Friday, September 17, 2010

Go Fly A Kite!

Meet kite master Mikio Toki-san. He came into our studio in traditional Japanese kiting gear. Ooh, I love his wooden clogs!

Kite Master Mikio Toki.

Mikio-san is a kite maker and carries on the tradition of Edo kite making. "Edo" is the old name for Tokyo, and these kites are rectangular in shape, made of bamboo and washi paper, and all hand-painted.

This gentleman - who learnt the art from his master Katsuhisa Ota from observation - creates about 300 to 400 kites a year. Each kite is handmade & painted from scratch. His drawings are inspired by ancient Japanese tales.

Edo kites inspired by ancient Japanese tales.

These kites can go up to 2- to 6-metres high in size, and require up to 20 people to fly. Some of Mikio-san's Edo kites will be taking the skies at the Kite Festival Singapore 2010, which happens this weekend at The Promontory @ Marina Bay, 4pm to 8pm.

Aside from making Edo kites, Mikio-san also makes origami kites! In fact, he has even written an instructional book on how to fold origami kites. Mind you, these origami kites can fly!

The origami kite book & origami kite Mikio-san made. It's supposed to fly!

Here is Mikio Toki demonstrating how an origami kite is folded. He will be conducting workshops for kids at the Kite Festival Singapore this weekend, so watch out for him. Apparently, it takes just 10 mins to make one!

While Mikio-san teaches kids to make simple kites in his workshops, he often plays the Japanese flute ~ Kabuki style. We could not pass up on the opportunity to have him play for us in The Living Room. Check it out!

And of course, we had to put his origami kite to the test.

Well, MediaCorp isn't exactly Marina Bay or the beach where there's a natural breeze. We're pretty wind-less. But Mikio-san was game, and so we headed down to the basement carpark with him and his kite.

The moment of truth...

Kite Festival Singapore 2010
18 - 19 Sep
4pm - 8pm
The Promontory @ Marina Bay
FREE Admission

For more info, click here.

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