Mayor Eric Garcetti geared up and wore the Giant Robot pin - the orange Big Boss Robot head when we took a photo yesterday in his meeting room. I was there along with a contingent of Asian Americans as part of a roundtable discussion about issues surrounding the Asian American community. I can admit that I felt dwarfed by the great orgs represented, but then again Giant Robot has a long track record of providing and working with others with no subsidization from grants or government.
It has to be normal that anyone who speaks will bring up what their group needs most. So there were some specifics that wouldn't apply to me, whether it's funding or some type or city involvement, but one overall issue is getting people interested and involved. Most of the talks were about having Asian American "leaders" speak up, but what about the numerous Asian Americans who won't speak up?
That's a larger issue that needs to be figured out. Asian Americans for the most part grew up with parents wanting us to make money. Getting involved in issues or helping people wasn't part of the program. Is it a coincidence that Asian Americans vote least? Is being too busy (making money) the reason? That's the same excuse I heard in my area when I tried to get other candidates for something so small as the Neighborhood Council. That's something that needs to change. It won't be easy and it might happen with the next generation of kids.
The meeting was along a huge board room table. It was filled with pleasantries and some useful and some back-patting, afterall this is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. The meeting wasn't long and the speaking time was even shorter, however it's a start of a longer dialogue. Pragmatically, the Mayor reached out and if we can or have something more to say, we can reach back. I never thought a mayor would reach out so far.
After the photo above, Mayor Garcetti showed off his art and said, let's shoot on with the Ed Moses piece in the background. His art collection is amazing. They're borrowed, but he knows what he has. Catherine Opie work is behind him below. It's Lake Michigan. He also worked with Opie for his "Welcome to LA" LAX photo series. Instead of stately portraits he went with a more LA theme.
Here, he laughs at a joke made by Cate Park.
That's how the Ed Moses pieces hangs.
One of two Ed Ruscha pieces adorn a wall that also has his family photos and what must be his Instagram photos. The furniture is all modern and cool.
A second Ruscha Faster Than a Speeding Beanstalk is the first thing you see when you walk in.
Vinyl records on Eames LCMs. There was a portable record player close by. This was a cool sight.