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 Youon 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.
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 Fulbeck, Perseverance 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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
We know Mindy Kaling as the popular actress, comedian, writer and producer most known for her role as Kelly Kapoor in The Office and for creating and starring in The Mindy Project. Of course, here at Audrey Magazine, we also know her as our Winter 2011-12 cover girl.
As it turns out, we’ve all been unaware of another talent under Kaling’s belt.
The 2001 Dartmouth college graduate apparently had a popular comic strip in the Dartmouth school newspaper titled “Badly Drawn Girl.”
“There were times I was at The D at like 3 a.m., outside in my car while it was snowing and I’d just put my blinkers on and sit there drawing. I don’t know how I kept up with everything.” Kaling tells Dartmouth Alumni Magazine who claim that the comic strip quickly made Kaling a “campus celebrity.”
Lucky for us, some of Kaling’s comic strips have been making its way onto social media. You may not recognize Kaling’s birthname Vera Mindy Chokalingam, but you will recognize her notable wit and humor sprinkled throughout her comics. Check them out for yourself.
Sun Yuan and Peng Yu are artists who have been working together in Beijing since the late 90′s. The duo is known for using extreme and sometimes controversial mediums. For instance, the two have used live animals, human fat tissue and baby cadavers within their installations. These works of art often deal with the theme of death. As expected, the two have come up with some of China’s most controversial pieces of art.
This year, the duo put together a very personal piece inspired by the passion of Peng Yu’s mother.
According to RocketNews24, Peng Yu conducted an interview with her mother before she died to discuss the end of her life and her thoughts on afterlife. Peng Yu’s mother went into detail about rebirth and reincarnation.
“If I die, I don’t want to come back as some creature that lives on land,” she explained. “I want to fly, soaring above the earth in the company of red-crowned cranes. How free it would be, live where I want, land where ever I wish.
Inspired by her words, the artists decided to honor her life with a piece called “If I Died.” The installment portrays what his mother hoped for in her afterlife. The piece shows Peng Yu’s mother soaring with the bird and see creatures. Precisely as she had wished, she seems at peace.
The birds are stuffed specimens while Peng Yu’s mother and the sea creatures are made from fiberglass and silica gel. Check them out below.
Say goodbye to the usual tissue ads showing sick kids and pink noses. Nepia, a Japanese tissue company, has decided to go a completely different direction with their advertising.
Quite a bit more visually stunning than a child blowing their nose into a tissue, Nepia has opted to use “tissue craft art.” The very skilled hands behind this video uses the soft tissue to form trees, animals and even human beings for their stop-motion video.
Audiences are stunned that material as soft as a tissue could be used for such intricate shapes.
The video shows much appreciation for the trees that the tissues are made from. Because of these sentiments, the ad includes the statement “Great tissue comes from great trees. We thank our forests.”
Watch the ad below as well as the behind-the-scenes footage. You’ll definitely grow an appreciation for all the hard work put into this advertisement.
Over the years, you’ve probably seen Chinese artist Liu Bolin grow in popularity. Or rather, you probably haven’t seen Liu Bolin because his art pieces, which consist of him disappearing into intricate backgrounds, have given him the nickname “The Invisible Man.”
Liu Bolin’s style of artwork originally began as performance art from his solo shows in Beijing in 1998. By 2005, he began to work on his most famous series “Hiding in the City,” which addressed social problems due to China’s rapid economic development.
His art pieces, which are both amazing to look at and meaningful, have gained him international recognition and have been featured in a number of major contemporary photography festivals.
This month, Liu Bolin has blended himself into shelved lined with comic books as part of a series of performances in Caracas, on November 2013.
Typically, newly-engaged couples opt to send out their “Save the Date”s on fine stationary with elegant calligraphy. Jagdeep and Jasleen decided to take their engagement to the next level by smothering their announcement on a white wall with paint.
New York City-based wedding photographer Amandeep Nagpal of A.S Nagpal Photography, who shot the couple’s messy, bright engagement photos, fell in love with the idea after Jagdeep suggested bringing paint into the shoot.
Nagpal brought his studio setup to the indoor location, laid out cans of vibrant paint and brushes, and let the paint war commence between the white-clad couple.
“I love couples that want to go the extra mile to help create something fun and different,” Nagpal wrote on his photography website.
Audrey Magazine is an award-winning national publication that covers the Asian experience from the perspective of Asian American women. Audrey covers the latest talent and trends in entertainment, fashion, beauty and lifestyle.