PHOTOS: Japanese artist uses hermit crab shells as her canvas

A Tokyo-based artist has created hermit crab shells adorned with miniature cityscapes. Aki Inomata used a CT scanner to map the interior of sea shells before manufacturing the designs using 3D-modeling software. Among the shapes are New York City’s skyline, a Thai pagoda and a series of Dutch windmills.

Metro World News sat down with the 29-year-old artist about her inspiration, and why even crabs seemed to take well to her art.

What inspired you to do this project?
In 2009, I heard about a dispute between France and Japan after an old embassy building in Tokyo was demolished. The two nations debated whose land was it, French or Japanese? Then they agreed to swap control of the land every 50 years.
That made me think about changing identity, and how hermit crabs change their shells as they grow. I wanted to connect the crabs’ transformation to our own adaptability, whether it’s acquiring a new nationality, emigrating or relocating.

And why cityscapes for crab shells?
In Japanese, hermit crabs are called yadokari, which literally means “somebody living in a temporary dwelling.” So, this Japanese phrase and the notion of a manmade buidling are closely linked.

I chose cityscapes specifically because of their distinctive shapes. For my exhibition entitled “Why Not Hand Over a ‘Shelter’ to Hermit Crabs?” there were some miniature cities I couldn’t show because the crabs didn’t like them!

So, how did you make those shells fit for a crab?
I used a CT scanner – normally used to produce cross-sectional pictures of the human body – to make a 3D rendering of a sea shell. With this data, I used a 3D printer to make the resin-based translucent shells.

Using their claws, the crabs carefully checked out the shells, before moving inside quickly.

Do you think the crabs liked their new homes?
They said they were beautiful [laughs]. Seriously, I can’t say if the crabs liked the shells or not, but they began moving faster with them, as the new shells were half the weight of natural ones.




News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Dogs are capable of feeling jealousy - U.S.…

By Curtis Skinner(Reuters) - Dogs are a man's best friend, and research released on Wednesday says canines want to keep it that way.Dogs are capable…

Local

G train riders brace for five-week shutdown

G train service will be suspended between Brooklyn and Queens between Friday, July 25, and Tuesday, Sept. 2.

International

Peaches Geldof's death was drugs-related, coroner rules

LONDON (Reuters) - The death of Peaches Geldof, the daughter of musician and Band Aid founder Bob Geldof, was drugs-related, a coroner ruled on Wednesday.The…

Local

Family, supporters gather in Brooklyn for Eric Garner…

Family members gathered on Wednesday for the funeral of Eric Garner, who died shortly after police put him in a banned chokehold as they arrested him.

Going Out

Where to go drinking on National Tequila Day…

Thursday is just close enough to the end of the week to make you envision yourself already sunning on a beach towel or lounging by…

Going Out

Things to do in NYC this week: July…

Performing arts A 70’s Summer Night Friday, 6:30 p.m. The Green Building 452 Union St., Gowanus $35, 347-529-6473 Party like it’s summer in the 1970s…

Going Out

5 must-try dishes at Edible Manhattan's Good Beer

Rooting out the exotic amid the New York City bar scene is noble quest. But if you’d like to have it all come to you,…

Books

Art imitates life (almost) in David Shapiro's new…

David Shapiro talks about his book, "You're Not Much Use To Anyone."

NFL

Jerry Reese confident with Giants, skipping countdown clocks…

Last year, Giants GM Jerry Reese installed a countdown clock in the locker room to inspire Big Blue to play in their own stadium for Super Bowl XLVIII.

MLB

Brandon McCarthy finds his calling on Twitter

Yankees starter Brandon McCarthy joined Twitter three year ago for the same reason many people do: to get news quickly.

Sports

NBA great LeBron James sends 800 cupcake apologies…

By Kim PalmerCLEVELAND (Reuters) - NBA star LeBron James, whose recent return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in his home state of Ohio sparked a frenzy…

NFL

Fantasy football: Johnny Manziel could give your running…

Fantasy football: Johnny Manziel could give your running game a boost

Food

Recharge with a post-workout smoothie from Nicky Hilton

Some people can roll out of bed right as their alarm goes off. And that alarm isn’t set for 20 minutes before they have to…

Education

Colleges are increasingly embracing the concept of gender-neutral…

  Northwestern University recently made headlines after announcing that it would be installing two gender-neutral bathrooms in the university's student center. “These are two gender-open…

Career

How to prepare to interview for your dream…

    Congratulations! You landed a job interview at your dream company! A lot of hard work has gone into determining which companies to apply…

Style

The shirtdress is a summer must-have

  We love throwing on our boyfriend’s shirt and a pair of jeans (no matter how much he grumbles that it’s his turn to wear the…