Art made of salt

March 31, 2012 § 2 Comments

Creativity has no limit, no borders, no specific medium. Each artist chooses his medium to express himself, to convey meaning or even to ease the pain. For Japanese artist Motoi Yamamoto‘s his medium of choice is salt (more precisely tons of salt) and his story is a little bit different. He builds giant sculptures entirely out of salt and creates incredibly salt maze floor installations to commemorate his sister, who died at the age of 24 from brain cancer.

He perhaps found the healing power of salt, since, as alice says in My Modern Met “salt has a special place in the death rituals of Japan, and is often handed out to people at the end of funerals, so they can sprinkle it on themselves to ward off evil”.

As a way to deal with grief or not, we can’t stop staring and admiring his pieces of art.

The following sculptural salt staircase called Utsusemi reflects on the devastating effects of earthquakes in his own country.

At least, we won’t turn into a pillar of salt like Lot’s wife just by looking at these amazing pieces. See more after the jump

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A fountain of time

September 15, 2011 § Leave a comment

A fountain at Osaka Station City which serves as a clock.

A fountain of time, whose minutes passes in beautiful patterns of words, numbers, flowers and pictures.

Pretty amazing, don’t you think?

via Design Taxi

See also:

A high-speed rail with a view

August 9, 2011 § Leave a comment

New Transit Yurikamome (新交通ゆりかもめ, formally the Tokyo Waterfront New Transit Waterfront Line, 東京臨海新交通臨海線): the first Tokyo transit line to be completely automated, which runs solely on computers and connects Odaiba to the mainland, passing through the Rainbow Bridge.

Photographer Appura Pai captured this journey with his long-exposure shots in the new high-speed rail.

See more photos after the jump « Read the rest of this entry »

On the road all around the world

May 22, 2011 § 1 Comment

Does a book cover always reflect the essence of the book itself? And how the artistic outcome of the cover changes when the same book is translated in other languages? Check out some vintage book covers of Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road”  from all around the world.

First edition, 1957


Super long list of book covers follows after the jump « Read the rest of this entry »

Read it elsewhere

April 8, 2011 § Leave a comment

Mostly things from the past in this selection of links:

  • “I first had a version of this at a Japanese monastery during a silent retreat—don’t ask, it’s a long story” and other pretentious quotes from Gwyneth Paltrow’s cookbook – eater
  • Truly interesting: what is newsgathering, what is curating, what is piracy? – boingboing
  • Nostalgia: Commodore 64 is back on the market (same exterior, new processor) – New York Times
  • In other retro news, 100 Atari games come to the iPhone and iPad – boingboing
  • And in other iPad news, here is a gallery of the best iPad self-portraits – mashable
  • 600 year old stone markers Japan offer tsunami advice, like: “Always be prepared for unexpected tsunamis. Choose life over your possessions and valuables.” –

Japan Tsunami Warning Stone

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April 5, 2011 § Leave a comment

Quick links:

  • “If every single bee disappeared…humanity would also die out within four years” –
  • An ode to Japanese creativity – Core77
  • The biggest egoists on Twitter – uproxx
  • The emotion vending machine – The Creators Project
  • When to drop Google and prefer some other search engine – Lifehacker
  • The best April Fool prank: the cartridge that turns every film camera to digital – re35 via popphoto
  • This is what the world would look like if every country’s area was proportionate to its population – I love charts

world map: countries scaled to population

Read it elsewhere

April 1, 2011 § Leave a comment

Some bad news, but mostly good news and a positive vibe:

  • Where do the young and educated want to live? (infograph) – GOOD.IS
  • Tragic irony: Japanese tsunami survivors sheltered in a nuclear power plant – boingboing
  • In the mean time, it’s a new, carefree dawn for the wildlife at Chernobyl (audio) – gruenrekorder via boing boing
  • TweetWhen is a web app that tells you when your tweets get the most retweets (we do on fridays around 5pm) – TweetWhen
  • Kinda creepy: Google to launch app that scans a face and then finds the person’s google profile (including their contact details) – mashable
  • Honest, down-to-earth, inspiring advice: “how to steal like an artist (9 other things that nobody told me)” – austin kleon via drawn
  • Now I feel old. An exhibition to celebrate South Park’s 15th birthday – lost at E minor

