Tag Archives: japan

What Makes a Selfie “Good”?

No camera angle magic, no flawless porcelain-like skin, and not even a hint of a smile – the selfies that Izumi Miyazaki takes often shows her looking unflatteringly solemn or completely emotionless. It’s clear that her rise to internet fame wasn’t the result of crafting a facade of beauty and perfection like the typical female internet celebrity. Instead, her devoted online following and feature in TIME magazine are the results of the absurdly and delightfully surreal self-portraits that she regularly uploads. Born in 1994, the Musashino Art University graduate uses Photoshop to expand on and exaggerate the possibilities of reality, creating a quirky and outlandish world of black humor where she touches on the heavy subjects of death, loneliness, and identity. “The tomato sauce coming out of my decapitated head represent my feelings towards mortality,” Miyazaki explains of the above image. “The imagery is meant to present a positive attitude towards death. It’s the same with the photo of my head being cut in half with a fish, I wanted to share my feelings in a comical way.” Scroll down to check out some more of Miyazaki’s self-portraits.

没有黄金45度仰拍,没有无暇的蛋壳肌,甚至连一丝笑容都没有,总以一副严肃甚至有点呆滞的表情出现在镜头前。日本少女Izumi Miyazaki就是以她与众不同的超现实自拍照走红于网络,甚至登上了美国时代周刊。Izumi Miyazaki1994年出生于日本山梨县,就读于武藏野美术大学。她利用Photoshop放大了现实世界的可能性,营造出古怪荒诞的个人世界,用冷幽默的画面去传达她对孤独、死亡和身份认同等话题的理解。“脑袋里流出的番茄酱是我对于死亡的态度,这种意象有点乐观又有点滑稽。”在介绍自己作品的时候Izumi Miyazaki这样讲到,“被劈开的生鱼和脑袋也是这样,我想用喜剧的方式去呈现死亡。” 下面一起看看Izumi Miyazaki的更多“迷之自拍“。

Website: izumimiyazaki.tumblr.com


Contributor: Ye Zi

网站: izumimiyazaki.tumblr.com


供稿人: Ye Zi

Cities & Places with Ryota Unno

(1400 x 2800 mm)

Ryota Unno is a Japanese artist whose work brings a playful and contemporary twist to traditional Japanese scroll painting. A graduate of the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Japanese Painting, Unno is influenced by the art of the Edo period and employs traditional techniques in his creative process. Using traditional materials, such as iwaenogu (mineral pigments) and gold foil, on Japanese paper, Unno tells colorful stories about life in modern society set in cities across the world. His work has been exhibited in Japan, as well as internationally in the U.S., Hong Kong, Brazil, Italy, Taiwan, and Singapore. See below for more of the artist’s work.

日本艺术家Ryota Unno 以现代和俏皮的风格重新演绎了日本的传统卷轴画。Unno毕业于东京艺术大学,并获得了日本绘画美术的学士学位。他深受江户时代艺术的影响,喜欢运用传统绘画技巧来进行创作。Unno在日本纸上使用“岩绘具”iwaenogu(一种天然矿物颜料)和金箔等传统材料,以色彩丰富的画面展现出世界各地城市现代社会生活的故事。他的作品曾在日本,以及美国、香港、巴西、意大利、台湾、新加坡等地展出。下面一起来欣赏一下这名艺术家的更多作品吧。

A Mafia Loves Hot Springs
(600 x 720 mm)
Washington, D.C.
(1400 x 1400 mm)
Washington Park
(800 x 400 mm)
Central Park
(1400 x 700 mm)
(1400 x 2100 mm)
(1400 x 2800 mm)
Tower Life
(1400 x 1400 mm)
Chelsea Market
(800 x 560 mm)

Website: unnoryota.jimdo.com


Contributor: George Zhi Zhao



供稿人: George Zhi Zhao

Black & White Tokyo

Veteran Japanese photographer Junichi Hakoyama is best known for his minimalist black-and-white stills that he captures on the streets of Tokyo. Armed with his Leica M Monochrom, Hakoyama creates alluring images with bold lines and high contrasts through his effective use of light and shadow. The result is a beautifully understated monochromatic series that he has simply titled Tokyo. Every shot carries a soothing balance of proportion and geometric structure, which transforms a simple subject in a common setting into a moment full of purpose. See more of his work below.

