In this article on my other blog I explain about my photo in the Art Byte Critique Anniversary Exhbition, “10” and how it marks the beginning of my mushroom obsession.
Other Mushroom Art I’ve done
Here’s a quick annotated overview of some other mushroom pieces I’ve created:
MaiNichiMushroom Magazine series (zines): I wrote a middle grade mystery and serialized it in this zine series. There is a planned total of 15 issues. Each issue covers a different facet of mushrooms knowledge.
This view greets me overtime I return to Onishi. The weather may change but the green and the water are always welcoming.
Onishi, Gunma has a great art residency program with Shiro Oni Studio. The studio and the town are really doing great things to support art. 2018 marks the fourth Kanna Art Matsuri. This festival also showcases the work by the artists in residence during that session. It’s a great time to relax, meet people and enjoy looking at and talking about art.
I really enjoyed the residents’ artist talks. In fact, I was so into what they were saying, I forgot to take photos!
As a past artist in residence and being a local-ish artist, I was invited to participate. This year I showed three pieces I took in Onishi during different visits. I printed on washi paper and mounted them on gessoed wood panel.
The chair scene and the glass of plum wine are from a summer I was writing haiku on the second floor of the Shiro Oni Studio’s repurposed old kimono shop called Kinuya.
I had a chance to continue my mushroom photo project after I helped with the deinstall. I appreciate the way Shiro Oni Studio gives different ways to work on one’s art practice and also experience nature.
Thanks Shiro Oni Studios and artists for the great art festival!
note: edited Nov 3rd, 2018 to put in the correct video–the Sanba River instead of the hedgehog video. Though hedgehog was pretty cute.
The Snowfences series was exhibited at The Neighbourhood and Coffee Starbucks Okusawa near Jiyugaoka Station in Tokyo for the month of July. This series had 13 photos ranging from A2 to A5 in size. They were printed on inkjet washi paper. Everything A3 and smaller was printed on Awagami Paper Factory’s Inbe inkjet print paper.
It was a thrill to see my work on the wall. Many thanks to the manager, Nakano-san and the staff who made the experience so wonderful. It’s a beautiful place to hang art.
The photo, Crescent Moon is probably my favourite in the series though I almost didn’t include it.
Most of the photos were taken during a trip through the Rocky Mountains in Idaho and Montana during stormy, almost white-out conditions so the majority of the work in the show is stormy white.
Later during the trip, the sky cleared to reveal this clear moon. This print will continue to be available on my shop.
Below are some photos from the exhibition and the last day. Thanks again Starbucks and Nakano-san for the wonderful experience!
Cows in Winter
Photos in the back wall.
Night view of Starbucks 2-Chome branch and Crescent Moon inside.
Illustrators Julia Nascimento and Erica Ward created ToCo (Tokyo Collective) which produces sequential art anthologies. Julia Nascimento explains, “Erica and I created ToCo to promote collaborative opportunities for local artists and showcase their artwork in storytelling.” The first issue of ToCo, Hajime, came out early Spring 2018. Hajime presents eight different artists’ first impression of Tokyo. I loved the perspective of the artists and their work. I loved Hajime so I was excited to take part in the second issue, Monogatari.
Monogatari is the tale of things. Thirteen artists tell stories of inanimate objects in Tokyo. The variety of art and points of view are impressive.
Release Party: Thanks to Tokyo Chapter and the ToCo team and everyone who came out to support the release of Monogatari. It was great to see so many people looking at and enjoying the work.
Artist Talk: On the last day, artists talked about their work. It was interesting to hear about the what inspired and influenced the artists when creating their stories. The Sequential Art Meetup Group in Tokyo had a meeting after–another chance to meet more artists!
I interviewed some of the artists about their creative process and thoughts about sequential art. They will be coming out over the next couple days. I will update the links below when each interview is posted.
Arthur Huang took time out to do a Q &A session for the interview series with Art Byte Critique members participating in the Tokyo Art Book Fair. TABF runs from October 5 to October 8th.
Name: Arthur Huang From: United States Time in Japan: Eight years Occupation: Artist / Researcher
How many TABF have you participated in?
2017 will be the fourth time that I have participated in the Tokyo Art Book Fair.
How long have you been making books?
