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Miss Hokusai is a film by Keiichi Hara about the daughter of Katsushika Hokusai, one of the most famous artist’s of Japan. You may not know his name, but you have seen his work, like the iconic Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji, of which this is one:

36 Views: Under The Wave Off Kanagawa-Hokusai
36 Views: Under The Wave Off Kanagawa-Hokusai

He was also the man who made Manga a household word meaning a picture book with words and sometimes a story, although that wasn’t his intent. Starting at the age of 55 in 1814, he wrote a series of Manga which were published every week or two as an instruction manual for his disciples and apprentices (pretty much the same thing in Japan at that time). There were only around 220 of them, so the publisher put the magazines up for sale to the public, in hopes of recouping at least part of his printing costs. Sales took off; working class people used them to to educate themselves and become more cultivated, craftsmen used the illustrations as models for their work, and the nobility and wealthy classes collected them avidly. Hokusai produced well over 1,500 of the volumes, and Manga became a mainstay of the Japanese culture. This anime is obviously a loving tribute of one artist for the work of another; I am sorry I missed it in the theaters, and will have to track down the disc or streaming service it resides on, because I really want to see it.

A headline I never expected to see when I became aware of this amazing songwriter/poet’s work back in the early 60s, but that I would have cheered on even back then; Bob Dylan has always deserved to win a Nobel Prize! Part of the reason is that he never stood still, but kept creating new works with new attitudes, year after year, and decade after decade. The only other artist I know that could match him on that level was David Bowie; had Jim Morrison survived longer, there might have been three of them.

Imagine an animated feature film where each frame was painted by Vincent van Gogh; that is the concept behind Loving Vincent. So far just over 100 artists world wide have made the production team, and even if all they end up producing is the trailer they will have created something interesting. This is from Breakthru Films, the Polish film studio that created the award winning Peter And The Wolf a few years back.

If you didn’t make SIGGRAPH 2015, and I didn’t, there isn’t much I can say that will make sense about this Emerging Technologies Contributor. I know Shogyo Mujo isn’t a person, but more a process and team effort. Specifically, Shogyo Mujo utilizes 360-degree projection mapping to take an artistic sculpture to the next level by projecting the images, suitably distorted to map across the physical surface in ways that capture our gaze, as artwork that pulsates to the music. I found it a bit hypnotic to tell the truth, and plan to try my hand at this newly created art form whenever I can find the time to experiment with it.

DarwinFish105 continues to amaze me with the incredible videos he creates, which in the past have included showing the construction of a Life Size Gundam and the building of the Tokyo Sky Tree, among many others. He does all of this at temporal and visual scales which bring the massive engineering projects into the realm of the intuitively comprehensible, so that just watching them allows you to understand what is going on and how it works together.

With this video, he is using the same tools, including a collection of high-speed cameras that many feature film producers would kill to have access to. But this time the driver for the visuals is not the engineering behind the project, but the music bed underneath it. As with all good music videos, he edited what appears on the screen to support and enhance the tempo, style, and experience of the soundtrack. I like the directions he is taking his art, and look forward to continuing to watch and see what new gems he comes up with. If you didn’t recognize the filming site, welcome to Akihabara, with a side order of Shinjuku (or was that Harajuku?)