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Like most of us these days, I spend an inordinate amount of time in front of my computer even though this is by no means my favourite place to be… but it’s not all bad either! Here are 5 websites that I visited this week that reminded me of all the reasons why I love living in Japan and being surrounded by the brilliance of Japanese people.
I think that ufunk.net is one of the coolest websites out there. Full stop. Period. End of story. So you can imagine how excited I was when I came across photos from Une Yowayowa and Higashi Shinichi. Both of these photographers are amazingly talented and creative. Their work is simply magical.
Number 2) Toyo Ito
Seeing Toyo Ito win the Pritzker Prize this week stirred me to take a long overdue at his website and I was not disappointed. Flipping through pictures of his always original, fantastically creative and widely varied projects left me feeling inspired and once again in awe of modern Japanese architecture. On his website you can get a great feel for his oeuvre and read up why he is so deserved of his most recent accolade.
Unfortunately for me, visiting websites is a bit like eating chips, I just can’t stop at one. Before I knew it I was browsing the works of other greats like Tadao Ando (For more look here) and Kenzo Tange and checking out some of the great magazines that are wholly dedicated to Japanese design and architecture, such as Japan Architecture and Urbanism (JA+U).
From Gwen Stefani’s ‘Harajuku girls’ to the cos play kids of Akihabara, Japanese street fashion is no secret. But if you’re not in Japan and want to stay up to date on the constantly changing trends of the land of the rising sun, these two websites are some of the best! Not only do they shoot local guys and girls wandering around the trendy streets of Tokyo, they are also loaded with updates, news, blogs, shopping info and great links to other sights.
Number 5, Katsura Funakoshi
A list of all my favourite Japanese artists would look like a phone book so in an effort to keep things brief I’ve only put one on this list. Katsura Funakoshi’s work is at once delicate and strong, bold and subtle, beautiful and haunting. In a country where contrast and paradox are the norm, Katsura Funakoshi’s sculptures feel right at home (in a very “out there” sort of way!).
Although artwork is always best viewed in person, google “katsura funakoshi images” to get a taste for why this artist has skyrocketed in popularity over the last few years.
Number 6) Shintani Tomoko on artisepidemic.com
You may not like the tax dodgers over at Starbucks but it’s hard to fault these incredible doodles by Tomoko Shintani! The handful on this website will give you a great taste of Tomoko’s incredible ability to turn an ordinary coffee cup into a beautiful work of art.
Given the vastness of the Internet and the brilliance of the Japanese, this blog post doesn’t even scratch the surface of all that’s out there so keep an eye out for future similar blog posts from Tyler Palma in the future!