For nearly a decade since the late 1970s artist Takanori Aiba worked as a maze illustrator for Japanese fashion magazine POPYE. The following decade he worked as an architect and finally in 2003 decided to merge the two crafts—the design of physical space and the drawing of labyrinths—into these incredibly detailed tiny worlds. Using craft paper, plastic, plaster, acrylic resin, paint and other materials Aiba constructs sprawling miniature communities that wrap around bonsai trees, lighthouses, and amongst the cliffs of nearly vertical islands. I would love to visit every single one of these places, if only I was 6 feet shorter. See more of Aiba’s work here.
“These structures were commissioned by former Yugoslavian president Josip Broz Tito in the 1960s and 70s to commemorate sites where WWII battles took place or where concentration camps stood. They were designed by different sculptors and architects, conveying powerful visual impact to show the confidence and strength of the Socialist Republic. In the 1980s, these monuments attracted millions of visitors per year, especially young pioneers for their ‘patriotic education.’ After the Republic dissolved in early 1990s, they were completely abandoned, and their symbolic meanings were forever lost. From 2006 to 2009, Kempenaers toured around the ex-Yugoslavia region with the help of a 1975 map of memorials, bringing before our eyes a series of melancholy yet striking images.”
These look awesome. But they scare the shit out of me. I’m afraid either the Flood would come running out of them or they’d come to life and start chasing me down the hill.