If you liked the original, now extremely hard-to-find Gear Robot, you'll love the improved New Gear Robot. Like its predecessor, its chest cavity is cased in clear plastic allowing you to see its inner workings, a clockwork engine of colorful spinning gears. In addition, New Gear has ears made out of gear wheels and shoulder antennae that sway when it moves.
This 12-inch collector's-edition robot is made in Japan by Metal House, based on the classic 1960s design by the Horikawa company.
New Gear Robot is metal with plastic gears and chest cavity. Battery operated. (Batteries not included)
Dimensions: 12.2 x 6.1 x 4.4 inches (310 x 156 x 113 mm)
Weight: 900g (without batteries) PRICE: US$115, €101
You need special filter glasses to see "Tranceflora - Amy's Glowing Silk," the latest conceptual art-fashion installation by Sputniko! at the Gucci store in Shinjuku until May 17.
According to Sputniko!, aka conceptual multimedia artist Hiromi Ozaki, Amy is a young woman dressed to impress, like the Greek goddess Aphrodite (Venus in Roman mythology). While Aphrodite emerged naked from the sea, Amy wears a futuristic mini kimono and thigh-high boots of fluorescent silk. Since her debut with "Menstruation Machine" in 2010, the artist has specialized in the crossover between high fashion and high-tech development, and effortlessly welds myth, fashion and science with multimedia conceptual art.
As you enter the third-floor space, it seems as if you're walking into a dark forest clearing illuminated by a swarm of glow worms and fireflies congregating near a spooky, disembodied kimono jacket and fetish boots. It's only when you view the work through filtered lenses that the colors emerge - the dots are green and red silk cocoons, and the clothes are covered with an organic green floral pattern.
Without the glasses, the effect is like entering a black-lighted club, where everything white (eyes, teeth, even dandruff) suddenly pops with luminous intensity. With the glasses, you enter a trippy 3D, sci-fi world where high fashion meets Blade Runner. (According to the Gucci staff, the works are lit by blue LEDs and the glasses contain orange filter lenses.)
The clothes are really sensational. The short, layered kimono jacket with belt, thigh-high fetish boots with huge wing flaps, and skimpy pair of knickers float in the air like a glamorous alien that has been only partially beamed up on the Star Trek transporter. She's either a dream or a nightmare, depending on your taste in disembodied clothes.
The outfit was designed in collaboration with Masaya Kushino, who favors organic materials such as fur, feathers, horns and wings in his rococo creations. The revolutionary glowing silk was developed through genetic engineering at the National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences, and the material was woven using the ancient Nishijin method by kimono makers Hosoo in Kyoto.
The installation also includes a trippy video of fictional character Amy posing in her new clothes while roses bloom and DNA molecules are injected into eggs, as well as artistically blurred photographs of Amy in clothes that look positively neon in their vivid fluorescence.
In the preface to the show, Sputniko! explains that the glowing silk was created using silkworms genetically modified with DNA from fluorescent jellyfish and corals. She also teases visitors with the promise of romantic silk fabrics in the future that will smell of roses or enhance affection in couples by incorporating the chemical oxytocin.
"Tranceflora - Amy's Glowing Silk" runs until May 17 at 3rd Floor Event Hall, Gucci Store Shinjuku. Address: Shinjuku Takano Building, 3-26-11 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan.