Artists with obsessional focus in their work have always fascinated me, but none more than Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, whose work literally drove her insane. “Obsessions, phallus obsessions, obsessions of fear are the main themes of my art. Accumulation is how stars and earth don’t exist alone,” she explains. For the last forty years, she’s live in a mental institution in Japan, where she continues to produce extraordinary works. This is an excerpt from project by filmmaker Heather Lenz, titled “Kusama Princess of Polka Dots.” Though the film remains unfinished, this 7-minute cut is a part of an exhibition on Kusama at London’s Tate Museum currently on display.
Meet SHIRI, the Japanese butt robot. She’s legless and headless, but seems to enjoy a sensual massage to the silicon skin covering her posterior. Like a human woman, her artificial muscles can react to being spanked, caressed and groped. As this video helpfully notes, “The user may also feel SHIRI bracing after feeling a slap from the user.” I guess she hasn’t yet read 50 Shades Of Grey yet? [Laughing Squid] Keep reading »
The Japanese girl group AKB48 is under fire for filming a series of suggestive candy ads that some claim promote homosexuality. The group’s ads for a sugary gummy candy feature the members of the group clad in school girl uniforms passing a piece of the candy between one another using only their mouths. Watchdog groups claim this ad promotes the gay lifestyle and is overly suggestive, despite the fact that none of the girls actually touch lips in the thirty-second spot.
The candy makers are standing behind the ad, and say that it’s one of the most popular commercials they’ve ever run (surprise, surprise). AKB48 is hugely successful in Japan and across Asia; last year they made more than $200 million in sales. The band features more than 60 (!) members and has its own dedicated performance space in Tokyo. [Yahoo]
Japanese designer Anrealage is the spirit sister of American sportswear designer Thom Browne. Both play with proportion and shape, and in the process create new forms and bodies. And Anrealage’s designer Kunihiko Morinaga is guided more by architecture than by current fashion trends. She loves Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi most. “I love all of Antoni Gaudí’s work. The way he used patterns and recurring motifs was really cool and I love the design process behind the La Sagrada Familia. Gaudí made scale models and hung wires upside down to create the curves of the building. Also, his philosophy about architecture fitting within nature can be applied to fashion too.” But the body — and more expressly the obfuscation of the body — is at the core of Morinaga’s work. “We set ourselves the challenge of designing clothes in sizes and formats that had never been seen before. So yes, we were challenging the perception of the “normal body,” but just by trying to create a new way to design, rather than attacking anything.” Check out some of her incredible, effervescent designs. [Vice]
I have no business watching a scrotum itch commercial, much less one in Japanese. But I don’t regret the minutes of my life I’ll never get back after watching this on repeat. There’s itching. There’s singing. There’s dancing (sort of). Why can’t Vagisil commercials be this funny? (I mean, outside of “Saturday Night Live.”) [Copyranter]
Though I am a short person, I walk mercilessly fast. I cannot deal with slow walkers, and especially teams of slow walkers that insist on spreading themselves out across the entire lane of the sidewalk. Thankfully, this Japanese guy figured out a genius way to get slow walkers to move out of the way. In Japan, anyway. If I tried this in New York I’d probably get punched in the face. [YouTube]
Stalking celebrities just got taken to another level with a creepy new app from the Japanese pop group AKB48. Their AKBaby app “creates” your baby with one of its pop stars (whom you may know, if not for their music, for their ostentatious matching outfits during performances). For a perplexingly steep $18 a month, you can access the app and download a photo of “your” baby and then … I dunno, look at it? Keep reading »
Since I don’t speak a lick of Japanese, I’m forced to visually interpret what this weird video from Japanese artist Kyary Pamyu Pamyu is all about. My take: “I love cute stuff, so much cute stuff, also dripping eyeballs. Maybe I murder you? Eyeballs vomit from my mouth! It’s my evil! A dancing adult baby clenches my spirit. It is always in the shadows. Let’s dance!” What’s your take? [YouTube
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“Planning escape from Japanese custody. It’s bloody hard to dig a tunnel with a chopstick … Stockholm syndrome kicking in. Just asked my guard out for (vegetarian) sushi. He giggled … Alcatraz! Shawshank Redemption! And now this! Ah, sweet blue bird of freedom!”
—Russell Brand‘s tweets on Sunday morning about being barred from entering the country of Japan to see wife Katy Perry perform. The problem was apparently several “priors” in his past. [Huffington Post]
While Russell seemed to have a sense of humor about the situation, Katy wasn’t so amused. See what she tweeted after the jump. Keep reading »