Yayoi Kusama x Coca Cola vending machine


Wow, this is amazing. One of my favorite artists, Yayoi Kusama, has partnered with Coca Cola to design this wonderful polka-dotted vending machine.

(Thanks, Len!)

Related stories:
Amazing handsets designed by Yayoi Kusama
I Love Me, a film about famous OCD artist Yayoi Kusama
Yayoi Kusama, famous avant garde genius
Yayoi Deki is the new Yayoi Kusama
My radio piece about Japanese women artists

Woodblock prints show medical knowledge from the 19th century


Pink Tentacle points us to some beautiful woodblock prints the late 1800s. This one, called Ten realms within the human body, was once used as a visual medical guide to the human body. These are all part of a collection held at the University of California in San Francisco (UCSF), a great medical school not too far from where I live.

Posted in Art

Tetsuya Ishida’s surrealist self-portraits


I am both grateful and sad to learn about Tetsuya Ishida, a highly talented surrealist painter from Shizuoka who died several years ago at age 22, in a train accident which may have been a suicide. He was a prolific artist who often drew himself as part of a machine or appliance. There’s a real beautiful sadness about his pieces, some of which sold at auctions for about $10K.

via Pink Tentacle

Posted in Art

Erina Matsui art exhibit in Tokyo


One of my favorite artists (and super-fun person) Erina Matsui is having an exhibit in Tokyo from April 3-May 1 at the Yamamoto Gendai gallery. I interviewed her last year when I went to Japan with the producers of PRI’s Studio360, and spent a few hours talking to her about her art (she says she draws self-portraits of herself as a axelotl because people told her she looks like one) and eating sushi. She’s young, talented, and totally worth checking out.

Related stories:
Studio360 in Japan
Erina Matsui’s sci-fi self-portraits

Posted in Art

Real estate company rents out cute-ified apartments in Shibuya


The Japan Times has a fun story today about a duo of young women decorators who refurbish apartments with super-cute colorful furnishings. The properties they work with are pseudo-apartments where residents get their own room but share a kitchen, living space, and bathroom. The one condo mentioned in the article is in the trendy Aoyama district and once belonged to a famous novelist; they refurbished it to have a giant mirror and paintings of carp on the wall. The condos are occupied mostly by young women in their 30s, who rent rooms for $7-800. Sounds kind of like a fun way to live!

Tokujin Yoshioka’s rainbow church


If you’re in Seoul, Korea this May, don’t forget to check out Tokujin Yoshioka’s latest installation called the Rainbow Church. The main piece will be an 8-meter wall that refracts light, creating a giant array of rainbows in the space in front of it. But as all of us who have seen a Yoshioka exhibit are well aware, his creations are so much deeper than what meets the eye.

Museum.Beyond Museum via Dezeen

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Tokugawa armor sold for $600K to Minneapolis museum

1mia1211 The Minneapolis Institute of the Arts just bought this rare Tokugawa-era suit of armor, made of iron, leather, lacquer, and gold, for $602,500.

The armor came from a Japanese museum that acquired it in 1927 from a treasury that was part of the Tokugawa Shogunate, the family of warlords who ruled Japan from 1600 until 1868. It was made in the early 1600s in Kii Province, south of Kyoto, which was then headed by Tokugawa Yorinobu (1602-71), the 10th son of the dynasty’s founder.

The buyers are guessing that it was probably never worn in battle because it’s in pristine condition.

Link (Thanks, Misa!)

Posted in Art