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Brighten up the landscape with... a gas storage tank
July 6, 2012 7:55 AM   Subscribe

The artistic gas storage tanks of Japan. Some explanation Includes a NSFW image, strangely enough.

I couldn't find a gallery of British gas storage tanks to compare, but this gives you gist.
posted by asok (31 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
Yay Kirby! I don't know why, but every time I see that little guy I get a huge goofy grin on my face.
posted by Think_Long at 7:58 AM on July 6, 2012


I was at once apprehensive and excited to see an actual NSFW gas storage tank. Imagine my disappointment to find it was only a real girl.
posted by Curious Artificer at 8:21 AM on July 6, 2012 [13 favorites]


Metafilter: disappointment to find it was only a real girl.
posted by kmz at 8:22 AM on July 6, 2012 [9 favorites]


I would like to buy several cubic tons of artistic gas, please.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:23 AM on July 6, 2012


I couldn't find a gallery of British gas storage tanks to compare

The words to search for are "gas holder" or "gasometer". The later will bring up lots of pictures of the charming 19th century Gaswerk Simmering, which has more recently been concerted to apartments. That's in Vienna, though. Many of the British ones continue to be imposing hulks of steel and rust.
posted by rh at 8:28 AM on July 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Jumpin Jack Flash!
posted by Twang at 8:32 AM on July 6, 2012


...excited to see an actual NSFW gas storage tank

Everywhere you look, you'll be reminded of her.
posted by DU at 8:35 AM on July 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


It's similar to the decorated water towers of rural Americana.
posted by rh at 8:45 AM on July 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Even though my wife will disagree with my assessment, after a meal of spicy food I consider myself quite the gas artist.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 8:54 AM on July 6, 2012


All I can think about is how much larger these would make my katamari.
posted by Greg Nog at 9:01 AM on July 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


Rainbow gas tank, Dorchester, MA.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 9:02 AM on July 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


not safe for MELONS
posted by bicyclefish at 9:05 AM on July 6, 2012


There were pretty amazing.

We need more of this sort of thing.
posted by Mezentian at 9:10 AM on July 6, 2012


Detroit Pistons Gas Tank
posted by cloeburner at 9:13 AM on July 6, 2012


The Peachoid in South Carolina was quite impressive to me as a child. It does have a weird little creased urethra looking thing though, which quickly became disturbing.
posted by lazaruslong at 9:20 AM on July 6, 2012


Rainbow gas tank, Dorchester, MA.

I remember from my childhood that traffic was sometimes described as being "backed up all the way to the Dorchester gas tanks" on the morning radio.
posted by slkinsey at 9:25 AM on July 6, 2012


My oldest brother used to be the director of utilities for a municipality. One piece of artwork that hung in his office was a rendering of a water tank to be artistically painted. Not a water tower, but a ground level tank. The scene was the tank with some people walking by, and the tank was painted with a forest scene, but there was a painted cut in the tank with simulated water flowing out. Hard to explain, but it looked cool in a surreal way, and I can just imagine the phone calls that it would have generated. Alas that project never came to fruition.
posted by Eekacat at 9:32 AM on July 6, 2012


One man's water tower in Missouri, is another man's World's Largest 8 Ball.

I think by statute all large metal containers should be painted with some form of decoration. Incidentally, my first reaction to painted gas storage tanks were the storage tanks at gas stations in the United States painted to appear like either giant pop or beer cans. (I like the Japanese style better)
posted by Atreides at 9:47 AM on July 6, 2012


Growing up as I did in Hamilton, ON, I wonder how much of my lifelong fascination with maps and travel was seeded by this.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:47 AM on July 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


rh beat me to it. Most towns, at least in the Southern states, have decorated water towers. Poteet, Texas has a giant strawberry. I can't remember which one but another has a watermelon. I've been through some places in Georgia with peaches. I've seen some with ocean waves, some abstract, lots of sailboats near the coast. Every water tower that doesn't have some special mural at least has their local high school team's mascot.
posted by Malice at 10:19 AM on July 6, 2012


In Luling, TX people have done something similar with the ugly oil pumps that cover a great deal of the residential part of the town.
posted by ubiquity at 10:25 AM on July 6, 2012


Why does Japan hate Florida?
posted by The Power Nap at 10:37 AM on July 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


And here I was thinking MetaFilter already had enough artsy gas bags!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 10:51 AM on July 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Great, thanks for posting!

maybe needs an 'infrastructure' tag ...
posted by carter at 11:01 AM on July 6, 2012


RUN FOR YOUR LIVES IT'S A GIANT KIRBY COME TO EAT US ALL

I was at once apprehensive and excited to see an actual NSFW gas storage tank. Imagine my disappointment to find it was only a real girl.

It's a good thing, as such a tank would create a gigantic NSFW zone for miles around where no work could be done. Since painting over the tank is itself work, the surrounding land would become an economic deadzone, filled with people helplessly gawking at the gigantic boob. (Which is what I imagine the NSFW tank would be.)
posted by JHarris at 12:23 PM on July 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


It's not just gas tanks that get the artistic treatment in Japan. I rather like Shibaura Water Reclamation Plant in Tokyo - a sewage plant with a happy, smiling globe painted on its roof (where it's at least somewhat visible from the many nearby skyscrapers).

As for the British kind of gas holder... I'm lucky enough to pass several of the old-fashioned variety on my way to work every day, and I think they're really rather beautiful. Each to their own, I guess.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 1:27 PM on July 6, 2012


Oh, yeah, I kind of remember these from my Japan visit but didn't really notice because everything in Japan looked better/cooler/more interesting than the U.S.
posted by univac at 1:53 PM on July 6, 2012


ManyLeggedCreature, there used to be a flock of that kind of gas tank in East Cambridge, MA, USA. They would go up and down in their cages as the contents were used and replenished. None of them were decorated in any way, though. Sometime after I worked in the area in the '60s, the tanks were removed, leaving the cages for a while, just like in your links. Now those are gone, too - replaced by high-rise biotech buildings.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 2:00 PM on July 6, 2012


The German photographers Bernd and Hilla Becher took some amazing photographs of gas tanks. Not painted, but often patinated with rust. They studied typologies of industrial design and created fascinating collections of photographs exploring some of the functional architecture of the industrial age.
posted by Toekneesan at 4:37 PM on July 6, 2012


Rainbow gas tank, Dorchester, MA.

I remember from my childhood that traffic was sometimes described as being "backed up all the way to the Dorchester gas tanks" on the morning radio.


I remember once in a Boston Phoenix article someone listing things to do when you're stuck in traffic on the SE Expressway (something that happened a lot before the Big Dig; I can remember being stuck in a jam at 11 at night); among them "Contemplate the silhouette of Ho Chi Minh on the gas tank." (Alleged silhouette, of course. It's on the left side of the blue stripe.)
posted by Philofacts at 9:22 PM on July 6, 2012


Completely off the main topic, but there used to be a drive-in movie theater south of the Dorchester gas tank, the screen of which was fully visible from the northbound Expressway. They showed X-rated movies for a while in the '70s, which caused some consternation.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:47 AM on July 7, 2012


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