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Born in Stockholm (Sweden), now live in Sapporo (Japan). Hold a Ph.D. in computer science and work with computers during the days, perform magic in a bar during the nights (and weekends, for kids). Also used to teach historical fencing back in Sweden.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Trick Art in Higashi-Sapporo

Hang on

During our Golden Week holiday here in Sapporo, there is a trick art exhibition. Two years ago I went to another trick art exhibition during Golden Week with one of my friends. This year, she wanted to go together again. She is a bit shy about having here photos on the Internet, though, so all the photos with her came with a "do not put this on your blog" requirement.

Jonas vs the dinosaurs

There were many many paintings to look at and play with. Some were just made to look like 3D by having objects come out of the frame and having the shadows in the painting match where the lights in the room were placed. Many came with small suggestion photos of how you can pose with this painting.

Apparently I weigh more than a small elephant.

Some paintings used corners or a wall and the floor to give more 3D like options for you to enter the painting.

The suggestion for this painting showed a guy who was half naked, so I asked the young girl helping everyone take photos there: "Should I also take off my clothes?", but apparently that was not necessary. 
Since my most popular magic trick this year involves a banner with text in Japanese coming out of my jacket, I have such a banner attached to every jacket I own. Including the one I wore yesterday, of course. So I pulled that out. Very much to the surprise of the girl working there. She was floored. And the other 50 or so people in the room also stared at me...
The girl told me the letters were hard to see no matter how she took the photo, so I colored them in with a whiteboard marker I had with me (situations like this is why I usually have a whiteboard marker with me wherever I go). This phrase is used in Japanese TV when people show up and says "We fooled you!" or something like that (in hidden camera shows etc.). So opening up the huge oyster and getting me would be a similarly disappointing surprise, I was told.
One guy stared more at me than the other people there (which meant he stared a lot). He then asked me if we could take a photo together, because he had seen me in our magic bar and wanted to send a photo of me to his sister (who had been with him in the magic bar). First he looked at me and wondered where he remembered me from, and thought I was a movie celebrity or something. Then he remembered and was disappointed, I guess, haha.
Some paintings were made so that when you flip the photo 90 degrees, it looks good. My camera automatically adjusts for the way you held the camera at the time you took the photo, so when you rotate the camera 90 degrees to check the result, it helpfully rotates the photo too, so nothing changes...

This place looks funnier if there are two of you posing, but my friend turned out to not only be camera shy but also about as flexible as a lamp post, so the more acrobatic ones she gave up on.

There were some people there who had great ideas for posing and succeeded very well. There were two women with a huge expensive looking camera that arrived at the same time as we did and that made all their poses look perfect. We did not succeed that well...

You are supposed to look like you are riding along with the dolphin, but no matter how I tried, the feet always looked wrong, as did the angle of my spine (trying to adjust it to the dolphin was difficult because you could not get your balance long enough for people to take a photo).
The girl taking the photos suggested surfing on the dolphin instead, but took a photo when the back foot was still in the wrong place. Oh well.

There were also people who had zero sense of what would make a good photo with that painting etc. And some that were brought along by other family members and had zero interest in taking photos, haha.

Escher style painting.
Same painting, with me in it. My friend is not as good as me at adjusting the camera angle to make the straight lines look straight (the horizon curves sharply here).
Jonas vs Medusa. Best to keep your eyes closed.

Here, take my cell phone
Orangutan caught by pouch
Orangutan grabbed my pouch again.
I tried to go for "pushed in the back"-look, but no one thought it looked good.
I was trying for "tickled by gorilla", but no one understood that either.
The panda painting did not have any good suggestions, so I just went with "I too have a white face and black eyes" look.
I like the cherub's look of "I really dislike what is going on".
Jonas being eaten by a giant.
Apparently when Venus de Milo still had arms she played the guitar. 
Neither Venus nor this cat had actual things for me to sit on, so doing a wall sit for a long time while my friend went "a little bit higher, a little bit more to the left. I'll take another photo, this one was not good" made my things shake. Trick art is like a 2 hour yoga class.
Surfing on the beanstalk
Balancing on a pile of books
There were also paintings with holes that you could poke your face through. Everyone says this photo is 気持ち悪い, which roughly translates as "disturbing". 
Another hole in the wall
This painting was behind a hole in the wall...
... and if you looked through that hole you saw a small lighthouse and a boat sailing. 
This painting was not on a flat surface, so you could move around and the perspective would change, which was interesting.
This painting did not have that much depth to it when you just looked at it, but it looks very good in the photo.
This one also looked nice.
There was a bunch of paintings with "find the hidden X". In this painting all the 12 animals of the Chinese calendar are hidden.
These are photo mosaics of photos of the announcers of some TV station in Sapporo that have then been arrange to look like famous paintings. I have made photo mosaics at home too, and mine looked even better, haha.

Apparently there is one more trick art exhibition in Sapporo right now, so I will have to there too, soon. Saturday, perhaps.


There was a small souvenir shop at the end of the exhibition, so I bought two decks of cards and four books on my way out. Since I then also ended up buying several kilos of bananas, I had a lot of weight to carry around the next 5 hours or so before I could go home.

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