Arty Movies

Samurai Star Wars

Steve Bialik took us to feudal Japan in his set of Star Wars portraits, drawn as if they were woodblock prints. In a similar theme, US-based artist Clinton Felker draws some of the characters as high-stylized samurai warriors.

See his Samurai Star Wars drawings after the jump.

Arty Video Clips

One Week in Japan by Mike Matas

Time goes by so quickly in this time-lapse video from Mike Matas. The photographer and his girlfriend travelled to Japan, and for one week, took photos of the things, people, and places that they came across. Their travelogue, One Week in Japan, is a collection of 4000 of those photos and chronicles the wonderful scenes that they encountered.

[via Coolism]


You Won’t Believe She is Levitating

And it’s a good thing that you don’t believe everything you read, you keen observer you. Natsumi Hayashi, a pretty teenager from Tokyo, Japan takes self-portraits at just the right moment in time when it looks like she is performing an incredible act of levitation. Hayashi takes hundreds of photos of her jumps in and around the capital city until she gets the perfect, most natural-looking levitation.

Have a look at some images of Tokyo’s levitating girl after the jump.

Entertainment Featured Music Video Clips Weirdness

PONPONPON! A Surreal J-Pop Music Video

I know more about the Hadron Collider than what goes on in the minds of some Japanese people. In the music video for her debut J-pop single for Warner Music Japan, “PONPONPON”, blogger and model Kyary Pamyu Pamyu welcomes you to her “doll house”. It’s a rather odd place where floating brains and eyes embedded in toast are commonplace, and even her farts are strikingly colourful. You must see this video, be warned though, the tune can be extremely catchy and/or unbearably annoying.

If you’d like an English translation of the lyrics, see it at Wonky Translation. If this video made complete sense to you, then do drop us a comment and let us know what any of this madness means.

[via Ufunk]

Cautionary Tales Video Clips Weirdness

Waste Not, Want Not: Japanese Scientist Makes Poop Burger

Nothing should really surprise you when the Japanese are concerned. The latest news from the Internet says that our far east friends have managed to create edible hamburger “meat” that just so happens to made of protein extracted from human poo.

A sewage plant in Tokyo was faced with an abundance of sewage mud and asked scientist Mitsuyuki Ikeda to think of possible uses for it. The mud contains bacteria that feed on the human faeces, and Ikeda found that the bacteria themselves contained a lot of protein. That discovery led Ikeda to the next logical step — synthesizing the protein and adding soya and other additives to make the “meat” taste just like beef. The process is explained in detail below.

If you have trouble believing this shit, you’re not alone. YouTuber user Gimmeaflakeman has some concerns about the validity of the video.

What are your thoughts? If push comes to shove, would you eat a turd burger?

[via Huffington Post]

Arty Video Clips

Forest Xylophone Plays Bach’s Cantata 147

Think of a giant xylophone being fashioned out of wood. Now imagine that wooden contraption being set up in the enchanting woodlands of Kyushu, Japan and then used to play a piece of classical music. That is exactly what the inventive people at Drill Inc. did as an advert for a wood-encased phone, the Touch Wood SH-08C. The phone is made from trees that have been culled from overgrown forests.

According to the creators no artificial music was added, they merely adjusted the background levels for effect. Watch as one little wooden ball, with a little help from gravity, rolls down the forest xylophone and plays Bach’s Cantata 147.

[via Engadget]

Arty Awesomeness Featured Inspirational Designs Photoworthy

Amazing Light Paintings by Trevor Williams

Trevor Williams is a camera freak who loves light painting and shooting things in the dead of night. He is a part of Fiz-iks, a bunch of photographers based in Japan who specialize in light painting. Williams uses a variety of xenon torches, LED lights, electroluminescent wire (el wire), and other doodads to create some fabulous light paintings. Take a look at some of his art after the jump.

Arty Featured

ThreeA JDF Armstrong: Help Japan. Get a Toy.

Disasters are a terrible thing. Normally unexpected, they can leave a nation battered, bruised, and broken. The Japan disaster is indeed a horrifying experience and has left the world speechless. People gathered around and watched a mighty Japan shaken to its core by a record 8 magnitude earthquake followed by a massive tsunami – a towering wall and unstoppable force of water, annihilating everything in its path.

If there is any upside to this event, it is that the brute force and ugly side of nature hit one of the most disaster-resilient nations in the world. While some earthquake-safe buildings still stand, thousands upon thousands of people are feared dead and many more are left homeless, having lost everything in the quake and resulting floods.

Japan might be strong, but its times like these where the world witnesses how fragile a nation, and life itself, can be. Quickly after the events started unfolding, a snowball effect began happening from people and organizations all around the world, who all tried to get involved and offer support. Millions of dollars have already been raised by the help of the Red Cross, private organizations, celebrities, etc. But its still not enough. The nation of Japan have many years still ahead of them of repairing and restoring what has been broken and lost, and any and all donations to help those suffering are still needed. Food, clothes, shelter… every bit goes towards some form help.

Who am I, and why I’m telling you this? My name is Simon, and I am the owner of a new South African vinyl toy and limited edition collectible shop called Vinyl Destination. And I’d like to bring attention  to a new way that you can help those in Japan. I bet you all would agree that there are few things as satisfying than the gift of giving, especially to those who are in need, and one little toy company is really stepping up its efforts to help. Find out how after the jump.

Arty Featured Inspirational Designs

Intricate Salt Labyrinths

For the past decade, incredibly patient Japanese artist Motoi Yamamoto has been creating the most intricate mazes from an unlikely medium. As a tribute to the life of his sister who died of cancer in 1994, Yamamoto spends hours upon hours using a plastic squeezy bottle to create beautiful labyrinthine patterns from household salt.

In an interview with Hi-Fructose, Yamamoto explains the use of salt in his memorial artwork.

Salt seems to possess a close relation with human life beyond time and space. Moreover, especially in Japan, it is indispensable in the death culture. After my sister’s death, what I began to do in order to accept this reality was examine how death was dealt with in the present social realm. I posed several related themes for myself such as brain death or terminal medical care and picked related materials accordingly. I then came to choose salt as a material for my work. This was when I started to focus on death customs in Japan.

… Drawing a labyrinth with salt is like following a trace of my memory. Memories seem to change and vanish as time goes by. However, what I sought for was the way in which I could touch a precious moment in my memories, which cannot be attained through pictures or writings.

Have a look at his salt labyrinths after the jump.

Arty Awesomeness Entertainment

Asialphabet: The A to Z of Japan

In her illustrated series, Asialphabet, artist Yoriko Yoshida creates a most wonderful A to Z of Japan using a variety of items and traditions that make the country so unique. Yoriko uses bonsai, ikebana, manga, ninjas, and a whole lot of other cultural references I don’t entirely understand to form the letters of the English alphabet. The letters Q and X are omitted though.

Have a look at Yoshida’s amazing Asialphabet after the jump.