This Japanese Bookstore Only Stocks One Book at a Time

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Japanese bookseller Yoshiyuki Morioka has come up with a highly unusual concept for a bookstore – he sells one book at a time in a tiny shop located in Ginza, Tokyo’s luxury shopping district. Ever since he launched the store in May, he has stocked multiple copies of only one title per week. 

You might argue that it’s hardly a bookstore if you can’t go in and spend at least a few hours browsing through hundreds of volumes, but Morioka never intended to create a classic bookstore. It’s like a weekly ‘suggested reading’ service – you just go in and pick up the book chosen for the week, relieving yourself of the burden of choice. Morioka said he came up with the idea a store that solely focused on one book at a time after organising several book-launch events at his old bookstore.

“Before opening this bookstore in Ginza, I had been running another one in Kayabacho for 10 years,” Morioka told The Guardian. “There, I had around 200 books as stock, and used to organise several book launches per year. During such events, a lot of people visited the store for the sake of a single book. As I experienced this for some time, I started to believe that perhaps with only one book, a bookstore could be managed.” To finance the store, Morioka sold his huge collection of Japanese wartime propaganda, famous for the quirky, strong graphics.

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The Awe-Inspiring Salt Portraits of Rob Ferrel

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A true artist doesn’t really need expensive tools and materials to produce something beautiful, and San Antonio artist Rob Ferrel is the perfect example. For months, he has been treating his Instagram followers with  highly realist portraits that he creates using nothing but salt, a few brushes, and a piece of cardstock.

Ferrel begins by pouring salt on a table and then moves it around with brushes until recognizable features begin to emerge. He also uses cardstock for clean, sharp lines. Once the portrait is ready, he photographs it and posts it to Instagram, and then gathers up all the salt to make his next masterpiece.

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100-Year-Old Abandoned Church Gets Transformed into Awesome-Looking Skate Park

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The 100-year-old church of Santa Barbara, in Llanera, the Spanish principality of Asturias, had been abandoned for over half a century,  before a group of skating enthusiasts decided to turn the old place of worship into a unique indoor skate park called Kaos Temple. Today, it is probably the most stunning community skating venue in the world.

The church was originally a private one, designed by Austrian architect Manuel del Busto for a few local businessmen in 1912. But they abandoned the area in the 1930s during the Civil War, and the church remained unused for several decades until it was purchased by a group of individuals called the Church Brigade, in the late 2000s.

After some brainstorming, the group decided that the indoor space was perfect to install a skating ramp in. And that’s exactly what they did, slowly gathering funds and getting help from friends whenever they could. In 2012, ‘Kaos Temple’ opened its doors to skating enthusiasts.

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Chinese Barber Uses Leftover Hair to Create Insanely Realistic Portraits

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Li Hailing, a barber from Lingbao, in central China’s Henan province, uses leftovers from his day job to fuel his real passion – art. He collects the hair that he cuts at his salon and, in his spare time, arranges the thousands of strands to create stunningly-realistic celebrity portraits.

Li, whose inspiration comes from sand painting, uses the same techniques for his hair paintings – he sprinkles hair onto a canvas with his hands and arranges them until recognizable portraits emerge. There is no glue involved, so the hair can all be blown off with a simple swift wave of the hand, leaving nothing behind on the canvas. Li photographs each piece of hair art before he destroys it and moves on to the next. It takes him a minimum of two hours to finish each hair painting.

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These Delicate Anatomically-Correct Dolls Take Up to 350 Hours to Create

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Russian-Canadian dollmaker Marina Bychkova is famous for sculpting highly realistic porcelain dolls. Her creations are not only anatomically correct, they’re also soul-stirringly ethereal enough to make the viewer curious about their stories. It’s no wonder they’re so sought after by doll connoisseurs across the world. Bychkova’s dolls sell for tens of thousands of dollars each, with the most expensive one fetching a whopping $76,500 on eBay.

The Enchanted Bychkova Dolls are mostly nudes, carrying pensive, mysterious, even sad expressions, as though truly affected by life and destiny. The delicate beauties draw attention with their soulful eyes and sensual lips, with many fans claiming they could spend hours staring at them. The dolls are ball-jointed, which means they can be photographed in various poses that invoke a range of emotions within the viewer.

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Chinese Artist Vacuums Beijing’s Polluted Air, Creates Solid Brick from It

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Have you ever imagined air so thick that you could literally vacuum the dirt out of it? Well, believe it or not, a Chinese artist has actually gone and done that in a bid to raise awareness about environmental protection. He used an industrial vacuum cleaner outdoors during smoggy days in Beijing and eventually made a brick out of all the dust he collected.

The man, who goes by the name ‘Brother Nut’, said he came up with the idea after he was shocked to read news reports about the quality of air in China’s capital city. So he started a 100-day ‘Dust Plan’, just to show people how dust is affecting their daily lives. He got a 1,000-watt vacuum cleaner that absorbed 100 grams of a mixture of “dust and smog” from the amount of air inhaled by about 62 people in four days.

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Young Artist Turns Starbucks Coffee Cups into Colorful Works of Art

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It seems a shame to throw away a perfectly good Starbucks cup after just one use, which is why a young artist from Ohio converts them into stunning works of art. For the past year and a half, Carrah Aldridge has been collecting her used cups and covering them with colorful designs and patterns using pens and markers.

“I got my inspiration from an artist by the name of Kristina Webb who drew on a cup and then I decided to try it out myself,” the 20-year-old wrote on Bored Panda. “To say the least, it turned out to be one of my favorite things to do and now I have a little collection growing.”

