Tag Archives: 日本

Land of 8,000,000 Spirits 为什么日本有八百万个神?

October 23, 2018 2018年10月23日

From Kazuki Okuda‘s pen comes a crocodile peeking out among the branches of an ancient tree and a giant graceful dragonfly perched on a girl’s chest. Other illustrations feature golden carp, green frogs, and emerald-headed mallards. We’re far from cities of concrete: this is a story of humans and nature.

Okuda’s works are exquisite and expansive, like a cicada’s delicately veined wings that, though small, create a resounding chorus from high in the trees. His works teem with all sorts of tiny creatures, and viewed from a distance, they form an epic, cinematic composition.



Okuda was born in Nara Prefecture and now lives in Kyoto. “The place I grew up has a lot of nature near where people live,” he says. In his view Japan is a mystical country, and the close relationship of nature and culture has given rise to a unique spiritual concept called yaoyorozu no kami (八百万の神, literally “eight million spirits”). Spirits, or kami, live in all things and are part of nature’s diversity. “While living there [in Nara], nature gave me the impression of both extreme charm and extreme fear,” he recalls.

这个奥田一生,生于日本奈良县,目前生活在京都,一个“被大自然环抱着,比邻人群之地”。在他眼里,日本是一个神秘的国家,自然和人文交织混合,因而也有一种独特的神学理论,“八百万の神”,即这个神灵 Kami 存在于一切事物里,囊括在自然万物中。“因而在奈良县生活,大自然给我留下的印象是既迷人又恐惧的。” 他说。

Insects feature prominently in Okuda’s art. These organisms have a particularly complex body structure that nevertheless looks very simple. One reason he draws them, he says, is that “although they’re beautiful, they cause fear. They simultaneously give rise to various conflicting emotions. They are living creatures like human beings, but they’re more a part of nature than we are, and unlike us, they are akin to the spirits. Using them, I can express the idea of yaoyorozu no kami and the various feelings I get from nature.”

奥田一生的画里常常出现昆虫。这种生物拥有非常复杂的身体结构,但看起来又非常简单。“(我画昆虫)其中很重要的一个原因是它们的视觉呈现。它们又美又让人心生恐惧,这也给了我很多矛盾的情感——昆虫是和人类一样的生命体,但它们融入自然的程度却超过了我们。并且,与我们不同的是,昆虫与出现在神性里的圣灵更相似。所以我借用它们的身形,以表达 Kami 的思想和来自大自然的各种情感。”

Nature is an important motif in Okuda’s work, and he shows this by insistently drawing living creatures. But he doesn’t want his paintings to show the splendor of nature alone—culture also occupies an important place. “I draw insects and living things with human beings to represent the wonders of culture and the wonders of nature,” he says.

“Insects and living creatures are an important channel through which we connect with nature. And this is an important theme,” he says. “I want people who see my pictures to be interested in nature and living things. And I also want them to have an adventure in the world inside the painting—an adventure at the intersection of culture and nature. something that’s fun.”



Website: isseinoissyou.michikusa.jp

Contributor: Chen Yuan

网址: isseinoissyou.michikusa.jp
Behance: ~/isseitakied303

供稿人: Chen Yuan

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Schoolgirl Nightmares 女孩们,这个世界终究是残酷的

September 26, 2018 2018年9月26日

The world can be a cruel place.

But in it, Japanese artist Kazuhiro Hori sees young girls as the quintessential embodiment of innocence and purity. Channeling this outlook, his illustrations depict nightmarish worlds populated by rosy-cheeked schoolgirls in distress. The cake frosting has turned into a strong adhesive, gluing the girls in place like mouse traps; pools of strawberry jam puddle up underneath them, vibrant like freshly spilled blood; and possessed dolls claw at them, eyes gleaming with malicious intent. Hori’s illustrations, while steeped in a sense of horror, beckons viewers to look on in disbelief and ask, “What exactly is happening to these girls?”


在日本画家堀一浩(Kazuhiro Hori)的眼里,女孩是一如既往地天真烂漫,她们有着稍泛红晕的稚嫩脸庞,身穿象征纯洁的高校制服,但迎接她们的却不是一个单纯美好的世界。奶油蛋糕变成邪恶兹生的温床,草莓果酱流淌成鲜血,一个一个被赋予了生命的绒毛玩偶,伺机而动,贪婪地向女孩伸出魔爪。他的画作让人感到不寒而栗,甚至不忍去直视。这些女孩,到底发生了什么事?