日本资深摄影师Junichi Hakoyama凭借在东京街头捕捉的简约黑白摄影作品而闻名。通过他的Leica M Monochrom 相机,他用大胆的线条和高对比度的光影组合呈现了一系列出色的影像作品。他将这个精美而低调的黑白摄影作品系列简洁地命名为《东京》(Tokyo)。每一张照片的比例和几何结构都有一种令人看上去很舒服的平衡,将人们常见的环境和普通的人物定格为一个充满目的性的时刻。一起来欣赏一下他的作品吧。

Flickr: ~/junichihakoyama
Instagram: @junichi_hakoyama


Contributor: Whitney Ng

Flickr: ~/junichihakoyama
Instagram: @junichi_hakoyama


供稿人: Whitney Ng

Designing Happiness

Since arriving in Tokyo, Duncan Shotton has set about bestowing happiness around the world, one little hand-painted push pin at a time. Five years ago, in 2012, Shotton set up his own design studio in Japan. Since then, many aspects of his adopted home have served as inspiration. From holding his first pop-up shop in a tree within Tokyo’s Harajuku district to rethinking the humble soy sauce dish, Shotton has the ability to turn the everyday into the extraordinary.

2012年来到东京之后,英国设计师Duncan Shotton一直通过自己对平常生活的小用品的创意设计(譬如手绘小图钉),在世界各地传播快乐的精神。五年前,Shotton在日本成立设计工作室,日本的许多方面启发了他的创意灵感。不论是他在东京原宿区一棵树上开设的第一家概念性快闪店(pop-up shop),或是他对酱油碟的重新演绎,Shotton一直着眼于将平凡的小用品变得不平凡。


In Japan, it’s considered rude to wear shoes indoors. This custom is so deeply embedded into Japanese culture that many apartments come with a built-in sunken porch at the entrance. Shotton was inspired by stepping stones that he saw in Kyoto and designed Tobiishi as a clean space that serves as a stable treading spot for people greeting guests or accepting deliveries.


在日本,在室内穿鞋都是不礼貌的。这种习俗在日本文化中影响很深,以至于许多公寓在入口处都会设有一个“ 凹陷式门廊”。Shotton以自己在京都看到的垫脚石 为灵感,设计出Tobiishi,为人们在门口迎接客人或签收包裹时提供一个干净、稳固的踩点。

Soy Shape

Noticing that the natural color of soy sauce takes on a gradient form when poured into a shallow dish, Shotton designed these delightful dipping sauce dishes to give off the illusion of 3D shapes, giving an extra “dimension” to every sushi eating experience.

Soy Shape


Sticky Page Markers

This stationary series allows every bibliophile to build adorable landscapes from their favorite pages. From the iconic junk boats of Hong Kong sailing around the harbor to the infamous Godzilla monster terrorizing downtown, these page markers are sure to be a favorite amongst bookworms.

Sticky Page Markers


Shotton continues to work from Tokyo, collaborating with Japanese companies and sticking to a small production scale to maintain a high level of quality. His latest project, Planet Pins and the Moon – which is comprised of a hand-painted solar system and complete with a hand-casted concrete moon push pin – is now available for pre-order.

