Why not hang some on the Koran?

By Andrew Bolt

It’s curious that the sacred text of only one of the two faiths behind the exhibition was available for defacing:
A publicly funded exhibition is encouraging people to deface the Bible in the name of art — and visitors have responded with abuse and obscenity. The show includes a video of a woman ripping pages from the Bible and stuffing them into her bra, knickers and mouth.
The open Bible is a central part of Made in God’s Image, an exhibition at the Gallery of Modern Art (Goma) in Glasgow. By the book is a container of pens and a notice saying: “If you feel you have been excluded from the Bible, please write your way back into it.” ... The exhibition has been created by the artists Anthony Schrag and David Malone, in association with organisations representing gay Christians and Muslims.
So why did these brave gays not also offer a Koran for scribbling critiques? It’s not as if gays couldn’t have a bone to pick with the faith that inspires some regimes to do this to young men just like them.

So why no Koran?

Source: Herald Sun Blogs
H/T: Gramfan

Note: Muslims Against Sharia do not advocate desecration of the religious texts. The article is merely posted to illustrate hypocrisy and warped sense of political correctness of the organizers as well as gross misuse of the public funds.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Urban Light, sculpture, by Chris Burden and me at L.A.C.M.A.
Finally! Decent public art!

Above, two images of the wondrous Happy Happy by Choi Jeong-Hwa hanging in the Grand Entrance.

Happy Happy made me happy happy.

Rosa gets lost in happy.

I think this is my exact favourite part of Happy Happy.

Detail of Welcome by the same artist.
With Welcome in the background, I ran into Soap Opera LEGEND Susan Flannery who was there too to enjoy the art. She was so sweet and gracious. Even being complimentary about MY opening at J.A.N.M. Such a doll! Hi Susan!

Above, outside The Japanese Pavilion.

I think this picture was taken in a place photography is not allowed.

Me getting eaten by modern art.

While in L.A. I had had had to go to the
Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Located adjacent to the La Brea Tar Pits it really is a two birds one stone kinda' stop. The show that was up in the new Broad Contemporary Art's Museum at L.A.C.M.A. is called Your Bright Future: 12 Contemporary Artist from Korea. It was AWESOME! I especially enjoyed talking to the Museum Guards and hearing their personal commentary about work! who needs critics when you have people who stare at the work for hours on end day after day.
The pieces that really took the cake for me were Do Ho Suh's Fallen Star 1/5, an exquisitely detailed and masterfully decorated building in miniature to put it mildly. Sorry, no pictures of it folks, go to the L.A.C.M.A. website.
I also really dug Choi Jeong-Hwa's Happy Happy installation in the plaza of the museum. Pictures above of the festive forest of dangling plastic Tupperware and the like.
You know me, happy people like happy art!
All the works in Y.B.F were ingenious and enthralling.
We had to cull our visitation because of time restrains and only visit the essential parts which included the Pavilion for Japanese Art. Another two thumbs up!! The Pavilion building itself is wonderful, earthy and well light to suite the works inside.
A nice oasis in the steamy city.


Check out the above images of balloon sculptures by New York based artist
Jason Hackenwerth.
SO DOPE! I love em'!
More images of Hackenwerth's work can be seen on his website.
Viva la happy art revolution. Sad art is so cliche!

In which The Gay Recluse holds a contest. Sort of.

Ok, submissions from the American side of the Atlantic have been kind of weak lately, so we thought we’d treat you to a taste of the big leagues in Hot Gay Statuary. Yes, Paris, City of Light! Reader CBNY sends us the following pix and accompanying note:

Men, men everywhere, atop buildings, atop pedestals, out in the garden, inside marbled halls. Why does this mean nothing more to the French than just one more beautiful thing to look at?

That’s an interesting question, CBNY. Let’s check out a few of these shots and perhaps we’ll have a better sense of what’s going on.

Smokin’ hot dad in a Farrah wig.

