The Cat Museum of Kuching

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Located in the strange UFO-like DBKU building, in Kuching, the Cat Museum is the perfect tourist attraction for cat lovers interested in anything and everything feline.

The Malaysian city of Kuching translates as The Cat City, so it makes perfect sense it have its very own cat museum, especially since many Malaysians believe cats bring good luck. The Cat Museum, along with dozens of cat statues around Kuching were erected in celebration of the city’s name, and the important role cats play in the every day life of the locals. It was inaugurated in 1993, and has since then become a favorite destination of cat lovers all over the world.

The Cat Museum of Kuching features over 2,000 feline related items, but it’s much more than just a collection of artifacts – it’s also a research center that focuses on the history and various beliefs surrounding cats. Among the most impressive displays are a mummified Egyptian cat dating back to 3500 BC, and the only stuffed specimen of the world’s rarest cat, Felis badia,  which lives in the jungles of Borneo. There are also plenty of cat statues made by various cultures, cat photos, posters and even stamps for cat loving philatelists or morbid cat burial scenes.

Believed to be the only one of its kind in the world, the Kuching Cat Museum offers plenty of valuable information into the history of cats and their part in human life, and is a must-visit attraction for cat enthusiasts everywhere.

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Artist Turns Insects into Fashionable Pieces of Jewelry

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The “Living Jewels” created by Etsy artist aquakej are made from real colorful insects collected from all around the world.

Insect art is definitely not for everyone, but if the mere thought of bugs doesn’t make your skin crawl, you might actually consider wearing one of these unusual accessories. The Insects come from various insect farms that provide a healthy and eco-friendly living for people in developing countries, so you don’t have to feel guilty about wearing insect species into extinction.

Here’s what aquakej has to say about her rather creepy collection of insect jewelry:

Insect Art is made of real insects from around the world. They come to me dried out and all folded up. I re-hydrate them to make them flexible again, and then spread them out on a styrofoam board with sewing pins and little strips of paper. I do not put any pins through the bodies of my insects; I like them natural-looking and lifelike. This makes the insects a bit more difficult to handle, but the end result is worth it. Lastly, I choose an art background for the shadowbox frame and glue the insects onto that. The whole process takes several days, and each end result is unique.

Unique is right, but I’m not sure I’d willingly have these creepy crawlies on my body, but if you like them, you can check the artist’s shop and official site.

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Unique Matchstick Furniture Made in the USSR

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Many people don’t realize it when they first walk into Roman Yerokhin‘s apartment, but many of his beautiful pieces of furniture are decorated with some of the most unusual materials – burnt matchsticks and broken tiles.

But as soon as they sit at the large monolithic table in his kitchen and notice its decorative patterns are actually made from thousands of burned matchsticks, their jaws instantly hit the floor and then the questions start. The first thing that pops into their heads is that his family used these common materials because they were poor, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. In fact, Roman says his ancestors were wealthy jewelers before the communists came to power, and even during their regime, his parents made a decent living as graphic artists. The main reason they resorted to matchsticks as decorations is that any other materials were scarce, and having lived under a communist rule myself, I know just what he means. Communism put a roof over your head, provided you with a job and put some food on the table, but it did absolutely no toleration for exercising cultural and spiritual freedom.

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The Sanctuary of Truth – Pattaya’s Wooden Wonder

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Rising105 meters into the sky, the Sanctuary of Truth is a one-of-a-kind gigantic structure that pays homage to the ‘Ancient Vision of Earth’, ‘Ancient Knowledge’ and ‘Eastern Philosophy’. It looks like a Thai temple or a palace, but it’s actually neither of them, so many people just look at it at as a monument to Thai craftsmanship.

Covering thirty two acres of land, on a rocky hilltop overlooking the ocean, the Sanctuary of Truth is the most magnificent sight in North Pattaya, and one of the most popular tourist attractions in Thailand. It is entirely carved out of teak wood and features the most beautiful and elaborate wood carvings I have ever seen, inspired by the four major artistic and philosophical influences in Thailand (Chinese, Thai, Khmer and Hindu). Buddha heads, sacred animals and all kinds of  religious and philosophical themes are depicted in the thousands of wooden sculptures and carvings adorning both the interior and outside walls of the sanctuary.

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The Dried Citrus Sculptures of Daniel Watson

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They say idle hands are the devil’s workshop, so inmate Daniel Watson tries to keep busy by creating these beautiful sculptures out of dried citrus.

