Ryuca! She’s new to most and has been exhibiting in Japan, Taiwan and Korea in the last few years. We were bestowed a small collection of figures. She’s completely sold out in Japan, so this is your chance to get some of her pieces. Watch for her to expand her horizons sooner than later and we’ll hopefully be there too.
I’m not an artist, but I draw little faces of the people around us. This is how it manifests. The T-shirt came out great. It’s a giant array of tiny faces. People have been finding themselves in the grid. Are you in there? Also I would ask myself, where does this obsessiveness to draw them in columns come from? I have no idea. Mugs on a Shirt will go well with the Mugs on a Mug. We’ll have them at Comic-Con and they’ll be at Giant Robot store.
Character design in Asia has turned the world upside down, making poop cute, giving adorable algae spores testicles, making microbes and viruses loveable, and now – FINALLY – giving the vagina a kawaii makeover.
Tokyo artist Megumi Igarashi has been creating character design and mixed-media sculptural pieces modeled after her own vagina. She calls herself the “bastard child” of Superflat artist, Mr. Spoon & Tamago shares recent news about her arrest for allegedly emailing data to create a 3D model for a project. The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department have arrested her on charges for electronically distributing “pornography” to over 30 people. The criminal investigation began in March, and this is reportedly the first the first arrest involving “obscene” 3D data, following the arrest of a man accused of owning working 3D printed handguns.
Megumi has been working to raise funds to build a working kayak designed on 3D sculpts of her vulva. Vocal and honest about the cultural stigma surrounding female genitalia in Japanese culture, her work brings the taboo into manga, vinyl toys, phone cases and iconic pop culture imagery. In “Fukushiman” she layers “taboo on top of taboo” in a Fukushima clean-up scene set on a plaster cast of her vulva. She calls her concept “Dekoman”, the decorated vagina. One of her workshops invited women to come into a safe space, produce plaster casts of their own unique landscapes, and decorate their mankos.
The root of her work is reminiscent of 1970s movements to introduce women to what lives between their legs. In a culture that pixelates pubic hair, and considers visual expressions of the vagina obscene (but has no problem with giant penis statues – well, penises of various statures, even coming in keychain size) Megumi’s Dekoman project is more than a publicity stunt.
Even in cultures less concerned with the digital transfer of data that could result in a plastic vagina, most women around the world still wouldn’t be able to identify their own vulvas in a line-up. We live in a time where vaginal rejuvenation exists, because somehow, without most women even knowing what their vaginas look like, beauty standards have been imposed on them. Megumi’s work empowers women to know their bodies in a way that’s light years away from pornography or sage-scented pow-wows with hand mirrors. Sadly, she’s being punished for it.
You can sign a change.org petition in Japanese calling for the immediate release of the artist. Click the blue button on the sidebar to sign and pass it on.
These just look too cool! We’re excited to have some GR Big Boss Robot keychains! These are laser cut on alder wood by our friend Charlton Yu. We’ll have merely 24 pieces.
Giant Robot is proud to present Tiny Little Objects – Yukinori Dehara
Aug 2 – Aug 20th, 2014
Opening Reception with the Artist: Aug 2, 2014, 6:30-10:00 PM
Giant Robot 2 – 2062 Sawtelle Boulevard – Los Angeles CA 90025
Yukinori Dehara’s latest work strays from his past of creating boxed original sculptures. His latest entry into the figure world are minuscule versions of his art pieces. In what we’d call a smart move to do something completely different from the years of sculpting paper clay and then packaged to appear like a toy figure, these pieces will have it’s freedom and at the same time, be intimate. You’ll have to move in closer to see his objects.
On AUGUST 3rd 2-3:30pm, Dehara will work with Katsuya Terada on Japanese Yokai monsters. The details for this event will emerge, but thus far it appears to be a demo of live art.
For any questions about Tiny Little Objects, Giant Robot or anything else, please contact:
About Yukinori Dehara
Character designer Yukinori Dehara has worked with Giant Robot on exhibitions for nearly a decade. His works usually follow a topic ranging from Yakuza, monsters to salary men, and at the same time, makes social commentaries of Japanese society. His “freelance” work includes one of Japan’s largest chocolate manufacturers, Meiji Chocolate. Although he appears shy, he can be quite opposite, often participating in public performances.
About Giant Robot
Giant Robot was born as a Los Angeles-based magazine about Asian, Asian-American, and new hybrid culture in 1994. Over the past 20 years, the Giant Robot brand has expanded to include retail stores and galleries in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York, a restaurant, museum and gallery exhibitions, and a popular website. Considered by many as influential in Asian Popular Culture and in pop culture circles in general, it has become an important outlet for a generation of emerging artists, several of whom have achieved mainstream success.