CBNY: Some Neptune-ish daddy/merman with armbands (versatile, apparently) and an extremely potent jet of water gushing from his… fish. Place de la Concorde, of course.

CBNY: One of Rodin’s Three Shades taking a respite from the Met rooftop, to perch awhile in the Tuileries. Gay probably by dint of his thighs, alone.

TGR: Whoas! Smokin.

CBNY: Nothing to hide, and plenty to show off, in one of the world’s most visible, and stellar, locales.

TGR: Hot!

ZOMG. Smokin.

Seriously. Hot.

This guy is smokin hot.

CBNY: I don’t know if this centurion high atop a two-story pedestal is gay. (Aren’t most centurions?) But his sculptor clearly was.

TGR: Are you kidding? This guy is completely gay and hot smokin’ hot.

CBNY: Door handle, Palais de Tokyo.

TGR: Every door handle should be this hot and gay.

CBNY: Oh, those fey, 18th-century aristocrats. But he’s definitely been to the gym.

TGR: Hotter and gayer than 99 percent of American statues!

CBNY: is this gay? Let’s go around back.

CBNY: Yep, it is.

TGR. More like, yes he is! Smokin’ hot. Too bad some crazy like Mike Huckabee got to his package.

Hand-on-hip guy is smokin’ too! Damn, is there no end to hot gay statues in Paris?

Thanks for that exhilarating tour, CBNY! We think we can safely speak for all 350 million Americans when we say how awestruck we are by the example of Paris, but also humiliated by the relative dearth of hot gay statues stateside. But we’re confident that once word gets out, government at all levels — from rural municipalities to the U.S. fucking Congress — will take steps to rectify the situation in the near future. In the meantime, readers, please don’t hesitate to send in your examples to both inspire and instruct.

Super Mario Galaxy Box Art Claims U R MR GAY


I'm really not sure if I should consider this to be anything more than something discovered/dreamed up by gaming conspiracy theorists, or if I should just go ahead and get offended anyway. When you look at the box art of the upcoming Super Mario Galaxy, if you write down all the letters with sparkly bits beneath them, you wind up with the message UR MR GAY (be sure to separate the words by line breaks, too!).

Honestly, I'm pretty sure this is just some random coincidence, but I'm keeping my Pink Ray Gun of Doom handy just in case I we find out it was intentional and justice needs to be dispensed.



Japanese artist based in Tokyo
Compiled by Tagame Gengoroh,
with English translation by Kitajima Yuji

Gay Erotic Art in Japan (vol. 1):
Artists from the Time of the Birth of Gay Magazines

reviewed by Mark McLelland

  • This beautifully designed and presented collection of gay erotic art is the brainchild of gay Japanese manga artist Tagame Gengoroh whose sadomasochistic fantasy world populated by hypermasculine characters such as policemen and yakuza [Japanese Mafioso] is developing a cult following in Japan and increasingly in the west.

  • Tagame sees himself as part of a long line of artists stretching back to the early 1960s who have struggled to create a characteristically Japanese gay aesthetic. As an aficionado of gay erotic art, Tagame was aware that the work of pioneers of the genre was barely known outside a small clique of collectors in Japan and that there was a grave danger that the bulk of the work created, particularly that of the 1960s, would be lost. In bringing together for the first time a representative sample of pictures created by five artists during the 1960s and 1970s, Tagame's collection highlights the need to record and preserve this body of work and also gives both younger gay men in Japan as well as westerners interested in Japanese popular culture, a new appreciation of the depth and complexity of Japanese gay culture. It is also to be hoped that the book's appearance will stimulate further research into this fascinating period of Japanese history.

  • Featuring Japanese text with a parallel English translation, the collection opens with a discussion of the 'perverse' magazines which first published the work of these artists in the 1960s. This is followed by a representative selection of both black-and-white as well as colour pencil drawings by each artist. A final section discusses each artist's biographical details (to the extent that these are known) and the development of their artistic style. As an artist himself, Tagame's appreciation and respect for the artists he has chosen is evident and his aesthetic eye is able to capture succinctly aspects of each artist's style as well as bring out points of interest in individual illustrations, making the commentaries on each artist particularly valuable.