South Park Art

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March 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

A bitter-sweet mix of links:

  • Too close for comfort? Portraits by Martin Schoeller – live journal
  • Love is like an app store – diesel sweeties
  • The facebook you vs the real you – comical concept
  • Civilization has something similar: a video of all the major historical events (according to Wikipedia) in 100 seconds – ragtag
  • In the same vein, an infograph of every person who has ever lived – la femme belletrist
  • Nuclear boy suffers from gas (video) – youtube
  • David Lynch’s hair compared to art masterpieces – world of wonder
  • The answer to the burning question: “what is better, a facebook like or a tweet?” – mashable
  • Meet the world’s busiest extra who’s credits include tv shows like , glee, curb your enthousiasm, arrested development, and movies like the social network, catch me if you can and spiderman (video) – vulture
  • Despite recent criticism, more designers have created art inspired but the recent disaster in Japan – design for japan tumblr
  • But none as strong as these radioactive cherry blossoms on the cover of New Yorker – kottke

Japan New Yorker cover

Read it elsewhere

March 16, 2011 § Leave a comment

The Beatles, Social Media and more Japan aid:

  • For mixtape nostalgics: Stereolizer is the app that turns your iPad into an 80’s cassette player – wired
  • Etsy users find themselves exposed to world as a result of the new privacy policy – boingboing
  • Taking a stand on the McCartney – Lennon feud – Though Catalog
  • In other Beatles news Apple files to trademark the old Beatles Apple Logo – patently apple
  • Fear of missing out in the social media – via swissmiss
  • Isn’t that a surprise: poor countries have more digital piracy – boingboing
  • Happy people stick together in Twitter (so do the miserable also) – mashable
  • The history of web browser (infograph) – bit rebels
  • More designers come to the aid of Japan – this is colosal & imprint

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Read it elsewhere

March 14, 2011 § Leave a comment

Blogs, stamps, philosophers, libraries, Google Earth and what’s-his-name:

  • A brief history of blogging – web designer depot
  • The end of the stamp. From April Denmark will start replacing postage stamps with mobile text messages – quipsologies
  • I have a Philosophy degree. I’m in good company – Raymont’s Lists
  • Japanese librarians document the damage after the earthquake and tsunami – togetter
  • Qaddafi. Qazzafi. Qadhdhafi. Qaththafi. Gadhdhafi. Khadafy. Gazafy. Hizzafizzle. Schlebaffi. LOLdaffy – boingboing
  • This music video by Lux Repeat, directed by Bartholomäus Traubeck, is made entirely by Google Earth images – fastcodesign


March 14, 2011 § Leave a comment

via Visual Loop

Help Japan

March 14, 2011 § Leave a comment

Help Japan

Made by James White, this poster is available at the Signalnoise store and all profits go to the relief effort.

Here are more ways to help online:

Twitter also created these hashtags relating to the relief effort:

  • #Jishin: focuses around general earthquake information
  • #Anpi: a hashtag for the confirmation of the safety of individuals or places
  • #Hinan: Evacuation information
  • #311care: a hashtag regarding medical information for the victims
  • #PrayforJapan: A general hashtag for support and best wishes for victims of the crisis

via boingboing and mashable

See also:

Read it elsewhere

March 11, 2011 § Leave a comment

My mind is in Japan:

  • Confirmed by personal experience: when mobile phones and telephone lines failed, social networks helped the Japanese communicate in the hour of need – cnet
  • In fact, after the earthquake tweets from Japan were estimated around 1200 per minute – mashable
  • Google launches Person Finder for Japan earthquake – Person Finder
  • Japan’s strict building codes saved lives – New York Times
  • The earthquake and tsunami in pictures – buzzfeed
  • Predicted tsunami wave heights – New York Times

2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami

Tokyo, now

March 11, 2011 § 3 Comments

My friend Yumi lives in Tokyo. Telephone lines are down, but I managed to get in touch with her on the internet. She was at work when the earthquake hit. She is now in the famous business hub of Shinjuku, evacuated on the streets. No mass transit works. She decided to walk home, on the north of Tokyo. That’s 7,5 km. I will keep her digital company. This is our path:

Update: Yumi just arrived home safe, after 5 or so hours.

