Tag Archives: japan

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。

Soap Operas as Inspiration

A snippet from Episode 3 of Hello, Finale!  《你好,尽头!》第三集 片段


Chinese multimedia artist Tao Hui’s newest series, Hello Finale!follows nine different individuals making a phone call to close acquaintances. Inspired by film, soap operas, and even local news, the series explores topics of love, life, and death through the overarching theme of “all things must end.”


For Tao Hui, who grew up during the peak era of cable television, TV has been central in his creative growth. Observing his mother, an avid fan of Taiwanese writer Qiong Yao, cry when watching Yao’s shows, led Tao to propose the questions of “What is the relationship between reality, television shows, and films” and “What role can art play in exploring their dynamic?”


Tao Hui’s goal is to clearly define the often blurry line between TV shows and reality. In Hello, Finale!, Tao intentionally cherry-picked footage with minor acting slip-ups. “I don’t want the audience to fully believe what I’m showing them. I want them to see the flaws and understand this is what a performance is. There are parts that are real and parts that are fake.”


With thoughtfully produced television shows and movies becoming increasingly difficult to find in China, the general public has grown accustomed to the visually grandiose films that are made for fast profit. “This is to be expected in our modern life. The pursuit of beauty has always been a large driving force behind human motivation, and as our society develops, people have more money to spend on their pursuit of beautiful things. Hence, it’s even more important to separate works that are made for profit and works with artistic intentions.”


Discussing favorite directors, Tao Hui names Abdellatif Kechicheall, Asghar Farhadiof, and Michael Haneke to be his current picks. And even though the three don’t share any stylistic similarities, the common denominator is that their films are far more thoughtful than typical Hollywood blockbusters. “I feel like for-profit movies are made for the average consumer, created for mass appeal and satisfying the public,” Tao says with a shrug. “For-profit films and video art should be differentiated. The former is a product; it’s something for people to consume. The latter is created with the goal of provoking discussion and making people think.”




More of Tao Hui’s work is currently on display at Shanghai’s Rockbound Art Museum as part of HUGO BOSS ASIA ART 2017. Click here to find out more.

在近期上海外滩美术馆举办的“HUGO BOSS 2017亚洲新锐艺术家大奖中可以看到更多陶辉的作品。点击这里可以购买展览门票。

EventHUGO BOSS 2017亚洲新锐艺术家大奖
Exhibition Dates: 10/27/2017 ~ 2/11/2018

Rockbund Art Museum
Huqiu Road 20
Huangpu District, Shanghai
People’s Republic of China


Website: ~/TaoHui


Contributor: Chen Yuan
Image Courtesy of Tao Hui and Rockbund Art Museum

活动HUGO BOSS 2017亚洲新锐艺术家大奖
展期: 2017年10月27日——2018年2月11日



网站: ~/TaoHui


供稿人: Chen Yuan

Roadside Lights

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

Flesh Love

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

Tiffany’s Tokyo TV: Yoshi



Based in Tokyo, Tiffany Godoy is a seasoned fashion editor and host of SSENSE’s “vlogumentary” series Tiffany’s Tokyo TV. The series explores Tokyo’s fashion scene, interviewing different fashion icons in the city. In one of our favorite episode, released earlier this year, Godoy chats with Yoshi, a 14-year-old fashion figure who attends various fashion events, posts selfies on Instagram with his mom’s phone, and aspires to start his own clothing brand. In the video, Godoy joins Yoshi for a fun day of eating hamburgers, dancing, and visiting his favorite boutique shops in Harajuku.