  • Tagame also provides an historical overview of the development of gay art in Japan, but this is the least successful aspect of the book since he gets into a confusing and largely unnecessary argument over what, exactly, it is about an artist or an art work that makes it a work of 'gay erotic art.' The problem here is that 'gay' or gei in Japanese katakana transliteration is not a term that would have been used as a self-referent by the artists themselves. Tagame tries to side-step the problems of nomenclature by taking a gay essentialist approach, stating that 'homosexuality is an "absolute sexuality which is immanent in an individual"... it is actually part of a person and unchangeable' (p. 11). Following this definition, gay becomes a general descriptive term for those men with an imminent, absolute and unchangeable homosexual inclination irrespective of their cultural or historical context. The search for art which is the product of this imminent sensibility is, however, liable to be contentious and is probably best avoided.

  • For the purposes of this review it is unnecessary to revisit the debate over essentialist and constructivist etiologies of homosexuality other than to note that the extreme essentialist position adopted by Tagame is almost impossible to support in the face of historical and cross-cultural diversity. For instance, in the Japanese context, an investigation of Japan's postwar sexual culture reveals a complex, hybrid system of interlocking discourses, representations and identities which make it impossible to plot the development of a nascent 'gay identity' although there are clearly elements in this mixture that can be appropriated by contemporary gay people in pursuit of a community history. Whether or not the artists themselves would have recognized themselves as part of this project, however, remains a moot point.

  • Homosexuality was a much more visible feature of Japan's postwar culture than it was in Anglophone societies but it is difficult to give a satisfactory account of this period using contemporary models of gay identity. While the 1950s in the US and elsewhere saw the return to more restrictive models of sex and gender behavior, after the war, the Allied Occupation in Japan removed many of the restrictions on publishing that had stifled the press in Japan during its fifteen years of militarism. Concerned more with monitoring political than sexual discussion, the new administration made it possible for a new kind of publication to emerge in Japan in which 'perverse' sexuality could be represented outside of the pathologising framework that had limited its expression before the war and which still constrained discussion of homosexuality in the English press.

  • From the early 1950s, a range of magazines appeared in Japanese that allowed readers to indulge their interest in sexual perversity and often it was those considered perverse and not medical or other 'experts', who were able to speak. These publications had an extremely wide range of interests and, purporting to offer true accounts, drew upon anecdotes from Japan's feudal past as well as stories from European and Asian societies, often relying on anthropological reports. Significantly, these early magazines did not segregate the material into hetero- or homosexual-themed issues, as became increasingly common in the 1970s, but presented a wide range of 'perverse desires' [hentai seiyoku].

  • The most long lived was Kitan kurabu [Strange-talk club] published between 1950 and 1975 which, albeit mainly focusing on SM, included discussions and illustrations of a range of 'queer' [katayaburi] topics including homosexuality and male and female cross-dressing.
    Fûzoku kitan, one of the most long-lived of the 'perverse' magazines published from 1960-1974. Other magazines which included information about homosexual and transgender phenomena included Fûzoku kagaku [Sex-customs science] (1953-55), Fûzoku zôshi [Sex-customs storybook] (1953-4) and Ura mado [Rear window] (1957-65). While all these magazines featured articles and illustrations relating to male homosexuality, as Tagame points out, it was Fûzoku kitan [Strange talk about the sex world] (1960-1974) which showed the strongest interest in this topic and which featured the homosexual erotic art work of four of the artists introduced in Tagame's collection—Okawa Tatsuji, Funayama Sanshi, Mishima Go and Hirano Go.