Shotton目前仍在东京生活,他与日本企业合作,坚持小规模的产量,以保证最佳质量。他最新的作品Planet Pins and the Moon是一组太阳系行星主题的手绘图钉,以及一颗用纯手作的混凝土月球图钉,现在已经开放预订。

Website: dshott.co.uk
Facebook: ~/DuncanShottonDesignStudio
Instagram: @_dshott


Contributor: Whitney Ng

网站: dshott.co.uk
脸书: ~/DuncanShottonDesignStudio
Instagram: @_dshott


供稿人: Whitney Ng

Puzzleman Leung

Despite frequent appearances on notable photography and art websites, little is actually known about Puzzleman Leung. In that regard, the Puzzleman moniker seems like a perfect fit, appropriately encapsulating the photographer’s mysterious nature. While the photographer’s Facebook and Instagram feature a girl’s portrait, it’s actually rather difficult to even ascertain Puzzleman’s gender. On websites that feature Puzzleman’s work, the pronouns of “he” and “she” are often interchangeable. Even on Puzzleman’s “About Me” page, little information is offered beyond age and geography, with one line stating “Born in Macao and living in Taipei.” But Puzzleman’s latest photo series doesn’t take place in either of those cities. Titled Tokyo Tokymeky, the new project sees Puzzleman roam through Tokyo with frequent collaborator and model Bee Ke, snapping juxtaposing images of her and the surrounding environment. With the recent release of this photo series, we were fortunate enough to catch up with this enigmatic photographer for a quick chat. In our conversation, it was easy to see that Puzzleman’s quirky images are simply an extension of the photographer’s own personality. Scroll down to check out more photos from the new photo series and read the highlights from our interview.

摄影师Puzzleman Lueng,正如Ta的名字一般,像一幅散落四处的拼图碎片般带有些神秘色彩。Ta的作品经常出现在各大摄影艺术网站,然而对于摄影师本人,你能从互联网上获得的资料甚少,只知道Ta是一位来自澳门,但居住在台北的摄影师。你甚至很难推测出Ta的性别,TaInstagram脸书账号被清一色的魔幻少女照片占领;而翻看各网站的报道,也会看到竟然有用“He”也有用“She”的称谓来形容这位神秘人士。最近,我们很开心联系到这位拼图男人本人,Ta刚带着自己的御用模特Bee Ke漫游东京,完成了这辑最新摄影作品《Tokyo Tokymeky》。和Puzzleman交流的过程中,发现Ta的文字和影像一样有趣,下面我们一起跟着Puzzleman的镜头去东京逛一圈,和拼凑一下这次聊天中Ta留给我们的拼图线索吧。

Not Interested

“Since I was little, I haven’t been interested in photography. I find that people who dabble with photography needs to spend a lot of money on equipment – I think it’s stupid. I feel nothing when I see these commercial shots or landscape shots of sunsets.”


“All photography for me is just the action of pressing a button when I find something interesting.”






“When I’m creating an image, I feel like a sculptor. I’m turning my subject or my thoughts into my envisioned image.”


“The subject I photograph the most is my girlfriend. When we work together, we find ways to push each other, to prepare for a shoot. I like this process of mutual agitation.”






I like spontaneous shoots, but I also like planning. I feel that the most interesting images happen somewhere in between the two, so I suppose those would be the ‘accidents.’ Sometimes when I nail a shot and it turns out just exactly as I envisioned it, I find it unbelievably boring. I’m always looking forward to making these ‘accidents’ whenever I’m shooting. I’m pretty infatuated with this idea of accidental shots, and I’m pretty stubborn, so I’ll do anything to try and make them happen.”




“To me, Tokyo is a wonderful place, an amazing city filled beautiful sights and colors. I’ve always been quite infatuated with this place. But on the other hand, I feel that I try to distance myself between Tokyo’s inhabitants. I’m afraid of offending them, so I’ve always been terrified of any interactions with them. It’s pretty contradictory, loving a city but being afraid of its inhabitants. I’m always left scratching my head when I think about this. I suppose it’s because I don’t know them so I don’t fully understand them. The best thing for me to do is to probably go and learn Japanese.”



Time Machine

“A great photo should be an image that inspires others or one so powerful that it refuses to leave the minds of viewers. The most important part is the inspiration. The definition of a great photo now and what can be considered as a great photo in the past have drastically changed. Fifty or sixty years from know, I wonder if photos from now would be as intriguing as the older, classic photos that we look at in awe today. Sometimes I wish I had a time machine so I could go into the future and find out.”



