The Year in Review – Giant Robot (Part I)

The holidays are already here, and it feels like January 1st, 2013 was only yesterday. The high points of the year are plenty for me and like in the past, my life is always tied into Giant Robot.

1 January first is always special. In 2013, it was another spectacular Japanese feast. It’s called Osechi ryori, which is another word for New Years food. They do mix into a blur, but it’s been great enough where I know that January 1 starts off special. Maybe that’s why it’s a big deal in Japan.

2 January at the shop featured Adam Pfahler from Jawbreaker who did a nostalgic talk about being in a legendary band that everyone loves. It was perhaps the best way to open up a year. He mixed his effervescent humbleness with storytelling. He said it was his first time doing any kind of public talk and it was much overdue. (Pfahler at GR , also some Video here)

3 The Los Angeles Times featured the Giant Robot Biennale on the front page of the Calendar section with a huge photo and an in depth article. That was amazing coverage for the exhibition and JANM. I almost forgot about this major piece of press. If it were only about press, then I’d be satisfied, but no! Here’s that article (LA Times)

4 Jessica Lum passed away this year. Imagine, a gnarly form of cancer, she undergoes experimental treatment, slowly gets better, then goes to grad school and achieves some of her dreams and tells her story. I’m glad to have known her and was part of her life. (Jessica Lum Obituary – GR) Also later in the year, Columbian Journalism Review wrote about her (CJR - here) and they reference GR a couple of times.

5 Artist Friends Video series for Ashton Kutcher’s Thrash Lab YouTube channel. I’m glad I was able to feature six more artists including Shizu Saldamando, Luke Chueh, David Horvath, Edwin Ushiro, Rob Sato and Sean Chao. It was a pleasure shooting and directing the videos which means I got to spend time with them. The series began as a “for fun” project where I directed, shot and edited six pieces including Ray Sato from Balconi, Ako Castuera, Goh Nakamura (who provides all the music), Jeni Yang, Hitotzuki, and Ito Jakuchu. Fun times with filmmaking. (Videos here)

6 White House visit for Asian American Heritage Month – and also helping get some artists to visit as well just a week later with Michelle Obama. It’s a grand opportunity to visit the POTUS in his house. The “once in a lifetime event” happened again and just a week later, a small crew of GR related artists had the chance to visit as well. It was fun giving tips on things to check out while they’re in there. (Story at GR)