  • However, given the nature of publications such as Fûzoku kitan which focused on a wide range of perverse desires, with a particular emphasis on sadomasochism, the use of the
    This illustration by Oda Toshimi in Fuzoku Kitan is an example of the ‘perverse’ nature of these early magazines, mixing sadomasochism, voyeurism and homoeroticism in the one image. term 'gay' to describe these images seems anachronistic in this context, especially given the violent and sadomasochistic contexts in which the artists placed their figures. The problem with the term gay or gei in katakana transliteration is that it was already in wide use in Japanese in the 1950s but it had a meaning quite different from the English term which was gradually emerging in the US as the most widespread designation for members of the homosexual subculture.

  • The indigenisation in Japan of the term 'gay' is an interesting example of cross-cultural borrowing. By the end of the war, 'gay' had established itself as a common referent among homosexual men and women all over the US since the mass mobilization of US forces, bringing homosexuals together from all parts of the country, standardized gay slang. Gay [gei] subsequently entered Japanese via homosexuals in the Occupation Forces. Mishima Yukio mentions the term 'gay' (in Roman letters) in his 1952 novel Kinjiki [Forbidden Colours] where he glosses it as 'American slang for danshokuka'—the latter term being a neologism made up of the traditional term for male love nan/danshoku and the nominalising suffix 'ka' or 'ist'. However, the fact that he has to gloss the term suggests that it was not widely understood at this time.

  • Yet, by the late 50s gei, especially as part of the compound gei bôi, was frequently used in the Japanese media to describe effeminate homosexual men, and was used as the title of Tomida Eizô's 1958 book, Gei, where he described gei bôi as 'more feminine
    Picture of a gei bôi from Tomita Eizô (1958), Gei, Tokyo: Tôkyô shobô. than today's boyish young women.'[1] The widespread use of the term gei in Japanese therefore predates the use of 'gay' in English which did not become a common referent for homosexuals (outside of specific subcultures) until the early 1970s. Another reason that gei bôi was so quickly popularized in Japan is that gei (written in the katakana syllables used to transcribe foreign loanwords) is a homophone for gei (written with the character for 'artistic accomplishment'—as in geisha) and gay boys were sometimes spoken of as gei wo uri, that is 'selling gei.' In this phrase gei designates not sexual orientation but a kind of artistic performance—female impersonation.

  • Since gei had such strong transgender connotations, it was not used in the immediate postwar period as a site of identity for masculine-identified men who liked other masculine men—instead homo (a contraction of homosekushyaru) was the most common referent for such men. From the 1960s, the term homo bâ, as opposed to gei bâ , was used to designate bars that catered exclusively to homosexual men and homo came to designate men with homosexual tastes but who were otherwise gender-normative. Indeed, even today, it is possible to find bar owners in Japan who insist that their establishments be designated homo bâ because the term 'gay bar' still conjures up images of cross-dressing.

  • Yet, even homo was not much used as a site of identification. Instead, in the immediate postwar period, men interested in sexual interaction with other men tended to refer to each other in terms of sexual 'type'— that is, sexual identity, such as it existed, revolved around sexual roles, much as it had done in the prewar period. In the argot of the time these types included tachi or tops, onê from onesan or big sister) for effeminate men, donten or 'reversible' boys who serviced both men and women, chigoka[2] or older men interested in youths, jibika[3] who preferred older partners and ritsu[4] or 'gold diggers' who were in search of a sponsor.

  • Hence, the cultural context in which these early 'gay' artists were working was extremely complex and quite different from the nascent gay communities in places such as New York or San Francisco. The magazines in which they published were not directed at a distinct homosexual readership but offered information about a wide range of 'perverse' sexuality—with a strong emphasis on sadomasochism. Also, the homosexual world itself was split between masculine and transgender models wherein an individual's 'identity' relied more upon his preferred role as opposed to an imminent sensibility.