As we concluded our conversation, we asked if Puzzleman had any specific message that he wanted to communicate to viewers. Instead of answering, Puzzleman asked us: “What I want to know is, with the way that people mass consume photography nowadays, don’t they get tired of it? Have you thought of what happens if one day people get tired of photography?” If you have any thoughts to share on the matter, drop by any one of Puzzleman Leung’s social media pages and share your thoughts!


Facebook: ~/Plzmanleung
Instagram:  @puzzleung
Flickr: ~/puzzlemanleung


Contributor: Ye Zi

脸书: ~/Plzmanleung


供稿人:  Ye Zi

Makin’ Moves



Following the transhumanism concepts of his past works, Japanese art director Kouhei Nakama is back with his latest video, Makin’ Moves. Departing from the aesthetics of DIFFUSION and CYCLE, the two other short videos of the series, Nakama wanted to make the latest installment more visually approachable. This decision comes from the fact that his past two videos had received decidedly mixed reactions; while most viewers were impressed by the stunning visuals, others found them to be rather disturbing. “I thought that the parts people found ‘shocking’ in those two videos might have hindered the message I originally wanted to convey,” Nakama explains.

日本艺术总监Kouhei Nakama曾在过去的作品中探讨超人类主义(transhumanism)的概念,现在,他又带来了最新的短片作品《Makin’ Moves》。同系列的前2部短片《DIFFUSION》和《CYCLE》在网上发布后,毁誉参半。有人认为它们视觉效果震撼,有人则觉得不适。而这次的全新短片一改前两部短片的美学风格,呈现了更轻快的风格。“我觉得在前两部短片中那些令观众‘震撼’的内容可能反而阻碍了我原本想要传达的信息。“Nakama解释说。

Nakama describes the subjects in this latest video as the “dance team of the future.” The humans (and one lone dog) in the video swirl and contort, with complete disregard for the laws of physics; pop and lock, splitting their anatomy in biologically impossible ways; and gyrate along to the rhythm, exploding into colorful fractals in sync with a hypnotic, pulsating track produced by BrokeForFree. Nakama tells us, “Please, don’t think too hard. Just enjoy the video!”

Nakama说最新短片的主题是“未来的舞蹈团队”。视频中的人(和一只孤独的狗)打破所有物理定律,不断旋转和扭曲;他们的身体在跳着机械舞的pop 和lock动作的同时,以超越生物学的方式不断分解;并跟着BrokeForFree迷幻、跃动的音乐节拍旋转、爆发出多彩的分形图案。Nakama 说:“不要想太多,好好享受这部短片就行!“

Website: kouheinakama.com
Vimeo: ~/kouheinakama
Behance: ~/kouheinakama
Instagram: @kouhei_nakama


Contributor: David Yen

网站: kouheinakama.com
Vimeo: ~/kouheinakama
Behance: ~/kouheinakama
Instagram: @kouhei_nakama


供稿人: David Yen

“King” by Grades



The music video for London-based musician Grades’ “King” was created by the award-winning Japanese director Taichi Kimura. The video features a young Japanese student with giant pigtails and a highly active imagination. While she is head down, buried with school work, her mind begins to wander from her studies at hand, into a world of make-believe where her school becomes a cartoon battlefield and she plays the role of an adorable heroine.

《King》是居住在英国的日本导演Taichi Kimura为伦敦音乐人Grades制作的音乐录影带。影片中,顶着两个巨大的双丸子的头的日本小学生,突发奇想把学校变成了卡通片里的战场,将自己从沉闷的课业里暂时解救出来,化身正义王子,和故事里的怪兽们展开大战。

From the music video’s storyline, the audience can catch glimpses of Kimura’s own child-like sense of creativity. Growing up, he was infatuated by video games. So, the idea of incorporating video game-like elements into this music video came quite naturally to him; his goal was to make a video with mass appeal. “As a child, I always dreamed of delving into an interactive world where I could defeat the bad guys and become a hero for a day. I assumed that many others have this same dream,” says Kimura. This nostalgia became the starting point for his video, which he thought would stir up memories of simpler times as a child for many viewers.

