Post GR Year 5 - Post Magazine and GR2 - Time quickly passed since the last issue of the magazine. This year marked the fifth since it came out. Just last year was the celebration of 20 years of Giant Robot, which included a fun gallery show and talk and the exhibition SuperAwesome: Art and Giant Robot at the Oakland Museum of California. One ride ends and another one continues. This year is just a little more of that.
Teaching a Zine Class at Pitzer College - My early part of the year continues to be co-teaching the Asian American Zines Class at Pitzer College. The class is fun even with brand new students. I forget how young they are and how the more minute problems are gigantic, which then affects everything. Yet the class managed to pull off the Claremont Zine Fest which was well attended, fun, and I’d even add “important” to the list. This will start again in a few months.
The trifecta of curating museum exhibitions all in one year.
Worcester Art Museum - Samurai! I think the toughest part of this exhibition which began last year was the first trip out there, but after that, it was smooth sailing. Most of the planning took place on the plane flight there. For some reason, the finite amount of time left me with more information than I knew what to do with and somehow it all come out decently well in the first meeting. It’s always fun meeting a group of strangers who are open to ideas. We clicked and the exhibition was off and running in a hurry. I wouldn’t think that a museum which has been around for over 100 years and featuring the “greats of art,” would be as easy to work with, but ultimately they’re people something like me and you behind it all – of course it could be easy. The exhibition itself was a meeting of their collection of armor and contemporary art including murals. The opening night was insane and I was proud to be part of it.
Honolulu Museum of Art - Giant Robot Day Contempo #ArtShop This exhibition was one of the most intriguing since the entire picture was always a bit blurry. How would a GR day fit into Honolulu Museum of Art? How would it be at Spaulding House? It starts off with a great collection of artists and friends, a strong belief by the staff who in pure island style, made me feel at home. Although I grew up in Los Angeles, Hawaii can also feel like home. It’s less the place but it’s all about the people and their warmth. Then there’s the exhibition which went without any hitches. In fact having the artists come out made it great. There wasn’t a dull moment and it was a great experience to “work” in Hawaii. One can almost say, “why worry? it’ll just work because it’s Hawaii.” You can have a GR Day, a great museum, but again, it’s the people. They make it.
The Biennale 4 at the Japanese American National Museum is still up and running until January 24th. I was asked to make this better than the Oakland Museum of CA exhibition and with more favors and perhaps a local advantage, I’d say it succeeded. I think it’s the best one by far and I can honestly feel comfortable about the curation of this one. One great senior curator said about the exhibition, "it's tight." That works for me. I survived a year with three museum projects and ultimately, almost everything is still the same.
Take a Penny Co. - With Cassia Lupo, I’m starting a boutique pin company. It’s beginning now and we’ll see what it becomes. Of course there’ll be some hiccups on the way, but most things that take effort provides a spark. I’m anxious to see how sparkling it’ll be. Website coming up shortly.
The Jew and the Lotus - Guess who I am? It’s a new podcast that I began late this year with fellow gallerist Daniel Rolnik. We talk about our life and work, which can be interchangeable. As different as we seem to be in age and beliefs, we’re quite alike. I’m learning as much from him as he is from me. We’re only two episodes in.
YOMYOMF - I’m blogging a bit and working on projects behind the scenes. We’ll see what happens and if not a lot happens, that’s ok too. Sometimes the process is worth it.
GR Store and GR2 - The staff revolved a bit and that’s how retail can be. I’m thankful for everyone’s help. That’s what I’m sure of. The same thanks goes with GR2 and GR1 artists who have participated in shows. Let's continue to grow together in 2016 and beyond.