  • However, with these provisos in mind, the artists featured in Gay Erotic Art do mark an important break with the past and it is possible to discern a convergence with changes that were also taking place in the Anglophone homosexual world. For the first time we see the depiction of adult masculine, or rather hypermasculine, figures as objects of desire for other men. The previous tradition of shunga (erotic woodblock prints) had represented the youthful, feminine figure of the boy as an object of aesthetic appreciation, not his adult lover, a trend which carried over into the modern period in the work of Takabatake Kashô whose homoerotic illustrations of young boys were popular in the 1920s. In the perverse magazines of the 1950s and 60s, however, we see a trend toward the increasing representation of sexual interaction between men who are equally adult and equally masculine—a relationship which has been referred to as 'egalitarian homosexuality'—quite distinct from the 'transgenerational' and 'transgender' paradigms of homosexual interaction that are typical of premodern societies.

    Mishima Go (p. 26)
    Hirano Go (p. 126)

  • The figures depicted in Fûzoku kitan— policemen, yakuza, laborers and bath-house attendants are the Japanese equivalents of American fantasy types—sailors, bikers, cowboys, lumberjacks—developed in the art of George Quaintance and Tom of Finland whose illustrations had been popular since the late 1950s in US proto-gay publications such as Physique Pictorial. Tom of Finland's work is illustrative of the changes that were taking place in US and European gay subcultures at this time in which the previous emphasis on youth as an object of desire was being displaced by representations of heightened masculinity. Fûzoku kitan's choice of a very 'masculine' style of homosexual imagery is further evidence of the retreat from 'traditional' transgender and transgenerational patterns of homosexual interaction toward more masculine modes of homosexual identity and experience which was also taking place in Japan during this period—independently, it would seem, from changes taking place in the US. However, while the artworks in the collection evince the same trend away from feminine toward more masculine and hypermasculine representations of homosexuality, what is specific to the Japanese genre is the sadomasochistic setting of many of the illustrations and the extraordinary extent to which some pictures are imbricated with violence and death. Indeed, violence, sadism and masochism have remained constant themes in Japanese gay art and are developed to an extreme in the art of Tagame himself. Quite how this sadomasochistic subtext relates to a supposedly imminent gay identity, however, remains unexplored.

    Okawa Tatsuji (p. 63)
    Funayama Sanshi (p. 92)

  • The change in the paradigm of homosexual identity is further discernable in several privately produced 'homophile' magazines mentioned by Tagame which were in circulation in Japan during the 1950s and 60s and which also reproduced works by these artists. The Adonis Kai or Adonis Organization had been founded as early as 1952 and published an in-house magazine for its members entitled Adonis. This modest magazine, usually running to a little over forty pages, was published from 1952 until 1962, totaling 63 issues in all. In 1963 Bara [Rose], a simple paper-bound magazine running from 42 to 58 pages appeared. Like Adonis, it was available by subscription only—in order to receive copies, subscribers had to send a fee directly to the publisher. Bara's contents were largely similar to those of Adonis, including discussion articles, erotic stories and photographs and illustrations. Unlike the perverse magazines, Adonis and Bara were not available from booksellers (although some copies ended up in second-hand stores) and could only be subscribed to, this meant that they had extremely limited circulations. However, they did provide a training ground for writers and artists who were to contribute to the first commercial homosexual magazines of the early 1970s.

  • It was in these magazines— Barazoku, first published in 1971 and Sabu in 1974 that 'gay erotic art' emerged as a distinct genre since, as well as reproducing illustrations in each monthly issue, the magazines also brought out special picture editions which created a greater market and thereby encouraged more artists to begin creating art tailored to this market.