“I work in an art school filled with 18- to 20-year-old girls,” Hori explains. “So from my perspective as a male, it looks like these girls live in a colorful, carefree world of cuteness and fun. They’re surrounded by their favorite food, music, manga, and friends. But the truth is, they experience a lot of worry and anxiety. A vague sense of unease towards the future awaits them. And unfortunately, their dream world is going to be replaced by the cruelness of real-life society.”

“我在一所学校工作,这里的学生大多是十八到二十岁、正在学习艺术的女孩。就我一个男性的眼光,这些女学生活在一个可爱、充满欢乐、色彩斑斓的世界里,被喜欢的食物、音乐、漫画书和朋友围绕着。但事实上,她们也有很多烦恼和忧虑,一股关于未来的隐约不安感也如影随形地相伴。很不幸的,将要取代她们所想的美好世界的,是一个残酷的现实社会。” 堀一浩这样解释道他的创作动机。

“I don’t think the real world is only filled with bad things,” he clarifies. “I’m just tapping into my personal feelings of different situations and observations, and then turning them into drawings.”

Growing up, many young girls will eventually step into a world inconsistent with how they might’ve imagined it in their youth, a place that’s perhaps not as bright or kind as they originally envisioned. Hori’s work—while cynical and distrustful—is simply his way of bidding farewell to the innocence of youth, a sendoff for the girls who sooner or later will be confronted with the unsympathetic realities of life.

“我不认为外面的世界是全然的坏。我只是提炼出我的感受,把它们画出来而已。” 日月星移,女孩总有一天要进入一个与她们想像不同的世界,也许是一个光明渐失、不再充满善意的地方。而堀一浩的画作带着一点悲观和警世的意味,不过是一场目送,眼看这些女孩向真实人生起程罢了。

Instagram: @chardinchardin


Contributor: Yang Yixuan

脸书:  ~/chardinchardin
Instagram: @chardinchardin


供稿人: Yang Yixuan

What Money Can’t Buy

August 16, 2018 2018年8月16日
Money Soldiers

Can money be a kind of art?

Everyone knows what paper money looks like, but not everyone’s observed it closely. For Japanese origami artist Yosuke Hasegawa, whose imagination borders on madness, banknotes are worth more than their face value. Bills from different countries have different designs that reflect their history and culture,  but most feature a portrait of a famous historical figure. Yet what if those figures could cast off their stolid, decades-old appearance?


来自日本的折纸艺术家长谷川洋介(Yosuke Hasegawa)对于纸钞这个每个人都习以为常、却不曾仔细观察过的日常用品,怀抱着几近疯狂的想像,对他来说,纸钞承载的不单单只有金钱的重量而已。各国纸钞因应各地历史和文化有着不同的设计,最普遍的是印有当地伟大历史人物的肖像。如果,这些名人能够摆脱百年来一如既往的严肃样貌呢?

Lincoln Cup (USA)
Lincoln Ninja (USA)
From Mongolia
From India
From Japan

Hasegawa has traveled to eighteen countries, including the US, the UK, India, Vietnam, and Nepal, and he’s collected money from all of them. Banknotes from more distant countries, or those that have been discontinued, he buys on the internet. Then he uses the portrait on the bill to make playful origami or collage pieces.

So far he’s made origami works with banknotes from 60 countries. How did he start doing all this? “At first, I took inspiration from another people’s money origami. Using money was very shocking and interesting for me, so just I tried to fold some. And I found out that I could do it perfectly on the first try, even without practice,” he says. “I made something new every time. And I couldn’t stop folding money.”



Party Queen (UK)
Jackson Clown (USA)
From Japan

“What I keep in mind when I fold origami is that the edge and folding lines should be sharp and crisp. Image, nuance, and balance are important, as is how it fits with the portrait,” he explains. “Traditional Japanese origami is mathematics, but my money origami is kind of freestyle folding.”

“在折纸过程中,我经常面临的挑战是如何让肖像清楚地展示,同时折出锋利的边缘和干净的收边。构图、平衡、微妙的细节之处,它们如何与人像契合,是我折纸最重视的部分。” 他进一步解释,“传袭于日本传统的折纸艺术,这是一种与数学原理相近,需要精密计算的艺术。但我折纸的时候更倾向于自由发挥。”

Einstein on the Street
Elizabeth on the Street

In Hasegawa’s hands, money becomes like a kind of art. He sees it simply as a medium, dismissing any thought of its conventional worth and endowing it with a new value.

