Japan

Casting The Invisible


Yasuaki Onishi
, who is known for his art throughout Japan and internationally, currently has an installation on exhibit in the Rice Gallery in  titled, ‘Reverse of Volume RG’. On display until June 24, he uses plastic sheeting and black hot glue to create a monumental, mountainous form that appears to float in space. In using these simple materials, he is able to successfully meditate on the nature of the negative space, or void, left behind.

The process that he calls ‘casting the invisible’ involves draping the plastic sheeting over stacked cardboard boxes, which are then removed to leave only their impressions. Onishi wanted to create an installation that would change as visitors approached and viewed it from outside of the glass wall to inside the gallery space. Seen through the glass, the undulating, exterior surface and dense layers of vertical black strands are primarily visible.

Almost like stepping into an inner sanctum or cave-like chamber, the semi-translucent plastic sheeting and wispy strands of hot glue envelop the viewer in a fragile, tent-like enclosure speckled with inky black marks. Visitors can walk in and out of the contemplative space, observing how the simplest qualities of light, shape, and line change.

[via Arch Daily]

Madame Kwan’s Moviehouse: Jiro Dreams of Sushi

Meet Jiro Ono. He is an 85-year-old Japanese shokunin, or “skilled craftsman”. His craft? Sushi.

Jiro runs a 10-seat sushi restaurant located in a Tokyo subway station that books reservations at least a month in advance. Each seat costs 300,000 yen (somewhere near $3,500). And yes, Jiro dreams of sushi.

Jiro Dreams of Sushi is a wonderful documentary about Jiro and his one passion in life – to make great sushi. His drive and dedication is like something out of old Japanese fables. The food he presents is simple: fish, wasabi, rice and soy sauce. But it is the purity of these ingredients which allows for their complex depth of flavor. Every meal he serves, which consists of about 20 pieces of sushi, leaves its diners simply awestruck.

This movie completely immerses you in an elegant and quiet culinary world, paying reverence to its masters and their time-honored traditions. It’s beautifully shot and is completely enchanting, even if you don’t like sushi. My only warning is that it makes you feel quite lame and lazy compared to the various craftsmen in the documentary. Hopefully it’ll light a fire under your butt to find your true passion.

Huge thumbs up from Madame Kwan.