I was inspired– negatively, so... unspired?– by the fuss about a recent Frida Kahlo Barbie doll, of which the doll itself was probably the least offensive thing. Yes, it somewhat cleaned and prettied up a woman rightly famous for being a feminist and a communist who was ahead of her time in foregrounding … Continue reading All real artists get turned into a doll
Even more from the series of Japanese short films about crafts and manufacturing, which was featured yesterday: this time the videos feature the making of clockwork and tin toys, daruma (達磨, the hollow good luck dolls supposedly modelled after Bodhidharma, the founder of Zen Buddhism), oil pastel crayons, oil paint for artists, and mosquito coils.
The film about daruma shows equally fascinating traditional hand-made techniques, and slightly more industrial manufacturing of them. Even so, they’re all still finished individually just like the other items shown in these videos, the paint and the mosquito coils included. The pastel one is a bit tedious at the start, but if you’re an artist like me or otherwise just get excited about colours, stick with it and the one about paint for some huge, lush blobs of intense, glossy pigment erotica. The film about mosquito coils is initially rather alarming because…
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Along the same lines as the aforementioned Fascinating Repairmen, more short documentaries from Japan about crafting, which is apparently a genre. There seem to be dozens if not hundreds of these that have been uploaded to YouTube by the Japan Science and Technology Agency. Apart from a few captions– in Japanese, obviously– the videos are all wordless and self-explanatory. The seven embedded here are the ones I’ve found most interesting so far (listed in ascending order of Japanese-ness, possibly): manufacturing marbles from recycled glass, sculpting and moulding shop mannequins, kendo (Japanese bamboo stick-fighting) armour, paper lanterns, dolls for the annual 雛祭りHinamatsuri (Doll Festival), realistic fishing lures, and creating food samples out of PVC and wax.
… but please don’t make them into lamps after poking their eyes out with scissors. Especially on a children’s TV show in Sweden, unless you want to cause a storm in a teacup. Via Metafilter, a Norwegian site reports (do I detect a hint of anti-Swedish glee?) that “Swedish children’s TV channel is forced to remove clip of doll murder.“
Luckily (for them) Sweden is so utopian that some people have nothing better to worry about than dolls being mutilated on a TV show for children, Philofix, complaining vociferously that it was “perverse”, “macabre” and “crazy”, and that the presenter should be dismissed. Clearly these people have never met a real child or they’re a very long way from their own childhoods, because otherwise they’d know that many children adore this kind of business and need no encouragement or instruction whatsoever in play-sadism with any vaguely…
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