Tag Archives: 日本

Bicycle Boy

After visiting Seiseki-Sakuragaoka, the Japanese suburbs that the 1995 Studio Ghibli film Whisper of the Heart was modeled after, Polish-born and Tokyo-based artist Mateusz Urbanowicz was inspired to paint his Bicycle Boy series, which consists of ten watercolor paintings that bring the film’s narrow roads and suburban landscapes to life. Urbanowicz uses 6B pencils to sketch out each moment before coloring them with Schimincke and Winsor & Newton watercolors. This series takes us on a journey of a dedicated bicycle boy who rides up challenging inclines and through the elements in order to reach his destination. Many of Urbanowicz’s other illustrations are also inspired by his new adoptive home of Japan as well as the animated backgrounds that feature in many Japanese anime films.

波兰出生的艺术家Mateusz Urbanowicz目前生活在东京。在参观完日本郊区圣迹樱丘(Seiseki-Sakuragaoka)——1995年吉卜力电影《心之谷》(Whisper of the Heart)的场景原型后,Urbanowicz创作了《自行车男孩》(Bicycle Boy)水彩画系列,通过十幅水彩画,栩栩如生地呈现出电影中出现的狭窄小巷和日本郊区景观。Urbanowicz在创作时,先使用6B铅笔画出草图,然后用Schimincke和Winsor&Newton水彩上色。这个水彩画系列带领观众,跟随一名骑自行车的男孩,骑过艰难的斜坡,经历各种天气,朝着目的地进发。Urbanowicz的许多其它插图的灵感还来自于他如今生活的日本,以及许多日本动画中的场景。

Website: mateuszurbanowicz.com
Facebook: ~/urbanowiczmateusz
Instagram: @mateusz_urbanowicz


Contributor: Whitney Ng

网站: mateuszurbanowicz.com
脸书: ~/urbanowiczmateusz
Instagram: @mateusz_urbanowicz


供稿人: Whitney Ng

An Artful Aftermath

Cleveland-born and Singapore-based artist Debra Raymond knows first hand about being in transit. After leaving Ohio, she lived in Jakarta before relocating to the little red dot; in her art,“constant migration” remains as a heavy inspiration. Contemporary social issues such as urban alienation and technology’s hindrance on human connection feature heavily within her body of work.

艺术家Debra Raymond出生于美国克利夫兰,如今定居新加坡。对于”迁徙“,她深有体会。离开俄亥俄州后, 她先是在雅加达生活,后又移居新加坡。在她的作品中, “不间断的迁徙” 一直是一种沉重的创作灵感,她在作品中深入探讨着各种当代社会问题, 如城市异化和科技对人际关系的影响等等。

During her BA (Hons) Fine Arts in Singapore’s LASALLE College of the Arts, she explored the significance of play in childhood development and how to encourage human interaction through art in our technologically advanced era. In late 2016, Raymond completed an artist residency at the Children Centre of Japan in the Miyagi Prefecture’s Ogatsu-cho. During her residency, she conducted workshops with local children to create a series of works to remember the 2011 tsunami and earthquake.

在新加坡拉萨尔艺术学院(LASALLE College of the Arts)攻读荣誉学士学位期间, 她研究了戏剧在童年发展中的意义, 以及如何在科技先进的时代通过艺术来鼓励人类互动。2016年9月, Raymond 完成了“艺术家驻住计划”(Artist-in-residence),居住在日本宫城县小村庄Ogatsu-cho的儿童中心。期间, 她以2011年的海啸事件为灵感,为当地的儿童举办艺术讲习班。

Inspired by the houses that survived the tsunami, Raymond created 20 sculptures out of wood that was foraged from the area. The sculptures are based on 30 sketches that were painted in 30 days. The series was created to commemorate “the everydayness that we often take for granted” and installed around the prefecture.

Raymond 以海啸中幸存的房子为启发,利用当地获取的木材,并以她在驻住期间完成的30幅作品为基础创作了20个雕塑。她所创作这一系列雕塑,被安放在村庄的不同角落,目的是为了赞颂 “那些往往被人们当作理所当然的平凡生活” 。

Website: debraymond.com
Instagram: @deb.ra


Contributor: Whitney Ng
Images Courtesy of Debra Raymond




供稿人: Whitney Ng
图片由Debra Raymond提供

Tokyo Roller-zoku Gangs

Tokyo Roller-zoku Gangs is a portrait series from American photographer Denny Renshaw. Created in Tokyo across five weeks in 2013 and 2015, the series was shot in parks, parties, bars, and music venues around the city. Renshaw tells us more about the series and the history behind the Roller-zoku subculture below.

