Musashi Mix Inq

Generation-9.11

Posted on September 1, 2011

I've been trying to tackle this decade retrospective America is going thru for obvious reasons.

For me, 10 years encompasses all of my adult life.

Looking back, War has never been an abstract concept for generation 9.11…

I raise you 10 years and make it 20.

1991: As a kid in first grade, I remember waking up one Saturday morning to find that Ninja Turtles had been replaced by men and women in polyester suits talking to soldiers in dessert camo and black berets waiting for their satellite video-feeds to skip a beat. My toy tanks and planes rolled-out across an empty frame against an invisible enemy. The "bad guys" were long-dead by the time the steal-treads and boots and news-crews had arrived on the scene.

The interrupting kaleidoscope of war would jump out of the radio and television at all hours. Night-vision artillery fights in hues of green. The Six Flags thrill of riding the nose of a smart-bomb kamikaze-ing for freedom, liberty and oil. But just like revisiting a theme-park as an adult, the excitement of knowing that somewhere on earth an American war is being waged has lost its grandness. This is my "Great America".

We've inherited 100 years of a World at War.

Sometimes the Past must be put to rest.

The Future is worth fighting for, but not like this.

It's all been done before.

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Front Page!

Posted on August 19, 2011

The exhibition "Kindred Spirits" made the front page of the long-standing Chicago Japanese American newspaper, the Chicago Shimpo!

Here's the article (click to enlarge photos):

Thanks to all who made the show such an amazing experience!

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Filed under: Blog, Event, show 2 Comments

“Academia” – the infographic

Posted on August 18, 2011

From time-to-time, people ask me why I'm not in grad-school chasing a PHD with my ideas and interest in history:

Academia Infographic

Listening to my friends' stories of the gauntlet they're stuck in, I think I'm happy still enjoying my knowledge and making art. If you've got $60-grand to spot me, I'm might take the plunge someday 😛

anyway…

Lesson in random etiquette #924: Never ask a student how grad-school is going unless you are paying for it.

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Palliativity 133: Nostalgia and the Myth of Memory

Posted on August 11, 2011


Sometimes 4 repeating images can sum-up an entire generation.

The resurgence of the animated gif astounds me…

http://fromme-toyou.tumblr.com/

In a world of HD, subtle can still be celebrated.

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Filed under: Blog, Fan Art, Pain, Pop, Tech No Comments

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

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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