“Origami is only part of my money works. I’m more interested in the demolition and rebirth of the value of money,” he says. “Each banknote has a value, but after it becomes origami, maybe you can no longer recognize that value.”

在长谷川洋介的手上,钱俨然成为一种艺术。他将之视为一种单纯的素材,脱去普遍 “价格” 的思考,再赋予新的 “价值”。



Mao Flaming Star
Nobody Recognizes
Chase Your Dreams
Landscape of the Money World
Money 911 Landscape
Delusion Landscape of Money



Contributor: Yang Yixuan

网站: yosuke89.wixsite.com


供稿人: Yang Yixuan

A Thousand Paper Cranes

June 11, 2018 2018年6月11日

Can you pinpoint the exact moment when you became an adult?

Painter Kaori Watanabe says, for her, it was “when Japanese ginger first tasted good.”

Born in 1984 in Shizuoka, Watanabe is a graduate of the Kyoto Saga University of Arts. She creates elegant paintings of young women with flowing hair and porcelain skin in traditional Japanese kimonos. While beautiful, the body language and demeanors of Watanabe’s characters give glimpses of doubt, a silent internal struggle. But what are these characters struggling against? What are their aspirations?


“当我觉得日本姜变得好吃了。”渡边佳织(Kaori Watanabe)说。

渡边佳织于 1984 年出生于日本静冈,毕业于京都嵯峨艺术大学。她画中的少女让人印象深刻。在形象上,长发、和服、富士山、白白净净的脸庞,就像是从谷崎润一郎的《细雪》中走出来“雪子”;然而在肢体语言和面部表情上,那些沉默和倔强显得暧昧而充满意味——女孩们想要挣脱——挣脱什么?飞向什么?

When Watanabe was still a child in the 1980s and 1990s, Japan experienced severe economic turmoil.

But this period of strife led to two pivotal cultural shifts in the country.

First, it led Japanese women to begin joining the workforce en masse, furthering the cause of feminism. In 1985, the government enacted the “Gender Equality Employment Act” to protect women from gender discrimination in the workplace. 

Second, it ushered in the “Golden Age” of Japanese pop culture, as people lost hope in the economy and urgently sought emotional solace and entertainment. 

20 世纪八九十年代,也就是渡边佳织的少女时期,日本经历了严重的经济动荡。


一件事是更多的女性主动或被动地涌入社会寻求工作,日本女性主义在那个时期得以高度发展。1985 年,日本颁布了《男女雇佣均等法》,为女性在就业中遇到的性别歧视提供法律保护。


With the rise of feminism and growth of the entertainment industry, a new wave of strong female characters—both real and fictional—would emerge as iconic figures in Japanese pop culture.

As a teenager Watanabe fell in love with art and punk rock.“The three things that defined my youth were MTV, the singer Jun Togawa, and the painter Kajiwara Hisako,” she says. “After we got MTV, I became obsessed with it. I spent all my free time glued to the set. Jun Togawa was a singer in the 80s — she was totally punk. Kajiwara Hisako was a painter from Osaka who worked in a traditional Japanese style, and I was really into her work. I loved punk rock, but back then I couldn’t find anyone who wanted to form a band, so I wrote poems to express my emotions. Even today I still include small poems on some of my paintings.”


在渡边佳织的青少年时期,就爱上了朋克和艺术。“要说我青春期的三个关键词,就是 MTV、户川纯、梶原緋佐子 。自从我们家装上 MTV 以后,我就迷上了它,一有空就看;户川纯是 80 年代很火的一个朋克风格的创作女歌手;梶原緋佐子是我很喜欢的以日本传统风格为主的京都女画家。我很喜欢朋克乐,但那时我找不到和我一起组乐队的朋友,所以我就通过写诗来表达我的情感。现在我仍然会在一些画上写诗。”

In Watanabe’s female figures, traditional symbolic forms and a rebellious, unconstrained spirit appear side by side, in a state of constant struggle. Some of her typical paintings feature Japan’s traditional “thousand paper cranes,” which give the work a sense of restlessness and anxiety—as though the cranes were the young women’s souls, flying away one after the other in their beauty and their fragility.


While the thousand paper cranes that populate her work are deliberate, Watanabe is unable to explain their precise meaning. “At times, I suppose they’re symbolic of certain emotions. Or maybe they’re a nod to the spirits in Japanese folk tales that can take on people’s souls, as in the novel Onmyōji: the cranes would be either shikigami, which are spirits, or shikifuda, which are paper puppets that house spirits.” By including these inanimate yet mysterious elements in her figure paintings, she blurs the lines between fiction and reality, between the ancient and the contemporary.

