Tag Archives: japan

Au Naturel

“To see a World in a Grain of Sand / and a Heaven in a Wild Flower”: the plant art of Raku Inoue calls to mind William Blake’s “Auguries of Innocence,” finding countless worlds in each meticulously arranged insect.

Born in Japan and based in Canada, Raku Inoue, one of the founders of Reikan Apparel, is a multimedia artist who uses materials scavenged from the great outdoors to create elaborate works of art. He collects flowers, twigs, and leaves—which are then trimmed and layered—to arrange colorful 3-D sculptures of familiar insect forms. Each lifelike piece showcases his masterful artisanal skills. Yet more than a vessel of self-expression, his work is a way of paying homage to the intricacies of Mother Nature and sharing that with every attentive viewer.

如果说一花一世界,那么在 Raku Inoue 井上罗来 的手中,一虫能代表着大千世界。

目前为品牌 Reikan Apparel 的主创者之一的 Raku Inoue,生于日本,长于加拿大,他惯以大自然随处可得的花草枝桠作为媒介,再把这些细枝末节拼接成昆虫的模样,堆叠的叶片让昆虫的身体变得饱满、立体且五彩斑斓,既显得良工巧匠,又浑然天成。这不仅仅是创意的表达,Raku Inoue 的作品更包含着对自然万物的细腻感受,并传递给每一个悉心的观者。

Behance: ~/RakuInoue
Instagram: @reikan_creations

Contributor:  Chen Yuan

Behance: ~/RakuInoue
Instagram: @reikan_creations


供稿人:  Chen Yuan

A Thousand Paper Cranes

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

The Old

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

Self-Portraits in Clay

Masayo Keizuka, who lives in Sapporo, makes clay sculptures with an almost magical therapeutic effect: spend a while looking at them and you’ll come away with a deep sense of calm. These crafted figurines all have the same bobbed hair, the same long neck, the same sunken shoulders. Asked who the character is supposed to be, Keizuka readily replies, “It’s me.”

住在日本札幌的雕塑艺术家 経冢真代,她的雕塑作品有种神奇的疗愈作用,看着久一点,可以感受到一股深深的平静力量。这些被捏造出来的小生命看起来是同一个人,鲍伯短发、倾斜的肩膀、长长的脖子,问到她们的身份,经种真代毫不掩饰地回答 “她就是我。”

Keizuka says her earliest inspiration came from a pet dog who passed away ago. Later she moved on to human shapes, and eventually settled on this pensive, delicate little girl who, like an actor, is constantly trying on new costumes and stepping into new storylines. “I pour everything I’m feeling into her. She may not look like she has any emotions, but really I just hide them and try not to let them show,” she explains.


A rough surface gives the figures a worldly or even world-weary air. Keizuka specifically chose this natural, unpolished texture. “I tried out a lot of different materials, but in the end I went with clay. I really like how its grain gives the sculptures the sense of being fully alive,” she says.


Perched on each figure’s head is an object or animal that’s whimsical and impossible to ignore. Some of these are random or just for fun, while others are designed for a specific brand or exhibit. Keizuka describes these items as hats, a way of diverting the viewer’s attention. “When I shape these characters, it’s as though I’m putting myself on display in front of a crowd. Sometimes it makes me feel quite vulnerable,” she explains. “I add something to the figure’s head, as if they were wearing a hat. It draws the viewer’s attention away, so they’re not just looking at me at first glance. Maybe I’d rather not have people see through me.”


Website: www.masayokeizuka.com
Instagram: @keizuka masayo


Contributor: Yang Yixuan

网站: www.masayokeizuka.com
Instagram: @keizuka masayo


供稿人: Yang Yixuan

Danchi Dreams

Toshima Gochome Danchi across Sumida River

DANCHI: Dreams of Modernity is a project by Tokyo-based photographer Cody Ellingham that captures the decline of Tokyo’s ultramodern dreams through its decaying apartment complexes. For the project, Ellingham explored over 40 Japanese public housing blocks, which are known as danchi.

DANCHI: Dreams of Modernity》(团地:现代化的梦想)是东京摄影师 Cody Ellingham 所创作的摄影项目,旨在通过东京市内荒废的公寓大楼,呈现这座城市超现代化梦想的衰落。Cody 探访了大约40个被日本人称为“danchi”(团地)的公共住房大楼。

Kawaramachi Danchi
Toshima Gochome Danchi across Sumida River
Kawaramachi Danchi

Danchi are often built in clusters of up to 70 buildings, with identical exteriors for individual apartments. They began being built in Japan in the 1950s to replace the wooden buildings that were destroyed during World War II. At the time, danchi represented the country’s post-war aspirations and its path towards a new modernity. The vast apartment blocks, often built on the suburban outskirts of the city, were meant to satisfy the booming housing demand of Japan’s rapidly urbanizing population. In 1960, the Hibarigaoka Danchi had even attracted a visit from the Japanese Crown Prince, but fast forward to today, the once-dignified housing complex is now being used as a car park.

