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)
Limited Edition Sake Released Alongside NFT Art to Share the Value of Japanese Spirits with the World
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!
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.
Junmai Daiginjo – ‘Hitou ASCENDING,’ ‘Touka ILLUMINATING’
Official Site: https://hitoutouka.com/
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
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
Artist Takashi Murakami and Swiss Luxury Watch Brand Hublot Collaborate on NFT
05.April.2022 | FASHION
Swiss luxury watch brand Hublot and top Japanese artist Takashi Murakami have released two pieces of digital NFT artwork inspired by Hublot’s ‘Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami’ watches shown at the international watch exhibition ‘Watches & Wonders.’
These pieces of digital artwork were inspired by the Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami All Black watch and the Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami Sapphire Rainbow Watch. Both items were released in 2021 and marked the first collaboration between Hublot and a Japanese artist. These two watches were released in quantities of 200 and 100 pieces, respectively, and both sold out in only a few days.
The collaboration includes two pieces of digital artwork featuring smiling flowers, a symbolic theme of Murakami’s work and the Superflat art movement. There are 216 digital art pieces inspired by the All Black watch and 108 pieces inspired by the Sapphire Rainbow watch. These NFTs are primarily intended for current owners of the two limited-edition watches. Current watch owners must apply for the NFT between April 1 and April 25.
But don’t worry: these NFTs will also be available to the public in limited quantities in May 2022!
Hublot x Takashi Murakami NFT
Official Site: https://www.hublot.com
Shibuya PARCO Art Figure Gallery 1/ONE SLASH Opens with Sophie’s Atelier 2 Installation
Shibuya PARCO is scheduled to open a new art figure gallery, 1/ONE SLASH, in April 2022. Pop culture content like anime, comics, and games will feature heavily at this new fifth-floor location, with popular characters being recreated in 3D form.
Guests will be able to browse figures in the art gallery portion, and will also be able to purchase figures that they enjoy at the shop. The figures on display will be created by Design Coco, a company with an excellent reputation for producing high-quality figures, including life-size figures.
Title #1 – Sophie’s Atelier 2: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Dream
The first 1/ONE SLASH production will be both life-size and 1/7th scale figures of Sophie from the popular Koei Tecmo game Sophie’s Atelier 2: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Dream. The title is one of the best-selling games in the 25-year-old Atelier series. Character designs are being provided by NOCO and Yugen.
Fans of the recently-released game won’t want to miss this showing!
1/ ONE SLASH
Location: Shibuya PARCO 5F