Tokyo in Fragments II

Ok here are some more pictures.

I’m actually writing this on a bus, I’m heading to the Shibazakura Festival at the Mt. Fuji area. The bus is so full, they made me seat on an extra seat, also, the ride was supposed to take around 30 minutes, but it’s been almost an hour now. 9 minutes till we’re there I guess (this dude across me kept on checking the maps on his phone, that’s why I know). So in short, I figured I should just be writing.

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This was taken from the Chureito Pagoda in Yamanashi Prefecture. I queued around 20 minutes just to get this shot, each person was only given 5 minutes to take photos there. I was happy with the result though, seems like this is straight from a travel brochure.

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This shot was probably one of my fave shots so far. This was still at Yamanashi Prefecture. Probably the only cafe there. The cafe’s name is Zakka Cherry Cafe, the cafe is owned by a group of very nice and cute moms. Per usual, when customers came in they greet us “いらっしゃいませ“ which is like, “welcome”, you don’t need to answer it. I had a brain fart and answered “いらっしゃいませ” as well. The moms were laughing, then I realized my mistake. Then I apologized, then we laughed again. Ha. It was very cute. The cafe also played Monkey Majik, a band I haven’t listened to since 6th grade I guess. They also played an entire Carly Rae Jepsen’s album…?

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Ok this trip to Chureito Pagoda was such a great day trip. Weather wise, mood wise etc. Photo wise it was one of the best days too. This is at the Shimoyoshida Station, my friend and me were waiting for our train to Fuji-Q Highland, which only ran every 30 minutes. This train was out of order, but it was so blue, so pretty, the sky was great, and the sakura tree was such a plus.

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I took this on the foot of the Chureito Pagoda area. I really do recommend going there, probably one of the best views of Mount Fuji. To be honest, I was quite shocked cause the Pagoda looks somewhat fake?? Cause it was built pretty new, around the 1960s. I was so used to seeing aged Pagodas, it felt unnatural because the paintwork of the Pagoda was still so nice and smooth! But thanks to that, it glows in photos, make the photos prettier.

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I randomly came across the Nakagin Capsule Tower and I got so excited. I had breakfast at Tsukiji and decided to walk to Shimbashi, and there it was. The iconic Nakagin Capsule Tower. It is a residential-slash-office building designed by Kisho Kurokawa. It’s pretty much almost dead now. It was famed because it was the symbol of the 新陳代謝 (Shinchintaisha) architecture movement. Pod hotels are probably inspired by this.

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This was at a store in Omotesando called a Sense of Place. My brother was visiting me last March. It’s a cute photo standee and it’s still up until now, I just love how colorful it is.

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Ok my mom took this. But it looks nice. We were walking from Naka-Meguro to Hiroo and came across this playground, not far from Ebisu Station. This is called the Tako (Octopus) Park, because the giant slide is shaped like an octopus! I got so happy cause I just read about it on a TimeOut article a few days before this photo was taken.

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This was taken at National Art Center Tokyo. Probably one of the most beautiful art museums here in Tokyo. I’m obsessed with the architecture, it’s also designed by Kisho Kurokawa. I took this photo on a random day actually. I visited the Tadao Ando (another amazing Japanese architect) there before class, on a weekday. It was sunny, and I felt good.

More pictures coming soon most likely.

Thanks for reading,

Alika

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Destinartion #5~8: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Tokyo

Look at me dumping things lol. I just realized I haven’t actually written reviews from my trip to the US earlier this year. Debated whether to write it or not, but the galleries I visited there were one of the best ones I’ve visited in my entire lifeeeee.

Before we begin, in this post we have:

  • The Broad, Los Angeles – Basically about the whole museum
  • SFMOMA, San Francisco + independent bookstores I went to
  • Mori Art Museum, Tokyo – N.S. Harsha exhibition, a bit of Marvel, Sky Deck
  • Panasonic Shiodome Museum, Tokyo – Japan, Archipelago of Houses

Plus there are a gazillion photos

THE BROAD aka the Story of How I Died

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First one is The Broad, which is a contemporary art museum founded by Eli Broad. One of the great things about the Broad is that it’s FREE. And it has a massive collection of artworks made by almost all of my favorite artists, Takashi Murakami, Yayoi Kusama, Basquiat, Keith Haring, Jeff Koons, and much more, just all things great and good about the contemporary art world.

A visit to the Broad isn’t exactly an easy feat. It’s free, it has a massive contemporary art collection, and so the queue is HARDcorE. I booked my tickets a month before, so it was quite easy for me.

One of the prime spots in The Broad is actually Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirror room. Lotssss of Instagram photos taken in The Broad is from that room. You queue, and you’re able to spend about 42 seconds inside to take photos. I didn’t manage to go inside cause I missed the queue!!!!