I stumbled across Daniel Watson’s unique creations while reading Accidental Mysteries (the coolest outsider art blog I know) and they immediately caught my eye. They may look like ancient artifacts, but they’re really just dried citrus skins carved by Daniel, in his spare time. He’s serving a life sentence in a California penitentiary, so he’s got lots of time on his hands…

Described as “hovering somewhere between Pre-Columbian and alien,” Daniel Watson’s dried citrus skin sculptures have been sold at various art auctions. The two artworks below were created in 1998, but unfortunately, I couldn’t find any of his more recent creations. If anyone knows anything more about the artist and his work, please share with the rest of us.

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The Eco-Friendly Junk Mail Portraits of Sandhi Schimmel Gold

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Using a technique she calls Acrylic Mosaic Fusion, artist Sandhi Schimmel Gold takes junk mail and other paper waste and turns it into beautiful portraits.

Phoenix-based Sandhi Schimmel Gold has been fascinated by art for as long as she can remember. In her youth, she spent most of her days sitting quietly in the bedroom, drawing, and she remembers cutting school to spend her days in museums and art galleries around New York City. Although she studied art in school, Sandhi says she is pretty much self taught, and most of her works are influenced by her extensive travels.

The artist first felt inspired to create mosaic portraits years ago, when she was in Venice, Italy. She saw a portrait made of small colorful glass fragments ans since it was to heavy to transport home, by train, Sandhi decided to create one just like it. After a period of trial and error using glass and tile, she decided to change her art medium to ephemera.

Now, using upcycle junk mail, post cards, photos, calendars and other paper junk together with water-based, non-toxic paint, Sandhi Schimmel Gold creates the most amazing mosaic portraits. She doesn’t use any kind of technology or dies in her art; everything is hand-cut, hand-applied, hand-embellished and hand-finished. “My vision is to create beautiful yet thought-provoking images of beauty” says Sandhi, and she manages to do it by using paper waste most people throw away.

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The Wonderful World of Japanese Manhole Cover Art

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Found across nearly 95% of Japan’s 1,780 municipalities, custom manhole covers have become an important part of national culture.

The history of manhole cover art can be traced back to the 1980s, when cities began making custom covers with designs inspired by the region’s cultural identity (mythology, history, culture, etc.). Every one of the over 6,000 custom manhole cover across Japan reflects the uniqueness of each city, keeping true to the country’s reputation for aesthetic sense.

Have a look at some of the most beautiful custom manhole covers spotted across Japan:

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The Bottle Cap Portraits of Molly B. Right

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Molly B. Right is a brilliant self-taught artist, from Charleston, South Carolina, who uses discarded bottle caps to create incredible portraits.

She began creating bottle cap portraits back in 1993, when she started pondering the phrase “Jesus Saves”. Saves what? – Molly asked – Does he just save souls, or if he had the time, would he also save things like string or rubber bands? Does he save bottle caps? And that’s when she took this question and turned it into a full size portrait of Jesus. “Now I’m doing bottle cap portraits of archetypal women that don’t have anything to do with Jesus saving anything. Now I’m the one who is saving bottle caps.” Molly says in the artist statement on her official site.

The process of creating bottle cap portraits begins with a painted portrait on a sheet of metal. Molly then glues the vintage bottle caps in an overlapping pattern, sort of like scales on a snake. She pays great attention to details, making sure there are no visible glue traces, and using several transparent washes of glaze to define her portraits even further.

The bottle caps Molly B. Right uses for her beautiful portraits are considered collectibles on their own, since all of them date from the 30′s to the 70′s.

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The Giant Talking Lamp of Malmö

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One of the most popular tourist attractions in the Swedish city of Malmö, the giant lamp of Lilla Torg square seems like something taken out of Alice in Wonderland.

First installed in 2006, the 5.8 meters high lamp quickly became a favorite spot for both locals and tourists. Featuring a foot that also acts as a bench, this installation was created with the idea of giving passers-by a chance to sit down, relax and forget about daily stress, if only just for a few minutes. Throughout the year, the enormous lamp tours the various squares of Malmö, but on December 15, just before Christmas, it always returns to Lilla Torg.

It looks cool enough as it is, but it would be even better if someone would build a giant nightstand, and maybe a glass of water, to go with the lamp. And if it wasn’t bizarre enough, the giant lamp of Lilla Torg actually talks, as well. Check it out in the video at the bottom.

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New York Apartment Is Decorated with 25,000 Ping Pong Balls

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Known as the “Box Box Project”, this 90-square-meter apartment designed by Snarkitecture is decorated with 25,000 ping pong balls.

Daniel Arsham’s apartment in Brooklyn is unlike anything you’ve ever seen. The first time you walk through the door, its walls look like large gray pixelated screens that fade to white towards the ceiling, but as you approach them, you see thew are actually covered with ping pong balls, 25,000 of them, to be exact.

