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Fashion

Japanese designer Keiko Otsuhata has brought a new dimension to the popularity of fish as food by turning the sea creature into a functional-out-of-water zip bag. In Japan, fried fish (especially mackerel) is often seen on bar menus, and is prepared by splitting the fish through its stomach and frying it flat. The sight of fried fish is common visual vocabulary in Japan, but Otsuhata was curious about what the fish looked like in its pre-fried state, so she bought one from the grocery store, took photographs, and made it into a zip bag.

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Kyoko Bowskill, the founder of Tokyo-based LINK, is working to revive the centuries-old Japanese tradition of carrying objects of all sorts in beautiful reusable squares of fabric: furoshiki. Made from smooth and lightweight cotton fabric and measuring 90cm square (about 35 inches), these furoshiki can be twisted into wine bottle carriers, folded for gift-wrapping, knotted into a quick tote bag, spread out for a picnic, or simply tossed around your shoulders as a scarf.

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Berlin-based art collective Raubdruckerin (which translates to pirate printer) (previously) uses elements of urban design to create guerilla printing presses, adding ink to manhole covers, grates, and street tiles to create utilitarian designs on t-shirts and bags. The experimental print makers view the works as footprints of a particular city, with current designs collected from Amsterdam, Athens, Paris, Lisbon, and their hometown of Berlin.

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As part of a fantastic collaborative project between photographer Kelsey McClellan and prop/set stylist Michelle Maguire, the duo conceived of wardrobes that would perfectly match various foods. Titled Wardrobe Snacks, the series draws inspiration from the color, texture, or design of simple foods like a green ice cream cone, a plain yellow donut, or even an oyster and finds the uncannily matched outfit. You can see the full series here. (via artnau, This Isn’t Happiness)

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Moscow-based embroidery artist Lisa Smirnova (previously here and here) continues to stitch beautifully rich illustrations of people, capturing the subtle details of eyes, hair, and shadows, thread by thread. Smirnova brings an almost painterly quality to her embroideries that are each infused with bright splashes of color and occasional patchworks of materials. Collected here are a number of pieces from the last year or so, but you can find additional recent projects on Behance.

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Iceland-based artist James Merry (previously) uses sportswear logos as the basis to his embroidered designs, planting thread-based mushrooms, strawberries, and various flowers on top of Nike swooshes and the ADIDAS logo’s three bars. Although you might not guess it from the simplicity of his sportswear alterations, Merry is a key collaborator with Björk, and has designed many of her costumes for tour and film. You can see more of his blossoming sports logos and elaborate costume designs on his website and Instagram.

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Duo Hank Schmidt in der Beek and Fabian Schubert have been poking fun at plein air painting with a collaborative project since 2009, a humorous series of photographs shot by Schubert that captures in der Beek with his original paintings. Und im Sommer tu ich malen (which translates roughly to “And in the Summer I do Paint”) follows in der Beek to various locations in Europe where painters such as Paul Cezanne, Claude Monet, and Vincent Van Gogh have been inspired, but instead of painting the breathtaking views, he paints the pattern of his shirt instead. Looking out onto majestic views, in der Beek proudly stands with paintbrush in hand, vintage looking striped patterns appearing on both his body and the canvas.

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Commenting on female consumer culture in Japan, artist Aki Inomata decided to dress female bagworms in extravagant attire, handing clippings of women’s dresses to the insects in order to transform them into protective cases. In nature, male bagworms shed these cases when they become moths. Females however, remain in these cases their entire lives, waiting patiently for the attention of a male. Reminded of the similarities to her own gender performance in Japan, Inomata exhibited her work with female bagworms at a department store that sells women’s clothing, her own commentary on what lengths women must still go to in order to be aesthetically accepted by society.

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Tasarım Takarım (I Wear Design) is a Turkish jewelry company that converts children’s illustrations into finely crafted silver and gold jewelry. The project was first started two years ago by artists Yasemin Erdin Tavukçu and Özgür Karavit, who saw the opportunity to turn a simple doodle into timeless decorative object, not unlike bronzing a child’s baby shoes or capturing their handprints in clay. Each piece is one-of-a-kind and often requires special tools or means of production to faithfully replicate the intricacies of a child’s scribbles. You can follow their work on Instagram and Etsy. (via HuffPo)

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