A Museum Dedicated to Miniature Architectural Models Opens in Tokyo 

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Earlier this summer, Archi-Depot opened within Tokyo’s Shinagawa district, a warehouse museum dedicated to the storage and display of Japanese architectural models. Created by the company Warehouse TERRADA (previously), the cavernous space houses rows and rows of dramatically-lit miniature designs, many of which serve as the tiny precursors to some of the city’s top attractions such as the Tokyo Skytree, Tokyo International Airport, and the Asakusa Culture and Tourism Center.

Each of the models stacked within the museum’s 17-foot-tall interior contain a QR code, a feature that provides quick access to further information about the architectural works. Digital details include blueprints, photographs of the finalized building or structure, and examples of other projects the head architect has completed during their career. One architect in particular, Kengo Kuma, has been selected to design the 2020 World Olympics stadium. Although this project is still within its planning stages, a few of his completed projects’ models are stored within the museum. These works include the China Academy of Arts’ Folk Art Museum and the Asakusa cultural center mentioned above. Other architects included in the museum’s collection are Jun Aoki, Shigeru Ban, Wonderwall, Torafu, and many more as the collection is continuously expanding.

In addition to this growing permanent display, Archi-Depot also hosts rotating exhibitions of newer models or more conceptual pieces in its exhibition area. Currently the museum has an exhibition of works by Japanese architecture firm Wonderwall that will be on display through the end of the year. Last month we had a chance to visit the museum, and were blown away by the immense detail put into each of the tiny pieces, especially considering they are often stored away from the public eye. You can have a chance to browse the collection by either visiting the museum Tuesday through Sunday from 11 AM to 9 PM, or visit digitally on their website and Instagram.

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A 19th Century Dress Submerged in the Dead Sea Becomes Gradually Crystallized with Salt 

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Salt Crystal Bride Gown III, 2014. Sigalit Landau & Marlborough Contemporary.

Israeli artist Sigalit Landau's love affair with the Dead Sea stretches back decades, having grown up on a hill that overlooks both the Judean desert and the northern part of this hypersaline lake that is among the saltiest on Earth. In her artistic practice she utilizes the lake both as a backdrop—one of her most iconic artworks involves a video portrait of herself floating in the lake with an unraveling string of 500 watermelons—as well as a means to produce sculptural objects encrusted with thick layers of salt. Sigalit has created salt sculptures of violins, bicycles, boots, and fishing nets covered in carnallite crystals.

Her latest photographic work titled Salt Bride takes us several meters underwater to view the gradual crystallization of a 19th century dress weighted to the floor of the Dead Sea. The dress was inspired by S. Ansky’s famous play The Dybbuk about a young woman possessed by an evil spirit. From Marlborough Contemporary:

Written by S. Ansky between 1913 and 1916, The Dybbuk tells the story of a young bride possessed by an evil spirit and subsequently exorcised. In Landau’s Salt Bride series, Leah’s black garb is transformed underwater as salt crystals gradually adhere to the fabric. Over time, the sea’s alchemy transforms the plain garment from a symbol associated with death and madness into the wedding dress it was always intended to be.

To achieve the photographs, Landau collaborated with photographer Yotam From who had to wear over 150 pounds of weight just to submerge himself in the harsh saline water. The final installation incorporates a series of 8 life-size photographs currently on view at Marlborough Contemporary in London through September 3, 2016. You can read more about the exhibition on Artsy. (via My Modern Met)

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Salt Crystal Bride Gown III, 2014. Sigalit Landau & Marlborough Contemporary.

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Installation view at Marlborough Contemporary.

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Salt Crystal Bride Gown III, 2014. Sigalit Landau & Marlborough Contemporary.

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Unsettling Anatomical GIFs by Zolloc 

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Visual artist and animator Hayden Zezula creates superbly unusual animations that he shares on his Tumblr by the name of Zolloc. For years he’s shared unsettling images of eerie walking babies, dripping amorphous blobs, and vaguely occult-ish symbols that have been shared millions of times across his Facebook and Vine accounts. Zezula says that his intention is to merge visually pleasing animation with creepy imagery, creating loops that toe the line between interesting and uncomfortable. Mission accomplished.

Zezula most recently finished an elegant series of animations celebrating the Olympics for Yahoo Sports, and he’s currently available for freelance projects.

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The Good of the Hive: Artist Matthew Willey Travels the World to Paint 50,000 Bees 

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In an effort to raise awareness about the plight of the humble honey bee, New York-based artist Matt Willey founded the Good of the Hive Initiative, an ambitious project to personally paint 50,000 bees in murals around the world. The number itself isn’t arbitrary, it takes about that many bees to sustain a healthy beehive. So far Willey has completed 7 murals including a large piece at the Burt’s Bees headquarters, and he keeps meticulous notes about the number of bees in each piece which he shares on his website.

For more info you can read an interview with the artist at the Center for Humans and Nature website, and follow his progress on Instagram. And for more bee-centric murals, also check out London-based artist Louis Masai Michel’s similar Save the Bees project. (thnx, Laura!)

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A Deranged Building Facade on the Streets of Barcelona by Penao 

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Photo © Joab Jackson

Here’s a fun piece by Penao that appeared last year in Barcelona. The artist utilized windows and holes in the side of an abandoned building to create a maniacal face. The mural is part of the Murs Lliures project that helps pair artists with available urban spaces for the creation of public art. If you liked this, also check out more facade faces by Nomerz. (via StreetArtNews, Digerible)

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Photo © Brodbus

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Intricate Letters Hand-Cut from Paper by Annie Vought 

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In true-crime books and tv shows, there’s always the point where somebody calls the handwriting profiler to do a behavioral analysis on some unknown criminal’s signature or a quick note left on a scrap of paper. Who is this person and what does their haphazard crossing of t’s and slanted letter o’s say about them? Artist Annie Vought is also fascinated by handwriting in connection to identity but in a more emotional and artistic sense.

Working with pieces of paper, the Oakland-based artist cuts sentence after sentence from large sheets of paper turning personal letters into physical objects. Sometimes the pieces are legible, meant to be read letter for letter, while others a chaotic tangle of typography, meant to covey more of a feeling than a message. She shares in an interview with the Art Museum of Sonoma County:

In the penmanship, word choice, and spelling the author is revealed in spite of him/herself. A letter is physical confirmation of who we were at the moment it was written, or all we have left of a person or a period of time. I also think a lot about the relationship between the public and the private, or more specifically about how the private side of ourselves can be made public. I want to be respectful of people, but I recognize that I’m actively exposing them through their written communications. But in the exposure is a vulnerability we all share. I’m interested in human relationships, overall— the ones we have with ourselves and others.

Of particular note in Vought’s work over the last few years is a mammoth piece titled “Gosh I’ve been here before,” a 41″ x 53″ cut paper sculpture of words and patterns that spirals like the rings of a tree. You can explore it up close and inquire about it over on Artspace. You can see a bit more of her work on Instagram and through Jack Fischer Gallery.

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