News & Events


Jun12

Disney releases Zootopia teaser

2015 at 12:37 pm by admin | Comments Off

ArticleDisneyZoo

Originally announced as a work-in-progress in 2013, Disney has finally given fans their first look at one of the animation studio’s upcoming films, Zootopia! The movie, which stars the unlikely duo of wise-cracking fox Nick Wilde and enthusiastic rookie rabbit cop Judy Hopps, is set in a world where anthropomorphic creatures live their day-to-day lives in a modern metropolis society. The movie is scheduled to release on March 4th, 2016, and will be Disney’s first movie of the year, followed by Finding Dory on June 17th and Moana on November 23rd.

Jun08

Yoshitomo Nara interactive exhibit at Hong Kong

2015 at 02:43 pm by admin | Comments Off

ArticleYoshitomoHongKong3

Renowned Japanese artist Yohsitomo Nara has been keeping busy these past few months. With his recent exhibit, “Greetings from a Place in My Heart”, appearing in the United Kingdom last year, along with other exhibitions at Denmark and Berlin, Nara’s work is now on display in Hong Kong! In his newest show, titled “Life is Only One”, Nara has placed a wide variety of art, sketches, mixed media pieces, and sculptures on display at the Asia Society HK Center, and asks viewers to participate in a dialogue with the artist on his works. The exhibit itself also features a number of interactive elements and events for visitors to participate in, including a exhibit where visitors can draw their own emotions, and have them projected onto a scree with other visitors’ feelings, as well as free scavenger hunts and postcard giveaways! The exhibit opened its doors on March 6th, and will remain open until July 26th.

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Yoshitomo Nara, born in Hirosaki in 1959, is one of the most influential artists to emerge from Japan’s 1990s pop art movement. Studying at the Aichi Prefectural University of Fine Arts and Music in the 1980s, and at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in Germany from 1988 to 1993, Nara has since assembled a cult-like following centered around his child-like illustrations. Drawing inspiration from the anime and manga characters that he was exposed to during his childhood, Nara creates characters, usually small children, who possess similar cartoon-like qualities, with highly stylized features and especially large eyes. However, Nara’s illustrations of children are often more menacing and devilish than they are cute and innocent. These images touch on broad social and cultural topics, such as violence and the rigidity of social structures in Japan. Since his first solo exhibition at Blum & Poe Gallery in 1984, Nara has had nearly 40 solo exhibitions worldwide, including Iceland, Japan, France, and the United States.

ArticleYoshitomoHongKong1

Jun08

Pokémon boutique opens in LA

2015 at 01:23 pm by admin | Comments Off

ArticlePokemonFashion1

The Pokémon Company, known for the Pokémon video game franchise as well as well as related merchandise, apparel, animations, and more, has opened up an exclusive fashion boutique in Los Angeles, California in a limited-time seasonal boutique! The new pop-up shop opened in the Japan LA Pop Culture Shop on June 6th, whose opening party featured unique events like character photo ops, live music from celebrity DJ Amy Pham, and hidden exclusive nail artists!

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The boutique itself will be carrying a number of exclusive releases for the boutique, including collaborative releases with Japan LA Pop Culture, Omocat, and Onch Movement. These include a 14k gold plated Pikachu necklace from Onch Movement, Ghost and Psychic-type themed shirts and sweaters from Omocat, and a reversible Pikachu, Pichu, Plusle, and Minun shirt from Japan LA.

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The pop-up will also carry a variety of other Pokémon apparel and plushies, making it a must-stop visit for fans everywhere! The store will only open for a limited time, and will close down on July 5th, so check it out while you still can!

Jun08

DARPA Robotics Challenge 2015

2015 at 11:27 am by admin | Comments Off

ArticleDARPARobot1

Every year since its inception in 2012, the DARPA Robotics Challenge is the latest in the line of DARPA Grand Challenges which have sought to advance the future of robots and technology. DARPA, which stands for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, is an agency of the US Department of Defense that designs robotics and technologies for both military and non-military work, such as computer networking, information interface technology, and life-saving robotics. The latest competition hosted by DARPA sought to challenge engineers and scientists to design robots to navigate and operate in dangerous environments to respond to natural and man-made disasters alike. The competition was founded after the events of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, and the course was designed around situations present during the disaster.

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The event has taken place in multiple stage since 2012, including a virtual challenge in June 2013 and two live challenges. The final event took place over this past weekend at the Fairplex in Pomona, California, pitting 23 teams against each other in a timed course of eight challenges. All challenges, which included traversing over unstable rubble, turning valves, and even driving a car, had to be completed in an hour to qualify. With a grand prize of $2 million, and $1 million and $500,000 for second and third place respectively, colleges and companies from all over the world participated in the event, including representatives from the United States, Japan, Germany, Korea, Hong Kong and Italy.

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In the end, only three of the 23 teams finished the course within the time limit, each earning one of the three top prizes. Third place went to USA’s Team Tartan Rescue from Carnegie Mellon University and their red-colored robot CHIMP, while Team IHMC took second with the running man Atlas. The grand prize of $2 million dollars was won by Team KAIST from South Korea, thanks to their transforming DRC-HUBO robot, who managed to finish the entire course in under 45 minutes! With the years-long competition finally coming to a close, DARPA hopes all the innovations and technologies developed throughout the event will be put to use in saving human lives in the future.

