At JANM - GR Biennale 4 Installation Explained - What's in the Case? Part I

For the bunch of you who went to the Biennale 4 and didn't examine the Giant Robot Store Installation. Here's one angle of it. There are tons of details within so I'll make an effort in the next few days to explain it all. 

The case I'm describing is in the bottom right corner blocked by the fella in blue t-shirt.

I should have done this earlier, but circumstances slowed it all down. I'll give this a shot in list form and I'll add more photos of the Giant Robot store installation and explain what it all means.

Upper Left.

1. Relax Magazine. The best magazine of that era. When people who know about Relax see my collection they trip out and remember the time when the mix of arts, clothing, and toys intersected into a culture. It was documented best in Japan.

2. The figures floating around Relax magazine are the Sony Creative Capsule Figures. They made a Gacha series that's nearly unbeatable. The Relax line was near the end of the Sony Creative Gacha run. Giant Robot almost got to make a figure but it got nixed. 

3. The sketchbook page is opened to questions that were for the editor of Relax Magazine. I was supposed to interview him in Tokyo. I missed that appointment. There was a girl model named Suiren. I was supposed to interview her too. I blew it that day. 

4. The Relax magazine photocopy is an interview they conducted with me. I actually wrote for a few issues of Relax following this. 

5. The Katsuya Terada skatedecks are laser etched on vintage decks from the 70s or 80s. It was made for fun.

6. The GR issue 7 features Martin Wong on the skateboard at Manzanar. That was a fun issue that also captured a big part of Asian American history.

7. Captain Ken are manga by Osamu Tezuka. Simply the best manga-ka of all time.

8. Akira. The greatest anime of all time.

9. Haruki Murakami. Perhaps the greatest novelist of all time. 

10. Tokyo. Examples of the name Tokyo used in titles. Why is that? If it were Dallas, would it be in titles? There's something to this. 

11. Giant Robot issue 6 Chow Yun Fat. He's a legendary figure who brought cool to Hong Kong film. We interviewed him first. 

12. Akira Kurosawa. The greatest filmmaker of all time. Maybe?

13. Cantopop and Faye Wong. She was the shit. Chungking Express made most of us drool and her cover versions of The Cranberries and Cocteau Twins were insane. 

14. Lance Hahn. The singer from J-Church. RIP. We were friends and I miss him. His work in Cringer and J-Church was some of the best pop punk ever. 

15. Eastern Youth. Great Emo-punk from Japan. They visited GR store a few times when they toured. Nice fellas and great music.

16. Money Mark flexi-record that came with GR15. He's one of the most dynamic musicians out there.

17. Optic Nerve by Adrian Tomine. One of my favorite indie-comics and I met a shy Adrian Tomine over 20 years ago at Comic-Con. That's a Polaroid of myself and Adrian. His face is perfectly glib.

18. Cameras. The portable camera was important for GR. We took stealth photos and the Ricoh GR was one of the best. 

19. On Writing Well by William Zinsser. It's a great book.

20. Gracie Jiu Jitsu. It's important, historical, and one of the early proponents of MMA. I remain a white belt via Rickson Gracie.

* the paper numbers in the case correspond to a Newspaper that was made for this exhibition. It mentioned 50 influential objects that are scattered throughout the installation. 

1 comment

  • Michael Kuge

    Loved the entire exhibition—for future Biennales it would be fantastic to have an exhibition catalog ;-)

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