Gaze in wonder at this untitled work by Hong Kong builder Vincent Cheung (Yan and Vincent), for verily is it a delightful display of color, culture and texture. I wish I could provide more context for the diorama, where it was displayed and what it represents but currently there isn’t much information available on Vincent’s Flickr-stream. If someone in the audience can translate the sign in the photo below, all of KeithLUG shall rain kudos down upon you. I reached out to Vincent for a comment and I’ll update the post if he responds. What I do know is that the Taiko depicted below is beautifully designed and so is the demon working the sticks . The drum heads feature a perfect rendition of the iconic tomoe symbol, the shell has an intricate mosaic and even the wooden base looks great. You can almost hear the driving beat as the red Thunder God rocks out.
Of course it wouldn’t be the Manifesto if I didn’t point out some facet of the design that might be improved upon. The orange and white rock-vomit standing in for Mt. Fuji isn’t terribly impressive in technique and it doesn’t hold its own with the rest of the big pieces of the diorama. I also put the water in the same category as the mountain, it’s too simplistic for my taste, especially when compared to the Taiko, Thunder God, roof and tree. Those two sections in question work well from a distance and in terms of color, but they leave me wanting more.
In case you were wondering, the little smiley-faced characters in the corner are called Taiko drum masters, from the Japanese drumming video game of the same name. The arcade scene hidden in the back is delightful and the mini game machines are very accurate. Perhaps I’m looking too deep for meaning and it’s simply a tribute to the game, a kind of Taiko Temple. The build also reminds me of a rose-parade float, but I doubt that was the intent or inspiration of the diorama.
A big thanks to constant reader L’etranger Absurde for the recommendation, the numbers it has accrued on Flickr thus far do not accurately reflect the model’s quality. L’etranger thought it might be a good prospect for the Constructive Criticism series here on the Manifesto, but I wouldn’t presume to advise Vincent too much, judging by this new build and the two classics below, I think he’s got things well in hand. The more I think about it, the areas of complaint I have for the Taiko build are probably very specific stylistic choices, because Vincent is clearly capable of top drawer, high-resolution work. It doesn’t really change my complaints about the model, but I acknowledge that the decision to go low-res was deliberate. Once look at the hair on the Beast tells you that Vincent is a craftsman and anything I could add to his work would be nit-picky at best.
I’ll leave you with Taiko drumming to set the mood. Until next time, constant reader.