2013年和2015年期间,美国摄影师Denny Renshaw前往东京,用五个星期的时间在公园、派对、酒吧和音乐场所拍摄下人像作品系列《Tokyo Roller-zoku Gangs》(Roller-zoku 指上世纪五六十年代东京的摇滚文化)。下面Renshaw 给我们介绍了这一人像作品系列,并讲述这种日本摇滚亚文化现象背后的一些故事。

“Among Japan’s many fashion tribes, one of the less explored is the Roller-zoku. For over 30 years the Roller-zoku have been borrowing greaser styles, gathering together for loud rock-and-roll music, and sporting leather, denim, and big greased up pompadours. Foreigners often associate them with the group of Roller-zoku seen in Yoyogi Park every Sunday, but this tribe can be found all over Tokyo. The Roller-zoku have grown from the roots of both 50’s and 60’s rock and roll and rockabilly because Japanese record labels did not differentiate between these musical categories at the time of their introduction.”

“在日本的各种时尚圈子中,Roller-zoku是其中比较鲜为人知的群体。30多年来,这些日本摇滚人一直在借鉴街头混混的造型风格, 他们聚集在一起听吵闹的摇滚音乐, 穿上皮夹克、牛仔服,向上梳起复古的‘庞毕度头’(pompadours)。外国人一般会首先想到的是每周日出现在代代木公园的Roller-zoku, 但其实他们遍布了东京的各个角落。Roller-zoku源自于50年代和60年代的摇滚乐和洛卡比里(Rockabilly)音乐, 因为在当时,日本的唱片公司把这些音乐混为一谈。”

“Japan experienced the popularity of these early rock-and-roll styles as did much of the world at that time, but it was the revival in the late 70’s that brought the fashions still associated with the Roller-zoku. Japanese bands like the Cools and Carol were at the forefront of this musical revival and began associating themselves with leather jackets, greased back hair, and motorcycles.”

”和当时世界其他地方一样,早期摇滚风格在日本经历了备受追捧的热潮,但直到70年代的复兴时期,才出现这种摇滚音乐的标志性时装风格。正是Cools and Carol 和其他引领着这种音乐复兴浪潮的日本乐队, 让皮夹克、‘庞毕度头’和摩托车与这种音乐文化关联起来。

“Unlike many other fashion tribes, these greasers are often all ages from the young to the old. An interesting aspect of this tribe is some members’ predilection for dancing, which can be seen being practiced in Tokyo parks on weekends. Much like early hip-hop was associated with breakdancing, Roller-zoku have their own brand of dancing, incorporating classic rock-and-roll dancing as well as intricate footwork, acrobatics, and theatricality.”

”不同于许多其它时尚圈子, 这些梳着‘庞毕度头’的摇滚人中既有年轻人也有年长者。关于这个群体,一个有趣的地方是一些成员特别喜欢跳舞。周末的时候,你会在东京的公园看到他们练习跳舞。就像霹雳舞是早期嘻哈音乐的标志性舞蹈一样,Roller-zoku 也有自己的特色舞蹈,他们在传统的摇滚舞蹈基础上,加入了复杂的步法, 动作和戏剧元素。“

Website: dennyrenshaw.com
Instagram: @dennyrenshaw


Contributor: George Zhi Zhao
Images Courtesy of Denny Renshaw



供稿人: George Zhi Zhao
图片由Denny Renshaw提供

A Seat at the Table



Japan is a true mecca for dining and local delicacies; the region is renowned for its unique cuisine, which is championed by fresh local produce and exceptional chefs. Although quality restaurants may be bountiful, getting a coveted reservation can be problematic for travelers. Enter TABLEALL – an online platform that aims to bridge the gap between high-end Japanese cuisine and gastronomy lovers.


