Love List

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Trans-Cool Tokyo - contemporary art + fashion

Recently I went for the Trans-Cool Tokyo exhibition that featured works of contemporary Japanese artists. And it was interesting that among the artists featured, 2 of them have had their works featured very commonly elsewhere. The exhibition featured over 40 works from the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo and tells the story of how Japanese artists have established their creative identities within the context of global pop culture. I find that Japanese artists are generally quite daring to venture into different mediums of artwork, especially the non-conventional ones. 

The exhibition featured works aside from the usual oil on canvas, to sculptures, videos, digital art, photography...and there was even one artist that made his own "flying surfboard"! It was a surfboard equipped with an engine and could levitate in the air for a few minutes upon ignition of the engine. 

This is made from a wood rowboat, covered with balloon-ish tubers covered in silver pant.

The above 2 photos are works of Yoshitama Nara. He is known for painting manga-esque children who react to the state of the world with suspicion and anger. Some of his works feature children looking innocent but clutching a knife in the other hand. I interpret his works as his silent rebel against the oppressive Japanese society, that is centered upon many customs and take politeness as seriously as their economy. 
I always see his works being printed on postcards and other merchandises.

Images credit here. These photos were from LV Tokyo's Harajuku store.
Works of Takashi Murakami. His work in digital medium and usually features smiling cutesy characters. He is best known for his collaboration with Louis Vuitton, launching a series of leather goods with his trademark pop art colours and characters named "Multicolour Spring Palette". His idea of Superflat, describing the speed of the creative process and the hyper two-dimensionality of his art has made him friends with Marc Jacobs and Kanye West. He recently held an amazing exhibition at Versailles as well!

Oil on Canvas. The one on the extreme left shows self portraits of the artist painted onto the fruits.
Hanging art!

My favourite exhibit's a telephone booth that has been converted into a one-man-only disco booth. There's a big disco ball hanging at the top of the booth, together with a pair of headphones and an ipod for you to choose your dance tracks. The twist was that the telephone booth is completely transparent to people outside the booth, but yet when you're standing inside, you can only see your own reflection. In a demo video next to the exhibit, the artist had placed the booth along the streets of Japan and hid a camera outside and inside of the booth. It was very amusing to see some people (mostly guys, surprisingly!) dance crazily to the music and a few guys even ripped their shirts off. 

I like social experiments of this kind. It's always interesting to see the responses of the people...I wonder what will happen if the booth was placed in America, China and France! 

My outfit for the day!
Fedora hat from The Cathay, Topshop knitted cardigan,
thrifted silk blouse, American Apparel Disco Lame Shorts,
F21 leggings, shoes from some random shop, thrifted bag.
The day was complete with a dinner at Food for Thought, a small restaurant that serves very organic tasting food with no artificial flavorings. I had a garden salad with generous servings of lettuce, juicy tomatoes and several other leafy greens which I don't know the names of. My bestie, Addie, had Baked Zucchini with Cheese and Almonds. Absolutely delish! Food for Thought is on a mission to ease world poverty, and donates part of their profits to charities such as World Vision Singapore to combat against poor sanitation, provide clean running water and food etc. They had this cool other poster reading "No child should starve in a world of Happy Meals." 

Those are actual glasses with lightbulbs in them! 540 glasses in total!

Henceforth my camera died, so I couldn't capture the cute merchandises they stocked. They had finger puppets, handmade badges, notepads and stuffed toys among many other stuff, with all proceeds going towards charities.

Hope you've enjoyed the photos :3


  1. I love the disco booth idea! I think it would be hilarious to see how people dance when they think no one is watching :)


  2. WOWOWOW!!! Are all of these pics taken in Paris!!?!! We've been to the Tokyo museum in Paris and had the BESSSSSSSSST time!!! Your pics are sooo killer and looks like a total blast! I'm going ga ga go go over the Louis vuitton..the neon lights are soooooooooooo hott!!!
    xoThe Beckerman Girls

  3. @Courtney

    Yup it's really cute! Next to the disco booth they had this video that was playing. The video was obtained from 2 hidden cameras both inside and outside the disco booth and some of the people's reactions inside the booth were really funny! haha.

  4. @Beckerman Girls

    Hi dear,

    nope it's not in Paris. The photos of the trans cool tokyo exhibition was taken in Singapore Art Museum. But the photos of the shop that Takashi Murakami did with LV was situated in Tokyo - I grabbed those photos off the internet hehe.


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