ANYWAY though, missing that wasn’t going to ruin my day. Up until now my visit to the Broad is still one of my favorite days lol. I was very eager and excited to see some of the best works by my top favorite artists, so I was PUMPED.

The Broad has 2 floors, first floor has mostly sculptures. Here are some pictures. My brother likes to pop up in most of my pictures so here ya go:

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One of the first pieces of Basquiat we saw!

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More Basquiat

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The first Takashi Murakami sculpture I saw, told ya my brother (and my dad) keep popping up

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Giant Figure (Cyclops) by Thomas Houseago

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Jeff Koons’ Metallic Venus! One of my favorites

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Fambam with Leon Golub paintings in the background

The second floor had me DYING. First thing I saw was this huge all white room filled with artworks made by Takashi Murakami and Jeff Koons. It was very blinding, but it was VERY GREAT. You know that feeling when there are SOOOOO much to see you can’t even focus? Do note that it was my first time seeing works made by them in real life (Takashi Murakami in Nakano last year was basically a print) so it was such an UNFORGETTABLEEEE experience. Writing about it right now makes me excited again, not to mention a glass of cold brew I just drank, imagine the energy I have right now lol.

Ok, so there were several artworks made by Takashi Murakami in that first room, the biggest boasting a size of 300 x 2500 cm, what the helllll that’s freaking huge. The other ones are not small either, probably as long as 600 cm. There were like 2~3 huge canvases I think.

Below are the Takashi Murakami works on display:

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This is the 300 x 2500 cm one o_o

That’s the story of how I died!!!!!

No okay so there was one other thing, it was Jeff Koons’ tulips!!!! That was beautiful. More Jeff Koons photos below

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That’s Jeff Koons’ “Tulips” behind us, My brother is like this all the time so don’t mind him

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In all its glory

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Michael Jackson and Bubbles, by Jeff Koons too! Got this photo from my Mom’s Facebook lol cause I just realized I forgot to take a photo of it

There were other rooms of course. Mostly more works by Jeff Koons, Roy Lichtensen, Barbara Kruger, Robert Therrien, and moreeee, here are some pictures so y’all can see!!!!!!

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El Anatsui’s “Red Block”, this is made from copper wire and aluminum o_o

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Fountain (Buddha) by Sherrie Levine, I guess this is a modern take on Marcel Duchamp’s (R.Mutt) Fountain?? Saw the real thing in SFMOMA!

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Roy Lichtenstein!

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More Roy Lichtenstein

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Barbara Kruger, the Supreme typeface? This is where it came from (many issues regarding this lol but I still think Supreme got it from Barbara Kruger…)

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“Double America” by Glenn Ligon

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“Self Portrait” by Alex Israel, this is a painting!!! Crazy

Do put The Broad in your itinerary if you have the chance to go to LA!!! It was such a ~creative~ awakening for me, I had the best time!!!!!!!!!

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SFMOMA (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art)

San Francisco is still one of my favorite cities (nothing tops Tokyo for me though I think lol). I love the independent bookstores, street art, great food, vegan groceries (not a vegan but I love vegan food) and the independent bookstores. Did I just mention the independent bookstores twice? Yes I just did.

Anyway though, I finally went to SFMOMA! It was under renovation for around 3 years. So a huge overhaul was expected. It was probably one of the biggest museums I’ve ever been too. The building has a massive structure, boasting seven (!!!) floors just full of art.

One of the exhibitions currently happening when I was there was Bruce Conner’s It’s All True and New Work by Sohei Nishino. Bruce Conner has a huge job description, film, drawing, collage, painting, and a million more. But I was more into Sohei Nishino’s exhibition.

So about this Sohei Nishino dude, he was a student at Osaka University of Arts. What he likes to do is that he chooses a city he likes, and he will walk around the city, taking pictures of every corners, alleys, and streets from every angle. THEN he prints them, cut them, and create a large full-scale collage style map of the city!!!! That’s INSANE. Then it will get digitally printed, to a massive size of 6 x 7 feet. So that’s around 2 meters? Plus he’s only 28 years old dear God. Here are some of his prints:

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Tokyo!!!

Other ongoing exhibitions were Pop, Minimal, and Figurative Art (The Fisher Collection). Which featured works by Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Dan Flavin, and Duane Hanson.

Then we have Tomás Saraceno’s Stillness in Motion – Cloud Cities.

And also, Morimura Yasumasa who puts himself on paintings of famous icons and Duchamp!!! The father of the Dada art movement.

Morimura Yasumasa

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The actual Marcel Duchamp’s (R.Mutt) Fountain

Plus another favorite of mine is actually made by my design God, ADOBE. It’s called self-composed, more about it here.