  • Tagame himself acknowledges in the introduction that he is an artist and not a scholar of sexuality and it is in the illustrations that he has brought together (over 140 full page reproductions) that the great interest of this collection lies. Indeed, practically no academic work exists in either Japanese or English which focuses on the early postwar perverse magazines, the development in the 1960s of privately circulated homophile magazines and the transition to the commercial homosexual magazines of the early 1970s. In bringing together so many illustrations by artists from different periods and publications, it is possible to get some sense of the important changes that were taking place in Japanese concepts of homosexuality in the postwar period. It is to be hoped that through releasing this collection of pictures and drawing attention to the milieu in which the artists worked, Tagame's volume will encourage other researchers to take the topic of homosexual representation in Japanese art more seriously. Yet, while this collection is a first and invaluable step toward reconstructing a history of Japanese homosexual community and identity formation in the postwar period, much still remains to be done.[5]


    [1] Tomida Eizô (1958), Gei, Tokyo: Tôkyô shobô, p. 181.

    [2] Chigo is a term deriving from the Edo Period (1600-1857) nanshoku code of male-male eroticism. It originally designated a young temple acolyte but came to be used to refer the younger partner in a transgenerational homosexual relationship. Ka here is a suffix meaning 'specialist'.

    [3] Jibika here is made up of the characters for ear and nose as in the medical 'ear, nose and throat specialist'. Perhaps an ironic reference to the fact that older men were sometimes hard of hearing. Another term was fukesen or 'specialists in older men'.

    [4] Ritsu means a rate or percentage.

    [5] The most valuable Japanese source for this period is Fushimi Noriaki's Gei to iu keiken [The experienced called gay], Tokyo: Potto shuppan, 2003. My own book Kono Sekai: Queer Japan from the Pacific War to the Internet Age (in press) is, to my knowledge, the only treatment in English of homosexual identity and practice in the immediate postwar period in Japan.
  • Japanese Homo-Erotica and the North American Women Who Love It

    by Raymond Paglicauan

    Japanese Homo-Erotica

    What started in Japan as a gay romance genre has found its way overseas thanks to the internet and a wide fan base. Yaoi is a comic book phenomenon on male homo-erotic romance stories that are written for women by women and is also referred to as Boy’s Love. The stories themselves often center around the lives of male students and their relationships to each other and older men. Many Canadian women have recently shown great interest in this genre and have joined its growing online community. Thanks to internet forums and blogs, there is now a place for yaoi to flourish outside of Japan. But what does this mean for the young women who participate and view this material? And does it shake the foundations we have on our view of sexuality in North America?

    Yaoi categorizes itself based on its female authorship and readership. Many question how women can relate to these homo-erotic love stories. This may have something to do with the relationship between the two male participants of yaoi storylines who represent a pseudo male and female relationship. There are two roles that are fulfilled in these romances: the seme (“to attack”) and the uke (“to receive”). The uke is often characterized with a youthful innocence with feminine traits. Some argue that when women write these stories they are placing themselves under the guise of the uke. In this way they can live the ideal relationship through these characters. What about the seme? This character is idealized as the perfect man. In the eyes of those who write and read these comics, the seme represents what men should be. But at the end of the day they often become untouchable because they belong to their male counterparts. The seme and uke represent the dichotomy between the masculine and the feminine, youth and experience. What makes them and their stories attractive is the oppositions they represent which often leads to conflict, and how they are able to solve these issues because they manage to fit together.

    The romance between these two archetypal figures has sparked the interests of many outside of Japan. The largest demography are young women from North America who have access to yaoi via the internet. According to Pira Urosevic, an expert on Japanese manga (Japanese comic books) culture and a prominent member of an online yaoi community, Japan represents an interesting duality, “Japan is a nation that is highly sexualized but at the same time reserved.” Urosevic explains that while the Japanese might hesitate to hold hands with their partners in public they don’t frown upon expressions of sexuality in literature or animation, “No one bats an eye at a man reading [erotic comics] in a packed subway car.” The Japanese acknowledges sexuality on a different cultural plateau, “You can check into the most outrageously themed Love Hotel room for a romp with your lover/spouse, because there is no privacy at the small apartment you share with your parents.” From this vantage point we can understand that those who read and enjoy these comic books are, in a way, expressing sexuality without necessarily acting upon it. They can retain a sense of propriety while exploring conventions that other cultures have marked as taboo.

