Sailor Moon Characters Re-imagined as The Avengers

Yesterday, we showed you what happens when an artist re-imagines some of the most beloved Disney characters in the opposite gender. Today, we have yet another artist blowing us away with creativity.

An artist known as Jei Shepard caught our attention for this impressive artwork. Not much is known about this artist. In fact, all we know is a list of interests on Jei Shepard’s tumblr which include Iron Man, Avengers, X-Men, Batman, Supergirl, Mass Effect, Sailor Moon, Dragonball Z, Final Fantasy, BBC Sherlock, Grimm and Agents of SHIELD.

Luckily for us, Jei Shepard decided to take two of those interests for a crossover: Sailor Moon and the Avengers. The result is better than anyone could have expected.

Even though these girls aren’t actually Marvel superheros, they certainly look good in the outfits. Check it out below and be sure to support Jei Shepard’s art here.

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Talented Artist Gender-Bends Disney Characters

Not much is known about the Canada-based artist Sakimi Chan, but one thing is certain: this is one talented artist.

Although Sakimi Chan’s Facebook was only created in January 2014, it has already gathered 124,000 likes and for good reason! According to the Facebook description, Sakimi Chan loves to “draw fantasy, sci-fi and gender bending.”

It seemed only a matter of time that the digital artist took on beloved Disney characters. Sakimi Chan recently gained viral attention for her gender-bending of Ariel, Belle, Pocahontas and various other characters we grew up with.

Check them out below and be sure to support Sakimi Chan’s work through these sites:
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Jackie Chan Portrait Made Entirely of Chopsticks

A few months ago, we showed you the art of Red Hong Yi. Referred to as the artist who “loves to paint, but not with a paintbrush,” Hong Yi utilized make up to recreated scenes from Chinese myths and create cultural and traditional symbols of the country such as opera masks, firecrackers, cherry blossom trees and goldfish.

Luckily for us, Hong Yi continues to use unique mediums for her work. She has made portraits out of flower petals, sunflower seeds, candle wax, bamboo sticks and coffee cup stains. She’s even painted an entire portrait using a basketball as a brush.

Most recently, Hong Yi has payed homage to actor, action choreographer, comedian, director, producer, martial artist, screenwriter, entrepreneur, singer, and stunt performer, Jackie Chan.

In addition to managing his first K-Pop band, JJCC, Chan is also celebrating his 60th birthday this year. In honor of this, Red Hong Yi decided to create a portrait of him. Of course, this isn’t just an ordinary portrait. It’s created with 64,000 chopsticks.

In the video description, Hong Yi writes, “Jackie turns 60 this year and being an artist who paints without a paintbrush, I spent a looong time thinking about what material to use for his portrait! He is an actor, a martial arts master, an environmentalist and is a world-renowned face! I finally decided on chopsticks – a symbol of the Chinese culture, Jackie has used chopsticks during his kungfu scenes in a few movies like the Fearless Hyena and Karate Kid. I used disposable bamboo chopsticks to show that disposable materials can be reused and made into something else more meaningful and beautiful. I spent a month collecting these chopsticks from cafes, stalls and factories in Zhejiang and Beijing, then tying each of them up. So honoured to present it at his concert on 6/4/14. Happy 60th birthday, Jackie!”

 

 

Must-See Origami Street Art

When Paris-born Mademoiselle Maurice spent time in Japan, she experienced earthquakes, a tsunami and the nuclear power plant explosion of Fukushima. The devastating experiences inspired the 29-year-old artist to remind others of the beauty life still has to offer. Maurice decided to do this by using an art she learned in Japan: origami.

During her stay in Japan, Maurice learned of the thousand paper crane legend. The ancient Japanese legend says that anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes will be granted a wish. This legend is most known through the story of Sadako Sasaki who developed leukemia at the age of 12 because of exposure to radiation from the atomic bombing of Hiroshima during World War II. In the popular book Sadako and The Thousand Paper Cranes, Sadako folded a little over 600 paper cranes before succumbing to her illness. Moved by her efforts, her friends and classmates decided to fold the rest in her honor.

Maurice realized that she too could create beauty and emotions through origami. Rather than put her work up in museums, Maurice has decided to practice her craft in the streets so that the public could enjoy it.

According to her website, the goal of her work is to “break the monotony of urban living to bring a carousel of emotion to those who see her work.”

It takes her many days to complete each art piece. Mademoiselle Maurice has decided to involve local schools, organizations and volunteers to help her fold the beautiful paper creations and create art as a community.

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Check out her official website here. 

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“It’s not what it seems” by Hikaru Chu

A 21-year-old Japanese art student has been attracting quite a bit of attention for her art. In particular, the work of Hikaru Chu seems to be gaining popularity because of her talented ability to trick our eyes.

Using acrylic paints, Chu has taken a number of items and has disguised them to look like something entirely different. She has titled the series “It’s not what it seems” and has given audiences a kick out of trying to guess what the object is without the disguise.

Chu’s attention to detail, color and texture proves that her talent is beyond her years. Check out the photo series below.

And trust us when we say her other art pieces are just as impressive and convincing. She has been able to make it look like a woman’s head completely detaches and a man’s back is made entirely of books. Don’t believe us? Take a look at her artwork for yourself.

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What appears to be a cucumber…
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… is actually a banana.
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What appears to be a tangerine…
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… is actually a tomato.

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… is actually an egg.
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What appears to be a daifuku rice cake…
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..is actually an orange.

I Think I Am In Friend-Love With You

Story by Ada Tseng. 