 

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Some of the independent bookstores I went to:

The Booksmith at Haight Street

Alley Cat Bookstore

Dog Eared Books

Bayshore Taqueria – Not a bookstore, just good tacos LOL

Some cool street arts I found:

N.S. Harsha: Charming Journey at Mori Art Museum, Tokyo

N.S. Harsha is the first ever Indian artist that I know. I’ve always seen India as a travel destination, the holi festival, the FOOD and whatnot. Ever since I went to N.S. Harsha’s exhibition I questioned myself why the hell have I never researched about art in India, my knowledge in art isn’t the best, that’s why I’m slowly trying to discover new things!

The Charming Journey tells the story about life in Mysore, the city he is based in, the city he grew up in. His paintings mostly focus on the issues surrounding Mysore, either culture, political, or economic globalization. I also like the fact that there was one entire room dedicated to Mysore, called the Resource room. Things that were displayed were newspapers (called “Star of Mysore”, it’s also sent to Tokyo throughout the exhibition, which is pretty cool!), comic books, games, and much more! It shows where he came from, what things surrounded him as he grew up. I want to do something like that for Jakarta one day!!!!

Here are some photos:

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The exhibition starts with some of his early works, from around 1995 I think

Pictures below are probably my favorite ones, full scale and very cool, I can’t imagine how he drew all those people, each very different, and has their own characteristics.

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I think there were 5~6 panels, I forgot, but each person here is different, you can even find tiny hidden things, like elephants, etc.

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These paintings are basically the highlight, they’re on the merchandises, the promotional posters, etc.

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Found Murakami!

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I like this but I forgot the title, but I think the story was that, he was asked to make a brand new painting for the exhibition, and in the end he bought/found two dolls, took photos of them and painted on them

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I liked how there were many random things here and there, this was on a wall!

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The resource room I mentioned, filled with information regarding Mysore

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I think this was called “Nations”

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Showing how people in Mysore eat

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This was a creative project I think, done by kids in Japan

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I like them monkeys

This was the climax:

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This is pretty incredible! It’s called “Punarapi Jananam Punarapi Maranam (Again Birth – Again Death)” if you look closely there are stars, planets, etc. It’s so prettyyyy

Plus, the ones that often pop up on Instagram is this selfie floor, didn’t manage to take a good one but I got this one pixelated boomerang lol

Mori Art Museum is probably one of my favorite museums, my first time there was in 2013, I loved it back then, turns out I still love it now. What’s great about it is that it’s on the 52nd floor, and that day the sky deck, which is on the 55th floor, was open!! It was my first time on the sky deck, it’s so pretty and I got this incredible view

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This is probably my favorite view, I love Tokyo Tower cause it’s REDDDD and it lights up the city. The header of this post was taken at Mori Art Museum too!

While I was there, there was also an ongoing Marvel exhibition (more reasons to love Mori lol). There was also the new Spidey costume on display, I think… from my memory 🙄 there were a lot of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 displays though, since it’s about to be out soon, Chris Pratt was even there a few weeks ago. Pictures were not allowed, but I found some cute things at the gift shop

These Steve Rogers and Tony Stark tiny Japanized figurines are the cutesttt, plus customized Captain America shields were on display, my favorite is of course the most colorful one designed by Takenaka Naoto… who is actually an actor??? I am confused but… yeah lol

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Japan, Archipelago of Houses: The Designs That Took a French Architect By Surprise, Panasonic Shiodome Museum

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I’ve always been fascinated with architecture, even though I am not an architect student, and I really have 0 idea on how houses work and how to build them, but I know a cool house when I see one!!!

Shiodome is an office area, so it’s empty during weekends. I dislike places that are wayyy too quiet, especially if they have a lot of tall buildings, kinda feel like an apocalypse. I was kinda freaked out, but I was with a friend so that’s good. I think Shiodome is known for a clock that is displayed there. It’s not just your typical clock either, it’s a clock designed by THE Hayao Miyazaki, it’s pretty huge. I didn’t take a photo of it which is dumb, but I swear a quick google search will do!!!

Now onto the exhibition, the bad news are, no photography was allowed, and all the descriptions were in Japaneseeeeeeeeeee. Imma cry. The people there were nice enough to give me an English intro of the exhibition though.

Anyway, just a heads up. This exhibition was founded by a French photographer named Jérémie Souteryat and French architects, one of them is named Manuel Tardits. Tardits has lived in Japan for thirty years, and he co-founded Mikan, a Yokohama-based architectural firm, so he knows the deal!!

This exhibition wants to highlight how residential architecture in Japan has changed over the years, design styles, geographical styles, etc. The exhibition has the house models, pictures, videos and also profiles of the residents. Do visit! It basically has the cool houses you see on tumblr, pinterest or dezeen!!

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Doneeee! This was really long. Next week I’ll probably head to two exhibitions, because there are two I already have in mind!!! Thank you so much for reading, I hope this was enjoyable, I’m still learning, see ya.