作为一个资深时装编辑的Tiffany Godoy以东京为背景与SSENSE制作了一档属于自己的真人节目《Tiffany’s Tokyo TV》,旨在深度挖掘这个城市里的时尚ICON们的故事。在这期节目里,Godoy采访了14岁的Yoshi,Yoshi在穿着上非常有自己独到的见解,他以他的方式参加各种时尚活动,用妈妈的手机上Instagram,并且梦想着成立一个自己的品牌。Yoshi跟Godoy一起吃汉堡、跳舞、带领她去他最爱的两个原宿时装店并且分享了自己的一些超龄计划。



Contributor: Shou Xing

Strawberries Will Save the World



Japanese director Yoko Okumura’s Strawberries Will Save the World is a short and whimsical documentary that takes viewers into the life of Yuko Okumura, an avid strawberry enthusiast and the director’s own mother. Yoko’s main instruction to her production team was to make the film “Make it cute. Make it really really cute! ” Strawberry mugs, strawberry socks, strawberry glasses, strawberry spatula, and even a strawberry-related chatroom – Yuko’s life and home is filled to the brim with anything and everything strawberry related. In Japanese, the word for strawberry is ichigo, which can be dissected into ichi (meaning one) and go (meaning five). As a result, the number 15 is considered to be related to the fruit. And whether it’s checking the time or driving around, Yuko feels like the number 15 shows up everywhere she goes even though she’s not looking for it. This became affirmation that, all along, it wasn’t her searching for strawberries – strawberries are naturally drawn to her.

居住在美国的日本影片制作人 Yoko Okumura拍摄了一部记录短片,讲述了一个草莓疯狂痴恋者的故事,而影片的主人公 ——Yuko Okumura,正是她的妈妈。短片以一种轻松可爱的手法讲述了Yuko女士对草莓的痴狂。拍摄的时候,导演Yoko Okumura给团队的要求就是:“拍得可爱一些,拍的非常非常可爱。” 草莓杯、草莓袜、草莓眼镜和草莓锅铲甚至是草莓聊天室,Yuko女士家中塞满了和草莓相关的一切,或者说,她的生命也是和草莓紧紧关联在一起的。在日语中,草莓的发音与数字“15”的发音一致, Yuko女士说每当她拿起手机或开车的时候,总能自然地看到”15“这个数字,仿佛不是她在找草莓,而是草莓进入了她的生活。

The internet has allowed Yuko to connect with other like-minded strawberry lovers and share her impressive collection with them. She’s now a member of a Japanese association of strawberry enthusiasts and is even brainstorming on how to shoot an entire movie about strawberries. As this simple fruit has brought so much joy to her own life, Yuko feels compelled to spread this same happiness to more people around the world. Watch the documentary above to see how Yuko plans to channel more positivity into the world with the power of strawberries.


Website: yokofilm.com
Vimeo: ~/yokookumura


Contributor: Ye Zi



供稿人: Ye Zi

Passion & Fragility


Mizuki Nishiyama is a Japanese multimedia artist, painter, and poet based in New York City. Currently a student at the Parsons School of Design, Nishiyama creates abstract expressionist works that examine personal experiences, ideas of the extreme, and the concept of human fragility. Nishiyama tells Neocha more about her artwork below.

Mizuki Nishiyama是来自日本的多媒体艺术家、画家和诗人,现居纽约,就读于帕森设计学院(Parsons School of Design)。Nishiyama以抽象表现主义的作品,探讨自己的人生经历,极端的想法和人类脆弱性的概念。最近,Nishiyama和Neocha分享了她对艺术、文化和创意的一些想法。

Snails In Her Eyes
In My Lake of Boulders

Neocha: What first drew you to pursue art?

Nishiyama: My grandma, granduncle, and mother are all painters. Each of them work in different mediums – my grandma uses tennen iwa enogu (powdered minerals) for Nihonga (traditional Japanese art), my granduncle paints with watercolor, and my mother paints with oil. As my family has an artistic background, I presume I’ve been influenced by them. Nevertheless, many of my own personal developments have led me to explore different methods to recreate or make a statement, whether it be through music, dance, or writing. Over time, I’ve realized that painting allows me to create the most accurate representation of what I intend to visualize.

Neocha: 你一开始为什么会对艺术感兴趣?