It’s been 20 years since Giant Robot zine was published. It was also my first Comic-Con experience and I’ve made it back every year since. We reprinted a run of GR1 & GR2 for Zine Fest LA and we printed up a brand new batch. We’ll have 100 GR1 & GR2 Zine Packs and each has at least four “vintage” GR exhibition postcards including the ever elusive Ray Fong (Barry McGee) postcard from his exhibition at GR2. People sell this card on auction websites for too much money, but you can get one with each pack. Also included will be a GR sticker and a button! I wrote a short introduction for each issue and that’ll be in there as well.
Giant Robot presents: Mari Inukai – who will be a resident at the Giant Robot booth. It doesn’t mean she’ll be there 24-7, but she will spend the majority of her time at SDCC hawking goods, making smiles, and drawing. We’ll have the Hone Marilla GID! $100 and it comes with a small original drawing. It’s displays beautifully. Also, DAILY mini-print releases. We’re working out the editions and details. Stay tuned!
We’ve known Rick and Yukari for years and it’s a pleasure to see their project grow. Giant Robot is proud to host the exclusive, Sparq the Baby Dragon. All of the Flat Bonnie pieces are handmade with impeccable craftsmanship. Their work is consistent and has a look that is obvious theirs. We’ll be doing more with Flat Bonnie sooner than you think. Watch for their participation in a group exhibition, October 4th at GR2. We’re excited.
Holy crap, the new Street Eaters LP is perfect. From the backwards-masked vortex that leads into “Reverse,” one is immediately sucked into a brutally even struggle between drumstick wielder Megan March and guitar killer John No–each trading animalistic vocals as they trade primal beats and post-punk riffs like heavyweight boxers trading blows. And just as there’s no time for musical filler, there’s no space for lyrical stupidity, either. The sound may be rough but the songs are smart and solid and suitable for those of us who grew up on indie punk as well as the crusty kids that use dental floss to sew patches onto their black Army surplus jackets.
After listening to the brand-new, hand-stamped CD (that comes in a stitched jacket) for weeks nonstop, I shot over some questions to the real-life couple/post-punk pair. Naturally, they answered my queries as a duo and from the road. Can’t wait until they finally roll into SoCal next month…
Blood::Muscles::Bones is a pretty stark title. Or does science necessarily equal bleakness?
The title was intended to evoke the bare necessities of life–in a sense, cutting out all the extra baggage that holds us back. Blood, muscles, and bones are vital components of the body that are found in every part of it and are always growing, changing, and moving. That sense of movement+change is also key to understanding how we approached making this record, which is about self-preservation and survival. I’m not sure if it was intended to feel bleak; rather, strong and real. Sometimes, if you want to build yourself to a place of strength, you have to face the bleakness head-on and accept it for what it is.
That first song is a real ass kicker! Street Eaters’ sound isn’t about studio tricks in any way, but the backwards tape part is so perfect for a song called “Reverse.” Can you tell me about that?
We do like to keep things raw and intense, which is something that can totally be lost along the way with a lot of studio tricks. We recorded onto 2-inch analog tape at Buzz or Howl Studios with Stan Wright, keeping things driving, and he did an old-school board mix in the studio. Non-digital, so if we wanted to change something we’d have to set the levels and mix it all over again from scratch. We decided to do the intro for “Reverse” after the song was already recorded, and we had a minute to think about it. We basically just picked a part of the song and ran it backwards, did some wild stereo panning, and it sounded perfect. (more…)
I’ll be posting our Exclusives and getting them up on social media as well. Hope you don’t mind these transmissions. This collaboration is a fun one. Imagine keeping in touch with a person you’ve never met in person. That’s how our relationship with Mafia Factory in Thailand has developed. My contact there did send his friend and family to come visit me at GR2. I felt awful since they were on vacation from Thailand but the five member family seemed to enjoy the bus ride.
Is a figure, a figure when it’s put together? Are the sum of it’s parts equal to a whole? It’s a philosophical question, but in this case, it’s the parts displayed nicely like a model kit. Put it together or just wear it. It’s a concept that’s deep and thoughtful and puts figures in yet another situation. The big kicker is that it fits LEGO brand items. It’s the size of a LEGO mini figure and you can interchange parts and stick it to bricks. We’ll have 200 pieces.
It’s nice to ride a train in LA. For most of those who ride, it’s not a luxury. It’s like riding a bus. It’s more of a tool to get to work or school. But for my first ride, it was a test of sorts to see how easy, how convenient, and if it’s something I could recommend.