Comic artist and illustrator Yumi Sakugawa’s first book tackles the intense feelings that can come with platonic love between best friends. 

Little did Yumi Sakugawa know that when she posted her comic I Think I Am In Friend-Love With You on Tumblr, it’d go viral and gather enough online fanfare for it to be published in print as her debut comic book. Sakugawa, who studied fine arts at UCLA and has had her worked published on websites like The Rumpus, Sadie Magazine and Wonderhowto, penned the story about an adorable one-eyed monster who has met its ideal best friend — but isn’t quite sure if the friend reciprocates the same feelings.

The idea is based on “friend-loves” that Sakugawa has had in the past. For her, they’ve mostly been male friends where the line between platonic and romantic is blurred, but the story, told through ageless, genderless characters, can refer to any type of platonic love. “I don’t want to date you or make out with you,” the monster clarifies in its confessional letter. “Because that would be weird. I just so desperately want you to think that I am this super- awesome person, because I think YOU are a super-awesome person.”

Sakugawa wrote the book as a therapeutic way to sort out her own intense emotions about this unique type of friendship. But once it was out in the blogosphere, she found that readers sometimes interpreted the book’s message differently. While some thought it’d be a cute gift for a best friend, others thought sharing the comic might be the worst way to reject a person who you suspect has more-than-friendly feelings toward you. The book can be a Rorschach test for people’s own views on friendships and relationships; Sakugawa herself welcomes all different interpretations. “Maybe my next book should be a sequel called Friend Zone,” she jokes.

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Excerpted from I Think I Am in Friend-Love With You, copyright © 2013 by
Yumi Sakugawa and published by F+W Media, Inc. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved. 

This story was originally published in our Spring 2014 issue. Get your copy here

Japanese American National Museum Introduces New Tattoo Exhibition

L.A.’s own Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo opened its newest exhibition last week titled Perseverance: Japanese Tattoo Tradition in a Modern World, which explores the history of traditional Japanese tattoo art and its relevance in mainstream culture today.

Curated by Takahiro Kitamura and photographed and designed by Kip FulbeckPerseverance dives into the rich history of Japanese artistry by focusing on its roots in ukiyo-e prints. The exhibit also features the work of seven internationally acclaimed tattoo artists Horitaka, Horitomo, Chris Horishiki Brand, Miyazo, Shige, Junii and Yokohama Horiken, along with tattoo works by selected others.

Perseverance opened on March 8 and will run until September 14.

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Japan’s Creative Take on the Haunted House

In case you needed more proof that Japan is always taking old, tired concepts and turning them on their heads before the rest of the world can.

This past summer 2013 and continuing into 2014, The Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo, Japan opened a new exhibit for children titled “Ghosts, Underpants and Stars,” but its most popular project is the Torafu Architects’ Haunted Play House.

Created by Koichi Suzuno and Shinya Kamuro, Haunted Play House spins off the traditional dark, zombie and ghost-filled Halloween houses with a subtle yet eerie art gallery. The architectural installation contains hidden passageways, contorted paintings, funhouse mirrors and thousands of watching eyes.

It may be spooky, but the project also aims to educate children on art history while simultaneously fueling their imaginations.

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What Happens When Asian Kids Swap Outfits With Their Grandparents

The Singaporean artist simply known as “Qozop,” proves that age is just a number in many ways.

For instance, the artist appears to be rather new to the scene. Qozop’s facebook emerged late last month and the official blog has only two posts thus far. In fact the artist is such a mystery that the about me is kept plain and simple. It reads, “There is nothing special about me. I am just an artist who has caught a picture-making sickness.”

Despite Qozop’s “young” talent, the artist has already picked up quite a bit of attention. Qozop has been featured in Design TAXI, Demilked and Huffington Post.

The art that has sparked attention is Qozop’s series titled “Spring — Autumn.” He photographed pairs of relatives, such as parents and kids or grandparents and grandchildren, then had them exchange outfits.

“Fashion (other than wrinkles) is one of the best tell-tales of how old a person is, or what generation they hail from,” Qozop writes. “Skinny jeans just aren’t a thing for old people. But! Imagine a world where people of a certain age need not necessarily dress a certain way.”

Many viewers have interpreted the series as an exploration of identity and age, especially within Asian Americans.

Take a look at the entire series of Asian youth trading outfits with their parents and grandparents.

 

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Red Hong Yi’s Chinese Makeup Art

No, we’re not talking about Michelle Phan-esque YouTube tutorials. Malaysian artist-architect Hong Yi, who also goes by her nickname “Red,” has been referred to as the artist who “loves to paint, but not with a paintbrush.”

Yi, who owns her own design studio and travels for work in between Shanghai and Malaysia, is known for using unique mediums for her work. She has made portraits out of flower petals, sunflower seeds, candle wax, bamboo sticks and coffee cup stains. She’s even painted an entire portrait using a basketball as a brush.

The artist claims that she was inspired to use everyday objects for her artwork after moving to Shanghai to work. She argues that some of the most overlooked items can create the best pieces of art.

In honor of Chinese New Year, Yi has made one of her most creative projects yet. Using only make up, Yi has managed to recreated scenes from Chinese myths and create cultural and traditional symbols of the country such as opera masks, firecrackers, cherry blossom trees and goldfish.

The artist explains, “Chinese art requires a lot of precision and skill – one stroke can make a huge difference I felt that this is similar to how a woman carefully puts on her make-up.”

Check out her impressive artwork below and be sure to look into her other works here.

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