Tokyo Damage Report

2006 winter design festa

design festa winter 2006

december 2-3, at tokyo big sight

Design Festa is a twice-annual event full of people whose hobby is art. mostly paintings and illustration, but lots of costumes, sculpture, video, stuffed animals, and so on. the artists are there in person at their booths, so you can talk to them.


general first impressions: there is WAY less character goods than in previous years. By character goods, I mean, fuzzy chimerical animals like "panda octopus" or "octopus bear", etc. Also less Adobe Illustrator art. Instead, there is a huge boom of prewar-style illustration. Like from the 1910-1920 era. Also there is hella more art based on heavily altered, almost unrecognizable photos. Some people are tracing them by hand and then weirding them out, most are using insane Photoshop. The amount of hippies attending has thankfully dropped, but they have unfortunately been replaced by silly gothic people who — go only to the gothic shops! and talk about goth stuff! whatever, Hot Topic. You know what else showed up in big numbers? White folks! I have never seen so many white folks at this event.


This band is LONDO. they do kind of new age techno ballads? anyway they have a webpage where you can order their cd.



adachi-kakoujou is a team of two people, using very old magazines to make creepy collages. they also do photos. their photos are here.


Heisei-nostalgie does illustrations in the 1910’s style, with particular attention to the colors used during that period.

another prewar-art-themed booth

Slipper-Taka’s illustrations (above) . His technique combines anime and wildstyle graffitti plus all super slick Adobe Illustrator style. He has great skill but I am not crazy about how he only draws like "edgy teens."

llinks to other amazing artists — my best picks out of the 1,000-odd exhibitors.

kousuke matsuki’s out of control dangrous photography. hate to say it but it is like Vice magazine but in a good way. His site is mostly daily-life photoblog, but he has a book out that is just awesome. like midnight naked sumo wrestling in the middle of the street, drunk grandpas brawling, drugs, death, disease, nudity, absurdity. total street. maybe you can email him and order a book?


youkai tei hikobou

this guy is there every year with wonderful pictures of traditional Japanese monsters.


Yusuke Sato does insane digital photography and collages. He has a whole new series of works out based on Kabballah.

taniguchi natsuko san’s giant pointilist art. (above)

KOSMON’Sscience fiction kid homepage (ABOVE) Kosmon is a friend of donut bear. – he is doing fashion photography and at Design Festa was exhibiting a lot of photos of breakdancing Quebecois.

Yoshua Seasun’s photography.

kashima home page. they are a team of 2 totally insane illustrators. Unlike most people at DF they are good enough to make a living at it. They have some books available for around $35.

GEZ does ice cream aliens. (above)

they are custom-made avatars for his friends on MIXI (sort of the Japanese Myspace).


Ross Kelly’s amazing urban photos. He has this technique where he takes thousands of tiny pictures of a scene and then assembles them into one giant panoramic jittery jigsaw puzzle. It is a great metaphor for the sensory overload of Tokyo.

kaneoya sachiko’s retro paintings.(above)

Sorry, I don’t know who did these. They were one of two political art pieces in the entire exhibit which is kind of disappointing.

Yamagata Nao-san, the other political artist. Interestingly she deliberately captions her art in English even though it is for Japanese audience. She said because she wants people to have to think about it for a minute before they realize the meaning, becuase that heightens the impact or something. At least that is what i think she said.

anyway here are her sites, both wonderful:




yuta matsumura does these brilliant paintings, which resemble Native American Plains Indian quilts, Hindu mandalas, and the surface of the Death Star when seen up close.


the wedding dress, below, was made out of $3 umbrellas! the artist said she made it because she didn’t get a proper wedding, just a civil ceremony. she also said she wouldn’t of worn it even if she DID get a proper wedding because it is, you know, see through. oh, plus there is a steel arrow impaling the chest cavity.


also awesome but not pictured. . . .

the incredible lisa alisa! her stuff looks so Japanese i was all freaked out that she was a white girl fom NYC. I kept going, "Dude, you are white!" it was really racist of me. But seriously her stuff does not look like "foreigner-looking-at-japanese-culture-from-outside-ish" at all, the sensibility is native. and even if she were japanese her shit would still be dope.


kunihiko Kondo’s wonderful atmospheric landscape photos , made from a combination of photography and illustration.


Doubutu-ya is the home of a huge amount of animals, mixed with traditional Bhuddist art and traditional Japanese-monster art, all done in the artist’s unique creepy-crawly cartoon style.


and then there’s THIS


KANEKO MOTOKI :: "PEACE AND DESTROY" does amazing melty-looking, hallucinated, detailed yet childlike art.


Yohsuke is a wonderful illustrator with a unique style that looks kind of like art noveau got hooked on LSD by licking a dosed kimono.


TEAM ESAKA do like that robert williams / rat fink thing with airbrushes and stuff, but they do it well. up to and including mesh caps with gangster clowns. eshimasa-san is a member, his gallery has like a million amazing things.

oh, plus. . .

this sculpture was like the size of 2 volkswagen beetles put together, AND they tore it down after the festival was over. notice how the architechture goes from ancient to science fictiony as you look from the bottom to the top. the title was PIG ISLAND. i guess because of the futuristic city on top looks like a a pig head.


plus, this person, who, speaking of science fiction, jesus christ. . .

can we zoom in on that?



also, human skull made from cow hide:

mellon-pan panda (named after a popular dessert bread) (the bread’s distinctive shape explains the panda’s hydrocephaly)

the panda was literally chased around the joint by like 1,000 girls.

this painting was done with like layers and layers of painted paper. what looks like lines is actually x-acto knife cuts done super surgically fine.



well, that is it for the art. please click here for part two of design festa . . . fashion!


No comments

No comments yet. Be the first.

Leave a reply