Throughout his 15 year career at Goldman Sachs, TABLEALL founder Takashi Yamada found himself frequently entertaining clients at top restaurants in Japan. Not only did his patronage enable him to build connections with Japan’s best chefs but it also shed light into the loss experienced by the restaurant when reservations were cancelled at the last minute. Yamada was also frequently called upon by frustrated friends who were exasperated by Japan’s non-inclusive methods for booking reservations. All of these factors paved the way towards the lightbulb moment of creating TABLEALL.

TABLEALL创始人山田隆(Takashi Yamada)在高盛(Goldman Sachs)任职15年期间,经常会到日本的高级餐馆招待客户。这些经历让他结识了众多日本最顶级的厨师,同时也让他明白到许多餐馆常常会因为客人在最后一刻才取消预订遭受损失。此外,山田隆也经常会听到朋友抱怨日本餐馆太难订座。所有这些因素加在一起,让他最终产生了创建 TABLEALL 这个平台的想法。

“I knew there had to be a better way. The experience of Japan’s rich food culture is something I love about the country, and is one of the leading causes of tourism, but it is often too inaccessible. Tourism and inclusiveness are very important for Japan’s sustainability. I see TABLEALL as my contribution to Japan’s future.” 

“我觉得应该有更好的方式(预约订座),日本丰富的饮食文化是我热爱这个国家的原因,也是当地旅游业的主要吸引力,但有时要品尝到美食并不容易。旅游业和包容性对日本的可持续性发展有非常重要的意义。对我来说,TABLEALL 算是我对日本未来发展的一点贡献吧。”

Instead of charging for membership, TABLEALL only requires diners to pay a small booking fee per reservation. The platform currently offers the following features:

  • User-friendly English platform
  • Curated list of acclaimed Japan-based restaurants
  • Quality photography and in-depth articles about each listed restaurant
  • Insight into individual chefs and the stories behind their signature dishes
  • Send private messages to the chef to share feedback and build rapport


  • 用户友好的英文平台
  • 一系列最负盛名的日本餐馆
  • 以优质的摄影图片和深入的文章介绍每一间餐馆
  • 关注每一位厨师以及他们的招牌菜背后的故事
  • 可以发送私人讯息给厨师,分享反馈,建立联系

Some of the restaurants that are already available through TABLEALL include Michelin-starred establishments, such as Tempura Uchitsu, Ginza Sushi Kanesaka, Karyu, Higuchi, Sushi Arai and Tempura Motoyoshi. The platform is a true game changer for travellers, allowing the agenda to switch from “where can I get in?” to “where shall we choose today?”

目前,TABLEALL平台上的餐馆包括了一系列米其林星级餐馆,如 Tempura Uchitsu, Ginza Sushi Kanesaka, Karyu, Higuchi, Sushi Arai和Tempura Motoyoshi。对于前往日本的游客来说,这个平台可谓是一个重大的发明。现在他们不需要再问“我可以去哪家餐馆吃饭?”,而是问“我们今天要选哪家餐馆吃饭呢?”。

Website: tableall.com
Facebook: ~/tableall
Instagram: @tableall


Contributor: Whitney Ng
Video and Images Courtesy of TABLEALL

网站: tableall.com
脸书: ~/tableall
Instagram: @tableall


供稿人: Whitney Ng


Cody Ellingham is a designer and art director based in Tokyo, Japan. After moving to Tokyo in 2012, he became mesmerized by “the urban landscape and neon fantasies of the world’s first cyberpunk city.” His multimedia project DERIVE uses reflection and unique perspectives to explore his experience of the metropolis.

Cody Ellingham是居住在日本东京的设计师和艺术总监。 2012年搬到东京后,他被“世界第一个赛博朋克(cyberpunk)城市的霓虹灯夜景”迷住了。他的多媒体项目——《DERIVE》,使用反射和独特的视角探索着他在这个大都市的生活。

Website: cbje.jp
Facebook: ~/derive.tokyo
Instagram: @cbje_tokyo


Contributor: George Zhi Zhao

网站: cbje.jp
脸书: ~/derive.tokyo
Instagram: @cbje_tokyo


Contributor: George Zhi Zhao

Tokyo After Dark

With an affinity for neon-lit alleyways and rain-slicked streets, Japanese photographer Masashi Wakui roams the nocturnal cityscape of Tokyo, capturing the Japanese capital in all of its luminous splendor. Wakui’s unique post-processing style instills his photos with a cinematic moodiness that has become his signature aesthetic. His colorful images blur the boundary between reality and fiction, often more closely resembling scenes out of Akira or Ghost in the Shell than real life. Check out more photos from the talented photographer below.

