Angry Monkeys and Mechanical Fish Mouths

My friends Mike Abelson and his wife Yuri live and work in Japan. I recently received a package from them celebrating their latest project, the mechanical structures of fish mouths. (Mike built a three-dimensional fish head and wore it at a recent lecture to give a better understanding of how a 4 bar or 5 bar structure works). I’ve known about this project for some time and was fascinated to see the paper fish models inside but was transfixed by a stamp they used on the reverse side of the package. The stamp is a 60 Nippon featuring a monkey carved in wood. The monkey has an angry stance and an almost combative presence. I asked Mike if this was a famous sculpture in Japan or if the monkey had some significant cultural reference, he didn’t know but seemed pleased that I took such pleasure out of the stamp they selected.

Their company Postalco, creates beautifully crafted stationery, leather envelopes, and bags. They have a wonderfully inventive retail space located on the 4th floor of relatively nondescript fifty year old building in Kyobashi, Tokyo. I am continually inspired by their work and the business they’ve created.

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