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Couple Keep Long-Distance Relationship Alive with Touching Photo Collages

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Long distance relationships are hard, but a Korean couple have found a creative way to deal with physical separation. Danbi Shin and Seok Li are both artists, and they’re working on a cool photo-collage project that bridges the distance between them.   

Despite the 14-hour time difference between New York and Seoul, where Danbi and Seok live, they photograph themselves doing similar things simultaneously. Then they merge the two pictures, careful to ensure accuracy and symmetry, to make a single image. They also try their best to find similar scenes in totally different environments, and later post the collages on Instagram, where they collectively go as ‘ShinLiArt’.

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Musical Duo Records New Album Using Only Sounds Generated by a Washing Machine

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Matmos, a Baltimore-based conceptual art and electronic music duo, has announced it will soon be releasing an album recorded using sounds generated by a washing machine in the basement of their home.

It might sound strange, but it’s actually very typical of Matmos, who have previously played the uterus and reproductive tract of a cow and and opened for Björk on canisters of helium. This is what they do – use unusual materials to create unique sounds that end up sounding like actual music. For their upcoming album, Ultimate Care II, they used a Whirlpool Ultimate Care II washing machine, drumming on it, rubbing it, prodding it and, obviously, doing laundry, before processing the samples and creating a single 38-minute track.

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Self-Taught Artist Paints Beautiful Landscapes on Fallen Leaves

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16-year-old Joanna Wirazka has a very interesting choice of canvas. Instead of paper or fabric, the self-taught artist from Poland paints colorful artworks on fallen autumn leaves. Her works are not only stunning to look at, but also carry a strong environmental message.

Every autumn, Joanna puts aside her regular canvas for something that’s free, readily available, and in her opinion, juts as good – fallen tree leaves. She collects them from a park near her house and places them inside a book until they are completely dry. She then paints them black using water-based acrylic paint, before covering them with colorful landscapes inspired by bustling cities and natural sceneries alike.

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Chinese Man Quits Job to Work on Awe-Inspiring 500,000-Toothpick Painting

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38-year-old Liu Xuedong discovered his artistic side quite late in life, during a serious mid-life crisis. He wasn’t happy with his job as a security guard in China’s Jilin Province, but instead of whining about it, he taught himself how to create art with toothpicks. Inspired by hundreds of how-to videos online, he quit his job and decided to dedicate his time to the art form.

Liu carefully watched how accomplished artists arranged toothpicks to create intricate patterns and shapes. He then spent about 2,000 yuan ($315) on a set of 500,000 toothpicks to try it out for himself. Over the next three months, Liu watched more videos and practiced on his own.

After several unsuccessful attempts, he finally completed his first masterpiece , a ‘3D wild horse’ painting that’s about three meters long by one meter wide, and weighs a whopping 170 kilograms.

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Artist Uses Plants to Create Larger-Than-Life Replica of Famous Van Gogh Painting on a Field

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Stan Herd, a Kansas-based landscape artist, recently completed his very own museum-worthy masterpiece. Only, it can’t be moved because it’s actually made out of plants growing in a field!

The 1.2-acre crop art ‘painting’, located on field near Minneapolis, is a replica of Van Gogh’s 1889 masterpiece ‘Olive Trees’. Herd was commissioned to create it by the Minneapolis Institute of Art, where the Van Gogh original currently hangs. It took him six long months of digging, planting, and mowing a giant grass field before the ‘earthwork’ was finally complete on September 11. It is best viewed from high above, especially if you happen to be flying in to the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

“When you’re on ground level you can’t tell what the cuts even look like, but when you get up there you can see the patterns,” said Rick King, board member of the Minneapolis Museum and the Metropolitan Airports Commission. “If you are landing from the southeast and flying northwest, it will be on your left-hand side as you approach the airport.”   

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Artist Creates Giant Realistic Flowers Out of Paper

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Tiffanie Turner, a San Francisco based artist, is best known for her ability to craft incredibly realistic flowers out of paper. She cuts petals out of delicate Italian crepe paper and sews them together to resemble the creases and folds of flowers. When photographed, it’s nearly impossible to tell these fake flowers apart from real ones!

The faux florals that Turner creates vary in dimensions, right from palm-sized to nearly three ft. wide. Depending on the size, each flower can take anywhere between 35 to 80 hours to complete. Most of her pieces mimic healthy flowers, but at times she experiments with the wilted look as well.

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South African Artist Paints with Plastic Waste

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Mbongeni Buthelezi, an artist from South Africa, has shunned paint in favor of plastic. He melts discarded plastic bags and uses the molten material to produce stunning works of art. The 49-year-old has been working with the unique medium for the past 23 years, ever since he graduated from art school.

Buthelezi said he decided to work with plastic because he wanted to stand out, and this was an innovative, original idea to do that. “With watercolor and other mediums that I have experimented with in the past, I felt that I’m hitting the ceiling,” he told Euronews. “I’m not growing anymore. I wanted to be noticed and I wanted to catch attention, because I knew also that I’m moving into a career where you have to be really special to be able to even make a living out of it.”

According to Buthelezi, his chosen medium also serves as a metaphor for life. “I collect rubbish and create something beautiful from it,” he wrote on his website. “That’s what we can do with ourselves and our lives.”

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Makeup Artist Transforms into Amazingly Realistic Comic Book Characters

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Comic book makeup is a huge trend these days, but a few artists truly stand out for their spectacular work. Joining the ranks of Lianne Moseley and other Marvel makeup gurus is Argenis Pinal, a California-based cosmetologist.

Argenis is insanely popular on Instagram with over 100,000 followers. The man is a wizard with makeup – he’s managed to transform himself into almost several comic book characters and he’s done such a good job of it that you only realise you’re looking at a living person and not an illustration when he moves.

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