Hiroshi Yoshida

Two paintings from Hiroshi Yoshida. More in the hanga gallery website and if you’re interested in Japanese art, check out Gurafiku.


Hirosaki Castle. Hiroshi Yoshida. 1935



Golden Pavilion. Hiroshi Yoshida. 1933



Working at the Pera Museum, the Japan Media Arts Festival and Maywa Denki’s Otamatone

Remember my post about the Pera Museum? Well guess what, I have been working there under the Japan Media Arts Festival for two weeks now, therefore I haven’t had much free time to update here, but it has been wonderful. You should definitely drop by if you are in Istanbul because it will definitely be worth it. I work at the fifth floor, where all the interactive media art works are, to guide some people who have a hard time understanding what’s going on, and are reluctant to touch some of the works. I still have one week left (or three days, which makes today – oopsie, it’s already 2 A.M.!, wednesday and friday, I’m there from 3 P.M. to 7 P.M.) so drop by if you want to see me AND the exhibitions. I figured I would have seen more familiar faces, but so far, apart from the friends I dragged along, I only saw one of the assistants from college and some celebrities that I didn’t recognize but was told later on who they were (why am I so bad with faces? WHY?)

Ahem. So I’ll tell you my favorite work at the exhibition which is the Otamatone by the Maywa Denki corporation. Before I started working in the museum, I attended the seminars (because I wanted to, I hadn’t even seen the job posting at the time) where the artists introduced their works so that helped a lot while answering questions. I saw the guy who invented the otamatone and he was an adorable person. So basically the otamatone is a music-note shaped cute toy/musical instrument where the stem of the note is the handle of the instrument, the head of the note is actually… a head, and the flag of the note is a rotatable piece. This all sounds really confusing, but to sum it up:

Behold, the otamatone! To play this very cute instrument, you have to use two hands. While pressing on the touchpad on the handle, you have to squeeze the cheeks of the head so that the mouth will open and a high pitched or bass sound will be played through the small speaker inside the head. The notes start with Do from the top. You do have to press on the cheeks or there will  be no sound at all. I find this ingenious and adorable at the same time. And today for the first time, I have looked at the price through amazon.com, and the price of this black otamatone is *drumroll please* – only 35.95$! I was expecting it to be over 70$ so I guess this is pretty decent. There are a lot of different versions of the otamatone, the black one being my favorite. There is also a white version, and another version with a face consisting of teeth (the black one has a silver colored handle while the white one has a gold colored one). You could purchase one from this link.

Anyway, you could play with them for free (once you pay for the museum ticket) as long as you want on the fifth floor of the museum. The exhibition will continue until the 3rd of October, so be sure to pay a visit before it’s over.

More updates soon!


Inspired from toxel’s post and designboom. Seeing all these shoes make me want to go shopping!

First pair designed by Chau Her Lee.

Shoe designed by Chau Har Lee, this shoe doesn't have an ordinary heel if you haven't noticed.

Sandals by Yarel Yair Design Studio.

A wooden summer sandal, inspired by the Japanese sandal, with an innovative fresh look , made from natural materials, lightweight and airy. Made from wood, steel and leather. By Yarel Yair Design Studio.

And now, the hoof shoe craze, started by Iris Shieferstein!

'vegas girl' by german artist iris schieferstein, 2009 toy pistol, cow hooves, zipper

Taken from Shieferstein’s website: “For many years, Iris Schieferstein has worked with dead animals as raw material for her pieces of art. She joins the fragments together to new creatures and thus gives a new face to death. No matter, if her arrangements follow paintings of the great masters of art or if the joined objects turn out to be whole words – her work always gives evidence of aesthetic intutition and her inclination to subtle enterntainment.The earlier you die – the longer you are dead.”

Interesting point of view, and I don’t like how dead animals are used, but if you think about it, we all wear shoes made from leather all the time – taken from dead animals brutally. So I guess this isn’t that bad after all.

iris schieferstein, 2005

girl wearing martin margiela hoof shoes

By the way, Martin Margiela’s website is awesome and it’s NOT under construction!

other hoof shoes by martin margiela, apparently, he has them for all seasons.

And skeletal stilettos by dsquared2! I loved the entire series.

Aand, one of my favorites of all time, Liam Fahy‘s Stormtrooper stilettos, that won him the Fashion Fringe Shoe competition, bagging him a paid internship with Rupert Sanderson.

