Category Archives: art

Inakadate Rice Paddy Art 2015: Star Wars & Gone With The Wind

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Inakadate is a village in Aomori Prefecture and a population of 8000. Since 1993, the people of Inakadate began creating rice paddy art to promote tourism and revitalize the area. Over time, the artworks became more elaborate and for two months each year, Inakadate becomes a tourist hotspot in Aomori. Rice paddy art is created at two fields and this year’s topic were two famous Hollywood movies: Star Wars and Gone With The Wind.

I started my trip in Hirosaki on the 5th of August. Hirosaki Station is the terminus of the Konan Railway Line, connecting Hirosaki with Inakadate and Kuroishi. From April to November, the train stops at the seasonal Tamboato Station which is located next to the first rice field. From the station you can easily see the tower built for the festival:

Rice art tower

Rice field art is best viewed from a vantage point. In the case of Inakadate’s rice art, the planting of the rice is planned beforehand using a computer. The tower located next to the rice field is the only way to truly see the artwork – from the ground, you’ll only get a vague idea about the picture:

C3-PO ground Read the rest of this entry

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Naoshima – Island of Art

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A while ago, I posted about the 007 Museum in Naoshima. Of course it’s not the only tourist attraction on the island and it’s not even close to be the most popular one. Naoshima is known as the “art island” and has several art museums with exhibits by various well-known artists. The island is also well prepared for tourists with a shuttle bus connecting the various art sites and the port.

First, I bought a ticket for the Chichu Art Museum. There is a reserved ticket system in place for that particular museum during peak times when lots of visitors are expected. Outside those times, you may buy a ticket on the day by getting a waiting number. The time when you are able to buy the actual ticket is printed on the ticket. In my case, I had lots of time going to the other museums.

Benesse House Museum

Opened in 1992, Benesse House Museum is a facility consisting of four buildings, integrating a museum and a hotel. Some exhibits where created specifically for this museum and thus can only be seen in Naoshima. Tadao Ando is the architect of both the Benesse House and Chichu Art Museum. While I enjoyed the works inside the museum, I did like the works of art outside around the museums premises and Naoshima’s shore more. Here you can find Niki de Saint Phalle’s colorful sculptures.

Benesse House  Naoshima  27 Read the rest of this entry

Mokin Museum in Insadong, Seoul

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A visit to the Mokin Museum in Insadong, Seoul is the perfect complement to the Chicken Art Museum. Mokins are wooden figures used to decorate funeral carriages. If you read my previous post on the Chicken Museum, wooden chicken figures were used on the carriage as well. It was believed that chickens can guide the dead to the next world so that they won’t get lost.

There are a lot more animals that decorate the carriages as well as plants and fictional beings. The Mokin Museum has a massive collection (5000 pieces) of them but since it’s a small museum can only display a very small part of it.

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The museum is located in Insadong. Opposite the Jogyesa Temple is a Buddhist culture and information center. Right next to the center is a small street where the museum is located. There are two Italian restaurants in that street one of which is Palazzo Due which is next to the museum. On the basement floor of the museum is a two-part gallery which doesn’t exhibit wooden figures. The actual museum is in the floor above, take the steps and pay at the counter (5000 Won).

Now you can see the figures! Read the rest of this entry

An Evening in…

Another set of random pics, akin to “A Day in…”

A Day in…

Random shots on my way to school. Strange angles, objects etc. serving no purpose. But I set the “art” tag, so that’s what it is 😉

Seoul Olympic Museum of Arts

When you have very little time, you tend to choose places where you can do multiple things. Today I went to the Olympic Park, the park around the main site of the 1988 Summer Olympics. I took a different route and arrived at the SOMA (map) first, the Seoul Olympic Museum of Arts. It’s not exactly a MOMA but it had a decent collection of paintings, photos and installations. Entrance is 1000 Won for adults and there are some sculptures outside, just a tiny part of the big sculpture park which is situated in the rest of the Olympic Park. The special exhibition I saw at the SOMA was “Into Drawing”. Read the rest of this entry

Tokyo Designer’s Week

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A classmate of mine told me about the Tokyo Designer’s week which is held at some main locations and various galleries. I only had time to visit one location and the first thing I did after entering was to grab one of these free plastic bags where you can carry all the papers etc. .

Unlike Design Festa, the exhibition was separated into various big tents. The whole thing also seemed to have a more professional feeling, with many people coming to look not to boy. In the big hall, photographing was prohibited, possible because they fear cheap copies (as if that could stop them…).

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The future belongs to foldable furniture

More interesting, because somewhat more “daring” were the exhibits by art students. Some of them were shown in an open-air space, others in small containers. Some were also interactive. All of the pics on this page are from the student exhibitions.

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I particularly liked the one where they built chairs and sofas out of balls, PET bottles or old clothes.

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Origami

Whenever I built a paper plane, it generally knew only one direction: downwards. But there are some people who are really good at folding papers and they could exhibit their work at one of Hamburg’s finest museum, the Museum fuer Kunst und Gewerbe. Jenny, Bettina and I went there and the museum staff didn’t seem to mind the camera (or they didn’t notice which I doubt somehow). Over 140 exhibits from 44 artists were shown and there were some really complex works on display. We also strolled through the permanent exhibition like the piano collection but skipped the porcelain one. The exhibit is running until 7th October 2007.

Design Festa 2007

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Design Festa time! I got four free tickets from the household agency so obviously I had to go. I met with two others of the 300 Yen Bar Gang, Kelly and Kevin at Shinagawa to take the Yurikamome line for the Tokyo Big Sight, the famous inverted-pyramid-event-hall. Inside, there was a long queue of people waiting for their turn to buy a ticket. Kelly had two additional with him and gave them to a Western pair. Of course we could jump the queue and enter through the colourful gate. Kevin and me were newcomers to this event.
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Status check

Shibuya Paradise

There are hardly any people who ring the doorbell and the bell has an awful sound. So I’m always shocked if I hear my doorbell and today it was not the postman: It was someone from the local police. I immediately thought that a crime happened in the neighbourhood (alright, I’m paranoid) but he was merely there to check who is living in the rooms what their purpose of stay is, name and so on. He spoke little English and I guess I was too nervous to form a few meaningful sentences in Japanese but I guess he will return next month or so. It’s a good idea to always know where your passport is since the visa stamp explains a lot. He was checking the other tenants as well and there was no inspection of the rooms or anything like that, just 4, 5 questions and we were done.

After that I went to Shibuya to look for the Nanzuka Underground, an art gallery. Although I had a map, this location turned out to be pretty hard to find and I gave up after a while. Before I went looking for the gallery, I listened to some music coming from a public stage at Shibuya station. They played some good rock music.
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