日本摄影师Masashi Wakui专注于捕捉东京迷幻的城市夜景,尤其是布满霓虹灯的小巷和反着光的潮湿街道。在Wakui的镜头下,东京仿佛是一座永远发着光的不夜城,这些场景看起来游离于现实和虚幻之间,给人一种电影般的氛围感。独特的色彩处理和光线的运用为Wakui的照片带来一种强烈的个人风格,有时甚至有点像日本动画片《亚基拉》和《攻壳机动队》中的场景。下面和我们一起看看这位摄影师更多的作品吧。

Flickr: ~/megane_wakui
Tumblr: masa-photo.tumblr.com
Instagram: @masashi_wakui


Contributor: David Yen

Flickr: ~/megane_wakui
Tumblr: masa-photo.tumblr.com
Instagram: @masashi_wakui


供稿人: David Yen

Forest of Numbers



Forest of Numbers is the brainchild of Tokyo-based architect and artist, Emannuelle Moureaux. Her largest installation to date was created to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Tokyo’s National Art Center (NACT), spanning 2000 square meters and utilising “100 colours”. This is the first time that the National Art Center has used the White Cube exhibition room without any partition walls.

《数字森林》是东京建筑师和艺术家Emannuelle Moureaux迄今为止最大型的艺术装置作品,是她为庆祝东京国家艺术中心(NACT)成立十周年而专门创作的。这个大型艺术装置占地2000平方米,一共使用了100种颜色。这是东京国家艺术中心的White Cube展厅首次在举办展览时没有设立任何隔墙。

The installation itself symbolises the next 10 years for NACT – the decade spanning between 2017 to 2026. More than 60,000 number figures ranging from zero to nine were aligned within a 3-D grid and suspended from above. A pathway was been purposefully created, cutting through the installation and allowing visitors to take a walk through the cascade of numerals.


As part of Moureaux’s 100 colors installation series, Forest of Numbers utilises 100 shades of colours across 10 layers of numbers. The walls that encapsulate the installation space feature a compilation of exhibition posters to commemorate the last 10 years, which are contrasted with white number cut outs on the opposite wall to symbolise the next 10 years to come.


Forest of Numbers was a true labour of love, created as a colourful celebration of the National Art Center’s anniversary and brought to life with the help of 300 volunteers. Moureaux’s playful installation creates joy from paper and thread, attracting over 20,000 visitors within the first ten days of its NATC debut.

色彩缤纷的《数字森林》是一个充满爱的作品——它是为庆祝东京国家艺术中心成立10 周年而诞生的,凝聚了300名参与制作的志愿者的努力。Moureaux用纸和线所创作的这个充满玩趣和快乐的艺术装置,在NATC首次亮相的前10天里就吸引了超过2万名观众。

Website: emmanuellemoureaux.com


Contributor: Whitney Ng
Video and Images Courtesy of Emmaneulle Moureaux



供稿人: Whitney Ng
视频与图片由Emmanuelle Moureaux提供

Ghost Town Ni Naru

French-Canadian photographer Jasmin Gendron began learning his way around photography from the dark rooms of his local high school. As of 2010, he began to shoot predominantly in digital, whilst occasionally shooting 35mm film for personal projects.

法裔加拿大摄影师Jasmin Gendron开始接触摄影是在家乡高中学校的暗房里。在 2010 年之后,他多数用数码相机拍摄,不过有时在创作个人作品的时候也会用到35毫米胶片相机。

“I try to use street photography to immortalize energy and emotions from magnificent, human and sometimes comical scenes, with a poetic, subtle and unobtrusive approach.” Jasmin describes himself as an autodidact, with the inspiration behind his photography style stemming from Japanese culture. He spent a full year immersing himself into Japan and actively absorbing his new surroundings. “I like how the environment impacts human actions and decision in peoples’ everyday lives.”