Last but not least, an interesting interactive shoe that works through an iPhone app, “SHORT ++” (or robotic elevator shoes), created by Adi Marom.

Proposal for VA 302 Multi-page Document

The multi-page document for Project Studio will be a magazine that Çubuk the fictional Chinese Restaurant will publish.

Ideas for the magazine name are:

uçuk, buçuk, çubukluk

Ideas for the department pages are:

Chinese astrology page which will feature monthly horoscope readings for each of the 12 signs, and fun facts about the legends behind the animals who symbolize the signs.

DIY page where there will be illustrated guides that show how to make things, like chinese lanterns or things like Japanese paper foldings (origami).

Travel page/ destinations which will have brief introductions for locations that are located in Asia. However, writing about countries will be too general, so smaller places like cities or towns will be featured, like Kuala Lumpur instead of Malaysia.

Music, book, game and movie reviews will introduce the asian popular culture, like j-pop, k-pop and t-pop, books written by Amy Tan, games produced by Square Enix, movies by Hayao Miyazaki (My Neigbor Totoro) or Kar Wai Wong (Chungking Express) etc.

Some words from the editor, which will talk about the new issue, the happenings of the month and what is going on within both Çubuk and the magazine.

Health department which will feature general knowledge about subjects like acupuncture and herbal medicines, where people tend to be most biased or misinformed.

Jokes where there will be jokes that the readers send in. Readers will be asked to send jokes and funny incidents that have happened to them. This is for breaking away from the well known jokes.

Puzzles that will be fun and challenging for children and adults. This part will feature puzzles like sudoku.

News from Çubuk which will be about the kitchen, new products, new themes, new branches etc.

Ideas for the feature pages are:

Interview with an Asian celebrity, like Yang Chengling (Rainie), singer from Taiwan, or basketball players like Yao Ming and Wang Zhizhi, from China.

Article about subjects like yoga, Chinese tea, feng shui…

A short story page, selected from a competition among the readers.

A special report on how to select what you cook.

Might be the cheesiest post I ever made. Here is the proper nice snazzy and promised PDF: Proposal for multipage document

Berk Cankat – an example of illustration without research

I was surprised to see a Turkish guy, Berk Cankat on Design You Trust. I didn’t really like his illustrations because he seems to be confusing the Chinese and Japanese styles, showing both like they are a mixed culture. I wish some people would know better than thinking that the entire Asian culture is some kind of a mixed soup.

BreeAnn Veenstra

I found the illustrations of BreeAnn Veenstra through fresh characters and her work is absolutely amazing. It’s quite unbelievable that they are digital. She seems to have studied Japanese traditional art too. Here are some of her illustrations:

Yoshitaka Amano

Yoshitaka Amano is one of my favorite artists. I first knew him from “The Sandman: The Dream Hunters“, his collaboration work with Neil Gaiman, and knew about him making the character designs for Square Enix‘s Final Fantasy series, but I recently just noticed (way to knowing the name of a person but not being able to link both works -_-) that he was the person that made the both of them and  I discovered he also made artwork in very different fields, like stained glass, and theater design. Here are the links to his English and Japanese websites. He recently had an exhibition in San Francisco, Super Frog Gallery.

“Born in Shizuoka City, Japan, Amano started working for Tatsunoko Productions, where he worked on character development for such popular animated television series as Gatchaman (G-Force), The Adventures of Hutch, the Honeybee and The Time Bokan series.

After he left Tatsunoko Productions in 1982, he started working as a freelance illustrator and expanded his career to gain worldwide recognition for his visual concept design for the popular game Final Fantasy.

His works both in illustration and computer game design, such as “Vampire Hunter D”, “Guin Saga”, “Final Fantasy”, “Front Mission” etc., became legendary in the industry. His fine art oriented works have been shown in galleries and art fairs all over the world in recent years.

In 1997, Amano’s first gallery exhibition THINK LIKE AMANO was held in New York City and his career as a contemporary artist took international route followed by concept design for the first philharmonic production of 3D/2D animated short film 1001 Nights which debuted at the Los Angeles Philharmonic April Concert, solo exhibition at Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival, Exhibition THINK LIKE AMANO at Uenonomori Museum of Art in Tokyo, and solo exhibition HERO at Angel Orensanz Foundation in New York City (1999).

In, 2000 THE SANDMAN: The Dream Hunters was nominated for Hugo Award and won Eisner Award.”

You should really, really click this image and view the 7-panel artwork.