Musashi Mix Inq

Sweet Surrender

Posted on July 28, 2011

Sweet Surrender, ©MMXI

My great uncle Steve Yamamoto, Cpt US Army MIS, received the original print taken on September 2, 1945:


The American "show of force" from aboard the USS Missouri reminded Japan of the war that could have been.

Bitter-sweet surrender…

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Palliativity 132: Breaking the Third Wall

Posted on July 26, 2011

The transition from digital to analogue is a process that we only appreciate when the fabrication is our responsibility.

Crafting the physical manifestation of an idea is a performance of shadow-tracing the hand that holds the brush; rotoscoping dreams born into reality on canvas.

Like a hallowed hunt, a picture must be captured.

My goal is to keep the image alive and feral.

Beauty is lost when tamed.

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p.s. See you Friday at the Shindig!

 

Filed under: Art, Blog, Event, Pain No Comments

Mushi-atsui!

Posted on July 18, 2011

This about sums up my feelings on summer in Chicago:
Chibird --->

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Palliativity 131: Onnagata, the Woman’s Role

Posted on July 14, 2011

The nature of kabuki itself is generally misunderstood by foreign viewers. Kabuki is not "high art". These night-life, 3 hour extravaganzas had more in common with Power Rangers than the stoic Noh dramas of the ruling class. Special effects, audience call-backs, epic battles, raunchy humor and explicit sex-acts were the language of kabuki. Pass the popcorn and hang on to your seat.

Kabuki theaters emerged in the Tokugawa era when the Shogun instituted the law that all provincial lords must make routine trips back to Edo where their families were held captive. The hope was that lords would have less ability to revolt when their loved ones were ransomed and much of their time was lost commuting with their entourage. This nation-wide increased need for mobility built up the roads and many reputable businesses. Others flourished from the wealthy travelers' need to be entertained: gambling, drink, prostitution and theater.

Early kabuki shows had various types of casting: onna-kabuki (all female), wakashū-kabuki (adolescent males) and yarō-kabuki (all male). In 1629, all women were banned from acting because many onna-kabuki "theaters" had devolved to hosting live sex-shows for "directors" to advertise their "actresses" who were then used as prostitutes. That being said, wakashū adolescent boys were allowed to continue to act although the practice of forced prostitution continued as well.

The term oyama (女方) refers to male actors who play female characters. Although the practice of gender liquidity had been a kabuki trope adopted since it's inception, the significance changed when it became the only way to see female characters on the stage. In this way, not only the theater, but the nation experienced a massive cultural change in that women could no longer represent themselves on stage and therefore in the popular culture.

To a liberal Western audience, one might make claims that the Japanese have had a surprisingly progressive perception of gender for quite a while; any romance on a kabuki stage is between two men, separated by a thin layer of make-up and silk. To this, the average Japanese would probably blush and tell you that it's "just a play…"

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Kindred Spirits: it’s show-time!

Posted on July 11, 2011

^_^

The heat is on as we get ready for Kindred Spirits!

In the next couple weeks before the show, I may not be posting here as regularly. To follow the process and progress as Kindred Spirits comes together, visit the Facebook Fan-page for behind-the-scenes photos, video and random musings.

You can RSVP for the event by clicking here.

Hope to see you there!

• • •

Kindred Spirits: Silva | Tanimura

Friday, July 29 at 7:00pm - August 13 at 11:00pm

helium gallery — 4710 North Ravenswood Ave. Chicago, IL

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Palliativity 130: The Blade Itself

Posted on July 7, 2011

I remember being given my first knife at the age of three. My parents, grandparents and I were on our annual apple picking trip to the north, over the Wisconsin border.

When my father handed me the neon-green plastic object, it took me a moment to realize what I was holding in my cupped hands. I thumbed the cool blade and marveled at the curved glimmer, recognizing the silver flash from the samurai films I watched with dad narrating the subtitles to me:

"Is that guy gonna be okay?", "Yeah, his arm will grow back…"

• • •

I'm fifteen years old and with my highschool friends wandering downtown Chicago past curfew on a Friday night. Generally I was the only non-white-guy in my crew so I always fell back and walked slow. When we'd hit a bad street, I'd scan the shadows and thumb the knife in my pocket, channeling Mifune and Eastwood: flexing my fingers and ready to draw…

In my mind, I hoped that the would-be bad men of the night would see me stalking after my friends and figure that I had this heist covered— Find your own mark.

This lot's been claimed.

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