Nishiyama: 我的祖母、伯祖父和母亲都是画家。他们各自用着不同的媒介来创作。我的祖母用Tennen Iwa Enogu(粉状矿物质)来画日本画(Nihonga,指日本的民族传统绘画),我的伯祖父画水彩画,而我母亲则是画油画。由于我家的艺术背景,我从小就已经受到他们的影响。尽管如此,我个人的很多经历也在促使我去寻求不同的方法来创作或表达,可以是音乐,也可以是舞蹈或写作。慢慢地,我意识到,绘画能最准确表达出我想要可视化的内容。


Neocha: Aside from familial influences, how does Japan and its culture influence your artistic process?

Nishiyama: I was fortunate to have been raised in a culturally diverse environment. My father is from Japan and my mother is from Hong Kong, but they spent a big portion of their lives in Italy. Bouncing between five languages at home and attending a Canadian International School in Hong Kong, I’ve never been able to identify concretely with particular heritages. However, I’ve always had a fondness for Japanese history and culture. By visiting Japan ever so often, I’ve been exposed to traditional arts such as bunraku (traditional Japanese puppet theatre), kabuki (classical Japanese dance-dramas), buyō (traditional Japanese performing arts), and ukiyo-e (an art genre that flourished in Japan between the 17th and 19th century), which have all brought my attention and attraction to classical arts. I’m so grateful to have been brought up with multiple cultural values, as I do realize that I unconsciously blend aspects of all those cultures together.

Neocha: 日本文化对你的作品有什么影响?

Nishiyama: 我很幸运可以在一个多元文化的环境中成长。我的父亲来自日本,而我的母亲来自香港,但他们大部分时间都生活在意大利。在家里,我会在五种语言之间来回切换,加上是在香港的加拿大国际学校读书的,所以,对我来说,我从来都没有特别觉得自己属于哪一种文化。不过,我一直都很喜欢日本的历史和文化。我经常去日本,也接触到很多当地传统艺术,例如文乐(Bunraku)、歌舞伎(Kabuki)、舞踊(Buyō)和浮世绘(Ukiyo-e)、而这些艺术又让我开始注意并喜欢上古典艺术。我很感恩,自己能在这种多元文化的环境中成长,因为我发现,自己会不自觉地将这些不同文化融合在一起。

Peas and Peaches

Neocha: What are some recurrent themes in your artwork?

Nishiyama: I’m a very emotionally driven person. I’m tempestuous, and my thoughts are impassioned. The images that I paint come from a very sensitive and ardent side of my human experience that I simply want to document.

My work covers unconventional topics about the human experience that are intentionally confrontational. I’m extremely intrigued by the rawness of the human psyche when we are vulnerable to our emotions. These feelings help cultivate my creativity through emotional intimacy between myself and the brush. The themes I’ve expressed thus far have been based on personal experiences and spontaneous social issues, often ignored or instinctively disregarded by society.

I started painting as a response to many situations in my life. This allowed me to take a step back, and analyze these situations through a secondary lens. I consider my paintings as somewhat of a visual diary. By looking back at my work, I’ve learned to understand myself better – emotionally and circumstantially.





Tic Tac Toe
Swing Me From The Cantaloupe I Swear To Beckon This Raisin Day

Neocha: How does color play a role in your art? What does color mean to you?

Nishiyama: Selecting the appropriate colors to provoke emotions and amplify messages are constantly on my mind. Themes surrounding my pieces are often quite impassioned, so I tend to naturally grab darker, more vibrant and vivid shades. I am currently experimenting with mediums. I am familiar working with highly pigmented shades, however, I’ve recently begun incorporating gouache, gloss, thickening mediums, as well as glazing to create a variety of looks.

Neocha: 色彩在你的艺术创作中扮演什么角色?色彩对你来说意味着什么?