    Pira Urosevic claims that those North American females who indulge in the writing and art of yaoi are doing so in the natural way of curiosity and exploration, “They are healthy young women who are awaking sexually like their male counterparts. The only difference is that young males are expected to [be] sexually charged at this age [and] good girls don’t think about those kinds of things.” She questions why people never ask the same question to males who enjoy pornography that feature two women performing sex. She also addresses the concern over the age of those who read yaoi, most of whom are in the early phases of their adolescence, “Should 14 year old girls be looking at gay erotica? It depends on the 14 year old girl and to my experience they find their own comfort zone. Many settle on shojo (manga aimed at a female audience) or shonen-ai (manga that features homosexual romance stories) that are suggestive but heavily into the romance.” These young women are digesting the romantic tales about young men while finding a way to relate to them. What’s important to Urosevic are the positive consequences of this genre on acceptance and tolerance, “Here is a HUGE group of young women who are embracing the concept of homosexuality. Not for themselves but in general. They are the next generation of mothers whose children will not have to hide their homo-erotica from their parents.” This community goes beyond acceptance and toleration, they are celebrating and acknowledging the beauty behind gay romance stories.

    Yaoi online communities have, in recent years, attracted international attention to those who have no access to this Japanese medium. These forums and blogs are now places where many young people are learning about themselves and discussing the nature of human sexuality. Urosevic ponders on the achievement of these internet groups, “Now young people are reaching out, exploring and questioning what it is to be straight, bi or gay. [They] are less and less willing to [be] boxed in by rules that they sincerely may feel don’t apply to their make-up.” She applauds the positive outcome that yaoi has given young people, “One thing manga has provided the Western teens with is a fresh way of seeing sexuality. Sure it’s out of context (the way the Japanese view it is something you have to grow up Japanese to understand fully), but females here have embraced it because it speaks to them where no one ever spoke to them before and in the online world they are now speaking out.”

    Illustrator Joshua Huisenga and DK’s Akira Morita teamed up as artist and art director for the fall poster for Blitz. Read more about Blitz, the Capitol Hill Art Walk.

    Design Kompany first noticed Joshua’s work on a pole outside of the Little Theatre on 19th Avenue last spring.

    This is the design Akira and Joshua arrived at:

    Blitz poster design fall 2009

    DK: Tell us your impressions of Blitz and Capitol Hill.

    JH: Blitz is a very new thing here in Seattle, but the organizers are already making efforts to keep the promotion of the event new and fresh. Style, artist, and even the Blitz logo is reinterpreted for each application. Fun!

    I have strong impressions of Capitol Hill. I live at the top, so no matter where I go, I always have to go uphill to get back home. That was just one concept in one word association list on one of many pages full of illegible doodles. But it made it all the way to the end. It was merged with the far-out mix of people, fashion, lifestyle to end up as you see it.

    I love drawing pictures like these, with a million little lines and details. The late hours, sheets and sheets of tracing paper, finger cramps, and pile of eraser dust to get from a scribbled word in a list to finished piece is completely worth it.

    DK: What was it like working with Design Kompany as art director?

    JH: Working with Akira was pretty smooth. He started me off with a short list of mostly fall words and said “Go.” We had a few conversations and reviews along the way, pulling in the full Blitz crew when appropriate, and he seemed to have the right questions and suggestions at the right times to make great improvements—”let’s try above AND underground,” “can we see more neighborhood?” and “it’s ok if he’s a giant.” This all led to the densely illustrated, diagonally-sliceable posters you’ll see around the neighborhood.

    DK: What did you like about this project?

    JH: Getting to redraw the Blitz logo to fit the illustration style of the rest of the poster. My clients never let me do that. The shoes—I want a pair. Drawing the neighborhood. Tiny little cars and buildings and crosswalks. Even tiny manhole covers and storm drains. I was smiling the whole time.

    DK: Any challenges?