London diorama

March 9, 2011 § 3 Comments

File this under: incredibly amazing.

Sohei Nishino is a very persistent photographer, to say the least. He roamed the streets of London by foot, took 4000 photographs printed them in his dark room and created this collage by hand (with a little help of the old scissors and glue). The end result looks like an aerial view of London, faithful to its topography, although it is made up from street view snapshots.

Sohei Nishino London diorama

And I repeat: incredibly amazing.

Part of the Guardian Eyewitness Series

Matryoska electronic music

March 4, 2011 § 2 Comments

Picture this: a line of Japanese people sitting cross-legged. They’re holding matryoska dolls. They have stethoscopes on. The move their hands in unison, never touching the matryoskas. What are they doing? Playing music of course!

These matryoskas are called matryomins and are theremin instruments.If, up to now, you didn’t know what theremins are, that makes two of us.

Theremin is the original electronic music instrument, invented in 1928 by Russian engineer Leon Theremin. According to wikipedia “the controlling section usually consists of two metal antennas which sense the position of the player’s hands and control oscillators for frequency with one hand, and amplitude (volume) with the other, so it can be played without being touched”. Dmitri Shostakovich was one of the first composers to experiment with theremin and it was popular up to the ’60 in movie soundtracks (most notably Miklós Rózsa’s works), but fell out of fashion as more advanced electronic music instruments emerged. It still has a niche audience, and a DIY movement that goes along with it.

Impressive stuff.

via Dvice

See also:

Water sculptures

February 22, 2011 § 4 Comments

Is water shapeless? Or does it take all possible forms? In his mesmerizing video, Shinichi Maruyama from Nagano, Japan captures the countless shapes that water can take. In slow motion.

It is not the first time that Shinichi Maruyama plays with water. In his past series of photographs, titled Kusho, which means ‘writing in the sky’, he has blended black ink into water and has photographed this ‘encounter’ in order to capture in space and time the creative intersections of these two different media before they merge into one.

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Strange things that do exist: Computational Origami at MIT

February 11, 2011 § 7 Comments

MIT prof. Erik Demaine (a homeschooled prodigy who enrolled in University at 12 and became the youngest faculty member at MIT at 20 years old) teaches such courses as Geometric Folding Algorithms: Linkages, Origami, Polyhedra (video lectures available online).

Demaine is a mathematician, but also an origami artist himself with exhibits in MoMA’s permanent collection:

Computational Origami Sculpture Splash

Computational Origami Scultpure

[And if you are wondering why MIT holds courses in origami, this is the reason: origami folding techniques are used in industrial products like airbags, and, especially, in space technology with objects such as foldable telescopes and satellite wings]

Don’t blink

February 5, 2011 § 4 Comments

If you were a camera, not a person, and if you traveled from Tokyo to Osaka on a bullet train, and you were looking out the window and NEVER blinked, this is what you would see:


Tim Lisko took these abstract photographs by keeping the shutter of his camera open, while the train travelled in great speed.


See more photographs at his site, Liskotography.

The ephemeral beauty of bento

January 31, 2011 § 6 Comments

The bento is no ordinary lunch box. It is a culinary universe, contained in a lunch box. I admit to having a soft spot for Japanese food and Japanese aesthetics, so it’s no wonder bentos fascinate me. Not just because they are beautiful. Because there is a whole different approach to food behind them.

  • Bentos elevate the idea of a lunch box. Not the rushed junk lunch one usually has at work, but the kind you take time to prepare for yourself or loved ones.
  • Bentos celebrate the ephemeral beauty of things. The beauty you glance at for a few seconds after opening the bento box and before devouring your lunch. So zen.
  • Bentos are all for portion control (bento boxes are notoriously small) and healthy food choices (traditionally rice, fish, vegetables and fruits are the prefered bento choices)

Bentos range from minimal to elegant…

bento thumbnailbento thumbnail

…and from kawai (cute) to completely outrageous (and some times kitch)

bento thumbnailbento thumbnail

See a gallery of the best bento boxes we found on Flickr after the jump

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