More info: http://www.theroboticschallenge.org/

Jun04

Pixar teases newest animated film

2015 at 10:10 am by admin | Comments Off

ArticlePixarDinosaur

Animation studio Pixar has unveiled their newest upcoming film, titled “The Good Dinosaur”! The film, which has been in production for over 4 years, will take place on an Earth where the dinosaurs never went extinct, and will follow the adventures of a young Apatosaurus named Arlo and a human boy named Spot. The teaser trailer was uploaded to YouTube by Pixar, and shows off the animation and character models used in the film for the first time. The film is currently scheduled to hit theaters on November 25th, 2015, so Pixar fans now have a lot to look forward to this year! Check out the trailer below!

May26

Sanrio unveils new animation studio

2015 at 03:54 pm by admin | Comments Off

ArticleSanrioPictures

Sanrio, Inc., the multinational character merchandise company widely known for the creation of Hello Kitty and other adorable characters, has announced that a brand new American-based animation-focused branch of their company will begin operation in June! The new company, called Sanrio Pictures Entertainment, will focus on creating big budget Hello kitty films, works, anime, and other short features starring Hello Kitty and other popular Sanrio characters, like Badtz-maru, My Melody, Keroppi, Tuxedo Sam, and more. While Sanrio’s in-house animation studio has been creating shorts based on their characters for years, Sanrio Pictures Entertainment hopes to bring the highest quality to their works, and plans to work around a budget of $164 million per movie. The company is also considering working collaboratively with other characters from separate companies, and is even thinking about creating video games and film-related goods. With such extravagant plans set for Hello Kitty on the big screen, the future is looking exciting for Sanrio fans worldwide!

May20

Artist constructs free-standing paper bridge

2015 at 03:24 pm by admin | Comments Off

ArticlePaperBridge1

Artist Steve Messam has taken paper design to a new level with his free-standing PaperBridge! The culmination of four years of design work, PaperBridge is unique in that the bridge is fully functional, able to support the weight of hikers, spectators, and more, all without using a single support! The bridge itself, located in the Lake District of northwest England, is made of 22,000 sheets of red paper, and relies on standard architectural principles rather than glue, bolts, or frames to stay sturdy and standing. Inspired by classical pack horse bridges that dot the Lake District, is also environmentally friendly, leaving no footprint on the beautiful scenery around it. The bridge will be recycled once the display ends, turning it back into usable paper once again. The bridge is only the latest of Messam’s paper-based installation pieces, so look forward to wherever his next piece may pop up!

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May20

LEGOLAND Hotel opens in Florida

2015 at 12:55 pm by admin | Comments Off

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LEGOLAND Florida has just opened the doors of a brand new LEGO-themed hotel to its visitors! The LEGOLAND Hotel, which opened on May 15th, stands as the largest and one of the only LEGO-themed hotels in the world, and offers plenty of attractions and unique services for fans hoping to spend a night with their favorite building block toy. The hotel hosts 152 rooms, divided into Adventure, Kingdom, Pirates, and LEGO Friends themes, with every room featuring iconic LEGO themes, decals, and pieces in all of its furniture.

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To keep children and adults of all ages engaged, the rooms include their own building LEGO sets for families to enjoy on downtime, as well as scavenger hunts throughout the site that unlock unique treasure chests filled with goodies. Including a fully functional LEGO restaurant and swimming pool, the hotel will also host regular LEGO workshops and events, making it a must-see locations for any fans visiting LEGOLAND Florida this summer!

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May19

Inventor flies jetpacks over Dubai

2015 at 10:47 am by admin | Comments Off

ArticleJetpackDubai

Yves Rossy, Swiss engineer and pilot, recently debuted a video of his newest invention to YouTube: a fully functional jetpack! Accompanied by skydiver Vice Reffet, the duo are shown soaring through the skies of Dubai with the prototypes, turning and performing maneuvers with all the grace of a bird. The flight packs weigh 120 pounds, and allow their uses to fly freely for 15 minutes in speeds up to 186 miles per hour. While the packs are still heavily in development, and require assistance in order to perform take-off and landing procedures, Rossy’s invention is a hopeful sign of the next generation of flight technology to come!

May15

"Cubes" turns food into isometric art

2015 at 12:43 pm by admin | Comments Off

ArticleFoodCubes1

Design studio Lernert & Sander have taken food to the next level with their photo project titled “Cubes”. The project was commissioned by Dutch newspaper “de Volkskrant” in 2014 for a food-themed documentary, and Lernert & Sander stepped up to plate with a giant print of 98 different food cubes. Each identical 1″ cube is cut from a different food product, and the materials range from vegetables, fruits, meat, and even mushrooms! All of the food was freshly cut before their photo session, keeping the products looking clean and tasty. The food was cut using a unique slicer over the course of the five-day photo shoot session, and come together into one isometric presentation. Lernert & Sander are currently selling prints of the finished piece through their website, so fans of the clean design aesthetic and delicious food can have one of their very own!

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