TeamLab to Hold Garden Festival of Light in Mito, Ibaraki Prefecture in 2022

15.December.2021 | FASHION / SPOT

Interactive digital art collective TeamLab will hold the Kairaku-en (Japanese Garden) Festival of Light at one of Japan’s three most beloved gardens located in Mito, Ibaraki Prefecture from February 1 until March 31, 2022. A total of eight creative works showcasing the ‘longevity of life’ will be on display, utilizing the greenery of the surrounding 180-year-old garden itself. One work will illuminate over 1,500 plum trees, while another will see giant cedars interacting to guests’ presence. During this period, the Mito Ume Festival (February 11 – March 21) will also take place at the gardens. The festival has been held continuously for over 120 years.

 

 

Kairakuen is one of the three most famous gardens in Japan and was built by Tokugawa Nariaki during the Edo period (1842). The other two gardens are Kenroku-en in Ishikawa Prefecture and Koraku-en in Okayama Prefecture. In 1922, Kairaku-en was designated a National Historic Site and also a National Place of Scenic Beauty. In 2022, the garden will celebrate its 180th anniversary, and features over 3,000 plum trees of over 100 varieties. 

 

TeamLab’s ‘Digitized Nature’ art project utilizes technology to ‘turn nature itself into art in its natural state’ without destroying or uprooting any of the plants or trees. It can be difficult for humans to imagine the world that will exist after their particular life ends, and this installation hopes to show the beauty that is possible even after a hundred or a thousand years. Through the combination of human creations and nature itself, TeamLab wants to remind people what is possible when we live side by side in harmony with one another. 

 

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  • teamLab to Open Art-Filled Botanical Garden in Osaka This Summer

    21.May.2022 | FASHION / SPOT

    Art collective teamLab will open a permanent nighttime exhibition, ‘teamLab Botanical Garden Osaka,’ at Nagai Botanical Garden in Osaka in the summer of 2022.

     

    The Nagai Botanical Garden, which originally opened in 1974, reopened on April 1, 2022, after tree thinning, tree rearrangement and replanting to accommodate new root growth, and soil improvement to create an environment where plants can thrive and grow in the far future. The garden covers over 240,000 square meters and is home to 1,200 species of plants, flowers, and trees.

    This summer, teamLab will transform the garden into an art space where the past, present, and future intersect, blending with nature’s changing seasons and the presence of guests.

    TeamLab’s environmentally friendly art project, ‘Digitized Nature,’ aims to show “nature itself becoming art in its natural state” by using only digital technology. Nothing in the gardens needs to be destroyed to create art.

    At teamLab Botanical Garden Osaka, the daytime botanical garden will become an art space at night. The space will be transformed by actual wind and rain, as well as by the behavior of the birds and the actions of visitors to the site. 

    Come enjoy an illuminated garden filled with art on a warm night this summer!

     

    ©チームラボ

  • Limited Edition Sake Released Alongside NFT Art to Share the Value of Japanese Spirits with the World

    19.May.2022 | FASHION / FOOD

    Two incredible new Junmai Daiginjo bottles, the highest-quality sake, have been released in limited quantities. Hitou ASCENDING and Touka ILLUMINATING were made by sustainable means and incorporate NFT art to share the process of sake creation with the world.

     

    While sake companies keep traditional Japanese production methods alive, some are seeking to solve problems in the sake industry by turning to current technology, like the blockchain and NFTs. In this age of convenience and automation, this particular sake maker is aiming to show the true value and authenticity of Japanese craftsmanship to the rest of the world. 

     

    Certain types of sake can only be made and enjoyed at certain times of the year, as they are not suitable for storage at room temperature and can only be consumed for a brief period to get the best taste. Many sake fans around the world might not be aware of this, so the new NFT collaboration aims to educate!

     

    The bottles contain unique ukiyo-e NFT art prints of a dragon and phoenix on the bottle, respectively. Those who purchase a bottle will also find the year of production and bottle number etched onto the glass with lacquer. Be sure to keep the bottle even after the delicious sake is gone!

     

    Story

    Rice / Tobe Rice
    In Tokamachi, Niigata Prefecture, farmers have been cultivating this unique brand of Koshihikari rice without the help of pesticides or fertilizers for over two decades. The rice is called the best in all of Japan, and one-third of its yield is used to make sake.

     

    Water / Pure Groundwater

    The Japan Median Tectonic Line, also known as the ‘Dragon’s Vein,’ is a massive fault line that is home to numerous sacred sites, including  Suwa Grand Shrine, Toyokawa Inari Shrine, Tenkawa Benzaiten Shrine, Ise Grand Shrine, and the Koyasan Mountain. The groundwater found here is some of the purest found in Japan and flows from the Bungui Pass in Ina, Nagano Prefecture. The pass has been featured in many publications as one of the most famous power spots in Japan.

     

    Brewing / Ono Brewery

    While dealing with some of the harshest winter weather in Japan, the brewery has continued to create sake the old-fashioned way–with human hands. For the creation of these two bottles, the brewers took on the challenge of making a very small amount of sake, something they had never done before. Based on the concept of “making the most of the environment,” the rice was prepared in a special room with no air conditioning under the watchful eye of the master brewer.

     

    Bottle Art/ Ukiyo-e Artist, Shun
    The art displayed on the bottle is printed in a unique way, allowing it to be put on display separately. The Japanese-style art is perfect for the collaboration and was inspired by one specific hope: that a new path will open to those who work hard after the many difficulties and troubles caused by the pandemic.

    Bottle Making / Maruyoshi Kosaka Wood & Urushi Works

    The circular label symbolizes the moon (water) and the sun (fire), each representing a world where different values are not only accepted but welcomed. Hand-painted and made with pure platinum and gold leaf by the talented craftsman at Maruyoshi Kosaka Wood & Urushi Works in Shiojiri, Nagano, these advanced painting techniques are sure to impress.

     

    Each Bottle Features the Brewing Year, Number Printed in Lacquer

    Marked with a unique serial number, all proceeds from the sales of these special sakes will be used to maintain and promote sustainable agriculture, support sake brewers, and bring traditional Japanese craftsmanship to the world.

  • teamLab Opens 8th Annual Art Exhibition at Mifuneyama Rakuen in Saga Prefecture

    12.May.2022 | FASHION / SPOT

    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.

  • Fendi and Harajuku Omotesando Keyaki-kai Collaborate on #FendiTsunaguOmotesando Art Project

    12.May.2022 | FASHION / SPOT

    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!

  • Illustrator Jiji to Release First Artbook in May

    06.May.2022 | FASHION

    Popular illustrator and alcohol ink artist Jiji will release her first artbook in May! 

     

    Images

     

     

    Behind-the-Scenes

     

    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.

  • HERALBONY GALLERY to Hold 8th Original Exhibition Highlighting Artists with Disabilities

    16.April.2022 | FASHION / Uncategorized

    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.

     

     

    Kaoru Iga

     

    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. 

  • NAKED Collaborates with Uta no Prince-sama Game for Special Art Installation

    14.April.2022 | ANIME&GAME / SPOT

    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☆PRI-MOVIE PROJECT

  • 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.

     

    Featured Artists

    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.

     

    Lineup

     

     

    Participating Artists

    Title: (Untitled) (Home)
    Artist: Kiyoshi Yaegashi

     

    Title: (Untitled) (Circles)
    Artist: Sanae Sasaki

     

    Title: Fairy
    Artist: Fumie Shimaoka

     

    Title: Numbers
    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

    12.April.2022 | FASHION / SPOT

    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

    08.April.2022 | FASHION / SPOT

    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?

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