Nishiyama: 我总是会去思考如何选择合适的色彩来挑动情绪,突显作品想要传达的信息。我的作品主题往往都十分激烈的情感,所以很自然地,我倾向于使用更鲜活生动的暗色调。我目前在尝试用不同的媒介进行创作。我比较擅长用高饱和度的色彩创作,但是最近我也开始使用水粉、光泽涂料、可以增厚质感的媒介,以及透明画法(glazing)来营造同不的效果。

Sunflowers Dream

Neocha: As both a painter and a poet, how does your creative process differ across these two mediums?

Nishiyama: Literature and painting go hand-in-hand when it comes to being able to show an accurate representation of what I intend to document. I’m a big fan of confessional poetry. I do not intend to create flawless stanzas nor sculptured phrases. I have always treated both my paintings and my poems as representative milestones in my life. The commonality would be the emotional heaviness I convey through both mediums.

Neocha: 你身兼画家和诗人两个身份,那么你在分别创作这两个媒介时,会有什么不同的创作思路吗?

Nishiyama: 文学和绘画都能准确表达出我想要记录的内容,在这一点上,两者是一样的。我特别喜欢自白派诗歌(Confessional Poetry)。我不打算创作出完美无瑕的诗节,也不想精雕细琢所用的词语。一直以来,我创作的画和诗都是记录我生命的里程碑。两者的共性在于我透过这两种媒介传达的沉重情感。


Neocha: How has studying in New York City influenced your attitude towards art?

Nishiyama: I became more driven once I started attending the Parsons School of Design, due to constantly being surrounded by highly motivated and creative people. Moving to New York City meant there were going to be a lot of new life changes, and that resulted in many conversational pieces. Nonetheless, Hong Kong, Japan, and New York are all creative, visionary cities to develop one’s art. But I do favor New York simply because it is a new chapter in my life, and there is yet so much more for me to learn and explore.

Neocha: 在纽约学习的经历让你对艺术的态度产生了什么变化?

Nishiyama: 入读美国帕森斯设计学院( Parsons School of Design)后,我变得更有创作的动力,因为身边的人都充满了创作欲望和创意才华的人。搬到纽约后,在生活上自然会发生很多的变化,也因此创作了很多交谈画(Conversational Piece)。虽然香港、日本和纽约都是充满前卫创意的地方,非常适合发展艺术,但我尤其喜欢纽约。原因很简单,它代表着我人生的新篇章,在这座城市有那么多值得我去学习和探索的东西。

Messy Heads

Website: mizukinishiyama.com


Contributor: George Zhi Zhao



供稿人: George Zhi Zhao

Turning Rocks into Art

Japanese artist Hirotoshi Ito doesn’t carve the type of statues that most people might expect of traditional sculptors. Coming from a masonry background, Ito creates sculptures that preserves most of the stone’s original form and texture. Despite this, it’s often difficult to believe that Ito’s sculptures are made of solid rock, as his adept manipulation of the rigid medium makes many of his works appear as they were actually created with a much more malleable material. From laughing rocks with human teeth to unzipped rock pouches filled with seashells, Ito’s imaginative works seem to push the boundary of possibilities. See more of his surreal sculptures below.

日本艺术家伊藤博敏(Hirotoshi Ito)的雕塑作品颠覆了大多数人对传统雕塑家的想法。伊藤博敏本是一名石匠,他所创作的雕塑作品在很大程度上保留了石头本身原来形状和纹理。但是,看到他的雕塑作品,人们难以相信它们竟然是坚硬的岩石。他对这些坚硬材料的熟练处理,使它们看上去像是更软的材料。从笑着露出牙齿的石头,到拉链打开、装满贝壳的“石袋”,伊藤博敏天马行空的作品,似乎在不断突破可能性的极限。下面一起来欣赏他所创作的超现实主义雕塑作品吧。

Website: jiyuseki.com
DeviantArt: jiyuseki.deviantart.com


Contributor: David Yen
Images Courtesy of Hirotoshi Ito



供稿人: David Yen
图片由Hirotoshi Ito提供