说起这支MV的故事构想,我们看到了导演Kimura纯真任性的一面。在日本长大的他从小就是一个电子游戏迷,所以就自然想到以游戏作为切入点,去制作一条能串联大众的影片。“我一直有这种幻想,自己成为了游戏世界里头和敌人对战的那个英雄,所以我也假定这个世界上很多人也会和我有同样的想法吧。” 拍摄这支童真的MV,Kimura想带着观众一起回到那个单纯勇敢极具创意的儿童时代。

Kimura had hoped to shoot the video in a traditional school constructed with wood, envisioning a location with warm tones, a location that wouldn’t look out of place in a Hayao Miyazaki film. In the end, they found the ideal filming location in a mountainous area a few hours away from Tokyo. As this school was in such a remote location and situated on a mountainside, it was difficult to transport the entire crew and all of the equipment. But in the end, Kimura felt that the result was truly worth the hassle.


The young star of this music video, Lyka, was discovered by Kimura on YouTube. “Honestly, I usually hate music videos with dancers. But when I randomly came across her on YouTube. I thought that she was absolutely gangster. She was super cute but had such a strong attitude and crazy skills. The video treatment was actually written based on her.”


This being Kimura’s first-ever attempt at adding animated elements into his video, he enlisted the help of animator Rapparu to bring his vision to life. The animation process for Kings was extremely intense, requiring five animators who worked between 15 to 18 hours a day, on rotation, to achieve the final result. Laughing, Kimura says, “During the creation process, I was very harsh. I remember Rapparu called to say that he couldn’t take anymore and wanted to kill himself. I told him that’s fine, but kill yourself after you finish. Since then, he calls me a demon, which is fair play I guess.”


Website: taichikimura.com
Vimeo: ~/taichikimura


Contributor: Ye Zi



供稿人: Ye Zi

Cinematic Tokyo

Cinematic Tokyo is a series from Dutch photographer and cinematographer Stijn Hoekstra. After initially developing his photography style in his native home of Amsterdam, Hoekstra planned to bring his visual approach to photographing other cities. The Cinematic Tokyo series was made possible when Hoekstra was commissioned to shoot a documentary on a flower artist in Tokyo, giving him the opportunity to capture the streets during his free time. Hoekstra says, “Whenever I work in another country, I try to book some extra nights to do the thing I like most – photographing the city in my own way.”

《Cinematic Tokyo》(电影东京)是由荷兰摄影师和电影摄影指导Stijn Hoekstra创作的摄影作品系列。在家乡阿姆斯特丹期间,Hoekstra初步形成了自己的摄影风格,之后,他便计划利用自己的视觉创意在其它城市进行拍摄。《Cinematic Tokyo》系列是Hoekstra受委托前往东京为一名花艺师拍摄纪录片期间所创作的。一有空,他就会走上街道进行拍摄。Hoekstra说:“每次我去到另一个国家工作时,我都会多住几晚,去做自己想做的事情——用自己的方式拍摄这座城市。”

Hoekstra draws from his background as both a photographer and a cinematographer to bring his audience a unique perspective on visual storytelling. He says, “I always try to take a cinematic approach in my photography. Every picture is shot with a wide angle lens, and I’m always looking for different perspectives.” Through particular attention to subject, lighting, and composition, each of Hoekstra’s images manages to tell a story in a single frame.


Color grading plays a major role in Hoekstra’s creative process and is essential in bringing out the cinematic quality of his images. According to him, “Color gives the photo the mood it deserves. It took a lot of time to develop this particular style, and it’s still developing.” Hoekstra continues his Cinematic city series in New York and Cuba.

调色(Color grading)是Hoekstra的创作过程中的重要部分,对于提升其照片的影像品质十分关键。他解释道:“色彩赋予照片相应的情绪。我花了很多时间来掌握这种特殊的风格,并且还在不断地学习。“接下来,Hoekstra将继续在纽约和古巴创作自己的《Cinematic》电影城市摄影系列。



Contributor: George Zhi Zhao



供稿人: George Zhi Zhao

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