My name is Liam Wong, and I work in the video games industry as Graphic Design Director at Ubisoft, where I direct the ‘look and feel’ / visual identity for games.
Originally from Scotland, two and a half years into my career I moved to Canada.
Since then I have been lucky enough to travel the world through work and in the last year I started to get into photography as a way to capture these moments, creating my Instagram account as a photo diary.
I first visited Tokyo during the press tour for the game Far Cry 4 and I immediately fell in love with the city.
Ahead of my second trip, I purchased my first DSLR and took these pictures. Scrolling through my Instagram feed, you will notice a very distinctive change of direction.
I captured various parts of Tokyo, rarely venturing far from tourist spots.
Then one night it rained and the city came to life. I got lost in the beauty of Tokyo at night. I was fascinated by how the city lit up and I just kept taking picture after picture.
It was like being inside Gaspar Noé’s film, ‘Enter The Void’, or living in the cyberpunk world that Syd Mead had created in Ridley Scott’s ‘Blade Runner’.
After posting the pictures online, my following on Instagram increased overnight and since then I have been in different cities taking photos at night.
This beautiful polychrome woodblock print is a Meiji era copy (ca. 1900) of original designs (ca. 1771).
by Itō Jakuchū (1716–1800), A Japanese painter of the mid-Edo period notable for his striking modern aesthetic.
Born in Kyoto, Jakuchū was strongly influenced by Zen Buddhist ideals throughout his life and his name is taken from the Tao Te Ching and means “like the void”.
He was considered a koji (a lay brother) and he named his studio Shin’en-kan, which translates as “Villa of the Detached Heart [or Mind])”, a phrase included in a poem by the ancient Chinese poet Tao Qian.
For some super digitally enhanced versions check out these great offerings from RawPixel at The Metropolitan Museum
About a dozen fake food factories operate in Japan making plastic food replicas for restaurants and collectors alike.
One of the first pioneers of the replica food industry was the businessman Ryuzo Iwasaki, who began selling his creations in Osaka in 1932.
After achieving initial success in the big city, he moved back to his home town in Gifu prefecture and established what would eventually become a very real artificial food empire. Iwasaki Be-I, is still the biggest plastic food manufacturer in Japan, and controls 80% of the plastic food market.
Making plastic food is an art in itself, and the manufacturers fiercely guard their trade secrets. The process typically starts with the actual food which are brought to the factory from the restaurant or client to serve as the model.
Pictures are taken, sketches are made and a mould is prepared. Liquid vinyl chloride is poured into the mould and once hardened, the mould is taken apart and out comes the model.
These are then hand painted by talented craftsmen who examine every detail of the actual food and applies oil-based paints to the plastic using fine brushes.
The replicas reproduce every detail of the real food, from browning on bacon and eggs, to grill marks on chicken, or the difference between steaks cooked rare or medium.
Almost all food replicas are handcrafted to order, as the same dishes can differ in their shape, color or presentation at different restaurants.
If you want to get your hands on these food replicas as a souvenir, visit Kappabashi-dori – a street in Tokyo located between Ueno and Asakusa neighbourhood.
Nicknamed “Kitchen Town”, the street is lined with stores that caters to restaurant supplies including dishes, cooking utensils, bamboo trays, stoves, tables, chairs, and of course, plastic food replicas.
A participant wearing a fox mask takes part in the Oji Fox Parade to mark the new year on 1 January, 2019, in Tokyo, Japan.
The Oji Fox Parade was established in 1993 as a modern-day, living re-creation of an artwork that depicts the legend of how foxes from all over the Kanto region would gather beneath a large tree on New Year’s Eve in the area where Tokyo now stands.
They would don costumes and parade to the Oji Inari Shrine to mark the arrival of the new year.