Friday, 26 October 2012

Fujin 風神 and Raijin 雷神

Fūjin (風神) or Futen is the Japanese god of the wind and one of the eldest Shinto gods.
He is portrayed as a terrifying dark demon, resembling a red headed black humanoid wearing a leopardskin, carrying a large bag of winds on his shoulders.
In Japanese art, the deity is often depicted together with Raijin, the god of lightning, thunder and storms.
Raijin is a god of lightning, thunder and storms in the Shinto religion and in Japanese mythology.
His name is derived from the Japanese words rai (雷, meaning ‘thunder’) and shin (神, ‘god’ or 'kami'). He is typically depicted as a demon beating drums to create thunder, usually with the symbol tomoe drawn on the drums. 

The tomoe symbol:

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Sugar Skulls

I have researched sugar skulls in a bit more depth, so that I can get a better understanding of what they are and where they come from.

Sugar Skulls are given to the living and to the dead, made of chocolate or of sugar, and are inscribed with the name of the recipient.  These skulls are the icon of the of The Day of the Dead, and they are thought to have good luck.  Traditional Sugar Skulls are decorated with feathers, glitter, foil, icing, and are not meant to be eaten, but are a sweet offering none the less.

Illustrations, aztec style skulls and sugar skull art.

Calavera prints from London based design studio Telegramme

I really like these illustrations, and think that something along these lines would work really well for our project. I particularly like the focus on human anatomy, which ties in well with our subject matter.

inpress promotion

Me and Francesca have brainstormed the kind of thing that we want to do for the promotion for our next event. The key things we want are spot colours, to keep with our branding and to use a typeface from Form&Writing as they are guest designers at the event.

Here are some examples of the kind of thing we want to produce.

This is especially the kind of thing that will work for us. It will also keep cost down to digitally print everything in black and white, and then overlay our spot colours by screenprinting them over the top.

Mexico: Day of the Dead

Me and Will have been looking into the Mexican holiday, day of the dead for the new direction on our brief. I have started by looking at the holiday, and sugar skulls, which is something we both intend to focus much of our imagery on.

Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de los Muertos) is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico and around the world in other cultures. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. It is particularly celebrated in Mexico, where it is a national holiday, and all banks are closed. The celebration takes place on November 1, in connection with the Catholic holidays of All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day (November 2). Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts. They also leave possessions of the deceased.
Scholars trace the origins of the modern Mexican holiday to indigenous observances dating back hundreds of years and to an Aztec festival dedicated to the goddess Mictecacihuatl. The holiday has spread throughout the world: In Brazil, Dia de Finados is a public holiday that many Brazilians celebrate by visiting cemeteries and churches. In Spain, there are festivals and parades, and, at the end of the day, people gather at cemeteries and pray for their dead loved ones. Similar observances occur elsewhere in Europe, and similarly themed celebrations appear in many Asian and African cultures.

I have found that a lot of the images for day of the dead and sugar skulls that I have come across are quite modern. Me and Will have both agreed that we want to keep quite traditional with out murals and wall pieces. We have looked into buying moulds for mini sugar skulls, and to producing a wall piece incorporating them. The above image relates to the kind of thing we are wanting to. We are looking into mixed media and etching into wood, then overlaying it with laser cut vinyl. 


Starting to look at Aztec art...

The Aztec calendar.

Tengu 天狗

Karasu Tengu (crow Tengu) were the first kind of Tengu imported to Japan, probably from the Garuda of Vishnu. In Japan they were considered to be quite dangerous soldier-type monsters, who flew in legions and caused trouble with lightning and eating people who strayed too far outside the village.
With the advent of Buddhism and the conversion of many native monsters to the Way (I find this very interesting), Tengu became the long-nosed variety that is more common today. They are still slightly dangerous, but now they are considered extremely wise, serious, and keepers of the secrets of all high martial arts. If a human meets a Tengu, the Tengu will judge whether that person is worthy to receive the secrets of martial arts--if not, the human gets eaten (or, in some variations, loses their mind, and returns to their village incurably insane).

From an illustrative perspective I think I prefer the Karasu Tengu, also to depict this variation of the creature, I will be keeping more to the more traditional Shinto belief.