My First Ever Design Festa!

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Hi! I’ll be participating in my first ever DESIGN FESTA at Tokyo Big Sight this Saturday, I’ll be selling my self-made postcards, totebag, stickers, and much more. I’m at East 4 Hall, booth B – 413! ALSO, I’ll be bringing these goods too to Indonesia (goods will be done in 2-4 weeks), drop me your e-mail in my DM! THANK YOU, I am very excited and nervous!!!

こんにちは! 今週土曜日に東京ビッグサイトで開催されるDESIGN FESTAに初めて参加し、自分で作ったハガキ、トートバッグ、ステッカーなどを販売します。ブースはB−413「東4ホール」にございます。ぜひお立ち寄りくださいませ!

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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

Tokyo in Fragments

So it’s been a year. I’ve been mostly slacking off in this blog thing.

I got into drawing illustrated journals for a while. All of them are on my instagram.

I am right now very into taking photos I guess, they are mostly posted on my instagram stories page and also my photo page.

I still visit museums, I still visit art exhibitions. I still love Tokyo and every nook and cranny of it, I haven’t even finished exploring it yet, I’m still very, very, very in love, pretty much infatuated, with this city (I hope this feeling never ends). I just… don’t write about it.

And I don’t have any other excuses beside… me slacking off, haha.

Studying Japanese language isn’t easy. You see, I’m not a very bright student (I’m more of a doodler in class…I also laugh a lot, I stare at my phone a lot, I hang out a lot), so the process has been really tough (completely my fault! Ha!). But things are getting pretty serious the past few months, I will be taking the JLPT N3 exam this upcoming July (JLPT is Japanese Language Profiency Test, something like TOEFL).

My daily routine the past 6 months had only been, school and studying. It’s quite predictable that you can see me at Saizeriya (a very budget friendly restaurant, my fave is their tarako pasta which costs 399YEN) at the Koenji area. Probably around 2PM – 8PM. What do I there? Studying… and when I get bored, instagram. What else though? Haha. This is probably mainly the reason why I also kinda stopped drawing illustrated journals. I would like to do it again, but at night I’m always too tired, and watch animes (Saiki Kusuo please, anyone?) instead.

I still make time to walk around Tokyo though, mostly on weekends. And since now the weather is getting way less colder, I walk around a lot again. I love walking, I feel that you can get to know the city you live in by walking.

Here are some photos of some places I’ve been (plus some stories, and tiny descriptions about them), they are not in particular order. I just feel like writing right now, that’s why I’m doing this haha.

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Ok, this is Shibamata. An area in Eastern Tokyo, I found out about this area from Only in Japan. It’s a nice little town, 30 minutes from Ueno Station. I wrote/draw all about it here. I took this photo in the middle of the train track, while I was allowed to do so of course! It was actually around 5PM when my friend and I decided to head back. The area isn’t that big, so a day would do.

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I actually took this photo earlier today. I walked around the Shibuya ward today (Harajuku, Omotesando, Shibuya, Daikanyama, and so on). And, I came across this store in Ebisu. It sells toys and other goods directly from the US. Mostly are from Hot Topic. It’s actually pretty new to me seeing all these things in Japan. I mean, I go to a lot of used toy stores here (in Nakano, Koenji, and the back streets of Harajuku), but most of their stuffs are dead stock items or fancy collectible ones (I bought a 1997 Venom toy for 2000 YEN). But, at this store called Monster Japan, all the items are new! Like, really new to the point that they have the Incredibles 2 (!) toys. That’s amazing, haha.

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This was taken at a sandwich store called Buy Me Stand. My friend Sabila recommended it to me. It’s in between of Daikanyama and Shibuya. The place was cute (could be cleaner though? Haha). Also, the sandwich was actually good (We had the one called Hella Green). There was also a queue, which indicated that this restaurant has great food (this happens in Japan long queues = something good, doesn’t even have to be food).

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I played around with double exposure here. This is a mix of a bar in Roppongi, and Koinobori (鯉のぼり) under the Tokyo Tower (Tokyo Tower is located in the Roppongi area too). Koinobori, according to Wikipedia (cause I don’t know how to describe it other than “mirip layang-layang gitulah”) are windsocks that are shaped like Koi fishes. They are put up to celebrate Children’s Day here on May 5th, ok this, I actually know.

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This was actually taken inside Tokyo Tower. It was the release day of my favorite Korean group, SHINee’s brand new best of album. As a dedication, the Tokyo Tower (and other 4 towers across Japan!) was lit up in SHINee’s official color, and some people brought light sticks to the Tower, it was quite a pretty sight.

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I found this while walking from Aoyama to Harajuku, this is actually in front of a hair salon. It looks cute and I really don’t know what’s the purpose of it. But again, it’s cute anyway.

I think that’s it for today. I actually uploaded around like 13 photos on my media page here on WordPress, but it’s getting late, it’s 2AM, and I have to study tomorrow. I’ll continue again soon.

Thanks for reading,

Alika

Destinartion #4: TOKYO: I WANT TO BE A MANGA ARTIST (The National Art Center, Tokyo – Yayoi Kusama: My Eternal Soul)

Hi, it’s been around 3 weeks since I arrived in Tokyo. I thought it was possible to visit at least one museum/exhibition during my first week in Tokyo, but it was impossible. My initial plan was to visit Tokyo Art Fair 2017 on the day of my arrival (it was its last day), however I was too drained (carrying 4 huge luggage did that to me). Too bad cause there was a Ron English sculpture, something I wanted to see. Even Indonesia’s very own Lawangwangi has its own space at Tokyo Art Fair 2017!

