Strandbeesten & Hanami in Tokyo

March/April 2009

"Strandbeest" is Dutch for "Beach animal/beast/creature" and the name artist Theo Jansen gave to his creations out of yellow PVC pipes. Powered by the wind, his "sculptures" can move over the beach like multi-legged animals. If you want to see more, check out his website or search YouTube.

The exhibition was in Tokyo in the beginning of 2009 and went on to Korea for the second quarter of the year. The main "beest" was this one. It is the largest and demonstrations of its walking were given every now and then. One of the smaller ones was available in between and could be "walked" back and forth by visitors (but the queue was long!)


The T-shirt shows the optimized lengths for each of the PVC pipes in a "leg"

Early April former room-mate and friend Pieter came over from South Korea (where he studies now) for a few days. He was exactly in time for the much appraised Japanese cherry blossoms. I took him to Ueno park, the most famous spot for cherry blossom viewing (Hanami) in Tokyo and one of the most famous throughout the country.

Everyone is taking pictures, and probably 50% by mobile phone. And not only the young!

Later went to the controversial Yasukuni shrine and the moat of the Imperial Palace, also spots famous for the nice blossoms.

Just behind the Yasukuni shrine there is a little garden with a pond and tea house. Apparently there was some kind of celebration, because a lot of well-dressed people came to the tea-house.

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