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First WE of Golden Week: Art Me Up!

Golden Week is a series of national holidays in Japan at the end of April - beginning of May when many companies will close for some extended time. It is my case and I have 10 consecutive days off, yeah!

And the first weekend was filled with art events. Friday night I went to the Asking For The Moon reception party, an exhibit by Nami Kanrei, whom I met at Soho Gallery's events, Shoya Taniguchi and Chieko Uemura. Asking For The Moon is a new brand they started and they exhibit some of the products they are producing and some of their artwork. The style is geared at the gothic/dark crowds, and they chose a very appropriate locale for their exhibit, Cafe Anamune, a hospital-themed maid café. The artwork is really good, and you have until May 7th to visit the show.

After, I went to L&L for the April edition of TGIF, an event hosted by my friend David Byrne. The music is always good and it usually features some live art and/or exhibit. This time, the art was done by Dina Abou Karam, a talented mix media artist who draws somewhat twisted fantasy characters. The live painting was engaging, the crowd was nice, the beats solid; I couldn't ask for a better way to finish the evening of my first day of vacation.

On Sunday night I went the third edition of Give Me An Easy Life, hosted by Eri Moon at Cafe Bar Pratas. Eri, pictured below, is a fantastic printer whose pictures, often of female silhouettes, have your eyes focusing and refocusing as one image springs up after another. Give Me An Easy Life features her works as well as that of other artists, whether photographers, designers, graffiti, and so on. My friends John Podeszwa and Yann Becker also had some of their art exhibited, and the beats were good. But not as good as the excellent mojito the very capable bartender serves. Again, a great evening.

Finally, last night Monday I went to my first Pecha Kucha event, in Kyoto. If you are not familiar with the concept, Pecha Kuchas started in Tokyo in 2003 and give speakers, mostly with a design/art background, the chance to make a presentation on their passion, and they are held in over 600 cities around the world now. The format is strict: 20 slides are shown for 20 seconds, and that's all the time presenters are allowed. Yesterday's Kyoto event, their 10th, featured, amongst others, a woman who makes personalized cakes, Soho Gallery's Celio Barreto, photographers (including one who recited original haikus he composed for each picture), a man who participates in an English Noh group, a textile recycler, and perhaps most fun, the Japan air guitarist champion, who rocked the house with his performance. You can see the first part here and second part, with a cameo by yours truly, here. The events are a great chance to network, get fresh ideas and have a jolly good time, which is exactly what I did! Thanks Kansai for keeping me entertained and inspired!


Off Series

My obsession with triangles (there you have the answer to my last post) isn't abating. Like the boy in The 6th Sense said "They're everywhere". But by now, I recognize the ones to capture, whether in that instant or in better lighting condition.

But being out there shooting so much does allow me to capture other moments and scenes, here are three. Enjoy!


Playing With Themes

I decided to play with a theme from today until... Can you guess what it is? From my very biased view, it's obvious, but maybe not so much on all pictures. Enjoy.


Osaka's Nightlife

As mentioned before, I was recently mandated by the Chamber of Commerce of Osaka and the Osaka Tourism Bureau to write some articles on Osaka's nightlife and provide pictures. Well, the articles are up and you can see them here. I'm not the only person who participated in this project, so you'll need to go through them to discover which are mine! Eight articles show up at a time, and as you refresh the page, others show up. Enjoy!


Cherry Blossom Season

I have to make a confession. I don't like taking pictures of cherry blossoms that much. I don't care for them so much, actually. However, I do enjoy everything that comes with them: warm temperatures; people taking back back the streets & parks and enjoying themselves; a city made a little less gray by the colors; picnics under the trees.

And being omnipresent, it is hard not to take pictures of them. I guess what I really dislike are the hundreds of similar pictures we see. Not that my own pictures are that original, but I do like to take a different approach to get somewhat unique pictures. These aren't the final destination, but just the nice path along that way. Enjoy!

A nutria, an invasive rodent introduced to Japan, hoping to cultivate its fur.


AED Course

Yesterday Sunday I joined a CPR and AED course given by my friend Nick, who had organised the volunteer trip to Tohoku two years ago. He is certified by the City of Osaka to give such a course, and it was really informative. The best part was of course learning CPR and AED usage. Watching CPR on TV and actually doing it are quite different. I hadn't realised how hard one actually needs to push when trying to resuscitate someone. Location is important, rhythm too, and of course I had no actual idea of how to use an AED kit.

Obviously practice and the real thing aren't the same. But I certainly feel more prepared to intervene should I get confronted to such a situation. Thanks a lot Nick, I'm really glad I got up early on Sunday morning to do it.

Hopefully, with the pictures that I took, I'll manage to convince Kansai Scene to do an article to promote Nick's training program. In the meantime, grab the April issue, there's a two-page spread of my cherry blossom pictures inside. Enjoy!