Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Car - Watch for it Soon

It's a small secret that I'm working on a secret project. It's a car! A few months ago, I was asked to design a car for Toyota Scion. I'm glad to do this project amidst the bad news of the venerable car company major recall which is throwing the car world into a whirlpool. That's a seat design pictured above. I won't tell you much about the car just yet, but the design is coming around. That's Len, a dude who can pimp your ride.

There's a view of the shop. I visited them on Friday in Orange County. The car is still two months off, and not anywhere near what it'll end up looking like just yet. It's neat that an idea from a napkin can actually turn into a serious automobile.

That's Len near his tool area and explaining something with his hands.

That's a 1961 Honda. It's not stock at all. See the gas tank and the seat? It's all custom by Len. He can do cycles too. I don't ride, but if I did, I'd want one of these.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Biennale Take Down -Souther Salazar and Albert Reyes

That's Souther sitting in the cubby hole next to his pieces. While it's slightly sad that the show is over, and it's on to the next, it's also great to see people stop in to take down their work, or in Souther's situation, to photograph it all. It's sort of like the party that wanted to keep on going. We need to figure out how to get that done for next time.

It's amazing what you can do with scraps of wood, Sculpey, and nails.

Souther Salazar Interview

Perhaps the most gracious person in the show was Albert Reyes. He took down his work in a matter of minutes and off he went into the smog. He's holding up Winona Rider. She's quite great in my opinion. But what is the Matt Furie text in the background mean?

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Photo time

It's been rainy in Southern California, so you see boots like these once in a while. They're not true NYC snow boots that break ice with each stride. These are the kind that look cool and fun even when you walk through inch deep puddles. If they're holding a GR bag with them on... even better. If you see Michelle Borok on Sawtelle and it's raining, she might be wearing these.

The hipster grifter 2. I saw this at ANAP store on Sawtelle. This girl is apparently well known on Sawtelle blvd as a thief. I wish the photo were bigger. Reportedly, she's Korean and she's holding a boba.

Childrens! These two were nutty and funny at Scion before the show.

Children part 2. That's Kika. She likes anything warm. My computer gets super hot, and she'll put her paw and face on it. If I leave, she'll sleep on the entire keyboard.


Rafu Shimpo Newspaper

JANM Biennale - Closed! But the last hurrah happened this weekend. This Rafu Shimpo clip may have helped some too. It was quite an honor.


Monday, January 25, 2010

Scion Installation 6 - Me an Artist?

It's a rare thing for me to be invited to do something as an artist. It's maybe my first except something that I've done for GR shows, which sort of doesn't count. I don't have the nerve to say I'm an artist, although I think the title is used quite liberally. Let's face it, there's a lot of "artists" who aren't artists. Yet, I was gifted this title for the Scion Installation 6 exhibition which is all about video. I've blogged about the process before and I worked with Saelee Oh on my project. The opening was spectacular in a way. I pull up later 8:45 ish and there's actually a line to get in. Here's a link to the blog post.

People are hanging out talking and watching the projections on the walls. This isn't the most exciting of an art show, in the end, since the videos repeat and repeat, it's hard to give your full attention to a single project. But people seemed happy, and I think on this day and in this time, people are looking for things to see for free. This ended up being decently fun. I didn't know most of the people, and most had no idea that I did something here, but oh well, I'm thankful that people came by. Our piece is undoubtedly the cutest piece and maybe the shortest at a minute, but I heard a nice report that kids were playing with the animated bubbles! I think the music by Goh Nakamura really makes this project cohesive.

We were interviewed for the Scion site and for Current TV.

Here's a big ass group shot. Some are artists and some are their friends. I'm actually in this photo as an artist. Strange.

That's me and French. It's nice to see French again. He's a great lad from Croydon. He told me that I was the first to bring him to America when I put him into a show at Scion. Since then, I think he's come a half a dozen times and has done plenty of projects with them. He'll have a few pieces in out Metal Mad show at GRNY.

That's Len and Michelle. Len is from Hawaii and is a great guy. Behind (or in front in this case) of a good man, and a nice lady. Len makes rad cars. Onimotorworks.


Black Vans

Given a certificate way long ago when I did my Vans interviews (They're on Youtube and I linked it below), it's no surprise to me that I made all black shoes. It's the default when you start designing them. I changed a few things and made them black too and that was it. Boring Vans. At the same time, I tried a few combos of black and red, and multi colors. I almost opted for a blue and red pair which was always a great classic, but maybe next time. In the end, yes, black vans. I'll wear this color combo the most. The red logo in the back is still a classic. Vans are nearly a tradition in footwear, especially if you're in Southern California. Believe it or not, I was never a huge fan as a kid. I think it came from the trauma of having a bootleg version of the slip-ons and being made fun of at school. The copy versions were a bit cheaper and actually easier to access, but you were the butt of any shoe joke possible. So today, I have real vans, and all of the rip off brands from way back got reincarnated x 10. So many brands make slip-ons that look just like Vans. The main difference is I doubt you'll get made fun of for wearing them.