Jasmin’s photo series Ghost Town Ni Naru was captured over a two-year period in his wife’s hometown of Nikko in Japan’s Tochigi prefecture. Jasmin had been subconsciously observing the city for the past decade, and describes it as his perception of a “grotesque scene,” in the sense that Nikko was slowly becoming a ghost town. This project is an active reminder that no place is unchanging and the sense of loss is acutely expressed throughout each image.

Jasmin的摄影作品系列《Ghost Town Ni Naru》是他在妻子的故乡——栃木县日光市生活的两年期间所捕捉的影像。Jasmin一直下意识地在观察这个城市在过去的十年的发展,研究日光市是如何渐渐变成今日的一座鬼城,而他称这种变化为一种“奇景”。视觉上,这系列作品提醒着人们,没有一个地方是永恒不变的。他的照片中总透露着一种失落的情绪。

Whilst Nikko may be well known for its beautiful traditional shrines and temples, this project seeks to present an aspect of Japanese culture that does not conform to the stereotypical idea of Japan. “This is a sad series. I tried to capture how it must feel for my wife, for her family members and friends, when they take a deeper look at the places where most of their memories come from.”




Contributor: Whitney Ng

Instagram: @jasgendron


供稿人: Whitney Ng

Finding Inspiration in Uncertainty

Yuma Yoshimura is a Japanese artist, painter, and muralist who creates psychedelic, monochromatic works that reflect the uncertainty and chaos of human existence. In 2004, he completed his education at Tama Art University where he studied painting and printmaking. Currently based in Tokyo, his work has been well-received internationally, having been exhibited in South Africa, Spain, Russia, and more.

Yuma Yoshimura是一名日本的艺术家、画家和壁画家,其创作的单色作品充满迷幻的风格,表达出人类生存的混乱与不确定性。他曾在多摩美术大学学习绘画和版画创作,2004年毕业之后,他生活在日本东京。他的作品曾在南非、西班牙、俄罗斯等国家发表。

The primary themes of Yuma Yoshimura’s work lie in the uncertainty and chaos that people experience in daily life, or in concepts of duality and opposition such as “darkness and light.” For him, these are universal conditions that all people face as they grow from childhood to adulthood. To believe in the unchanging in the face of the ever-changing, and to express this dynamic visually is a reflection of the artist’s own resistance to unrelenting change.

Yuma Yoshimura的作品主题主要围绕人们在日常生活中经历的不确定性和混乱,或是二元性和对立概念,如“黑暗与光明”。对他来说,这是所有人从孩童到成年人的成长过程中都必定面临的普遍状况。在千变万化中相信永恒不变,以视觉作品来表现变化的动态,反映出这名艺术家自己对于无情变化的抵抗。

For Yuma Yoshimura’s creations, he primarily works with acrylic paint, spray paint, markers, aluminum and wooden panels. For mural-sized works, he’ll only use monochromatic acrylic paint and spray paint – his decision is largely based on the physical characteristics of the wall, which include its size and the surrounding environment.

Yuma Yoshimura的创作过程主要利用丙烯涂料、喷漆颜料、马克笔、铝和木板。至于壁画尺寸的大作品,他会根据墙体的物理特性、大小和所产生的空间效果,直接在墙壁上使用单色丙烯涂料和喷漆颜料进行创作。

Despite using a simple, monochromatic palette, Yuma Yoshimura is able to conceive a multitude of visual elements through complicated compositions that mirror his inner state. The visual elements seen in traditional tribal tattoos and ornaments also fuel the sparks of his imagination. This influence from these primitive arts reflect Yoshimura’s attempt to express his own unique, but universal, human experience.

虽然创作中只使用了一种色彩,但Yuma Yoshimura依然能够通过复杂的构图来表现出丰富多样的视觉元素,传达出他的内心状态。部落纹身和装饰品这些视觉元素激发了他的创作灵感。来自原始部落的艺术影响反映出Yoshimura尝试表达的一种独特又普遍的人性经历。

Website: yumanizumu.jp
Facebook: ~/yumanizumu


Contributor: George Zhi Zhao
Images Courtesy of Yuma Yoshimura

网站: yumanizumu.jp
脸书: ~/yumanizumu


Contributor: George Zhi Zhao
图片由Yuma Yoshimura提供

Japan, Pixelated

Since 2011, Japanese illustrator Toyoi Yuuta has been posting animated GIFs on his Tumblr under the moniker 1041uuu. Finding beauty in simplicity, he’s translated his vision of life in Japan into gorgeously animated pixel art. The highly approachable style of his pixel art has allowed his work to be widely praised and shared by netizens from all over the world. At the same time, Generation Xers, millennials, and gaming enthusiasts are able to more deeply appreciate the nostalgic qualities of his retro aesthetics.