The friction between surface cuteness and inner rebelliousness reflects the experience of growing up as a woman in Japan. “I don’t hope for complete gender equality, but in the current situation I can still strive to live a happier and freer life,” says Watanabe. Feminist voices are making themselves heard more loudly than ever, but gender inequality is still very much present, and young women grow up in struggle and compromise. They’re expected to carry on a tradition, but the thousand paper cranes still cry out.

画上这些千纸鹤,渡边佳织当然是用意的,却说不清明确的理由——“它象征着某种情感,亦或像是那种日本民间神话中可以摄人心魂的神灵,就像是《阴阳师》中阴阳师所役使的灵体 Shikigami,或是一种寄居在纸制人偶中的叫做 Shikifuda 的灵体。”渡边佳织将这些看起来没有生命却极具神秘感的元素融入她的人物绘画中,现实与虚构、古代与当下的界限就这样被打破了。


“The moment Japanese ginger first tasted good—that’s when I knew I’d grown up,” Watanabe says.

For many young women, growing up is like ginger: tangy, tart, spicy, sweet. For children, the flavor is too complex, worlds away from the straightforward sweetness of candy.

But one day you suddenly find you appreciate this complexity and can take satisfaction in the multilayered bounty life offers. Maybe that’s the moment when you grow up.




Instagram: @watanabe_kaori_


Contributor: Cheng Li

 Instagram: @watanabe_kaori_


供稿人: Cheng Li

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The Old

May 28, 2018 2018年5月28日

According to the most recent statistics, as of October 2017, 27.7% of Japan’s population, or around 35 million people, are 65 or older. While Japan’s rapidly aging population has long been an issue for the country, the numbers are still shocking.

Born in Manchester, England, photographer Lee Chapman has lived in Japan for over two decades. His photo series The Old turns his lens onto Japan’s aging society. They still stagger along on traffic-clogged thoroughfares and eke out a living in alleyway shops.

最新统计显示,截至 2017 年 10 月,日本 65 岁以上老年人口为 3515.2 万人,占总人口的 27.7%。虽说对日本老龄化社会所面临的诸般问题早有耳闻,但真正看到数据时,却依然显得触目惊心。

出生于英国曼彻斯特的摄影师 Lee Chapman,已经在日本生活了二十多个年头,他的这个摄影系列《The Old》,正把镜头聚焦于在日本生活的垂垂老者──车水马龙的大路上,他们依然蹒跚地走着;沿街的小店里,他们依然勉力维持着生计。

“I was initially fascinated by Tokyo’s older areas and districts,” Chapman says. “These neighborhoods often have large elderly populations, so a series of photos featuring them just gradually built up.”

Almost none of the individuals featured in this series were deliberately chosen – most were just chance encounters. “They are mostly all people I spotted on the street, in bars, or in restaurants,” he says. “People that to me at least are interesting, and people whose faces, or the situation I photographed them in, seemed to tell a story.”

“我是先为东京较古老的城区所吸引,而这些地方往往聚集着大量的老年人口,因此一系列以他们为特色的照片才逐渐建立起来。” Chapman 说。

所以镜头里的老人们绝大多数都是 Lee Chapman 在街上随机遇到的,而并非经过层层挑选的拍摄对象,“他们基本上都是我在街上、酒吧或餐厅看到的人。他们是对我而言至少有意思的人。他们的脸上,或者我拍下他们的那刻情景里,似乎都在讲述一个故事。”

One particular photograph that’s engraved in Chapman’s memory is his shot of a silver-haired woman rolling up metal shutters.

“I initially saw only her hands and feet, and then as her face appeared, I quickly got the shot,” he says with a grin. “But the main reason it’s one of my favorites is that when she saw me standing there, she immediately – and rather forcefully – commandeered me into helping her . . . After opening it, she invited me inside to chat with her.”

最让 Lee Chapman 感到动容的一张照片故事,是这个拉卷帘门的老婆婆。

“这是我很满意的一张照片。她站在卷帘门背后,起初我只看到她的手和脚,当卷帘门缓缓上升,她的脸最终出现的时候,我当即按下了快门。” Chapman 说,“但我最喜欢这张照片的主要原因之一,是她看到我站在那里,她立即,甚至是不容分说地,请我帮她拉开卷帘。然后老婆婆还邀请我进屋聊聊天。”

She ended up becoming just about the only person in the series Chapman would spend time with. Chatting with her, he learned that this was her former store, but as age began taking its toll, she closed down the shop and converted it into a living space.

