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Human-faced beetle (stink bug), 1/2 inch

Description: Jinmen-chu (Human-faced Insect/Bug)

This is one of the large collection of Jinmen-chu (human-faced insect/bug) on displayed at the Museum of World Wonders in Brooklyn, New York, USA. Among them are human-faced ants, human-faced yellow jacket bee, human-faced flys, human-faced beetles, etc. The museum also has a large collection of human-faced large arthropod species such as human-faced Japanese horseshoe crabs (reincarnation of samurai warriors fought and died at the Dannoura-beach during the Japanese Civil War), Atlantic horseshoe crabs, human-faced Heike crabs (reincarnation of Taira clam, which was lost at the Japanese Civil War) , human-faced Atlantic spider crabs, etc.

These creatures are considered to be the testimonies of the reincarnation of humans, which is taught at variety of main stream organized religions of the world. The doctrine of reincarnation of life into other form of creature in the following life can be found in Buddhism, Hinduism, Brahmanism, Shintoism, Taoism, Bonism, and many eastern pagans. Needless to say, in these religions, life is not only once: current life is simply a part of the eternal sequence of repeating the birth, growth, aging, and death. In western world, doctrine of reincarnation of life could be partially found in Kaballah of Judaism.

Takeshi Yamada’s Museum of World Wonders: Coney Island Circus Sideshow

Artist’s Statement
by Takeshi Yamada

I developed my fascination for the city’s intricate culture and development as I grew up in Osaka, the third largest city in Japan. I moved to the United States when I was 23 years old, and lived in big cities such as Oakland, California; Baltimore, Maryland; Ann Arbor, Michigan; New Orleans, Louisiana; Chicago, Illinois and Brooklyn, NY, where I live now. The similarities and differences among cities always fascinated me. Therefore, it was natural for me to produce artworks based on what I saw, photographed, researched, interviewed and felt about the unique characteristics of cities, such as the city’s physical, social, material, architectural and cultural development and people including their origin, evolution, costumes, beliefs, folkways, etc. in comparison to other cities. In this sense, I regard myself as a “Visual Anthropologist”. With these unique artworks, I had over 300 major fine art exhibitions including 35 solo art exhibitions internationally including Spain, The Netherlands, Japan and the United States.

I worked as one of the team of mural painters for a theater production entitled “Voyage 350” at the Harbor Place in Baltimore, Maryland in 1984, and it led me to work for a new amusement park to be created called “Power Plant” of Six Flags in 1985. I worked on the team of specialized artists creating a variety of circus sideshow banners, gaffs (“Circus of the Mystery” section), and installation items for the amusement park including 50-foot murals behind the “Fountain of Youth”, marbleizing the floor of “Pandora’s Box” room, marbleizing Greek relief displays and the large wall behind them, coloring the sideshow gaff of “Bigfoot”, repainting the banner of “Leprechaun King”, producing faux wooden floor (from concrete floor) for “Ship in the Bottle”, Decorative design paintings for “Censorium Theater” (it produces the scent of a subject appearing on the theater screen while watching the screen with 3-D eye glasses), signs of “Four Stages of Man” and “Magic Lantern Theater (robot theater), painting variety of machines and electric meters of the “Future Living” display etc. These experiences opened my eyes to the unique American entertainment world of amusement parks and circus sideshow.

My current super-realism artworks (mostly sculptures) reflect my investigation of the unique and distinctive culture where I live in the Coney Island area of Brooklyn, NY. This special culture is called Coney Island Circus Sideshow. My series of artworks are simulations and re-interpretations of this rapidly disappearing unique and distinctive form of modern American pop culture, which originated in Coney Island when Steeple Chase Park opened in 1879. I was particularly inspired by the series of artworks on display at the circus sideshow tents, which are called “gaffs”. “Gaffs” are man-made objects simulating artifacts of wonder and oddities (some are completely fictional, such as “Fiji Mermaid” and “Jackalope”), with details great enough to fool the eyes and mind of the audience as real things at the circus sideshow tents behind the vividly painted large banners. My Circus Sideshow Gaffs celebrate the curiosity and passion of humanity, which never ceases to seek things of mystery and wonder of the universe. With these in mind, I created over 300 one-of-a-kind gaffs including Chupacabra, Fiji Mermaids, Giant Sea Serpents, Two-Headed Babies, Shrunken Human Head, Fossilized Fairies, Nuclear Radiation Giant Stag Beetles, Hairy Trout, King Piranhas, Mongolian Giant Death Worms, Two-headed Snakes, Four-legged Turkeys, Giant Vampire Bats, Chinese Flesh-Eating Mushrooms, Two-headed and Six-fingered Alchemist, artifacts of the Dreamland Fire of 1911 in Coney Island, relics of ancient civilizations, and alien artifacts/specimens collected by the Area 51 US Military Base, among others. Some of my gaffs also reflect my investigation of today’s technologies, and they are created with my digital camera, computer and photo-quality 7-color printer.

I regard my artworks as a “Visual Encyclopedia” equipped with a comprehensive description of each artwork, documentations and cross-cultural anthropological research behind them. It is my hope that my artworks are vehicles to please the eyes, uplift the spirit, stir the imagination and express conviction. It is my desire to promote a greater understanding and appreciation of the importance of the global nature of the world, its people and the bonds that mutually bind them. It is my sincere wish that my creativity and its products contribute to the advancement of the glorious culture based on the sanctity of life and true humanism.

All the rights reserved by Takeshi Yamada 2006
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Human-faced beetle (stink bug), 1/2 inch Post a Comment | Report Photo   
User: Takeshi (see all of Takeshi's photos)
Views: 1990
Date: 03/23/06
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