Many cool things have happened. I must put them here.
P.S. I am the worst blogger.
The hippest part of town. Actually.
That third picture is a famous five-way intersection. It is enormous, and when the walk signal turns green, huge floods of people come from every direction. It sounds like it isn’t a big deal, but it’s really a spectacle. It’s a horrible photograph; I took a video but Tumblr’s being dumb about uploading videos, so hopefully I will youtube—>Tumblr embed soon.
I haven’t explored Shibuya much yet, but it seems like everyone’s favorite place. I’m excited to see why.
A very close second for my favorite exhibition at 3331. All of these students have some form of Downs Syndrome. And I adored everything without even knowing that. So beautiful. These pictures do them no justice; the intricacy and colors were mind-blowing.
I didn’t write these artists’ names down because I’m a fucking IDIOT. I’ll dig through my pamphlets and try to figure it out, but until then, they are the nameless talents featured at 3331 (all students, in case you forgot).
That first one was enormous. It must have been at least 25-feet across and 15-feet tall. The cuddliest giant monster. This artist’s skill in creating characters using fabric, taking them well beyond the applicable boundaries of a “stuffed animal,” was arresting.
The third and fourth photographs are an installation that was essentially about (and created by) a guy locked in his room, alone with his mind. It’s not in the picture, but one of the walls was filled top to bottom with stream-of-consciousness-like entries that I dearly wish I was able to read. I am fairly certain that’s a taxidermy sloth.
The last two are huge drawings done entirely with pen. PEN. WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU JAPANESE STUDENT. I normally hate flowers, but they were so gorgeous and so huge (at least 6ft in both directions)… and I loved their placement within a large, dark room.
3331 in Akihabara
Alright, there’s this SICKNASTY art space in Akihabara called 3331. They provide super professional-looking gallery spaces for some of Tokyo’s most talented art students, leaving work on display free and open to the public. It’s become a swanky hangout for the Tokyo art scene’s youth. My professor told me its exhibitions are hit or miss, but I absolutely adored everything that was on display when we visited—it was right up my alley. I would like to put all the photos from the visit in one post, but I love all of them so much I’m putting them in multiple. What can I do.
I’ll start with something that might establish the mood of the place a little bit. The mood being hip and awesome and wide and clean. (Like all of Tokyo I guess. Hm.)
Yes, those are color coded plastic toys. Hundreds of them. So cool.
This cozy little part of the entrance to 3331 is called the “Kaeru Station.” (Kaeru means frog, but is also a verb meaning to return, to come home, etc.)
Didn’t ask what it’s for, but it’s pretty damn cool. (I love and hate how useless art is in that respect.)
I’ve only been there once and briefly, but I know it’s one of my favorite places in Tokyo. Because it’s so stupid and nerdy and ridiculous.
I was greeted to the station with a huge sign reading: “Akihabara: Electric Town.” And, ladies and gentlemen, it’s a perfect appellation. My favorite part of the place is this tightly packed maze of tiny electronics booths. One-person shops sell every kind of electrical device you could ever desire, but I found the variety of decorative lights the most appealing. Here’s a miserably low-quality and poorly-shot photograph of how low the ceilings were and how tiny each booth was:
I’m planning on going back when I know exactly what kind of lights I want for my inflatable coffin installation (art project woo). I am anticipating this visit so much that even now I haven’t been back yet ahhhhhh.
Akihabara also has some of the best lights in town. Granted, Tokyo’s lit up in jaw-droppingly fantastic ways everywhere all the time, but here it’s… I don’t know. Almost self-aware.
(Yet another awful photo:)
I’d like to think it’s because Akihabara is hugely geared towards otaku. The district’s a highlight for anyone who loves anime and games. I am not particularly into either, but I enjoy taking advantage of the spectacles created for people who are. Maid cafes, huge arcades, sex shops, junk stores that sell everything you never knew existed: it’s all here, to confuse you and overstimulate your senses.
Never doubted this would happen, but I am WAY behind on posts. I’ll start uploading things from a few weeks ago, and try updating other things as they happen. Chronology destroyed.
HEAVEN. AMAZING JAPANESE PEN AND PENCIL HEAVEN. I had never seen a .4 pencil in my life before this day.