“It was a very interesting half an hour or so that I wouldn’t have had without taking that photograph,” he says. “It’s also even more poignant now as I’ve never seen the shutters raised since, let alone seen the lady herself.”

这次经历几乎算是 Chapman 在拍摄这一系列中唯一与之“共度时光”的老人了。聊天里,Chapman 得知照片里拍的是老婆婆从前开的小店,但因为她年事已高,疲于经营,现在这里只算是她的住所,早已不作商铺。


With the sheer amount of elderly citizens in modern Japan, many have voiced concern for their well-being. Must they live the rest of their lives alone? What are the realities of their living situations?

“The lady who I talked with was living by herself and was clearly very lonely,” Chapman notes. “Her kids didn’t live nearby, and she couldn’t get out much, a situation that, given Japan’s aging population, is sadly only going to get more common.”


“就我之前提到的那位拉卷帘门的老太太来看,她一个人生活,显然很孤独。她的孩子不住在附近,她也无法独自出门。” Chapman 说,“鉴于日本人口老龄化的情况,很遗憾这样的事只会变得更加普遍。”

In the middle of the fast-paced city, the old get by at their own inevitably slower rhythm. Leading slow lifestyles, the aging population of Japan can struggle to find belonging in the rapidly developing metropolis. Chapman says that this series has helped him come to terms with the impermanent nature of the world around him.

He tells us, “These areas I often shoot in are changing at an alarming rate and fascinating old buildings are being demolished everywhere. Of course, it’s not just the buildings that are disappearing, but also the people who once inhabited them. This element also makes my work seem more pressing, and in some small way, more important,” he says.

在快速发展的城市夹缝中,老人们用自己缓慢而不得已的节奏生存着。因此拍摄这个系列,让 Chapman 更加意识到了周围世界的无常性。


Website: leechapman.photos
Instagram: @tokyotimes_lee


Contributor: Chen Yuan

网站: leechapman.photos
Instagram: @tokyotimes_lee


供稿人: Chen Yuan


March 19, 2018 2018年3月19日

Will Matsuda is a Japanese American photographer whose personal works are largely influenced by two seemingly unrelated topics: the beauty of nature and an eagerness to better understand his own mixed-racial identity. Following these thematics, his latest photo series, Kyoushuu, takes a look at Kyoto – the city where his parents met and lived – through atypical perspectives.

日裔美籍摄影师 Will Matsuda 的个人作品,灵感源于看似毫无关联的两方面:一个是来自于大自然的美景,另一个则来自于他对了解自身不同种族身份的渴望。他的最新摄影系列《Kyoushuu》也延续着同样的主题,并以独特的角度来定格京都——这也是他的父母相遇、生活的城市。

Sharing his experience of shooting the project, Matsuda tells us, “It rained nonstop for almost the entire week I was there. Almost all of these photos were taken in the last day and a half while I was in Kyoto, due to the fact that those were the hours where there wasn’t torrential rain. This definitely led to a kind of strange, dream-like quality to the photos I took while I was there.”


Matsuda cites the novels of Haruki Murakami as one of his influences: “There’s this sort of slow magical realism that creeps into some of these photos, and that’s definitely inspired by Murakami, or The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles in particular. There’s this great quote from the book that I think about a lot: ‘To know one’s own state is not a simple matter. One cannot look directly at one’s own face with one’s own eyes, for example. One has no choice but to look at one’s reflection in the mirror. Through experience, we come to believe that the image is correct, but that is all.'”

Matsuda 表示,村上春树的小说是他摄影创作的影响之一:“这其中有些照片,像是流露着一股缓慢的魔幻现实主义,这很显然是村上给我的启发,尤其是他的《奇鸟行状录》。这本书中有一句话经常让我思考:‘了解自身状况并非易事。比方说,人无法以自己的眼睛直接看自己的脸,只能借助镜子,看镜里的反映,而我们只是先验性地相信映在镜中的图像是正确的。’”

For Matsuda, photography has become a way for him to explore the notion of home, belonging, and heritage. He tells us, “I’m interested in the intersection of my Western gaze and my inherent Japanese-ness, which is familiar to anyone with a diasporic identity. I have an idea of Japan that is profoundly shaped by my socialization in the West through images and narratives about Japan in pop culture, from katakana text on seemingly every streetwear brand to the whitewashing of Hollywood. I hope to subvert the image of Japan that has been fed to me by tapping into something deeper, something within me. I find that photography is a really powerful tool to unveil my subconscious, and maybe even my own histories, to myself.”

