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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England

The Grower

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.

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Art / Design, England

Fisticuffs

I’ve long been an admirer of this Irish street artist, we featured some of his work on Fashion Street last summer in our post Egg & Soldiers. Conor Harrington is a painter, and not just of the graffiti variety; he’s a seriously talented painter. Seeing his work on the streets creates fabulous contrast because much of his work would fit comfortably in the finest of fine-art galleries.

I follow Conor on Instagram (@conorsayboom) and this week noticed that he was painting somewhere in South East London, not too far from our house. Frustratingly, I couldn’t find out exactly where and work stopped me really looking in earnest until yesterday when I took the afternoon off. Happily I managed to find the wall but Conor had moved on, only the cherry-picker remained, the work was completed only hours before… Take a look at the work, these enormous fighters tower over pedestrians yet the detail is incredible, this is one of the most powerful pieces of street art I’ve photographed. I would have loved to have photographed this in work progress…

I include pictures of a couple of other recent works that have recently gone up around Shoreditch, one a collaboration with Maser. I’m dying to find more.

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England

Agents of Change

If you are a follower of street art in London, you will have seen the Megaro Hotel’s impressive face-lift opposite King’s Cross St Pancras last year. Agents of Change were commissioned by the hotel owner to paint the huge 6-storey facade and because of it’s scale and location, has naturally received an awful lot of attention, mostly positive. I personally loved it.

Passing through East Dulwich this weekend, I spotted the famous mural’s smaller lesser-known cousin on Crawthew Grove. This was done back in 2011 by Remi Rough and Augustine Kofie and if you use this link, you can see the time lapse of them painting it _ enjoy.

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