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Kaoru Mende's bright ideas on darkness

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‘Whenever I see the alcove of a tastefully built Japanese room, I marvel at our comprehension of the secrets of shadows, our sensitive use of shadow and light,” wrote the prominent modern novelist Junichiro Tanizaki in his 1933 essay on Japanese aesthetics, “In Praise of Shadows.” Lighting designer Kaoru Mende ...

Aug 19, 2015

China fashion exhibition is New York smash hit

A New York exhibition exploring Chinese influence on Western fashion has become a summer smash hit, attracting a record 670,000 visitors in a sign of China’s growing clout in America. Spread across 16 galleries, “China: Through the Looking Glass,” is the most visited show ...

Tokyo's cool beasts of fashion

| Aug 8, 2015

Tokyo's cool beasts of fashion

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Monstrously cute dining in Harajuku On Aug. 1, creative director Sebastian Masuda opened the Kawaii Monster Cafe, a curious place that brings Harajuku to life in storybook style. Designed to look like you’re entering the belly of a beast that “swallowed Harajuku whole,” the ...

A few ideas that may ring your bell

| Jun 6, 2015

A few ideas that may ring your bell

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Someone in your way? You can ring your bell If you’ve seen that YouTube video (bit.ly/bicyclebell) of someone ringing a handheld bicycle bell at random places in Japan, and then watching with amusement as people automatically jump out of his way, you’ll appreciate the ...

3-D printing throws ceramics into a spin

Jun 4, 2015

3-D printing throws ceramics into a spin

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Cutting-edge 3-D printing technology is changing the dynamics of Japanese ceramics as designers merge the traditional craft with a digital framework in pursuit of aesthetic refinement — and drastically reduce the time needed to create their artwork by ditching the potter’s wheel. Yuichi Yanai ...