Originally born in Fukushima, Toyoi is currently based out of Kyoto, preferring the quiet pace of life there compared to the sensory overload of Tokyo, where he had previously lived for six years. In those six years, Toyoi found solace and inspiration in different aspects of the Tokyo that many might not immediately associate with the city, such as its rivers. “I think I’ve been influenced by the unique rivers of all the cities I’ve lived in. In particular, Tokyo’s Sumida River had a profound impact on me,” he says. From a cityscape reflected on the rippling surface of a river to koi fish idly lazing beneath a lotus leaf-covered pond, water makes frequent appearances in Toyoi’s work and is often one of the most noticeable animated elements.


Another big influence for Toyoi is the popular arcade-style fighting game, The King of Fighters. The different two-dimensional background scenes in the game clearly lends inspiration for his animated GIFs. These in-game backgrounds range from forests with falling rain and leaves fluttering in the wind to industrial settings with machinery bellowing out clouds of steam. Some other scenes might depict more mundane moments of city life, such as lovers interacting in the background and blinking traffic lights. These little moments stuck in an infinite loop fascinated Toyoi. “To an art geek like me, these elements sparked something within me and I became interested in these realistic backdrops,” he says. Similar to the aesthetics of The King of Fighters and other retro fighting games, animating select details in a mostly still frame has become the trademark of Toyoi’s work.


For many artists, figuring out how to make sustainable income while pursuing their creative vision can be problematic, and Toyoi isn’t an exception. He revealed that his initial decision to create pixel art was in part due to to the restrictive nature of the tools he had access to. “I was poor and unemployed. I didn’t have a pen tablet and only had a PC track pad. But to create pixel art, I don’t need a high-resolution computer or much special knowledge and training,” he recalled. Despite garnering high praise for his GIFs, the popularity of his work still hasn’t translated into any money-making opportunities. “I still don’t have any money at the moment, so I’m trying to sell some of my artwork now,” Toyoi candidly admitted. “I’m looking into selling silkscreen prints in the near future.”


Introverted by nature, Toyoi tells us that people aren’t of much interest to him. Instead, his interests lie in the intangible, such as the feelings and smells of a place, holding the belief that these are the elements that truly make up the essence of a city. “The world is filled with rules that aren’t explicitly written out, and it feels like I’m not very good at reading them, because I don’t understand these unspoken codes. I find society to be a scary place,” he says. Toyoi’s work is a tranquil respite from the whirlwind of unpredictability, volatility, and anxiety that plague our modern lives. His gift lies in the way that he’s able to invoke a blissful sense of tranquility by simply presenting the nuanced beauties of life that many overlook, rendering these ordinary moments into gorgeous works of art.


It generally takes Toyoi two days to complete a GIF. The preliminary planning stages are admittedly much more difficult, he says. It’s crucial for him to avoid repetition. “Sometimes choosing the idea can take up to two weeks. Even now, two months can go by without me drawing anything,” he says. “For example, if I have already drawn a picture of a businessman asleep in a in a bus, then I would not draw a picture of a student asleep on a train.  There is no essential difference in my mind between the sleeping businessman and the sleeping student, or a train and a bus.”


“For now, I’ll be content if my work allows people to better appreciate the world around them. Japan has many problems, such as the threat of earthquakes, nuclear power plant accidents, distrust of the government, overworked people suffering from work-related stresses, and so on.” As if to counterbalance these large scale, hard-to-solve problems that trouble his mind, Toyoi’s charming GIFs instead hone in on the simple beauties of everyday life in Japan. “Regardless of some of the country’s issues, I want people to visit Japan. I certainly recommend Kyoto.”


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Contributor: David Yen

Tumblr: 1041uuu.tumblr.com
Instagram: @1041uuu


寄稿人: David Yen