The Tokyo Design Festa 2007 happened over this weekend: May 26 and 27. It was my third visit in as many years. As always, it took place at the massive Tokyo Big Sight venue, and was very well attended.
Of the hundreds of booths, the majority are devoted to the graphic arts in the form of illustrations, paintings, photographs, and the like. The volume of works on display can be a little overwhelming, but if you approach the event in a relaxed way, take your time and stroll the aisles, it is nothing less than inspiring, with the amount of obvious devotion to art and craft, the assiduousness with which the booths themselves and of course the works in them have been produced and presented, and the patience with which the artists themselves person their booth in spite of the massive amount of competition for attention.
The graphical element of the Design Festa is the event's staple, and comprises the backbone of what visitors expect. However, there were two booths I saw that gave this Design Festa (Vol#25) a bit of a twist - or should I say, kink.
One featured a young woman with her face framed in a board with the words 'Hit Me' (see photos below). It was a pie-throwing booth and for a couple of hundred yen you could hurl a shaving foam pie at her.
The other was even further off the wall. A stocky sullen-looking guy was standing gangster-pimp-like beside a demure-looking girl in a mini-skirt. The sign she was holding read 'Fan: 500 yen, Magic Hand: 20,000 yen'.
In other words, for 500 yen you could use the fan at her feet to waft her skirt up over her hips and take in what she was wearing underneath (there was another sign saying that, indeed, she was wearing panties!) or for 20,000 yen (about USD200) use the 'magic hand' pincer to do the job. Only in Japan?!
It would be tempting to indulge in a bit of intellectual waffle about political irony, etc, but in the absence of any commentary in the booth itself, I have no idea what the thinking, if any, behind it was. As with the pie hurling booth, I didn't see any takers!
Design Festa Vol#24 December 2006
Tokyo Design Festa No #22 - November 2005
What is the Design Festa?
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Monday, May 28, 2007
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