reminds viewers of the simpler aspects of life on Earth. Each day, we are met with a barrage of information and chatter–what is it like to cut all of that out?
The artists featured at HERALBONY will continue creating in the hopes of finding worldwide recognition.
HERALBONY GALLERY 8th Exhibition ‘The Art of Kaoru Iga’
Artist: Kaoru Iga
Exhibition Open until May 8, 2022
Address: HOMEDLUX Building 4F (2-38 Kaiunbashidori, Morioka, Iwate Prefecture)
HERALBONY Online Store: https://heralbony.com/collections/original-painting
NAKED Collaborates with Uta no Prince-sama Game for Special Art Installation
Creative company NAKED is bringing the world of Uta no Prince-sama to life! From April 16 until April 24, fans will want to come to Ikebukuro Sunshine Plaza to see MAJI LOVE KINGDOM MEMORIES, a sensory photo booth decorated with floral art.
The first Uta no Prince-sama game was released in 2010, with an anime series following in 2011. In 2019, the first Uta no Prince-sama film, Maji LOVE Kingdom, was released.
NAKED’s project mapping and digital art are being used to create unique photo booths where guests can take pictures with their favorite idols as seen in the 2019 film.
Each photo booth was created using a variety of techniques, combining video, sound, scent, and even wind. The flowers included in each booth were inspired by the flowers that members of ST☆RISH, QUARTET NIGHT, and HE★VENS wear on their chests. How often do you get to experience a 3D photo booth with your favorite fictional boys?
Guests can also enjoy a unique AR experience at the venue by using NAKED INC PLAY!
Uta no Prince-sama on Stage: MAJI LOVE KINGDOM MEMORIES
Location: Ikebukuro Sunshine City World Import Building 4F Event Hall A
Running: April 16 – April 24, 2022
Hours: 10:00-20:00 (Last admission 60 minutes prior to closing)
*Open 10:00-17:00 on April 24
Official Site: https://ml-kingdom-memories.com/
Nostalgic and New Neo-Retro Illustrations to be Featured in New Book
14.April.2022 | FASHION
Pie International will release Neo-Retro Illustrations: A Creator’s Guide to Blending the New and Nostalgic on April 22, 2022.
In recent years, blending both nostalgic prints with modern sensibilities has become a popular trend in art, especially among young people. This “retro boom” has become a genre in itself, and this tome compiles some of the most incredible examples of this genre from 40 popular illustrators.
The book contains over 250 pieces of “neo-retro” art, blending past eras with futuristic colors and highlights.
The new book also includes interviews with the featured artists, providing a glimpse into their creative roots and personalities. The cover illustration was done by NAKAKI PANTZ.
AiLeeN / an / itousa / Inata / Inoue Noi / Oliwa / Sawako Kageyama / Kamin / Kisumi Rei / Guugorou / Kano Komori / Natsumi Sato / Michi / Sanho / Haruna Sudo / Soreeeeyu / tabi / Choo / TV♡CHANY / NAKAKI PANTZ / NANCYSNAKE / Nekopota. / noco / hachika / Hana Chatani / Hanabushi / Harawata Chanko / PHI / Catherine Hitachi / HOHOEMI / mawawiz / Mannen Mofuku / Hiro Mizuno / Monyochita Pomichi / Yoko / Rasuku / Rikku / RING / Rorurari / wacca
Art Lifestyle Brand HERALBONY to Collaborate with Clothing Shop SHIPS on New Collection
13.April.2022 | FASHION
HERALBONY will start selling unique new apparel and goods in collaboration with the clothing shop SHIPS starting March 26, 2022.
Title: (Untitled) (Home)
Artist: Kiyoshi Yaegashi
Title: (Untitled) (Circles)
Artist: Sanae Sasaki
Artist: Fumie Shimaoka
Artist: Fujita Nozomi
HERALBONY continues to make a positive impact in the community by incorporating artwork created by those with disabilities into one-of-a-kind fashion items.
The collection includes T-shirts, reusable bags, folding umbrellas, and much more. Items will be sold at SHIP stores nationwide and online.
