With precision and crazy skill, Haroshi selects, stacks and bonds old broken skateboards to create timber layers that he uses to unbelievable effects. The variety of colour found naturally in the laminated construction of discarded skateboard decks overlap to make beautiful and very unique ply art-works once carved.
Perhaps the most interesting of Haroshi’s techniques is the detailed mosaic of skateboard ply block-work. Coincidentally, this method has been used throughout Japanese history to create most of Japan’s wooden Great Buddha statues (of course not using skateboards). One particular Buddhist craftsman from the 12th century, Unkei (運慶) would place a crystal ball, called shin gachi rin (心月輪), at the heart of each of his carved buddha forms to give his sculptures their ‘soul’. Haroshi uses a metallic object from one of the broken skateboards; buried deep in the centre of each of his art-works, again giving the objects a heart, and a ‘soul’.
A friend of ours, Brandon Shigeta, a photographer based in LA was lucky enough to shoot Haroshi’s Tokyo studio for Hypebeast in 2010 and I have been waiting since then to see his works in London. Check out PAIN, at StolenSpace Gallery, on Brick Lane, until 3rd November.
Friends of mine at London’s ICN Gallery told me about this artist some time last year and I have been eagerly anticipating her arrival ever since. I hurried out briefly today, while Atsuko was distracted, to check it out before I lost the chance. Like Fukahori Riusuke, this is one of those unbelievable Japanese artists that make me so happy that I stumbled on the ICN Gallery.
I saw the work with my own eyes and met the artist today but I still can’t quite understand how she does this. Saya Irie ‘simply’ erases imagery from banknotes, with a typical school eraser, then blends the rubber-dust with a type of glue and reforms them into a 3D sculpture of the object or person they once were.
Elizabeth Fry, Charles Darwin, Adam Smith and others all appear out from the two-dimensional surface in minute, precise detail despite standing just millimetres tall. It’s astounding. And it really makes you take a second look at the bank-notes we use on a daily basis but never stop to appreciate their incredible beauty. “Every popular thing is beautiful” is open until August 10th; try to catch it if you can…
I’m not taking many photos right now as life is taking over any free-time that I had. But I was up on the roof again the other night to have a second attempt at photographing the moon without the time pressure of fast-moving clouds.
I may have reached the limit of my equipment and skill, if anyone has any tips, please comment below!
I didn’t think I’d get to see the moon last night, on a night when everyone was talking about it, because of the weather. I didn’t get the full effect of the supermoon as it was almost midnight when the cloud thinned enough for me to see it and by that time it was high in the sky. The clouds were moving so fast across the sky but I got a gap of around 15 minutes to see and photograph the moon so clambered up onto the roof with my tripod.
For a first attempt at shooting the moon, I’m reasonably pleased but I really want to have a second go, to try to get sharper images. I think maybe my central London location is not good, there is a lot of light-pollution here. And I also want to understand stacking my photos to layer up several shots and combine them into one, detailed image. Did anyone else see the moon last night…?
Yesterday morning we dropped into London Bridge’s Borough Market to pick up a few things for the weekend. The market has been gradually expanding into new areas as the local phase of the Crossrail project nears completion. It’s become such a beautiful market, each stall now finally has the space to display their products without compromise. While Borough Market has become quite touristy and, some say, overpriced over the years, it’s still one of the most enjoyable food markets in London.
We ate delicious garlic prawn wraps from Appleby’s fish restaurant and filled our bag with Chorizo sausage, strawberries, raspberries and avocados. My own favourite purchase was refillable bottles of red from Borough Wines. They have a fantastic concept where you buy the empty bottle for £2.50 and fill or refill it yourself for £5 a time. I’m no expert, but this wine tastes far better than anything I buy at Sainsbury’s for the same price; so fresh and so fruity, it’s like blackcurrant jam! Borough Market is full of people passionate about a specialist niche of produce. Fitz for example is where you can find the most incredible French pate and terrines from France but actually Noel Fitzjohn himself makes the most beautiful mustards. And if the season is right I can definitely recommend his beautiful, fresh homegrown horseradish sauce.
Just as I was thinking to go and pick up my bag from the hotel then head back to the airport, I walked past a small bar and the crisp sound of jazz trumpet filled my ears. Peering through the grimy glass, I realised that it was a live performance of My Favourite Things and couldn’t resist a look inside. On this damp Saturday afternoon, the bar was half full, with people of all ages soaking up a live session from what I think must have been the regular session band, Virus Quintet.
I can’t tell you how much I wanted to stay and listen for the rest of the night but London was calling, and I had to leave Melbourne. These are my last few pictures from Australia, I can’t wait to go back. Scroll down through the pictures and listen to ‘The Mooche’, it should give you an idea of why it was so hard to leave Grumpy’s that afternoon.