Friday, January 22, 2010

Giant Robot Biennale Closing Party

The actual show closes this sunday, so you have a few days left to see it. But above are cupcakes by bigmanbakes. He's a huge dude and bakes tiny cupcakes. He's in downtown LA. That's how the night started, staring at these cupcakes. It was raining, but 600 people made it out which is a decent crowd. Imagine, some of the openings don't bring in 600, so this worked out well for a closing night. At three months, this was a fun show, a lot of people came through, it was super nice to meet folks who were either inspired by or do art. I got a lot of congrats, and I'm glad people had a good time. The Japanese American National Museum will be open through sunday.

That's The Binges / GR Table. Honest Tea also set up and gave away some drinks. See the hand at the bottom right? That's a beer, but there was no beer there. Hmmm...

Half of The Binges.

Albert Reyes drawing.

James Jean, Gary Baseman, and Denise Gray. Gary texted a congrats. That was nice.

DJ Puffs. I want one of those speakers she has on the right.

The Choe, Bobby and Enna.

Raina, Albert and John Pham. Albert got a camera finally.

Ali and Me. Someone should make a movie called that.

Ben Clark photo.

Monica and Souther. I finally made it upstairs and lo and behold, Souther was there.

Uh oh forgot her name, and Aaron Brown.

Aw how am I supposed to remember? Amir and Calvin are on the right.

That's me, Jessica (Perfect Day in Hawaii Jessica), and Chris.

Ako, Rob and James drawing while The Binges played.

The Binges rocked it. The lead singer came late, after the first instrumental, and they played on until after 9pm - closing time.

Kat, gets a drawing by Rob Sato. Her collection must be large. That's Pryor in the middle.

Anna Serrano and her friend. Anna has a piece in the show.

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Biennale Closing Tonight. Party Binges!

It's been fun, and this is tonite. It's not over yet. The final weekend is actually upon us. It will be fun to see the artists in this setting one more time, LA's finest, The Binges are going to play at 7:30. DJ Puffs will be spinning records before and maybe some after. The Biennale show has been a great experience the second time around. I worked with new artists, learned new things, figured out how museums can work, and maybe some of the opposite. Yet the coolest aspect of a show like this is the human aspect. The folks who helped, the artists who were into it, and the people who came to see it and who enjoyed it. It's a rare chance to work with a fun staff and a really nice venue to make a project like this work.


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Nabe (can you say that right?)

So it started raining a little here in Southern California, and it got a little bit colder. This is nabe (Na - be) weather. I got the little table top stove. You start off with water, but you throw in a big piece of seaweed, which seasons the water. I bought crappy parts of fish (see the bones?), Asian cabbage, mushrooms (different kinds are always nice), shungiku (it's like a green weed), and chicken meatballs. I'm new to this when I'm in charge running the stove, but I have no idea what I'm doing. After everything's cooked, you dip it into a bowl of ponzu. Simple as that. $10 worth of groceries can feed a lot. Then imagine with the leftover soup, you throw either rice or udon into it and you have yet another meal. The best part of the meal is that you eat at your own pace, and a meal can comfortably last for an hour or even two if you're hanging out.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Sale at all GR stores!

GR is having a sale, from Saturday the 16 until the 31st. Come on down, say hi, and pick up those odds and ends you've always wanted but didn't want to shell out full price. We have a lot of fun and great items, so check it out.

Also on a personal note: purchasing items at GR, or online, and eating at gr/eats supports everyone, and every little bit helps us out.


- 20 percent off ALL items (excluding art show pieces and
previously-marked-down merchandise)
- Giant Robot Store (LA), GR2, GRSF, GRNY, and webstore
- Saturday, January 16 - Sunday, January 31, 2010

To reward loyal readers and customers, Giant Robot is cutting prices at all retail locations and the online shop. Beginning Saturday, January 16, every items (excluding art show pieces and
already-marked-down items) will be marked down by 20 percent, with many reduced even further. These are not overstock, leftover, or damaged goods, but the hand-picked, high-quality products from around the world that discerning students of culture have come to associate
with the Giant Robot brand. The cuts are effective until the end of the month and many items are in limited amounts, so don't delay!


