The Rain was Over…

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Fire Flowers at Night

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Fireworks are romantically called 花火 or “flower fire” or “flowers of fire” or “fire flowers”, depending on your poetic preference of word order. A large fireworks festival is held every year in Tokyo Bay. People crowd the streets with lawn chairs, vendors line the streets, and boats filled with revelers cruise the bay. Some people like the largest, most colourful explosions; I prefer the moments when smoke fills the sky and is tinted by residue flares.

(Response to a Daily Post Photo Challenge and Blogging 101.)

From Flamingo Road to the Anti-Art School

Once again the third Wednesday found me with about 20-30 soon-to-be close friends in the basement of a small gallery in Harajuku, Tokyo. Why? To attend Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School, Tokyo! (I tried reblogging their page about this week’s event but I could not figure out how to do it. Sorry! I tried!)

The infamous Acco was the lovely model this time. She regularly performs on weekends at the Flamingo Road in Roppongi. She was so majestic in her regal red robes in her performance.

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Then she showed more of her skin as many burlesque performers are apt to do.

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Yes, I am trying to keep this blog rated PG as much as I possibly can. The music she chose after all was suitable for family listening.

Can you believe that she danced to “Then he Kissed Me” by the Crystals? Fabulous! Her racy red outfit contrasted greatly with the innocence of the song playing in the background during her performance.  (Drawings will be posted later.)

Next month the group is meeting on the last Wednesday of the month instead of the third Wednesday like they usually do. Why? The final Wednesday, October 29, is the closest Wednesday to Hallowe’en! The planners are preparing a special treat.

Romance of the Dictionary

Oops! Pressed the button on my iPhone and took this pic as I put my phone away. #accidentalphoto

A post shared by Michelle Zacharias (@misheru32) on

After doing some errands, I stopped for lunch at a cafe that was trying to be Scandinavian in style. Remember that this is Japan, so other countries blur together in one mass of delicious foreignness in many cases. Books on Scandinavian style in Japanese were displayed with random books in Swedish as well as old books in English that were selected to match the decor.
I LOVE BOOKS! Any old book will send chills down my spine. Even more when It feels like I have discovered a secret treasure trove that only I will want to or have the ability to read over lunch. It was impossible to choose just one, so I found three.

Mary Stewart does write a good thriller but the Waverly Children’s Dictionary kept me entranced with its essays, photos, and descriptions from a bygone era. Their choice of examples or the contrasts between choices struck my funny bones, and I started posting my own memes using Overgram to type text on Instagram and Facebook. If it is good enough for Barbara Kruger, it is good enough for me. The title of an essay in one book became a tag for several photos.
At first the contrast between historic meaning and contemporary use struck my fancy.

Then I was amused by the odd examples shown in the photographs.

Secondary meanings could also be used to create political meaning.

Male/female roles varied greatly at different stages of the dictionary’s development in society.

If you like these and want to see more of what kind of visual trouble I can get into, you are welcome to follow me at Instagram where my name is Misheru32.

Fragile Memories

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Because I remembered Arthur Huang’s Memory Walks from Art Byte’s show at Hagiso, I popped by the opening and took a few pictures. The photos were gorgeous, and I still love the concept that he had for the drawings on the eggs. (I do not know how he stores them so they do not get smashed. They are incredibly fragile, right?) I will let Huang explain in his own words what he was doing.

“Tokyo Memory Walks” are drawings on eggshells which represent a walk that I have taken this year – such as going from home to the convenience store, the train station to a museum, or a bus stop to work. These drawings are made one day or more after each walk. IMG_4726For each drawing, I start at the top of the eggshell and trace the route that I took from memory. In the course of drawing, I also use symbols to indicate markers that I encounter along the walk, such as stairs, elevators, or doors. One string of eggshells represents one day of walks. The eggs are arranged from morning to evening starting from top to bottom.

“Kojimachi Interstices” is a series of 57 composite digital images created while documenting the alleyways between buildings around Kojimachi Collection, Kojimachi Station, and the surrounding Kojimachi area. Alleyways are often overlooked as we go about our daily lives. Each composite image is made up of layers of photographs for all the alleyways in a block. The layers of photographs are digitally manipulated by altering the transparency of each layer to transform these overlooked spaces into something new. For this exhibition, fourteen of the “Kojimachi Interstices” are installed as large format inkjet prints representing different parts of the Kojimachi area. The entire series can be viewed in the “Kojimachi Interstices” portfolio or upon request.

The venue was obviously not the right kind of space to show off the photos but it was part of the neighbourhood that he recorded in these pieces. Community support is good, right?

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 My snapshot has added a few more layers of images to his photos. The layers are intricate and surprisingly delicate for layers and layers of photos of urban dwellings. He supposedly had a hard time deciding between the matte and the glossy paper, but the glossy was the right decision. It is interesting how people now try to replicate what the see on their computer screens. That might have been one of the original reasons for his choice but I think it helped the photos pop off the walls in that crowded and busy space.

 

 

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IMG_4729Friends and other local artists, including Lori Ono, Koubou Deeanna, and Ruriko Clarkson, were there to offer support.

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And Huang was there to chat and answer any questions. If you want to try drawing your own walks around Tokyo by memory, he is giving a workshop this weekend on August 23 and 24.

Hydrangea

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Just thought I would share some photos I took before twilight one day that I took to try out a new camera. The Sony photos are not as soft and forgiving as the Fuji ones.

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