The rest of the apartment is decorated in minimalist  style, featuring only a bed, a few shelves and s built-in dresser, but that just means the ping pong balls get center stage in this decor. Attached to the offices of Snarkitecture, the Box Box apartment can be accessed by climbing a ladder  in the office’s employee bathroom.

This one-of-a-kind loft took two months to complete, at a cost of less than $100 per square foot, almost $50 cheaper than an average apartment. Cheaper is better, of course, but considering ping pong balls are among the most flammable objects on Earth, I hope the residents are non-smoking.

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Artist Makes Stomach Turning Art Out of Marzipan

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In an attempt to show the world things can look unattractive on the outside but be sweet on the inside, artist Helga Petrau-Heinzel has created a series of disgusting sculptures out of delicious marzipan.

It all began when the artist saw a picture of Dame Barbara Cartland, a romantic fiction author, and was fascinated by this bizarre old lady dressed in pink. It felt like she just had to create a sculpture of her, and because she looked so “artificially sugary”, she used marzipan as a medium. “It seemed to prove that sweet material cannot only create ‘cute’ things. On the contrary – the bitter sweet side tempted me,” says Helga.

Satisfied with her first marzipan artwork, Helga started making even more repulsive sculptures, like animal organs and rotting pig heads. She admits her creations look so real she herself is sometimes disgusted by them.

Marzipan was one of my favorite sweets, but after seeing what it can be molded into, I think it’s time to go on a little diet…

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Cars Dream Restaurant Really Is a Car Lover’s Dream Come True

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The Cars Dream Restaurant, in the city of Surabaya, Indonesia, features ten vintage cars converted into furniture, making it the ideal place to dine if you’re into cars.

Bobby Handojo Gunawan, owner of the Cars Dream Restaurant, says he has been dreaming about opening an automotive-themed restaurant for 15 years, and since he’s always been passionate about tuning cars, using them as furniture just came naturally. With ten vintage automobiles converted into unique restaurant furniture and accessories, the Cars Dream Restaurant holds the Guinness record for Most Cars on Display in a Restaurant.

Here are some of the auto wonders you can see in this unusual Indonesian venue:

  • a red 1949 Mercedes Benz Limousine  converted into a big dining table for 20 people;
  • a red 1969 Chevrolet Corvette converted into a beautiful aquarium with 100 fish;
  • a yellow 1969 Lotus turned into an organ and audio system;
  • two 1961 Cadillacs transformed into a cozy seating area;
  • a 1962 Chevrolet Impala converted into a cool dinning table

The Cars Dream Restaurant also features a 1954 Mercedes Gullwig 300 SL and a 1961 Morris Mini Cooper set on display for auto enthusiasts to admire. They don’t have an engine anymore, but they look just as good as the day they were shipped off from the factory.

If you’re ever in Surabaya,and you have a thing for classic cars, you must stop by the Cars Dream Restaurant, at 68 Raya Menganti.

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The Matchstick Insects of Kyle Bean

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Although he only just graduated from art school in 2009, Brighton-based artist Kyle Bean already has a very impressive portfolio under his belt. Throughout his yet short but successful career, Bean has collaborated with important names like the BBC, New York Times Magazine, Selfridges or Hermes.

His latest collection, “Stick Insects”, features a series of insect models created entirely out of matchsticks.

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Porcelain Dragon Is Made from 2,800 Porcelain Dishes and Cups

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The Songjiangcheng scenic spot, in Yangzhou, China, has become an even more popular tourist attraction, thanks to a unique dragon statue made of over 2,800 porcelain dishes and cups. The 30-meter-long installation is made up of a metal frame, upon which porcelain dishes and Chinese tea cups were masterfully placed to form a realistic-looking dragon. It’s amazing what some people can do with porcelain…

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Former Milkman Builds His Own Milk Bottle Museum

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33-year-old Paul Luke, a retired milkman from Essex, England, was forced to build a mini museum for his impressive collection of over 10,000 milk bottles.

Paul collected his first milk bottle in 1987, when he was just nine years old, but as times went by, his passion got out of hand, and he is now the proud owner of 10,000 milk bottles, with the oldest ones dating back to the 1890s. His parents encouraged him to pursue his hobby, because they thought it kept him busy and out of trouble, and he actually started his collection on his parents’ window sill.

In the meantime, he has had to build a miniature museum in his back garden, because his house simply wasn’t big enough for his collection, anymore. All of his milk bottles are either embossed or pyroglazed by a milk company and some of them are the only ones left in existence, which makes Paul Luke think of his collection as a record of the milk industry.

The unique bottles in Paul’s collection, from companies that went out of business decades ago, certainly have financial value, but the dedicated milkman never thought about its monetary value. He is still actively collecting milk bottles.

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