‘Teamlab: Tea Time in the Soy Sauce Storehouse’ Exhibition in Okayama Extended
The ‘Tea Time in the Soy Sauce Storehouse’ exhibition by teamLab has been extended! Located at the Fukuoka Soy Sauce gallery, those interested can now come and see this incredible work of art until March 31, 2023.
Tea in Spontaneous Order – Dynamic Equilibrium Color. ©teamLab
The former Fukuoka Soy Sauce Building was built in the Meiji era and was once used for soy sauce production. The basement is now a tea room filled with black water with lanterns floating on top. Touching one will cause it to light, and will cause a spontaneous order phenomenon. A spontaneous order phenomenon occurs when different rhythms are influenced by each other and become aligned. Examples include when the pendulums of two clocks gradually begin to swing together when many fireflies gather in one tree and all start flashing at the same time.
The exhibition has been incredibly popular since it opened on April 15, 2021. Due to the ongoing effects of the pandemic, teamLab wants more people to be able to come to experience this unique art performance, hence why the exhibition has been extended.
ZOZOTOWN’s ZOZOVILLA to Start First Collaboration with GALLERY TARGET
11.April.2022 | FASHION
ZOZOVILLA, the luxury portion of the fashion shopping site ZOZOTOWN, will start a collaboration with the Harajuku gallery GALLERY TARGET, which exhibits and sells contemporary artwork from Japan and abroad. The collaboration will last for one year and will feature the works of four GALLERY TARGET artists as key visuals for ZOZOVILLA. Certain exclusive items will be sold exclusively on ZOZOVILLA as well.
GALLERY TARGET actively collaborates with many areas of culture and fashion that match the vibe of ZOZOVILLA. Over the next year, the two will continue to engage in unique collaborations highlighting the best parts of fashion and art.
For the first commemorative event, ZOZOVILLA will be offering 100 copies of Ayako Rokkaku’s painting ‘Untitled’ through a lottery beginning April 19. The painting is also being used as the key visual for the project and highlights Rokkaku’s incredible use of color. Each poster will be personally signed by the artist herself.
Ginza Tsutaya Books to Hold ‘What is Kawaii’ Exhibition Featuring Art by Three Female Artists
From April 2 until April 22, Ginza Tsutaya Books will be holding a 5th-anniversary exhibition featuring art by three young female artists! These creators specialize in drawing girls, and the event will ask one question: what is ‘Kawaii?’ The artists featured are Amane Ishii, Azusa Nozawa, and Yumi Nagata.
These three artists have captured the spotlight with their unique styles. Ishii prefers oil painting, Nozawa has a style perfect for manga, and Nagata specializes in more Japanese-style paintings. Those who planned the exhibition noted that the reason these three artists have become so popular stems from how they depict cuteness–they don’t try to conform to society’s idea of ‘cute,’ but rather depict what they themselves consider to be cute.
Many motifs in Ishii’s works are based on the artist’s personal experiences, many stemming from childhood. Her unique characters are sure to grab your attention, and although her pieces are two-dimensional, the linework almost makes them seem 3D.
For Nozawa, ‘cute’ is the most important element found in her works. She often uses pastels, and something about the way she draws her characters is nostalgic, harkening back to purikura filters and manga characters of the early 2000s. Her unique worldview and nostalgic characters amount to truly one-of-a-kind pieces.
The girls appearing in Nagata’s pieces are projections of herself. She draws the clothes she would like to wear and the poses she’d love to strike! Pursuing her idea of ‘cuteness’ with traditional Japanese techniques and paints, she often includes polka dots in her works, which are a feminine symbol.
The exhibition will feature two of Ishii’s oil paintings and 13 drawings, the first time such a large number of drawings have been shown all at once. In addition, three of Nozawa’s new portrait series will be on display, along with nine of Nagata’s works.
‘Kawaii’ is one of the most prominent keywords found in contemporary Japanese culture. What does it mean to you?
What is Kawaii? Exhibition
Running: April 2 – April 22, 2022
Location: Ginza Tsutaya Books Artwork Gallery