“Danchi”通常是由多达70座公寓楼组成的密集建筑群,每一间的公寓楼都有着一模一样的外观。从20世纪50年代开始,日本开始建造 danchi,以取代二战期间被摧毁的木制建筑。当时,danchi 代表着日本的战后愿望及其走向新现代的道路。大片的 danchi 公寓楼群通常建在郊区,用来应对日本因为城市化迅速发展的人口膨胀带来的住房需求。1960年,曾经代表中产阶级地位的云雀丘团地(Hibarigaoka Danchi)甚至吸引了日本王储的访问,但这幢建筑如今已经被改造成停车场使用。

Hibarigaoka Danchi
Shibazono Danchi
Takashimadaira Danchi

As fewer and fewer Japanese choose to live in them, many danchi have fallen into decay. The ones that remain are now mostly inhabited by immigrants and the elderly. According to Ellingham, many of the surviving danchi are viewed by the public as being archaic and pointless – they are often not up to date with earthquake and fire safety standards, and many are not serviced by elevators.

从20世纪60年代以来,danchi 逐渐老化,其中一些甚至沦为荒废之地。今天,越来越少日本人愿意住在 danchi,现在居住在里面的大多都是移民和老人。Cody 表示,在人们眼中,danchi大都是一些过时的建筑,它们通常都不能符合现代地震和消防安全标准,许多甚至都没有装电梯。

Shirahige Danchi
Nakanoshima Tamagawa Danchi
Hiro Gochome Apartment

Ellingham tells us his thoughts about the project and how it began: “The exhibition was inspired by places. It started as an interest in form, but it’s evolved into an interest in why. It’s to understand the way a place can influence lives. In a way it’s quite Kafka-esque – you have the same life as the person next door to you.”

Cody 跟我们分享了他对这个项目的想法以及创作的初衷:“整个展览是以地点为启发的。一开始,我只是出于对形式的兴趣,但慢慢演变成对‘为什么’感兴趣,即地点是如何影响生活的。在某种程度上,这是非常卡夫卡式的——你和你隔壁的人有着同样的生活。”

Toei Hongo Itchome Apartment
Suwa Danchi
Hirao Danchi

Ellingham’s project is an attempt to record a part of Japanese history that will slowly fade away in time, as the danchi are destined to be demolished for newer residential buildings. Despite the melancholic mood conveyed in his photographs, Ellingham sees hope and beauty in the danchi that remain: “There’s a certain kind of nostalgia in these places. The look of it is cold concrete, but inside, you find playgrounds, mural art, community facilities, glimmers of hope, and thei original dream: tomorrow will be better than yesterday.”

Cody 试图通过这个摄影项目,记录日本的一部分历史。随着 Danchi 被逐渐拆除,新的住宅建筑取而代之,这些历史将会随着时间的推移而逐渐消失。尽管他的照片中透露着忧郁的情绪,但 Cody 依然在 danchi 中找到了希望与美丽:“这些地方有着某种怀旧之情。它的外观是冰冷的混凝土,但在内心深处,你会发现一丝希望,运动场、壁画艺术、社区设施,以及最初的梦想——明天会更好。”

Takashima Daira Danchi
Kawaramachi Danchi
Takashimadaira Danchi

DANCHI: Dreams of Modernity will be exhibited on May 12th, 2018. The exhibition will be held in Tokyo’s Koto District. To find out more about the event, click here.

《DANCHI: Dreams of Modernity》摄影展览将于东京江东区 2018年5月12日开幕。了解更多,请点击此处

Shibazono Danchi
Kamakota Apartment
Aoyama Kitamachi Danchi
Shibazono Danchi
Aoyama Kitamachi Danchi
Takashimadaira Danchi
Hirao Danchi
Hiroo Apartment
Mori Danchi
Takashima Daira Danchi

Website: danchi-dreams.com
Instagram: @cbje_tokyo


Contributor: George Zhi Zhao

网站: danchi-dreams.com
Instagram: @cbje_tokyo


供稿人: George Zhi Zhao


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


In both graphic design and photography, attention to composition and color are crucial in creating a visually engaging image. With these overlaps, it was only natural for Tokyo-based graphic designer Ka_nai to begin dabbling with photography. While he doesn’t consider himself a photographer, he’s created an ongoing photo series dedicated to the random walls and building facades that’s grabbed his attention over the years. His ever-growing image collection, uploaded on Instagram under the hashtag #ザ壁部 (meaning “The Wall Department” in English), is a fun showcase of how his two skill sets feed off one another. Since the idea’s inception in 2012, his photos have inspired many others to contribute to the hashtag, which now boasts over 75,000 posts from users all over the world.

