Saturday, 25 June 2011


I forgot to put this picture up last time. It is of the giant incense burners they have at most temples. You buy a few sticks of incense, chuck them in, say your prayer and then woft the smoke over areas you wish to heal or make good. Popular with the oldies and, sadly for the unwitting child, intense mothers.


As well as the super cool Monkeys, Nagano has a very lovely temple which unusually has two Abbots. One male, one female. Personally I think they couldnt have only a female abbot so stuck a man in there too. Not that I`m remotely bitter about the sex division in Japan. Which of course in 2011 there isnt. Much. Anyway, not wanting this to sound like an even worse version of Pray, Eat, Love, we woke up at 5am to attend the morning service. I got blessed twice, once by each Abbot and found the key to Paradise. Not bad for a days work. It was of course much more beautiful than I made it sound, but you know, cutting back on the smush these days. Gotta Be Cool.

Friday, 24 June 2011


This weekend we went to Nagano. I have been looking forward to this trip because it is probably the-most-amazing-place-I-heard-about-in-Japan-so-far. In Nagano, they have... wait for it... MONKEYS THAT GO IN ONSENS!
Having only recently experienced the magic of onsens with an improp-due late night jaunt with some friends from Painting, when we booked our tickets a while back I wasn't sure exactly what they did. This is what they do:
Because it gets cold in the winter, super cold, the natural hot spring baths have been a luxury for many a cold japanese. In the 60s some time, the trusted story goes, that a local onsen owner left food out for the monkeys because they were looking a little thin. Edging closer to the small town for the food left out, the monkeys also found the magic of onsens. (Which I completely get. Heaven is an onsen.)

Now, where are your amazing photos I love to drool at/make me jealous, I hear you ask? Battery died. Oops. Did take a few snaps on the old iphone though so I will get on loading them.


I know I have mentioned this quite a few times, but Nagoya Arts University is the best place in the world. Not only do they let me openly abuse quite a lot of the facilities here, they also let me mess around in there paper making class. Didnt really come to much work wise, but I do have some rather special looking postcards to send out. Coming to a doormat near you. Maybe.

Thursday, 23 June 2011


Heres a few images of some work I`ve been doing directly onto windows and, as I like to accurately call them, building bits.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011


Here are a few mini clips from walking around Tokyo and one from a strange coin operated puppet at the 5th station, Mount Fuji.


I`ve been a bit rubbish the last week. I did go to Nagano, make some paper and do some real good work though. Posts to come. Promise mate.

Sunday, 12 June 2011


With the printmaking woodcut show now uninstalled and finished its time to start thinking about our final exhibition, EXCHANGE. Had a little play on indesign last night and got the poster made. Now for the hard bit, getting my work made...

Saturday, 11 June 2011


Shelly, my housemate and fellow exchange adventurer is working on a design for a cup to bring the Japanese Tea ceremony into the British conscious, focusing on a cup which initiates the physicality of the ceremony. Mike took us to this area, which I have helpfully forgotten the name of, where Tokyo-ites go to see the `old Tokyo` and it was here that I found a cool cup which used the turning action of the Tea ceremony to initiate a kind of reflexology in your hands. I like that it is an innovative idea presented in quite a traditional way.

Friday, 10 June 2011


This is the printmaking woodcut exhibition at the BE Gallery in Nagoya. This is also where we will be having our end of year show and the space is vast. Only 4 weeks to go so I am getting quite nervous about what to put in. These pieces really dont photograph all that well, being white woodcuts on white paper with white drawing ontop. Oops. They were well recieved and I was really happy with where they placed them as they need more light than heavier prints.

Thursday, 9 June 2011


Now. On the way to Tokyo there is Fuji San, Mount Fuji. Most travelers will be on there way to Tokyo and see the perfect Mountain peak from their comfortable Shinkansen train and think, oh crap, I should have popped in at Mount Fuji. No, no you shouldn't. The view you got out the window is as good as it gets. As Dad put it, `This makes Niagara Falls look cultured`.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011


Without boring you to death with the usual, `on my holidays I did this` posts, we did do some fancy site seeing. Although a mega city, there are some nice parks and buildings around the Imperial Palace and some very well maintained bushes. Its a little surreal seeing these lovely bright gardens but tranquil gardens while massive skyscrapers peak over the tree tops. The coy are huge - actually I got a little over excited about taking photos of the fishes instead of the scenery and needed a deleting session in a cafe shortly after. Dad`s friend Mike was our tour guide for the day and was kind enough to spend most of the time answering my silly questions about stuff I had noticed. Like for example why we were confused over the time difference, 8 hours or 9. Japan doesn't have day-light saving time so it can be either. Its 8 by the way, incase you were working out the best time to call.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011


Tokyo was really great. It was lovely to see my Dad, a familiar face is always a comfort. Where to start with Tokyo!? Its a metropolis for sure, we climbed a few of those jolly sky scrapers (when I say climbed I mean shared some sardine packed lifts) and there was only one view. Tokyo. Tokyo. Tokyo. And a Mountain. Just joshing, no it was just Tokyo to be seen. In all directions. A particular favorite perk of traveling with your Dad is the plush hotels and bars you get to frequent. Just to make you a bit jealous:

Thats me, (Hello) in the bar they filmed most of Lost in Translation. No peanuts were sent our way, but they were very nice to us all the same. The last is a photo of the view from the room, Tokyo Bay at dusk.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011


Random google searches are often more positive than procrastination. These photos come from a blog called Ephemeral Emerald and are of a house in Williamsburg. My desire to visit there may have been initially instigated by a certain girl-crush on Alexa Chung but I now have a valid and educational reason to go. Looks like my drawings, no?