Friday, 15 July 2011

Murakami Makes his mark at the Gagosian

To find out why EVERY otaku in the UK should be making their way down to the Gagosian Gallery in London by the 5th of August this year, head on over to my report on this remarkable exhibition by seminal pop art superstar Takashi Murakami at Otaku News.

Murakami's lastest collaborations bring together the talents of bishojo designers TONY (Shining Tears), KEI (Voclaoid), Oyari Ashito (LittleWitch) and Matsuyama Seiji (Eiken). It is a unique collection that celebrates the talent and beauty that has blossoms in the contemporary commercial art realm.

All artworks © Takashi Murakami/KaiKai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved
Photography by Muir Vilder/Courtesy of the Gagosian Gallery

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Ms. Fan Stand by sculptor Momiji

Following hot on the heels of one of the most exciting occasions for figure collectors and creators alike, attendees at February’s Wonder Festival sent slew of sensational images across the internet. Coverage from the otaku community is loaded with the luscious delights from inside the show. Through these visual reports we get a view of future stars from both the mass production industry and straight from original sources - the creators themselves. It is the venue for illustrious exhibits that introduce the most desirable pieces soon to be available from major manufacturers. These typically get the most attention from collectors outside of Japan who are looking to see what forthcoming wonders will be popping up for preorder, however, many gems of the show, are often the beauties we may never come to know.
Thanks to an encounter at last year’s MCM London Expo in October, I have recently been given unique insight into the world of figure sculpting by exceptional rising artist Momiji. Building all his works from scratch, Momiji’s works is unlike anything I have seen before in all my years of figure collecting. He presents a remarkably fresh fusion of figure and functionality. His creations are uniquely attractive and present mature and deftly executed design. Momiji’s aesthetics combine the kind of lithe elegance and finesse of one of Alter’s renditions of characters crafted by Saitou Fumiki with a conceptual quality that gives them a sharp edge of chic.

At the London MCM Expo, Momiji presented “Ms. Glasses Holder” a lady who literally puts the fetish for girls with glasses on a pedestal. The central figure is a secretarial stunner who helpfully serves as a sultry receptacle to store a pair of spectacles. A split in the back of her pencil skirt is open an invitation for the eye to enjoy the curves of her slender form.
Following along on the theme of the skirt with a split seam, Momiji’s latest creation first unveiled at Wonderfest, is the exquisite “Ms. Fan Stand”. This China girl is leggy beauty who exudes coquettish charm with the composition of fan and cheongsam.

Momiji was kind enough to share some shots of her with me and to return the favour, I shall share them here!

She wears a long glossy red gown of silk that shifts and plays over every curve giving life and motion to her fabulous form. The amber sash she clasps in her hand dances about her body as she summons it to follow her stride.
Despite the air of elegance there is something so wonderfully wicked about Ms. Fan Stand. Her eyes with their bright accents of red shine sweetly at you. The curl of a smile is barely visible above the crescent of her fan, something that makes her almost demure. However, there is a punch line to this modest fa├žade as behind the fan the mischievous minx is poking out her tongue!
Curves echo throughout the composition of both figure and holder. She stands upon a dainty plinth flanked by the pretty fan that unfurls in an arch that creates the foundation of the stand.
The ornamental quality of the piece exhibits an exquisite asymmetry evocative of a Zen garden at twilight. I imagine the scent sweet jasmine and the sultry glow of lanterns as I gaze at this girl. Momiji is relatively new to the figure scene and has been actively sculpting for little more than two years. This is not only a remarkable achievement and testament to his craftsmanship but an inspiring thought when one wonders what he will envision and compose next. What does the future hold in store for Mojimi’s series of conceptual creations? I for one cannot wait for the next piece to be revealed...

Momiji's blog can be seen here.