Matsuda 认为,摄影是他了解家庭、归属感和文化传承概念的一种方式。他说:“其实我对自己身上的西方视角与日本文化内在的交融很感兴趣,这种交融对于任何在异国生活的人来说都并不陌生。我对日本的看法,很大程度上是受我在西方生活时那些流行文化中日本影像和描述的影响,从街头品牌上的片假名文字到好莱坞的电影等等。我希望能通过挖掘更深层次的东西,颠覆一直以来人们被灌输的对日本的印象。我觉得摄影是揭开自我潜意识、甚至了解自己过往很有用的工具。”

Website: willmatsuda.com
Instagram: @willfujiomatsuda


Contributor: George Zhi Zhao

网站: willmatsuda.com
Instagram: @willfujiomatsuda


供稿人: George Zhi Zhao

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RadianceScape Live!

December 25, 2017 2017年12月25日

Hong Kong new media collective XCEED recently brought their RadianceScape Live! project to Poland’s PatchLab Festival. RadianceScape Live! is an audiovisual performance that builds on XCEED’s original RadianceScape installation piece. Conceptualized by XCEED founder Zhang Hanqian (a.k.a. h0nh1m), the project is a live audiovisual display of radiation levels from major cities across the world, which uses data sourced from Safecast.org, a website that aggregates global radioactivity data. By comparing the radiation levels of major cities, such as New York, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Berlin, and Paris, to the nuclear disaster zones of Chernobyl and Fukushima, the project hopes to bring greater awareness to the issue of global radiation pollution.

不久前,香港新媒体团队XCEED带着新作《辐射界现场!》去到PatchLab Festival 波兰站。《辐射界现场!》是他们之前的装置艺术作品《辐射界》全新衍生出的现场表演版本。XCEED创作主脑张瀚谦(又名h0nh1m)将无形的辐射线可视化,他从Safecast.org(一个收集与共享全球核辐射数据的传感器网络)搜集全球各大城市的核辐射数据,再把他们变成光线和声音,进行实时的视觉影像创作。通过激光勒出纽约、东京、香港、柏林等大城市的辐射样貌,并和核辐射重灾区切尔诺贝利及福岛做对比,希望提高大众对于核灾的认知与关注度,审视遍布全球的辐射问题。

RadianceScape started as a digital visualization of radiation levels and city contours. According to Zhang, the project was initially inspired by the 2011 Fukushima earthquake and tsunami. In 2014, Zhang spent half a year doing an artist residency in Japan, and during that time, he spoke with local residents to understand their reactions to the disaster and subsequent radiation pollution. After the 2011 earthquake, dire amounts of nuclear runoff from Fukushima flooded into the Pacific Ocean, contaminating ocean life and creating an environmental crisis. To this day, Japan has been unable to come up with an effective cleanup resolution. During the bid for the upcoming Olympic Games, the Japanese government’s official stance was that they had resolved the crisis. In an effort to appease local residents, the government implemented tests and measurement centers across Fukushima to collect data on radiation levels. However, data from the official measurements would differ from data collected by international media and environmental agencies, causing widespread allegations of a government coverup.


After returning to Hong Kong, Zhang began work on RadianceScape project. The Safecast system, which was created by a group of volunteers after the Fukushima crisis, would provide the data that would be used for the project. Retranslating the data to laser and sounds, Zhang and his team created a new and stimulating way to present information that would bring attention to the current state of radiation pollution across the world. The RadianceScape installation featured red and green laser lights scanning across visualizations of Chernobyl and Fukushima, two of the world’s most infamous nuclear disaster zones. The visuals would be accompanied by sound design that included tonal drone ambiance and noises that correspond to the different levels of radioactivity.


Radiation data uploaded to Safecast.org by volunteers 志愿者们将收集到的辐射数据上传到Safecast.org
Radiation data uploaded to Safecast.org by volunteers 志愿者们将收集到的辐射数据上传到Safecast.org

“The ‘-scape’ in RadianceScape refers to landscapes. To visualize radiation in these cities, we first used electronic landscapes to display the structures of the cities. The higher the radiation levels became, the harder it would be to see the underlying structures of the cities,” Zhang explains. Ultimately, he hopes this project can raise awareness and allow people to better understand the issue of radiation pollution. “The issues with nuclear energy have always existed. We should begin a discussion on whether or not this source of energy is even necessary. We have a lot of options aside from nuclear energy.”