I rode the train from the Westside of LA to Downtown LA. It’s not a big deal, except in this city where I’ve lived my entire life, there’s been no commuter train. People have asked, “What took you so long?” The answer is easy. I have a car, and I seldom go to Downtown, and I don’t find myself near that exact stop in Culver City. I actually drove to the stop, parked, used the machine which was easy to figure out, and then got on the train. I could have just drove and beat the train anyway. It’s less about why I took it, it’s more about taking it.
The ride is a strange sight since you’re moving smoothly on city streets without stopping at every other light, there’s no traffic, you can stare into space or into your phone, and you’re on Exposition Blvd – a street just one block away from my childhood home. A street that one doesn’t use to drive eastbound.
There was a train perhaps in the 70s and early 80s that would wake me up at 6am on the weekdays, but it was hauling gear to the warehouses and factories. These were dirty freight cars, the type that hobos would ride. When one mentions trains in West LA, I still imagine a rusted red colored car and caboose. Yet, the trains of today are electric, seemingly space age, and at the same time, typical of what I’ve seen in every other city.
The ride to downtown happened without any incident. It was fairly empty on a weekend, although once the train got into downtown the crowds got larger. A few riders smelled like they just smoked out. The same stops as freeway exits pass, Crenshaw, Western, Vermont. The Convention Center / Staples is the Pico stop, and it’s convenient for a visit to Anime Expo where I got out with a Zelda and a Power Ranger.
The ride home was just as easy. Skaters going towards Venice sat near me. An older woman going to museums got off early on. A few other commuters rode until the last stop. My first questions from the non-LA train experienced is about the cleanliness. The train is clean, it’s worth riding, and it’s fun. Perhaps I’m a tiny bit proud of LA for having even just one train connecting the Westside to Downtown.
I’ve been a Godzilla fan from the early days and I’m proud to be in this issue of Pen Magazine featuring the world’s beloved beast. One of the first questions from Japanese writers is about the “new” Godzilla and overall, I give it a thumbs up. I still long for the “man in suit” versions, but the newest actually works. In the end, I understand that Godzilla is cultish gone major, so making a huge Hollywood picture out of it has a difficult standard to achieve. How do you retain the old school charm and the new school needs of a modern film audience? It’s a subtle line.
I recall another question being Godzilla’s toughest foe. I chose Mothra. Imagine a moth that huge… Actually, imagine a moth that’s tiny. The weird moth dust disgusts us all. Imagine how much dust would come off of Mothra? Mothra is disgusting.
I’ll admit, I can’t read this article, so who knows what I said in it, but it’s an honor to be holding the treasured Godzilla items that I own. A vintage die-cast and a fairly modern vinyl figure.
See Pen Magazine online.
I curate art, but I don’t partake in creating it. A few friends know that I do little drawings once in a while – mostly to illustrate an idea or plan. They’re often simple doodles done in haste. After recently finding a page of little faces that I draw years ago, I posted an image and got a warm response. I decided to make a mug! I almost feel a bit of shame in showing my own drawing on a product since the artists I work with make such great things. I hope they don’t mind.
It’s $12. If you have any interest, here’s the link.
Here’s a photo of the mug in use!
Holy crap, I just saw Dinosaur Jr. play a free show on a backyard porch with Dale Crover from the Melvins on drums. If you don’t get it, that’s sort of like seeing AC/DC with Jon Bonham, Metallica with Dave Lombardo, or you get the idea. Nothing against the real lineup–which rules–but this was a rad, one-time event that you had to be at. (more…)
Uglycon 2014 Ice-bat Turns 10.
It began years ago and now it’s back in “Phase Two.” After a few Uglycons, then a hiatus, and now completed second year in a row, the event is better than ever. It’s hard to top the madness of last years event, since it was the “Return of Uglycon” which was insanely ambitious except for an even larger endeavor this year – a secret marriage proposal hatched over messenger months ago. Nick Caruana and Kim Chadwick from Buffalo, New York made a trip last year, and became friends of Uglydoll and Giant Robot.
Uglycon began months ago, as bits and pieces of planning hatched and the chain of events for the day were planned. What worked last year? What didn’t work? The event was actually simplified, but at the same time, improved. Strange how that can happen. We removed a few events, and made sure that the ones we liked were well executed. Lastly, how would we handle Nick’s plan.
(That’s David and Steve Guerra Enky Skulls who made the cape for Ice-Bat)
The buttons, signed mini-prints, or magnets might require a purchase. They’re distributed at our partner’s discretion!
giant robot time: 6.13.14 | art by: eddie xu
Uglycon will be next week and we’re working on the bits and pieces of the exhibition and associated events. The images you see here might all be for nothing. We might change everything in the next week, etc. But we’re up to some of the same “tricks” as last year and it should be fun.