    JH: One big challenge was the schedule. Both Akira and I were traveling at one time or another during the project, and we didn’t have a lot of time to begin with. This meant lots of evenings filled with pens, pencils, and tracing paper. But we got it printed, sliced and delivered before the October event.

    A sliceable poster means it obviously needs to work as two pieces, but also as one. All the relevant details had to be in there twice—on both halves of the poster, and it was a challenge to make it still work as a single without looking awful.

    DK: Anything else you’d like to say?

    JH: Thanks to DK for inviting me in on the project. It was a fun one.

    You can get in touch with Josh at:

    Joshua Huisenga
    Chalkbox Creative

    The Range Murata Art Exhibition has been open at the Tokyo Anime Center since October 6.



    The exhibition is greeting the tenth anniversary of illustrator Range Murata's series 4D Style, which appears now in Kikan S (by Asukashinsha Publishing). Exhibits include originals of Murata's early hand-painted color game illustrations and storyboard art, like that from the Gouketsuji fighting game series, and merchandise such as jikure block prints, T-shirts, hoodies, eco tote bags and postcards (three-card sets) are on sale.

    On the Agenda of the Arts What game shall we play today?

    Cultural diversity and the activities of New Art Centers

    • Date:
      2008.10.25(Sat) - 2008.11.16(Sun)
      Mondays (or Tuesdays when Monday is a national holiday)
      11:00 - 19:00
      Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture, Tokyo Wonder Site
      TWS Shibuya
      Markus Ambach / Sara Dolatabadi / Deniz Gül / Iswanto Hartono / Ali Kays / Takashi Kuribayashi / Avi Sabah / Yanai Segal / Masha Zusman

      download event flyer (574.3 KB)

    Tokyo Wonder Site and GOETHE-INSTITUT JAPAN continue the discussion about "On the Agenda of the Arts" from 2007. In today's globalized world, communities in industrialized countries are challenged by transformation. Traditional bonds are degrading, once homogeneous societies are becoming multi-cultural and diverse as a result of immigration. The meaning of being a community and the functions it needs to perform to accomplish its aims are shared issues in cities all over the world. How can we build a community which finds value in difference? It seems to us that the arts and its institutions can play an important role in this process. The sphere of the arts has unique ways of posing questions and initiating dialogue, thus providing new outlooks and contributing to the way we deal with issues in society.

    With ever increasing social complexity and growing interdependencies in view, the potential of art and culture for community building should be tapped on. This project will examine the role of the arts and art institutions and their communicative performance in society.
    The meaning of art in society is changing at the outset of the new century. Together with its protagonists we would like to have a close look at the direction and the meaning of this process.

    Related Event:
    Round Table 1  *Finished  

    What should be the role of the arts in a multicultural society? What are the challenges of art centers in society? In this round table artists and curators will discuss those and other questions and explore the potential of today's art in a global context.

    ・Date: October 25 (Sat.) 15:00-
    ・Venue: Tokyo Wonder Site Shibuya
    ・Admission: Free
    ・Participants: Melanie Bono(Germany) / Agung Hujatnika(Indonesia) /Yoshitaka Mouri(Japan)

    Round Table 2 "1968-2008"  *Finished  

    How do the 60´s and their climate of social transformation relate to today's society?
    To what extent do we share similar issues and challenges with a time, which brought about change in many fields of society? In the international round table "1968 - 2008" curators and experts will discuss the relevance of "1968" for today, particularly in the field of the arts and the role of new art centers in society.

    ・Date: November 16 (Sun.) 15:00-
    ・Venue: Tokyo Wonder Site Shibuya
    ・Admission: Free
    ・Participants: Manuel Gogos (Germany) / Anke Hoffmann (Germany) / Yusaku Imamura (Japan) / Vasif Kortun (Turkey) / Bradley McCallum (U.S.A.) / Joji Yuasa (Japan)

    "On the Agenda of the Arts" Website

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