Every year tourists flock to Japan to capture the annual blooming of cherry blossoms, an event so thoroughly documented you can find online calendars that estimate the precise moment to visit each city around the country to catch the trees in full bloom. For Tokyo the optimal time must have been this morning when photographer Noisy Paradise snapped this breathtaking shot just at dawn over the Meguro River. Photo courtesy the photographer.
When first thing that strikes you when watching this video of a man walking through Tokyo is that every other person in the entire clip is walking backward. The opposite of which is actually true: the man, Ludovic Zuili, is the one walking backward but the video is being played in reverse.
What you’re watching is just a short preview of a 9-hour movie that was aired in its entirety in France called Tokyo Reverse, part of a bizarre TV programming trend called Slow TV that has been regarded as a “small revolution.” According to the BBC, similar video projects aired in Norway include a 6-day video of a ferry journey through the fjords which attracted viewership of more than half the country. Is straight reality, in real-time, the new reality TV? We’ll find out soon here in the U.S. (via BBC)
While doing undergraduate work at UC Berkeley, artist Erin Hanson took some time off from studying art to obtain a degree in bioengineering. After graduating she moved to the outskirts of Las Vegas where a climb at Red Rock Canyon inspired her artistic career yet again. She decided to commit to creating a new painting each week, a process she continues today, eight years later.
Hanson transforms landscapes into abstract mosaics of color using an impasto paint application, where thick globs of paint create almost sculptural forms on the canvas. She tries to use a few brush strokes as possible, without layering, a process that’s been called “open impressionism.” Hanson is represented by too many galleries to list here, though she does have a number of available paintings listed on her site, as well as prints. (via Praxter)
Just announced today, The Sand Storm is a short film directed by New York filmmaker Jason Wishnow that was shot completely under the radar in China, starring none other than dissident artist Ai Weiwei in his acting debut. How such an audacious and risky endeavor came into being is pretty mind-blowing given the heavy amount of surveillance surrounding the artist. The movie takes place in a dystopian future where Ai Weiwei plays the role of a smuggler in a world without water.
The existence of The Sand Storm was kept heavily under wraps while shooting in Beijing. Ai Weiwei has been closely watched by the government since his 2011 imprisonment and authorities still have yet to return his passport. While the short film has already been shot beginning to end, the filmmakers are raising a bit of money on Kickstarter to finish the movie and recoup some costs as crowdfunding beforehand was too risky. Had this been announced yesterday I would have assumed it was a hoax.
Update: At the moment it appears the Kickstarter has been halted due to a dispute.
Animated by Guillaume Blanchet (who you might know from his hilarious The Man Who Lived on His Bike), this new stop-motion short called A Girl Named Elastica tells the brief story of a girl who leaves her home to adventures around the world. Probably the most notable aspect is the ingenious use of thumbtacks and rubber bands to create the majority of the animation which takes place entirely on a small bulletin board. A Girl Named Elastica has been winning awards at animation festivals all over the world since last year, and you can follow Blanchet over on Facebook.
Perched at the window of his Cessna 172, photographer Klaus Leidorf crisscrosses the skies above Germany while capturing images of farms, cities, industrial sites, and whatever else he discovers along his flight path, a process he refers to as “aerial archaeology.” Collectively the photos present a fascinating study of landscapes transformed by the hands of people—sometimes beautiful, sometimes frightening. Since the late 1980s Leidorf has shot thousands upon thousands of aerial photographs and currently relies on the image-stabilization technology in his Canon EOS 5D Mark III which is able to capture the detail of single tennis ball as it flies across a court. You can explore over a decade of Leidorf’s photography at much greater reslution over on Flickr. All images courtesy the artist.
Photographer Alberto Seveso (previously) just released a new series of ink plumes photographed underwater against a black background titled Blackground. The Italian photographer and illustrator now lives and works in Bristol, UK where he does commercial work for digital brands, magazines, and album covers. Seveso was also kind enough to let us use an image from Blackground as part of small Colossal design refresh for the next few months.