Tenancy 3

Black Art Projects in Melbourne currently has some of my work on display in “Tenancy 3” until the 29th of April. For information about Black Arts Projects or the show, visit their website or online catalog.

Gengaten Visit…

Finally, a spare minute to write a little bit about the Otomo Katsuhiro exhibit I visited a few weeks back.
Otomo needs no introduction if you are familiar with his epic manga Akira, and his exhibition delivers, ten fold, almost too much, every painstakingly hand drawn frame from the original multi-volume manga.

“Genga” is Japanese for original, and spread across about 4 rooms on the bottom floor of 3331 Chiyoda, you can analyze every single frame of every page of Akira, warts and all – with annotation notes, corrections, text layouts and hand numbering. The pages, separated and laid across wire frame tiers in large glass boxes, are arranged in chronological order with the exception of featured pages which are placed at the top for closer observation. The sheer amount of work, spanning several years, would have been impossible to show on the wall, so that considered, I think the grid layout, though necessary for making viewing easier, was just like the work, suitably meticulous.

The rest of the exhibition was pretty retrospective and featured hand coloured cells, original cover illustrations and character development sketches from different points in Otomo’s career – including early manga like “Short Piece”, “Highway Star” and “Sayonara Nippon” to more familiar concept art and sketches from “Memories” and “Steam Boy”. Pieces that really caught my eye were made with Pantone color and featured various people smashing things in Otomo’s signature style – dramatically. They could have been promotional, I’m not sure, but the bold colour and frozen explosions were a winner with me- like Roy Lichtenstein if he was dropping TV’s instead of blowing up fighter planes.

The last room in the exhibit was kind of a play room – photography, doodling on the wall and posing on replica motorcycles was all permitted. There was also a large sculpture recreation of a  frame from “Doumu” too – for those geeky enough to pose in front of it.

Overall, the exhibition was really enjoyable – having read the comics, seen the films and always been awestruck at Otomo’s vision and technical ability, seeing how Akira was pieced together and witnessing his talent raw and up close was inspirational. (Getting to ride Kaneda’s bike wasn’t bad either, and all in one afternoon!)

Gengaten runs until the end of May, so if you are in Tokyo it’s highly recommended you pop in for you a visit. More info about access and gallery times visit 3331 Chiyoda.

updates…

It’s been super busy the last few days, but I will get around to writing a little review of GENGAten and other news of interest. In the meantime, check out this very convincing 1/1 scale (working and road licensed) replica of Kaneda’s bike from Akira that was on display at the show.

 

GENGA展

I’m off to Tokyo tonight to see Ootomo Katsuhiro’s Gengaten at 3331Chiyoda. It starts tomorrow, and although I didn’t score any tickets for the first viewing session in the morning, I’m counting on Akihabara being nearby to draw out some interesting customers in the afternoon. Keep an eye on the news roll and my flickr for updates.

Hisami Tanaka…


By chance I came across the ‘action’ paintings of Hisami Tanaka.
From the description of the work – it seems like most of the marks are made for the sake of making marks, which is pretty interesting. The results are described as ‘trivial and meaningless’ but I enjoyed the movement in the geometry. I quite like architecture – and I think there is something hiding in there amongst the lines and shades and shapes that outlines buildings, or maybe the exploded view of a buildings plans. It’s cool.
You can see more of the work on display at the WaitingRoom in Shibuya, Tokyo till the end of April.
By chance I came across the ‘action’ paintings of Hisami Tanaka.
From the description of the work – it seems like most of the marks are made for the sake of making marks, which is pretty interesting. The results are described as ‘trivial and meaningless’ but I enjoyed the movement in the geometry. I quite like architecture – and I think there is something hiding in there amongst the lines and shades and shapes that outlines buildings, or maybe the exploded view of a buildings plans. It’s cool.
You can see more of the work on display at the WaitingRoom in Shibuya, Tokyo till the end of April.

April Fools…

I don’t really know what it means, and I can’t be bothered to look it up on wiki, but on the 1st the internet is always abuzz with April Fool’s trickery. Google maps was no exception and this year they recreated the world in 8-bit Dragon Quest graphics. Which, as well as being aesthetically pleasing, must have been a technical feet of genius. I missed the joke though…

Fuyuko Matsui…

Though I never got around to writing about it, when I was in Tokyo last, I went to see the first major exhibition of work by Fuyuko Matsui: “Becoming friends with all the children of the world,” at the . I probably didn’t write about it because it was a such a sensory overload at the time, and it’s taken a while for the whole experience to settle – but in a word, it was dark. I mean as deep and dark as any nightmare – as equally as frightening and upsetting too.  There is nothing subtle about the mental anguish and madness her figures suffer in dismemberment and decomposition. But I still enjoyed the show. At a technical level, it was really interesting to get up close and see how Nihonga paintings are made, and fortunately a lot of her initial sketches and proofs were included in the display. Deconstructing the work (post mortem..ha ha) was really interesting and educational. The themes of madness and despair were alienating and difficult to decode, but that lent itself to the insanity really, of trying to express the inexpressible. Check out more of her work here at the Yokohama Museum of Art website.

W.I.P…

Here is a shot of my latest piece in the works. After doing a bit of research I found a great way to mount paper onto board – and having the paper fixed to a sturdy, firm surface seems to have boasted the contrast and made it easier to draw in details. The only drawback being I can’t roll my work up for transport anymore…

mucking about…

Recently, I’ve been working on smaller, mounted paper on boards. During the drawing process I snapped away with my camera and put  together this little animated .gif for my own amusement, but thought I may as well upload and share.

KABA2 / GENGATEN…

Just got back from Tokyo yesterday. Spent the weekend down there  catching up with some friends here for holidays – also found time to cruise about some galleries and specialty zine stores which was interesting. Picked up a few souvenirs too, one of which is worth looking into. Katsuhiro Otomo, known for his epic Akira is having an illustration exhibition next month (Gengaten)and co-incidentally released a book recently (kaba2) with a collection of new and old illustration from the early 90’s to 2011. I’ve been a fan since 6th grade when I stayed up late to watch the feature length film on the telly, and it had a lasting effect and influence on both my interest in Japanese manga culture and the arts in general. His genius is pretty much undeniable. If you haven’t already got yourself a copy of the manga staple “what are you waiting for!….” (And a big thanks David)