Giant Robot Store and GR2 News

On the outskirts of Ulaanbaatar, framed by never ending new construction of luxury housing, and upscale office and retail developments, sits a park that will have to wait until winter’s end to continue its own development. The National Garden Park is part of a new vision for Mongolia’s capital. It has echoes of public green space in South Korea, and the new construction surrounding it is modeled after foreign high rise developments. All in all, a vast departure from the Soviet architecture and urban planning the city was built on, and world’s away from the impoverished “ger district” on the North, East and Western fringes of the city. Mongolia is on a fast track to becoming an Asian Tiger, but its most symbolic native predator will always be the wolf.

Tiger Beer’s international art project, Tiger Translate returned to Mongolia and reunited with New York based artists, FAILE for the creation and installation of The Wolf Within. They worked with Mongolian artist, Batmunkh to create the permanent sculpture, and with the help of the Mongolia Arts Council, they also had a chance to collaborate on stencil pieces around the city.

FAILE and GR friend and sculptor, Charlie Becker, tell us more about the evolution of the project from stencil, to sculpture, to 5 meter high fiberglass re-imagining.

GR: Can you say a few words about the collaborative process and taking concepts from 2 dimensions to 3?
F: We’ve worked collaboratively all our career so it’s very natural for us to have the help from another artist in the process of realizing one of our ideas. Charlie has been our go-to-guy to help us in the process of bringing our images to life. It’s usually a time consuming process. One of the biggest challenges comes in getting the emotion right, to capture that usually involves several revisions before getting it right but it always leads to amazing results in the 2D to 3D transformation.

CB: Coming from a background as a designer, It’s second nature for me to work in collaboration. When I work as a for-hire sculptor, my role is to capture the artists’ intent, not to push my own vision. But Patrick and Patrick really understand and trust me to interpret what they are looking for.

The challenge in bringing FAILE’s pieces to life is that they can combine things from different 2D sources  that can’t exist together in the real world. Getting the scale and anatomy of a horse’s head to merge convincingly into the neck of a human, for example. Or a relief that’s so deep that you can see all around it, requiring distortion to make the perspective look right from all angles.

I seem to have an ability to understand where the artist is coming from, and to work in the mindset of the people I’m working with. In the few instances like this where FAILE has worked with other sculptors, I tend to act as an interpreter of their style and vision, since I’m bilingual – I speak both “artist” and “sculptor.”

A lot of figure sculptors work in a heroic style, either from working on monuments, or – here in LA – sculpting superheroes. Most fine artists I’ve worked with are at the opposite extreme, looking for the subtlest emotions, the spaces in between emotions, or the  combination of several emotions. I liken it to the difference between acting for the stage, and acting for the camera. In the theater, you are emoting so they can see you in the back rows, but on camera, there is much more opportunity for subtlety. In trying to capture “Eat with the Wolf” I’d say that character is going through an emotional upheaval, simultaneously experiencing fear, joy, anger, wonder, awakening, and maybe even a few more.

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Yukinori Dehara at Giant Robot is a great art show. The opening was awesome, but the workshop and talk was amazing too. Not only did you get to see the story of his life, you got to actually make a figure. He even did it in Japanese. No translation was necessary at all. It was hilarious. His opening yell, LET’S MAKE was followed by the passing out of Japanese paper clay. Step by step, you learned to make one of his characters. The best part was at the end, this little bit of clay that was left behind? You make an intestine with it!


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  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Art Show Opening: Yukinori Dehara: Worldwide Panty Flash June 30 – July 25th, 2012 Reception: Saturday, June 30th 2012 – 6:30-10pm GR2 2062 Sawtelle Blvd.Los Angeles, CA 90025 (310) 445-9276 Giant Robot is proud to host Satoshi – The Last Salaryman – clay sculptures by Yukinori Dehara. The Salaryman in Japan, is an underpaid and understated workforce who work long hours and have forged a lifestyle that is strongly responsible for the economic miracle of post World War 2 Japan. Today they wander the streets after their long day, drinking and frolicking until they head home to their family, only to face the same thing the following day. Satoshi is this person but has a friend, a beast named Morlin. We’ll be sure to feature clay sculptures and more from Yukinori Dehara. We’ve featured Japanese artist, Yukinori Dehara annually and his exhibitions range from being touching to grotesque. Yet like most artists, he has a deep ideology behind his pieces although to the casual observer, they look like fun. Giant Robot was born as a Los Angeles-based magazine about Asian, Asian-American, and new hybrid culture in 1994, but has evolved into a full-service pop culture provider with a shop and gallery in Los Angeles, as well as an online equivalent. An opening reception for the artists will take place from 6:30 – 10:00 pm on Saturday, July 2, 2012. For more information about Yukinori Dehara or Giant Robot, please contact: Eric Nakamura Giant Robot Owner/Publisher (310) 479-7311
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Two cats. Best friends. Together, they’ll take over your neighborhood. While you sleep, they’re in your yard mapping out entrance and escape points. Have a rat? They’ll catch it and crush every bone it’s body. Food? They’ll eat it.   Like most three color cats, the calico is a girl. The forager on the right is a dude. They’re also a couple. Just rearrange the wood blocks. Kio Griffiths does the creative hanging at Balconi. Sculpey, Wood, Acrylic paint.
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