 

 

Destinartion #1: VIENNA – MAK – Austrian Museum of Applied Arts/Contemporary Arts

Vienna was something new to me. I didn’t have a clue of what the city is all about. Except for the fact that it was the city where Madeline (the French cartoon character) was kidnapped to in her first movie. My family and I planned to go to another city, but at the last minute, my mother suggested “Let’s just go to Vienna, we’ve never been there.”

January 15th, we finally arrived in Vienna. The city is beautiful, and it houses many museums and galleries, perfect for me. Among some of the galleries and museums I visited, MAK would be the first museum I review.

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#1 MAK – Austrian Museum of Applied Arts/Contemporary Arts

First and foremost, this museum’s architecture is splendid. It was such a view for the eyes, I couldn’t help but just gawk at everything. This museum dates back to the 1800s, which explains the beautiful architecture.

When I was there MAK was holding 2 major exhibitions. World’s brightest, happiest graphic designer (according to me, who else.) Stefan Sagmeister’s “the Happy Show” and Star Wars Identities, the Star Wars exhibition had a separate ticket though. It had some more exhibitions going on too, such as the 100 Best Posters 14 – Germany Austria Switzerland which features some of the most colorful and fun poster designs compiled from a graphic design competition. Other than that, there were also the Helmut Lang Archive and the Josef Frank “Against Design” Exhibition.

Here’s a quick review of the two major exhibitions:

+ Stefan Sagmeister’s The Happy Show

Runs from 28 October 2015 until 28 March 2016

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Stefan Sagmeister’s graphic design work had always been mostly fun, bright, and colorful. He speaks a lot on happiness too. Which explains the ultra bright exhibition, dominated by the color yellow.

The biggest piece was at the main hall of MAK, it was right there when you get inside. Two huge monkeys holding signs saying “Everybody Always Thinks They Are Right.”

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The Exhibition then started on the basement floor and continued to the second floor. The works displayed were mostly his past typography work, which was inspired by his notes.

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The exhibition was extremely enjoyable. There were some interactive features, such as riding a bike to get an artwork to light up, moving in front of an artwork so that it would move, and a lot more. It was pure joy and happiness. Even my 8-year-old brother enjoyed it!

+ Star Wars Identities

Runs from 18 December 2015 until 16 April 2016

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Star Wars Identities is an exhibition dedicated to everything Star Wars. Costumes, concept arts, vehicles, and anything you can think of about Star Wars. The exhibition itself started back in 2012 in Canada. The exhibition is touring the world, and its first stop in Europe happens to be Vienna.

This exhibition is more on the expensive side (my father even complained, though in the end he was happy.), but it’s worth every penny, especially if you are into this legendary franchise.

I’ve only been into Star Wars not too long ago (I apologize, I am so sorry). Some people I know sometimes just assumed that I’m into Star Wars. Since I watch a lot of Marvel movies, I read comic books and watch cartoons, I visit Comic Cons, and I happen to have a few Uniqlo Star Wars t-shirts too… so yeah. However, I haven’t even watched any Star Wars movies until last year! I don’t even know why I skipped Star Wars, probably because I was introduced to Spider-Man instead when I was little, not Star Wars. Fast forward to late 2015, I finished the previous 6 movies in 2 days, and watched them again in the next 2 days. In short I was hooked. Please forget my embarrassment and let’s just move on.

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Star Wars Identities boasts about having 200 original props, costumes, etc. They were not lying. I was completely stunned, apart from the complete collection of costumes from the previous 6 movies, there were also Anakin’s podracer, droids (BB-8 as their latest addition), and most importantly, the amazing Ralph McQuirrie concept arts, which I had been looking forward to.

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A highlight to me was the concept arts. The previous sketches for each character were displayed. Each had an explanation as well. For example, how they got Yoda’s eyes from Albert Einstein, and some other versions such as a female Luke Skywalker. These were not all by Ralph McQuirrie though.

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Another fun part was the interactive features. We were able to create our own Star Wars heroes. Throughout the exhibition there were checkpoints in which we could scan our wristbands, filled in data, gave a nickname to our Star Wars Hero, and we would be asked to choose which side were we on, the dark or the light. By the end, our characters would be displayed on a screen, and its characteristics and personal info would be e-mailed to us.

It was a delightful experience, everyone was happy! Including my parents, which was great.

More Info: MAK WEBSITE

Access: 10 minute walk from Stephansplatz, or ride the U-bahn (U3-Stubbentor), the stop is across MAK, near the famous Plachutta restaurant.

Vienna Tip: Download the Qando Wien App it’s an official app by Vienna’s public transport network, gives you tram routes, subway routes, etc. Just download this one, I downloaded a few other crappy ones and got lost…

+ Check out my TripAdvisor profile to see some of the things I’ve reviewed as well!