so+ba & Leka
Collaboration with Swiss design company so+ba.
Designing stamps & ship installation.
Project for the Yokohama Bayside Marina & Mitsui outlet park.
For the days of celebration when Japan was open to the world at the end of period "Sakoku".
Sakoku (鎖国, "closed country" but commonly translated as "period of national isolation") was the isolationist foreign policy of the Japanese Tokugawa shogunate under which relations and trade between Japan and other countries were severely limited, nearly all foreigners were barred from entering Japan and the common Japanese people were kept from leaving the country. The policy was enacted by the Tokugawa shogunate under Tokugawa Iemitsu through a number of edicts and policies from 1633 to 1639, and ended after 1853 when the American Black Ships commanded by Matthew Perry forced the opening of Japan to American (and, by extension, Western) trade through a series of unequal treaties. European and American vessels which arrived in Japan between the XV and XIX centuries were given a Japanese name "Kurofune" (黒 船 Black ships ). In the narrow sense, this name was used in relation to the following ships of the US Navy:
Mississippi, Plymouth, Saratoga and Susquehanna which arrived on July 14, 1853 in the harbour of the Hurricane (part of modern Yokosuka) in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, under the command of the Commodore of the US Navy, Matthew Perry. The word "black" here refers to the black colour of the hulls of sailing ships of old construction and to the black colour of coal smoke from the pipes of steamers using coal as fuel.
Our idea is to design commemorate stamps dedicated to this important event in the history of Japan, but with a part of humour. Since Commodore Perry and his people indeed looked like pirates to Japanese people of that time, we decided to use this idea in our stamp design.
The stamps can be put on postcards, bags, T-shirts, tenugui 手拭い (Japanese towel) and so on, up to one’s imagination .
A Tenugui (手拭い) is a thin Japanese hand towel made of cotton.
It is typically about 35 by 90 centimeters in size, plain woven and is almost always dyed with some pattern. It can be used for anything a towel could be used for – as a washcloth, dishcloth, but often as a headband, souvenir, decoration, or for wrapping items such as bottles.
Every pirate needs a ship, so the second part of the project was to create a ship in the public seafront of Yokohama Bayside Marina, using disposal materials from the nearby Mitsui outlet park, mainly paper boxes.
stamp design from so+ba
stamp design from Leka
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