Thursday, June 30, 2011
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Takashi Murakami has become a global superstar since founding the Hiropon Factory collective of young artists in Japan.
By Roland Kelts, Correspondent / June 21, 2011
Japanese hipster-turned-multimillionaire artist Takashi Murakami’s trademark psychedelic flower faces, narcotized eyes, and menacing mouths have been seen in a lot of places: from MOCA in Los Angeles, the Brooklyn Museum in New York, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and the Guggenheim in Bilbao, Spain, to the sides of Louis Vuitton handbags and the covers of a Kanye West album. Today, they’ve taken root in cyberspace. Mr. Murakami has contributed the latest so-called Google doodle, a time-specific embellishment of the search engine’s corporate logo meant to commemorate a significant occasion – in this case, the official start of summer 2011.Skip to next paragraph
Murakami emerged as a self-styled late century Andy Warhol in 1996 when he founded the Hiropon Factory, a collective of young artists who would reproduce his works like widgets. I first encountered his art in the form of a sculpture called Hiropon: a wide-eyed girl-woman with comically massive breasts swinging a stream of lactating milk like a jump-rope around her skipping body.
Hiropon’s sparkly oversized eyes above a pert and tiny nose at first struck me as too self-consciously borrowed from anime cliché. But upon closer inspection, I realized why they were making me increasingly uneasy: blank white orbs of reflected light sat just off-center, adding a hint of Orphan Annie inscrutability to the colorful swaths.
She was cute, even sexy by way of hyperbolic parody. But she was also, quite possibly, deranged.
[more @ CSM]
Friday, June 10, 2011
Thursday, June 09, 2011
Monday, June 06, 2011
In 2010, small independent publisher Bellevue Literary Press won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction with Paul Harding’s Tinkers – the first time a small press had won the award since 1981! In 2011, the media bombards us with tales of Amazon’s digital books gobbling up demand for the printed page, and yet small presses continue to pop up all over the US and Canada.
With the book business in a state of flux, we here at Chin Music Press believe that independent publishers are poised to carry the banner of the publishing world far into the 21st century. We are fortunate to find ourselves in a literal consortium of visionary presses who refuse to believe the media’s Doomsday prophecies foretelling the slow demise of the printed book. In fact, we’re convinced that our fellow indie publishers offer the perfect elixirs for eager readers and despairing booksellers alike.
Beginning June 1, Chin Music Press will offer BooksRX, a quarterly curated collection of the best that North American independent publishers have to offer. We’re excited to prescribe publishers, writers and artists whom we think should be a part of any literary medicine cabinet. BooksRX ensures that you’re getting your recommended dose of vitamin READ.
“BooksRX is undoubtedly the gateway drug for unsuspecting readers into the world of independent book publishing!”
Dr. R. Max Sneezeworthy, Literary Division, US Department of Health and Human Services
Available as a single dosage (one issue) or as a full regimen (annual subscription), each installment ofBooksRX is a limited edition of 100 and arranged around a loose theme. Our first issue is inspired by our passion for finding new ways to tell stories from and about Japan.
- Monkey Business: New Voices From Japan A bold new collection including short stories, poems, an interview with author Haruki Murakami and more curated by Motoyuki Shibata andTed Goossen, and presented by A Public Space
- An exclusive hand-numbered, signed and limited edition giclee print from L.J.C. Shimoda, fine artist and illustrator of OH! a mystery of mono no aware
- Kuhaku and Other Accounts From Japan Our first book (and manifesto to holistic book design) featuring essays and art by Roland Kelts, Craig Mod, kozyndan, Sumie Kawakami and an irreverent but highly informative glossary of Japanese terms.
BooksRX is available exclusively through the Chin Music Press online store:
- Single dose (one issue): $40 including shipping to US and Canada ($10 extra for shipping to international destinations)
- Full prescription (four quarterly issues, save $20): $140 including shipping to US and Canada, ($35 extra for shipping to international destinations)
Photo by: Matthias Ley
Writer, Author, Lecturer
Roland Kelts is a half-Japanese American writer, editor and lecturer who divides his time between New York and Tokyo. He is the author of Japanamerica: How Japanese Pop Culture has Invaded the US and the forthcoming novel, Access. He has presented on contemporary Japanese culture worldwide and has taught at numerous universities in Japan and the US, including New York University and the University of Tokyo. His fiction and nonfiction appear in such publications as Zoetrope: All Story, Psychology Today, Playboy, The Wall Street Journal, Vogue Japan, Adbusters magazine, The Millions, The Japan Times, Animation Magazine, Bookforum, and The Village Voice. He is the Editor in Chief of the Anime Masterpieces screening and discussion program, the commentator for National Public Radio's series, "Pacific Rim Diary", and the author of a weekly column for The Daily Yomiuri newspaper. His latest project is the English edition of the Japanese literary culture magazine,Monkey Business, and his blog is: http://japanamerica.blogspot.com/