Art / Design, England

Haroshi 心月輪

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.

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Art / Design, England, Japan

Bank-note Incredible

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…

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Art / Design, Travel

Assumption

Before we arrived in Australia, we asked one of our contacts: where should we eat, where are the cool / quirky and interesting shops, where can we see a little street art? The normal questions. I must admit that because of the volume and quality of street art to be found in London, I hadn’t expected to see much interesting graffiti in Melbourne, but now I really do feel so stupid about that particular presumption…

From the relatively average, typical scrawl I saw in the city-centre lanes, I thought I had judged correctly. But the more I walked, and the closer I got to the Brunswick/Fitzroy districts in the north-west of the city, the more excited I became and the more photos I took. The volume was overwhelming so much so that even my eyes got almost tired of looking at the creative, colourful walls. Here’s a pick of the highlights that I managed to see in the few hours I had.

(And if any of you can fill me in on the names of some of the artists, please comment below.)

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Japan, Travel

深雪 Deep White

As I’ve said before, every time we go home to Shimane, we love to walk along the edges of Shinjiko and whenever I photograph the lake, the fast-changing weather and light makes it looks completely different each time. This time was perhaps the most dramatic that I had ever seen.

With heavy snowfall the view was truly beautiful; completely white. There were almost none of the Shijimi fishermen that we have shown here in past posts (here). Through mist and snow though, I could make out only a couple of tough characters were out on this icy morning, braving freezing conditions to scrape shells from the bed of the lake. I was well wrapped up and spent a whole morning with my camera to capture them through the snow.

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England

Small Publishers

Atsuko was invited by a friend to Conway Hall on Red Lion Square on Saturday to the Small Publishers’ International Book Fair. Without such an invite, we would never have known about such an interesting event. The variety of books was overwhelming and the craft and skill in writing, illustrating and the making of these unique books was admirable; in fact it was quite inspiring graphically.

There were more than 50 publishers exhibiting their works, so this small, interesting hall was packed with people. And books.

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Art / Design, England

Lister is Over Stencils

This afternoon, we were lucky enough to catch Anthony Lister putting the finishing touches to his latest painting on Rivington Place, on a wall just outside the Cargo garden terrace. What you can’t see in these pictures is that on the other side of the gate, Banksy’s ‘Guard and Poodle’ is still displayed, now behind acrylic protection. ‘Lister is Over Stencils’ at the foot of the wall suggests Lister is having a bit of a poke at Banksy. And with this guy’s talent, why not?

I’ve only just become aware of Lister in the last few months and have started to really like his style as I notice more and more of his works popping up around London. It was great watching him work and I loved him playing up to his friend’s camera as he finished. The other painting shown below is his End of the Line panel for the White Canvas project.

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