See below for a snippet of their live performance.

《辐射界》的英文名字是 Radiance Scapescape即是代表landscape 我们希望以辐射勾勒城市景貌,所以背景以电子地图中的立体街景方式呈现。作品内辐射率愈高,就愈难看见城市原来的面貌 ” 视觉呈现的背后,张瀚谦希望启发观众更深入关注核污染问题,“核能问题一直衍生。我们需讨论核能是否必要之需?人类仍有很多选择,不一定需要核能源。”






Contributor: Ye Zi
Images Courtesy of XCEED



供稿人: Ye Zi
图片由提供 XCEED 提供

Tokyo Storefront

December 5, 2017 2017年12月5日

Polish-born and Japan-based artist Mateusz Urbanowicz is the talented illustrator and painter behind Bicycle Boy, a series we’ve previously featured on Neocha. Known for his vivid usage of watercolors and eye for detail, Urbanowicz has worked as the background artist for many anime TV shows and movies over the years, including the critically acclaimed Your Name. This year, Urbanowicz expressed hopes of shifting more of his attention towards personal projects. This reprioritization has led to a continuation of the ten-part Tokyo Storefront series that he released last year. The extension to the series comes in the form of a bilingual book that includes the original ten illustrations along with 40 new drawings.

艺术家Mateusz Urbanowicz生于波兰,目前居住在日本。他也是我们先前报道的另一个水彩画系列《自行车男孩》Bicycle Boy)的作者。才华横溢的他以细腻精致且清新生动的画风而闻名,更曾为许多动漫和电影创作背景插画,包括广受好评的电影《你的名字》(Your Name)。今年,Mateusz表达了他专注创作自己的艺术作品的希望。他将去年已有10张作品的《东京店面》(Tokyo Storefront)系列进行了增补,并将以双语书的形式面向大众,其中将包括最初的10幅插图以及40幅新创作的作品。

“When I moved to Tokyo more than three years ago, I was really surprised that on my walks I encountered so many shops still in business inside really old buildings. Differently to Kobe, where the earthquake wiped out a lot of these old downtown houses and shops, in Tokyo they still survive,” Urbanowicz recalls, and inspired by their beauty, Tokyo Storefront is his attempt to document these charming buildings.


The majority of the storefronts featured in the book comes from Urbanowicz’s exploration of Tokyo. However, his approach is more than a mere recreation of his observations. In the illustration above, Urbanowicz shares that the signage was already torn down when he showed up in his location hunt. Disappointed, he took a few photos of the shop in its current state and went home to scour the internet for old images of the store. In his final illustration, the original signage has been restored in its retro glory, and as a master of details, a small chair he observed in one of the old photos was also included.


Commenting on the series, Urbanowicz shares, “I didn’t want to copy all the retro guides that already exist for Tokyo. Because of that we, of course, had to go again to those places, take more photos, and look more closely at the details of the shops. But that also gave us a chance to talk with the owners to learn more about the interesting history behind each of the shops.”


In the upcoming book, Urbanowicz not only explores Tokyo shop facades but will also include historical details presented in both English and Japanese as well as sketches of shop interiors.

Tokyo Storefronts – The Artworks of Mateusz Urbanowicz is now available for pre-order on Amazon.


目前,《东京店面——Mateusz Urbanowicz绘作》(Tokyo Storefronts – The Artworks of Mateusz Urbanowicz)系列已经可以在Amazon上预售


Contributor: Chen Yuan


供稿人: Chen Yuan

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Roadside Lights

November 9, 2017 2017年11月9日

Roadside Lights is a charming series from Japanese photographer Eiji Ohashi that captures vending machines in their natural surroundings. A native of the northernmost Japanese city of Wakkanai in Hokkaido prefecture, Ohashi was initially inspired to create the series during a tumultuous winter in his hometown. In the midst of a particularly heavy snowstorm, Ohashi became lost on the road, and could only find his way home by navigating the glow of vending machines that stood as the only familiar landmarks on the snow-covered streets. After that fateful event, Ohashi spent the next nine years photographing vending machines in various locations across Japan.

