Each month I'm going to feature one or two exceptional new (or old) stores, share some of my favourite bits & pieces from their catalogue and generally speak pretty well of them.
This month I'm giving a shout-out to Howkapow and Playmountain. How can you not be intrigued by those names may I ask?
I discovered Howkapow only a couple of days ago. It's a new, UK-based online store that promotes independent designers, and the delightful owner Cat How was kind enough to email me a little "Hello, here we are!". And I'm glad she did, because you couldn't get a product range any closer to my taste than if I hand-picked everything myself. I also like the onomatopoeic potential of "Howkapow".
And speaking of (good) taste, Playmountain. This serene little store on the better side of Harajuku carries a whole lot of cool and very covetable products for the home. I was in there the other day chatting with the lovely staff and ogling some antique archery arrows they'd imported from New York. Sadly I left without the set of arrows and all the other crap I wanted, but I'd say I'll be back after my next pay cheque.
"Disco Pteradactyl" Necklace by Gonzalo Cutrina: Howkapow.
"Apple Sugar Pot" by Chin Jukan Pottery: Playmountain.
Brass Spoons by Lue: Playmountain.
Pouch by Muovo: Howkapow.
"Cheese Clock" by Landscape Products: Playmountain.
"Leigh" Coffee Table by &Then Design: Howkapow.
"Lucy" Scarf by Lucy Jay: Howkapow.
"TV Octagon Necklace" by Eve: Howkapow.
Building Miniatures by Typical Local: Playmountain.
Dust Box: Playmountain.
"Table Wired" Lamp by Something From Us: Howkapow.
A couple of weekends ago I dropped into one of my favourite Tokyo galleries SCAI the Bathhouse to finally check out the fascinating works of Noriko Ambe. I left the gallery just as baffled as to how she achieves her effects as when I first came across her work.
Simply put, Ambe's art is paper-cutting genius. Inspired by topographic patterns, the power of positive/negative space and natural forms, she painstakingly hand-cuts through every sheet of paper that makes up her detailed sculptures. Much of her work is an investigation of human relationships and time. I'd say it's more of an investigation into RSI, but the end product is truly worth it.
The exhibition has finished unfortunately (I was late to get there myself), but you can read up on any other upcoming exhibitions at her website. All photos are by the artist.
A blog about art, design, fashion and other things I tend to gesticulate wildly about. In particular that could include Japanese design, contemporary art, geometrics, sublime photography and anything orange. By day I'm a textile and graphic designer living in Sydney. By night I'm asleep, generally. I hope you find things you like or are inspired by here.