无论是摄影还是平面设计, 构图和色彩都是决定视觉效果是否有吸引力的关键因素。而东京平面设计师 Ka_nai 正是出色运用这两种因素,以墙壁和建筑立面为素材,创作出一系列令人惊艳的摄影作品。这是他的一个长期项目,他将这一系列的摄影作品发表在Instagram 上,统一贴上了标签 #ザ壁部(意为“墙壁部门”)。多年来,许多人也受到了这个概念的灵感启发,一起来丰富这个标签。现在,Instagram 上一共有超过 7 万个标签为 #ザ壁部 的帖子,发帖用户遍布世界各地。

Ka_nai describes his foray into photography almost as if it were an accident. He tells us, “Soon after Instagram launched, I saw one of my friends using it and was inspired to try it out myself. At the time, it was just about following my close friends and them following me back. Many of them had beautifully curated feeds that focused on certain themes, such as landscape or pets, so I started thinking about if I could do something similar. I happened to have a photo of this interesting, but dilapidated, wall sitting on my camera roll so I decided to throw an Instagram filter on it and post it. When I saw that it started receiving positive feedback, I thought ‘This is it!'”

Ka_nai 从不以摄影师自称,他说自己开始接触摄影也是纯属意外。“Instagram 出现后不久,我看到一位朋友在玩,就想着也去玩玩。那时候,我的关注者都是一些好朋友。但是我的很多朋友都会精心按照特定主题来管理自己的账号,所以我开始考虑自己是不是也可以做类似的事情。我在自己拍的照片堆里偶然看到了一张照片,上面是一幢残旧的墙壁,我用 Instagram 滤镜处理了一下,就发上面去了。结果发现大家都挺喜欢这张照片的,我当时就想,‘这正是我要找的主题’!然后从那时候起,我就开始专注拍摄墙壁和建筑立面了。”

While many of Ka_nai’s images are simple snapshots of mundane settings, his keen sense of observation offers a refreshing perspective on the ordinary. Similar to his own work flow, he urges creatives to think outside of the box and explore concepts from different angles, no matter what medium or discipline they might be working in. “For me, I find that when looking for good shots, I might have to walk around and examine a building from different sides,” he says. “Usually, the most interesting ideas aren’t immediately obvious.”

虽然 Ka_nai 作品大多都是平凡日常的场景,但他以敏锐的观察,呈现出令人耳目一新的视角。他鼓励创意人跳出思维定式,无论是以什么媒介或在哪个领域创作,都应该从不同的角度去探索各种概念。“我发现,在拍摄的时候,最有趣的墙壁往往不是一眼就能看到的。有时候,在一幢建筑的背面,你会找到更有趣的画面。”

Instagram: @ka_nai


Contributor: David Yen

Instagram: @ka_nai


供稿人: David Yen

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RadianceScape Live!

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

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




NEKO (which means “cat” in Japanese) is an original animation featuring a heroine who journeys into her pet cat’s fur to battle the gigantic, blood-sucking parasites that have inhabited its body. As a social impact design project, it was conceived by the creators to encourage people to take better care of their furry family members. It’s the only animation project to be awarded the coveted 2017 Design Mark from Golden Pin Concept Design Award. The short film is created by a team of six design students from Southern Taiwan University of Science and Technology — Zeng Pin-Ciao, Tsai Meng-Shu, Liu Yu-Chi, Hsu Tzu-Fu, Wang Wei-Fan, and Lin Hao-Ting. The production sees each student’s special skills – as artists, producers, video editors, and more – all working in tandem to bring to life the fun, animated short. Below, we had a chat with Zeng Pin-Ciao, the director of NEKO, on the challenges of working as a team and the differences between American and Japanese animation.


Neocha: What was the motivation behind the original story?

Zeng Pin-Ciao: In the beginning, I was inspired because I was spending a lot of time with cats. I lived with a cat for around six months, and unfortunately, the cat fell ill. Afterwards, I began learning about the variety of parasites that can affect a cat, as well as how to prevent it. In the end, I decided to use the concepts of health and disease prevention as the starting point to remind people of the unremitting love and devotion that we promise our pets.

Neocha: 当初创造故事的动机是什么?

曾品乔: 最初主要是因为我和猫咪有了长时间接触,才萌生的念头。当时我和家里的猫咪生活了半年,但猫咪不幸生病了。随后我就了解相关的知识,像是寄生虫与除虫等,最后我决定以宠物健康防疫观念作为出发点,提醒大家不时的要想起当初养宠物的决心,爱护与照顾必须是要持之以恒的。

Neocha: How long did it take to finish the animation? What difficulties did you encounter?