《Roadside Lights》(“街灯”)是日本摄影师Eiji Ohash以各个角落里的自动贩卖机为主题拍摄的一个摄影作品系列。Ohashi出生在日本最北端的城市——位于北海道的稚内市。在家乡一个大雪纷飞的冬天,他产生了创作这一系列的灵感。当时正在下一场特别大的暴风雪,Ohashi迷路了,在冰雪覆盖的街道上,他最后靠以自己所熟悉的那些明亮的自动贩卖机为路标,才成功回到家。经历了那次关键事件之后,Ohashi花了九年的时间,走遍日本各地,拍摄自动贩卖机。

Ohashi’s subjects glow with life in his photographs, with each vending machine seeming to exude a distinct personality of its own. For Ohashi, the vending machine serves as a metaphor to further examine the human condition. Ubiquitous in every corner of urban and rural Japan, these machines reflect human themes such as loneliness and alienation, corporate efficiency, and workforce automation – all relevant to life in modern Japanese society.


Ohashi says in his own words, “Coming close to dusk, the city and country both alike, the roadside vending machines light up. This particular scene of vending machines placed on ordinary roadsides is unique to Japan. Looking at the vending machines having been placed in the wilderness or downtown, one can see loneliness being illustrated. The machines work non-stop, despite it being day or night, but would be taken away once the sale drops. The machines would not exist if each and every one does not have its own color and shine. It just might be depicting the nature of us humans.”


Roadside Lights has been featured in solo exhibitions across Japan and has also been compiled into a book of the same name, available for purchase here.

《Roadside Lights》目前已于日本各地举办展览,并被编成一本同名书籍,点击这里即可购买。



Contributor: George Zhi Zhao



供稿人: George Zhi Zhao

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Flesh Love

October 9, 2017 2017年10月9日
Ichika & Arisa

Flesh Love is a photography project by Tokyo-based artist Photographer Hal. Over the years, Photographer Hal has explored the themes of love and attachment by taking photographs of couples in enclosed spaces across multiple projects. For the Flesh Love series, Photographer Hal began to vacuum seal couples together in plastic wrap as a way to examine modern relationships. Photographer Hal tells us more about the story behind his work below.

《Flesh Love》是由东京艺术家Photographer Hal创作的一个摄影项目。多年来,Photographer Hal曾在多个摄影项目中,用镜头捕捉情侣在封闭空间的照片,探讨爱情和迷恋的主题。在《Flesh Love》系列中,Photographer Hal将情侣装在一个巨型真空密封袋中,寓意对现代男女关系的一种审视。Photographer Hal向我们分享了更多关于这些作品背后的故事。

Yuya & Ritsuko
Kazan & Tomoe
Yohei & Yuri
Miho & Ritsu

“When you embrace your lover, sometimes you wish to melt right into them. To realize this wish, I’ve been photographing couples in small and cramped spaces like motels and bathtubs. As my work has become more and more intense, I’ve noticed that communication is indispensable.”


Sakamaki & Makino
Take & Mari
Michico & Yuhei
Yajyu & Kaorin

“I go to Kabukicho in Shinjuku, underground bars in Shibuya and many other places which are full of activity like luscious night time bee hives. When I see a couple of interest I will begin to negotiate. I’m sure that many people initially think of my proposal as unusual or even look through me like I am completely invisible, but I always push forward with my challenge to them. The models appear from all walks of life, and individually, have included musicians, dancers, strippers, laborers, restaurant and bar managers, photographers, businessmen and businesswomen, the unsettled and the unemployed, and so on.”


Rem & Marina
Zinzin & Norico
Ami & Kojiro
Mana & Koji

“This time, I reached the point of photographing couples in vacuum-sealed packs in a set that I’ve constructed in my own kitchen. The lights are in the ceiling, so I just flip one switch and have everything ready. I have a few different colored paper backgrounds, which I leave rolled up in the corner. After the couple gets in the vacuum pack, I suck the air out with a vacuum cleaner until there’s none left. This gives me ten seconds to take the shot. In this extremely limited time I can’t release the shutter more than twice. I’ve been in there myself, and the fear I felt was overwhelming.”


Makoto & Shinji
Sachiko & Atsushi
Lim & Kyohei
PinQ & Pomco

“As the shooting continues over multiple takes, the pressure of the vacuum seal grows stronger. At the same time, the two bodies start to communicate, and whether through unevenness of limbs or the curve of joints they begin to draw a shape of what they want to express. The two lovers draw closer until they finally transform into a single being. Looking at these vacuum-sealed packs of love, we can imagine a more peaceful world. For me, the vacuum pack is only a means: the important thing is connecting to someone.”


Chihiro & Takeshi
Mihaya & Takao
Yoshi & Naomi
Alice & Kazuya

Website: photographerhal.com


Contributor: George Zhi Zhao



供稿人: George Zhi Zhao

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