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Closing the Biennale Event

It's been a good ride, and it's almost done, but not until this event takes place. It's in a week. Thursday the 21st, 5-9pm although I know security will be shuffling people out at 8:45pm. We'll have this rad band, The Binges play and DJ Puffs will also spin records (some of you remember her from the GRXScion Papershapers show). A bunch of the artist will come out and hopefully you will too. I don't know of the exact schedule yet, but we're putting this one together as you read this. So, keep up with my blog or watch or even Facebook. I'll link the invite for sure.

Another cool little piece of trivia that someone reminded me of today was that Juxtapoz rated the Biennale #96! Common folks! Geez that's a diss. The readers rated us No. 1. vote YES for the show.


GRSF - Vimby

From - Video in My Backyard is Luke from Giant Robot SF. Can you say all this like Luke? This video is a lot of fun, and they should do one in LA and NYC. After the first minute, I wondered what Luke would say, but he nailed it. Good job, Luke in handling that mic.


Monday, January 11, 2010

Happy Birthday to Mamma 82! (but not my mamma)

New Years time in Japanese culture means a lot of things. 1) if it's the end of the year, it's a bon nen kai. It sort of means you get together and forget about the issues from last year. I saw that in some areas of the world, people schedule fist fights to settle scores. People watch. End of fight, it's a done deal. You shake hands and more on to the new year. 2) if it's after the new year, it's a shin nen kai which is a get together to start off the new year hopefully well. So meals keep flowing, even after a week or so. The good thing is, once in a while I get invited to things like this. In this case, it's for my friend Mitch's moms birthday. 82! Pictured is perfectly executed tempura above by Eriko M. who made this spread. I'm not sure if Shin nen kai's actually solve anything, except people getting together to celebrate being together, but birthdays are always cool.

Renkon (lotus root). Simple and elegant.

Mamma at 82. She still shovels snow in her backyard.

82! The cake was good. You can't have cake until you eat all the food. I did.

No, that's not brownies and mochi! That's konnyaku and imo. Look that up.

Hijiki and friends. I'd have to say, this photo looks good. It works well with rice.

Cucumber rolls. Refreshing. Not pictured are a few other dishes. Sekihan which is rice that's brown red containing beans and it even had chestnut. Gobo included yuzu koshio (yuzu pepper).


Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Food porn

Ramen. In one moment, anyone would know that this one spot is better than what you can get in America. The noodles are thick for ramen, the soup isn't the typical USA thick and murky Tonkotsu that seems to fool everyone into thinking Tampopo woman made it, and everything in it, was done just right. It's at the spot photographed below in Jyugaoka area of Tokyo. One of many great spots.

I ordered the big one.
950 yen.

That's my friend Kohei who ordered a different one that had cabbage in it.

This is an interesting place. Indotei. It's owned by Goodsmile. Like Giant Robot has gr/eats, they have Indotei.

Yes, it's great. Aside from the food being great. Seriously great. They give you individual small bowls to keep the dishes from sharing their juices! Not enough Indian places do this for you, and it's just one more example of paying attention to detail.

That's Junko hiding in the shadow.
Check out that naan. I swear it's gigantic sized. Maybe the length from my elbow to finger tips.

Yes, this was one of the best meals.

That's Yukie Kito, she produces movies. We're at a spot called Butaya. Basically "pork shop" in Ebisu. Also at dinner was Ms Fujitani and Mr Mikami.

Noodles at the end. The meal starts off with vegetables and more, and with the leftover broth you can choose rice or noodles. We opted for noodles.

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Sunday, January 03, 2010

Tennis new year Bonenkai

Tennis Bonenkai... funny because it's sort of a year end party where you and your friends get together drink, eat, and sort of end the year and start a new one. I do play tennis more and more of late. This is the crew I play with some of the time. They do this in Japan in almost every industry and that's why there are so many people out in late December. Above is Takashi and Cousin Jon. Takashi is a sushi man.

That's Hiro and Yuki who's on the phone. Both are leaving back to Japan.

Osada looking faded. He went from Volleyball or skiing and now plays tennis.

That's Yuki again. The photobomb in the background is funny. That guy sat with his eyes shut most of the time looking like he was sleeping, but he'd respond to comments like he was wide awake.

We hung out at Wakasan in West LA until it closed at 2am


Saturday, January 02, 2010

Oshogatsu New Years 2010

Another year, another production for New Years Day. There's too much food, I get full just by looking at it all. Leftovers the next day, and the day after that. It's crazy. People say that Japanese food isn't filling, or it's light, but it's not. This is proof.