Zeng Pin-Ciao: It took eight months to finish the short film. In the beginning, the challenge was to bond as a team and figure out how all of our technical skills could fit together since we were all individual artists. This was my first time doing Japanese-style animation and many aspects were fresh, new, and challenging. It took one-and-a-half months to complete just one-minute of animation. The total length of the final animation is longer than four minutes. The biggest challenge was getting the composition right because adjusting it at a later point would mean that the whole scene would have to be redrawn. As a director, it’s important to be decisive, otherwise it affects the mood of the entire team.

Neocha: 这支影片花了多久时间完成?期间有没有遇到什么困难?

曾品乔: 这支影片共花了8个月才完成。一开始是技术上的磨合,因为大家都是刚开始配合,加上我是第一次执行日式动画的处理方式,很多事情既新鲜也很艰钜挑战,1分钟的动画制作差不多1个半月,我们影片总长约4分多钟。过程中最具挑战的部分就是修改镜头,因为其实对于动画来说,修改就等于是重画,所以是要下定决心才能做修正,不然随便修改也会影响到整体团队的氛围。


Neocha: It’s obvious that you’re deeply influenced by Japanese animation. How did this interest come about and who are your favorite animators?

Zeng Pin-Ciao: Actually, when I was in high school, I adored American animation, such as the work being put out by Dreamworks and Walt Disney. The purpose of a Disney film is to make people happy and make them dream. Inspired by this, I started to study American animation. Later, during university I got to know the work of Japanese animator Satoshi Kon, and I realized that animation can also be used to encourage deeper thought and reflection through negative emotions. The same can be said for the work of Hideaki Anno and Katsuhiro Otamo. In their works, they always give the audience space to reflect; they do not simply aim to please the audience. I began to admire this approach and started studying Japanese illustration. NEKO became my first challenge after I got to understand the Japanese style. This work is also a very important experience for me because it helped me realize a lot of my inadequacies. It was a great learning opportunity.

Neocha: 从作品看出你们受日本动漫影响很深,是受到哪些作品或特定动漫家的影响呢?

曾品乔: 我在高中时期很崇拜美国动画,如迪士尼或梦工厂等等,迪士尼做动画的初衷就是用动画带给人们梦想与快乐,因此开始学习美式动画。后来在大学,也开始接触了日本鬼才导演今敏先生的作品,我发现动画不只是能给人快乐,日本导演喜爱用负面的情绪带给观众更深层的省思,如庵野秀明导演与大友克洋导演也是一样,在作品中总是能带给人思考的空间,不再是单单只是满足观众。我开始憧憬这样的呈现方式,就开始去了解日式绘画。《奈可》就是我接触日式的第一个挑战,对我来说,做这个作品是段非常重要的经历,因为在这过程中我觉察到很多不足之处,因此也学到很多。

Neocha: You received the 2017 Design Mark from Golden Pin Design Award. Can you share the benefits of participating in this competition?

Zeng Pin-Ciao: From the first round of the competition to the final stages, it’s been really exciting all the way. I was incredibly nervous presenting my work on stage, but it was still an unforgettable experience. During the competition, I also attended a presentation training workshop held by Golden Pin Design Award. It was a great experience. In the workshop, I focused on learning about body language and how a good communicator performs. It was a rare opportunity to learn from a master presenter. I really appreciate the hard work of the organizers and the staff was very friendly. I am truly thankful for this opportunity.

Neocha: 你们今年以《奈可》获得金点概念设计标章,可否与我们分享下参与这次竞赛的收获呢?

曾品乔: 从初审到决审都令人非常兴奋。即便在提报作品的时候我非常紧张,但终究也是个人生中非常难忘的经验。竞赛过程中,我参与了金点概念设计奖举办的「简报实战训练」活动,我觉得是很棒的经验。在课程中,我很专注地在看老师的肢体动作,一位能言善道者是如何表演的,这也是很难接触到的实例。感谢整个单位用心的筹备整个企画,工作人员也都非常乐于助人,让人感到暖心,真心感谢给予我们这个机会。

Neocha: So what’s on the horizon for you and the team?

Zeng Pin-Ciao: With the conclusion of NEKO, we already have a short script for a new story that we want to try and make. We’re trying really hard to acquire the necessary resources to pull it off. Because of my experience with NEKO, I feel confident that I’ll have much more to offer in our next project. It’s very exhausting putting so much of yourself into a project, but in the end, I’m happy. Ultimately, with all of my animations, I hope to leave a lasting impression and help people.

Neocha: 接下来是否还有其他的计划?

曾品乔: 接下来有一个小短片的剧本想要尝试看看,还在很努力的找资源与筹备。因为完成了这次的作品《奈可》,给予我很多经验上的帮助,能够放更多思考与意义在下部动画之中。创作虽然说很辛苦,但也真的很快乐,我期望能够用动画帮助到更多的人。