Asia’s largest biannual art fair, Design Festa, took place in Tokyo this past weekend. Hosting over 8,500 artists from around the globe, Design Festa provides independent artists an opportunity to showcase their work. Having little idea of what to expect, I set out with camera and pocketbook in hand.
Anyone with original work (and the requisite entry fee) is welcome to participate, and so media on display runs the gamut. Print illustration, “live painting,” music, handcrafts, and a dramatic interpretation of an anime series were just a few spotted. The venue lent itself especially well to single artists selling handmade goods, and the range of crafts was unbelievable. Walking around the convention hall, I couldn’t help but compare the scene to a physical manifestation of Etsy — if Etsy were Asian and wearing animal ears, that is.
Illustration clearly took center stage, and I found myself most interested in the print media and stationary.
Sugar had some great postcards.
okappalover‘s calendars were my favorite of the day.
I loved the exercising turtles from もりやりょうこ. And hey panda, what’s got you so relaxed?
The cute-to-creepy spectrum was pretty grand, but a few skirted it gracefully. More creepy or kawaii? You tell me.
I was also happy to see a few eco-conscience designs. My favorite came from designers in Korea, of the GAB : Graphic Design Group. These picnic bags by Ahn Sung Kyung unzip and fold out to create a dry place for sitting, and are made from leftover rice bags.
The ORIORI_Bag is a convenient way to carry an extra shopping bag with you. Just unfold and you are ready to go.
And for some good green fun, the green friend. I was tempted to take one home, but not sure my apartment lends itself well to mud balls.
Of course, an event in Tokyo just wouldn’t be complete without cosplay. The woman in the box never moved. I watched her for, like, minutes.
Thanks to the staff at Design Festa for showing me around. If you are in Tokyo next May and want to check out the next volume of work, visit their site for more info.