Archives for category: media

Prada Epicenter

This year, mapp : : tokyo has been busily snapping scenes on the streets of Tokyo to publish on our instagram/mapptokyo stream. Many other talented photographers have also been publishing their visions of Tokyo and beyond to their preferred online services.

In the spirit of end of year ’best of’ lists, and in spite of the recent controversy Instagram has generated, mapp : : tokyo revisits a year of Instagram photos and highlights some of our favorite Japanese photographers.

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I finally got around to checking out the Shoji Ueda exhibition at the Fujifilm Photo Museum in Roppongi. 

A lifelong Pursuit of Modernism − the Photographic World of Shoji Ueda is a grand title for the modestly presented exhibition – almost an afterthought in a space that houses Fujifilm’s entire catalogue of products, which is in itself a fascinating exhibition – but it’s definitely worth a look.

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Tokyo is not only one of the world’s great cities, it is also the best shopping destination on the planet.

We’ve just published an e-book guide to the best shopping in Tokyo’s most dynamic district, Shinjuku.

iSHOP TOKYO shinjuku, a NEW iPad e-book published by mapp : : tokyo, is now available FREE on the Apple iBooks store through iBooks on your iPad.

iSHOP TOKYO shinjuku has useful general information on Tokyo, from transport to holidays, it provides Japanese language tips and authentic gift and souvenir suggestions, hotel and dining ideas and general shopping information as well as detailed notes on Shinjuku’s most interesting stores – with address details, maps, pictures and website links.

Published with Apple’s iBooks Author, iSHOP TOKYO shinjuku is compatible with iPad and iBooks 2.0. You can download iSHOP TOKYO shinjuku from Apple’s iBooks store via the iBooks app on your iPad. We hope you like it.

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Mika Ninagawa’s anticipated second feature was released in Tokyo a week ago. Helter Skelter (ヘルタースケルター) explores fascinating themes of narcissism, modern day idolatry, the beauty industry and the commodification of ‘talent’. Fans of Ninagawa’s Sakuran won’t be disappointed as the movie’s visual styling is gorgeous and the director’s surreal, psychedelic directorial touches are in full flight.

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mapp : : tokyo has been in hiatus for a few months now. As of today it’s back. And it has a new approach. To date, posts have tended to be in essay form and topics approached with a cultural and historical slant. Future posts will still focus on design, culture, art, fashion, food and Tokyo’s retail scene, but they will be less wordy; more fragments, street-snaps, news snippets, items of interest and photo essays – and in the mix there will also be the occasional surprise.

Oh, and mapp : : tokyo is now also on Instagram. You can follow us at mapptokyo.

Mika Ninagawa’s images are a kaleidoscopic explosion of color and shape that bring to mind early 20th Century art movements and Tokyo’s more excessive neon-lit cityscapes. The photographer/filmmaker is a media savvy, post-modern Matisse; she seamlessly traverses, in the style of Japanese creatives, the worlds of high art, pop culture and commerce to create striking works for photo exhibitions, magazine editorials, advertising campaigns, books and movie theaters. Her online presence extends to e-commerce, a blog and a dedicated mobile website.

Whatever the purpose of her images, she brings an auteur’s eye to her favorite motifs: flowers, exotic fish, cultural iconography and edgy, highly stylized pop portraits that borrow imagery and themes from – and inform – manga, the fashion industry, pop music and traditional theater.

All original images : : copyright Mika Ninagawa.

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Yayoi Kusama is an original. Born in 1929, her career as an artist spans six decades, two continents, various seminal art movements, painting, sculpture, installations, fashion, film, performance art, text and one recurring motif: the dot.

Original image : : copyright Yayoi Kusama

Polka-dots become movement … Polka dots are a way to infinity.
Yayoi Kusama 1978

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From camera obscura and Daguerrotype to Instagram and Lytro’s light field photography, photography has come a long way and the Japanese brands have been integral in its development, helping to shape the evolution of photography and its technologies. 

The infatuation with photography has grown stronger as the technology has advanced – with plenty of help from local companies such as Nikon, Canon, Konica, Minolta, Fujifilm, Sony, Panasonic and Olympus. The caricature of camera-wielding Japanese is for the most part an accurate depiction: from the enthusiast retirees decked out with their state of the art telephoto lens kits and the vacationing tour groups snapping away at foreign landmarks with their gleaming compact cameras to the schoolgirls who frequent the purikura photo sticker booths or share cell phone snapshots with their friends.

Canon EOS 60D; Nikon D40X; Sony NEX-5N; Fujifilm FinePix X100 : : all original images copyright of their respective companies.

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On October 18, Kindle owners around the world will be able to start reading the first two volumes of 1Q84, Haruki Murakami’s latest magnum opus, the novel that became an instant best-seller in Japan when it was first published in 2009.

That the English language launch of Murakami’s latest three-volume masterwork is creating a media stir is telling of the author’s growing stature in the world of literature. British gambling firm Ladbrokes even had him listed at 8/1 odds as a contender to win this year’s Nobel Prize in Literature. For fans of Murakami, Japan’s most renowned contemporary writer, these are exciting times.

Original images : : copyright Vintage & Knopf

If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.

Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)

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Tarō Okamoto, 岡本 太郎, is one of Japan’s most renowned artists. A sculptor and painter – and author, Okamoto’s artistic philosophies and visual style were defined by his ealy alignment with the pre-war European avant-garde: artists such as Picasso, Kandinski, Breton and Miro, together with his interests in anthropology and spirituality and a fascination with the ancient art of Japan.

Art is explosion

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