Now onto the point of this post. I finally visited a checklist of mine last week. It was Yayoi Kusama’s very own exhibition titled My Eternal Soul. It includes all of her work, including her childhood days in Nagano, entering her youth in New York, and her recent works made in Tokyo. As recent as artworks made in 2016!

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Yayoi Kusama’s productivity astounds me, at the age of almost 90, she still continues to work on her art. It’s so amazing to see. I’m still 21 and I’ve never been much productive!!! Most of the spots at the exhibition didn’t allow photography, so I took some notes on what she has to say about what is art to her. This was what she wrote:

“I intend to continue creating works of art as long as my heart keeps beating. My greatest desire is that my vision of a future of eternal harmony among people can be carried on. I want to pursue my struggle as an avant-garde artist until expire.”

Before entering the exhibition hall, we were ushered into a white box, with white furniture, white clothes and a few other white items inside. We were given colorful stickers to stick them on to random spots inside the box. I saw this on Instagram for her exhibition in Australia, I didn’t think there would be one here, but there was! Pretty happy.

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We entered the exhibition room, the first thing I saw was the main attraction of this exhibition, properly titled My Eternal Soul, just like what the exhibition’s called. It was amazing. The room consisted of 132 paintings and 3 large sculptures. My Eternal Soul series started in 2009, there are actually over 500 (!!!) works, but only 132 works were exhibited (132 is a lot too!). It was a series of paintings on 194cm x 194cm canvases, there were smaller ones too, but the smallest that were on display was on 162cm x 162cm too, still freaking huge anyway. One thing that caught me was the titles of each painting, such as “I Want to be A Manga Artist”, “Once the Abominable War Is Over, Happiness Fills Our Hearts”, “Facing Youth” and hundreds more.

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Pretty freaking crowded that day, wasn’t even a weekend!

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A slideshow of some of the paintings and sculptures I managed to take photos of!

Afterwards, we went to see early works by Yayoi Kusama, her works made in her hometown of Matsumoto, Nagano. We weren’t allowed to take pictures, so I just took notes and now I’m writing them here. She began learning Nihonga when she was young. Nihonga itself is a Japanese painting style. She didn’t find the lessons intriguing so she quit learning Nihonga and started to create artworks independently. Even in Matsumoto, we can already see dots, plants and animal forms on her artworks, which are basically the base of her artworks up until today. For example, she drew a person, but then she still covered the person with dots! Finally, an art critic named Shūzō Takiguchi saw her works and brought her Tokyo to exhibit her artworks.

Then, again no pictures were allowed, but this time we went to the exhibition room for works by Yayoi Kusama in New York. It was my first time seeing her works that were made in New York. There were no colors, no center, mostly monochrome. Something that I didn’t imagine Yayoi Kusama would make. She also started to become interested in sex and food. There were a great deal of phallic sculptures and installations, sort of awkward because my little brother kept asking what those shapes were. There were also collages from the most random things. US Mail stickers, her name in a repetitive form, and heaps more. She also had a performance art in New York.

Next room, I think it was the last. Her works made in Tokyo. Due to her illness she had to go back to Japan, so she started working again in a hospital, in Japan. Again, her productivity astounds me!!!! Here in Tokyo, she still continued her love of polka dots, nets and phallic forms. She also started getting into vivid colors like the Yayoi Kusama we know today, red and yellow. She explored subjects of death and the universe, she also started poetry. There were a considerable amount of new elements during this era. Again, no pictures were allowed!! I’m sorry.

At the end of the exhibition we exited through the gift shop (as Banksy would say), I wanted to buy a postcard (I always buy postcards from exhibitions because they are the cheapest souvenir lol), BUT the queue was hardcore. My brother was hungry, my mom was hungry, and I was hungry. So in the end I didn’t buy the postcards.

Anyway though, you should go to the exhibition if you’re in Tokyo! The exhibition runs until May. It was such an exciting experience, to see all of Yayoi Kusama’s remarkable artworks all in one place.

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Queueing for the tickets

Also, the National Art Center, Tokyo (NACT) building is a sight for your eyes too. Plus, if you’re planning to visit, it’s probably better to get your tickets online or through a konbini. I got there at 9:30AM, but the queue was already very long. I have never queued that long for an exhibition before! NACT also just opened an Alfons Mucha exhibition, it runs until June.

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Yo cutest Yayoi tree, this is after I finished viewing the exhibition, there was still a long queue outside!

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One of the dining areas inside NACT

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10th Anniversary Poster

LAST ONE, NACT is located near Roppongi, and it is included in “Art Triangle Roppongi”. There are a great amount of art museums and galleries in Roppongi, such as the Mori Art Museum, Suntory Art Museum and more.

+ I apologize that my posts aren’t that timely yet. There were some things I had to deal with when I first arrived. Residency, school, apartment, phone account, gas, health insurance, etc. They were actually pretty simple, but for a non-Japanese speaker like me it was all very complex, see you soon on my next post! Promise I’ll be timelier!!

DETAILS:

The National Art Center, Tokyo