A Touch Of Inspiration From Japan… (shapes & forms)


Hello Everyone!

It was 6am in the morning on Friday April 15, my husband messaged me asking whether we “felt the earthquake”.

“What earthquake? Where?”, I replied, nonchalantly.

Apparently an earthquake of magnitude 7.3 had shook Kumamoto City the night prior in Southern Kyushu killing at least 47 people and injuring 3000 others. Fortunately we were immune to the disaster as we were staying in Tokyo, far from the epicenter…
Our thoughts and prayers are with those who have lost their lives or their loved ones.I cannot even fathom what it would be like if an earthquake of that caliber hit Tokyo simultaneously. We were staying in Shinjuku, a ward in Tokyo, housing the busiest railway station in the world. It is also where the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building is located.I would like to share with you some amazing architecture I have witnessed while staying in this electrifying city which never seems to fall asleep.  Since I work with shapes & structures at the salon on a daily basis, I am extremely fascinated with architecture.Amongst some of the coolest skyscrapers in Shinjuku, the most eye-catching is the elliptical building looking like it was wrapped up in masking tape. This 50 story educational facility consisting of 3 vocational schools (fashion, info/technology/ medical welfare schools) is called Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower and was designed by the acclaimed Japanese architect, Kenzo Tange:

I was so intrigued by the building, I went inside to check it out. Suddenly I felt like I had entered a Star Wars spaceship:

As I continued to stroll the beautiful slick streets lined with fresh green foliages, I came across several amazing superstructures. Here you can see the cocoon tower from a distance:

The 48 story Tokyo Government Municipal Building– also designed by architect Kenzo Tange– looked like some looming Gothic Cathedral. If you want to feel intimidated, stand in front of this and you won’t regret it:

Here is a shot I took of two safety mirrors reflecting various buildings in the area:

If you think you have distorted vision, you don’t. The building on your left is the Sompo Japan Insurance Head Office Building where the shape is similar to that of the Chase Tower in Chicago. I have just repositioned my shot upside down (just to confuse you ;)):

As you can see, the concave line of the building is slick and elegant…beautiful from every angle, making the structure look like it is endlessly soaring up into the sky:

Finally, are we looking through the rabit hole?…:

…Or do we see things differently when we are IN LOVE??!!. This is one of the many LOVE sculptures you may have come across in various metropolitan cities across the world designed by the prominent American Pop Artist, Robert Indiana. His success with his LOVE image in 1966 became a turning point in his artistic career. I have seen it in New York close to the MOMA; but I never thought I would see it again in Shinjuku!

My newsletter started off with the depressing yet unavoidable news of the quake disaster here in Japan. But I would like to end on a lighter note that it is in fact LOVE which will bring all of us in the World together and attract harmony. With all the negative news we hear around the world, we surely need more of this.

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