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!

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