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Tokyo art + design + craft ISSUE 1

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My favorite season, Autumn, is here and Tokyo to me is the most beautiful this time of the year. The air is crisp, sky is of a perfect hue of blue and birds seem to be chirping happily in the background. It’s a great season to ride your bike and be out and about. But where to? Another thing I like about Autumn is that there are many art and design events going on. I always find myself reading about an art event that is over, and hoping that I’d knew about earlier. I’ve decided to do my research early and create this simple column to share and spread the word! So here’s the list for Oct/Nov.2011. The list will grow as I go. Enjoy!

Before I begin, Autumn is a great season for cycling so if you are visiting and need to rent a bike, do check out this website for bike rentals and tours:
★ Tokyo Rentabike

Or if you are a fan of Tokyo Bikes, you can also rent the latest model of Tokyo Bike for a day and cycle around own your own.
★ Tokyo Bike

Now here’s the list of upcoming events:

Events
★ Tokyo Designers week
Where: Meiji Jingu Gaien
When: 1Nov. ~6 Nov 2011

★ Designtide Tokyo
Where: Tokyo Midtown Hall
When: 29 Oct. ~ 3 Nov. 2011

★ Aosando Art Fair 2011
Where: Between Aoyama-dori and Omote-sando
When: 29 Oct. ~ 3 Nov. 2011

Exhibition
★ Art Scope 2009-2011: Invisible Memories
Where: Hara Museum of Contemporary Art
When: 10 Sep. ~ 11 Dec. 2011

★ Kusama’s Body Fesival in 60′s exhibition
Where: Watari Museum of Contemporary Art
When: 22 Oct. ~ 30 Oct. 2011

Workshops

★ Hello Sandwich Workshop
Where: Shibaura House
When: 17 Nov. 2011

★ Ananas Press Bookmaking Workshop
Where: 世田谷ものづくり学校 Setagaya Monotsukuri School

A magical encounter at Moe’s Meat Market

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As I was wandering along the streets of Nolita in New York, an interesting painting from one of the shopfronts across the street caught my attention. The shop sign said ‘Moe’s meat market’. I crossed over and as I peered in, a sweet couple opened the door and invited me in. They walked me straight into the back of the shop. I was still trying to figure out where I was while observing all the amazing artworks on display. I soon found out I was in artist Robert Kobayashi’s gallery. The first thing he told me was, ‘look at these turtles!’ as he pointed at his backyard. He was very proud of his turtles. Next to him was a very nice lady, Kate Keller, whom I assumed was his wife. Kate told me about the background of the artist and his style of work. Robert Kobayashi makes paintings and sculptures from pounded metal, scraps cut from decorative stamped ceiling tin and beer cans collected by neighbors. While she was explaining, he asked me ‘Are you an artist? What do you do?’. I had a very nice conversation with him and was reminded how much I wanted to be an artist once. I could feel his passion through his eyes as we spoke. I was inspired again. Robert Kobayashi age 84, moved to New York from Hawaii after World War II and started doing his art ever since. He gave up on fame long ago but opened his gallery in his 80s as he wanted to ‘test it out’. He continues to work every day in the studio in his small upstairs apartment while keeping watch over the street. I guess when you have the passion for something, you’ll just keep doing it.

On my way out I wanted to take a picture of the artist but I was too shy, so you can only see his back view in the last picture.

It was a magical encounter!

★ Moe’s Meat Market

Dusty Buttons

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This is a cute vintage boutique located at East Village, New York. Dusty Buttons has a wide collection of vintage dresses, shoes, accessories and even cameras! My sister found herself 2 very glamourous and elegant 1960′s vintage dresses that fitted her perfectly. I regret not getting the vintage mint green savoy box camera! Hope I will see it again someday. Do check out this awesome shop when you are in New York.

Dusty Buttons
441 East 9th St, New York NY 10009

Bits of New York

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I have been traveling quite a bit for the past 2 months and I’m glad to finally be back in my apartment in Tokyo. Last month, I was in New York for my orientation with the Marketing and Creative team at Clinique. After the work week was over, I extended my stay for another week to walk around and take pictures. I must say I have fallen in love with the city.

Tribute

The first computer I owned was a Tangerine iMac G3 in 1998, followed by a matching Clamshell Apple iBook when I first started doing design. Even though I have switched fields and mediums over the years, I have always been a Mac user and it has always been a tool for me to materialize my ideas and create things. I have never stopped for a moment to think about it until now. I can’t imagine how my life would have been without it.

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

Thank you for changing my world.



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