I have been making artist’s books and zines off and on for the last four years
What is your favorite kind of books to make?
I like to make books which have something unique or unusual in their structure and form.
Do you have favorite materials to use?
I have a fondness for transparent and translucent materials although those materials can be a challenge to translate into book form.
What is the biggest challenge for you when you make a book?
Finding a balance between content and form like any other creative genre continues to be the biggest challenge for me. I often struggle with finding a unique form that does not overpower or silence the content of the book.
What kind of books are you making for this fair?
I am going to publish the second issue in my Dialogue zine series where I take my practice of Daily Drawings and translate that to book form. For the second issue, I am going to shrink the size of the zine and focus on the development on one drawing rather than two opposing drawings. The second issue will be more of an internal dialogue.
I am also going to publish the first 2016 Memory Walks artist book. I have worked with my Memory Walks project regularly in book form over the last four years. The sequential and archival nature of that project seems to lend itself well to the book form. For the 2016 Memory Walks Artist’s Book Project, I will create a series of 12 books, one for each month, which will consist of images from my 2016 Memory Walks eggshell drawings. The books will hopefully be released each month with the inaugural release being October 2016. The size and form of the books will resemble and eggshell, that is smaller and round. That is all I will say about the book itself so as to encourage you to come out to TABF 2017 in October!
What did you learn from last book fair? What are you doing differently for this book fair?
Every year at the TABF is different. You never know where your booth is going to be, you cannot control the weather, and you cannot control who buys your books. I think like any other creative endeavour, I have decided that I will focus on making books and zines that interest me process-wise.
Do you have any art book heroes?
Brian Dettmer and Maya Lin
Do you have any advice for people who want to start making books?
Just start with some blank pieces of paper and learn how to create the book structures you are interested in. Worst case, you have a spare memo pad in book form, best case, you have an awesome new notebook for yourself.
How did working with Art Byte Critique help you prepare your work?
It is also helpful to know that other people are working towards the same goal as you. Ever since the first time ABC participated in the TABF in 2014, there have always been a group of artists that want to work towards the next year’s TABF. There are also artists who have never made artist’s books or zines that find their way into that world. And the regular meetings, of course, as it always helps to have deadlines.
Do you have any advice for people coming to the book fair?
If you have the time, I suggest going through the entire book fair rather quickly to scout out booths that catch your eye. On the second pass, take your time visiting booths that pique your interest. Talk with the artists. Divide your budget for buying books and zines over the number of days you are planning to visit, so you can buy that last minute discovery.
The show is running now until August 31 and tickets are 1000 yen, photography is not allowed on the exhibition.
I have mixed feelings about this show. I’m a manga, anime and game fan and I was really excited to see this show. I saw some favorites like Ghost in the Shell and Detective Conan, and Work by Osamu Tezuka, Final Fantasy and Monster Hunter. I saw some artists I wasn’t familiar with and a bit about 3-D rendering for Grand Tourismo.
I most particularly enjoyed the character development examples and the story boarding for animation.
But this show is also really text heavy and most of the text was in Japanese only. If your reading level is good you will definitely get more out if it. Maybe it was the language barrier, but I felt it had a kind of sterility that the few interactive games didn’t make up for.
If you’re a die-hard fan or otaku, you probably will not find anything new (but who knows). If you’re looking to be educated and expand your knowledge of the field, you need language skills.
Do I regret going? No. I enjoyed the art and the storyboards. I just wasn’t as amazed as I expected. I feel like the show tried to be too broad and maybe lacked depth. Maybe it’s best to say it’s like a primer to the topic.
I’m keen to hear other perspectives of the show. Please let me know what you thought of the exhibition.
The 2014 Tokyo Art Book Fair (TABF) has come and gone. It took a lot of work to get ready for it, and it was an intense three days but I enjoyed all of it. Now I just have to sort through the leftovers in n my studio from my book making frenzy.
A big thank you to every one who visited the Art Byte Critique Group table (H-05), we enjoyed talking to everyone who stopped by. Special thanks to those who purchased some of our work. We ‘re thrilled because we know that there were so many wonderful choices available to you.
To the other TABF contributers and Zinesmate staff, thanks for the community feeling and your hard work. I thought everything ran really smoothly and every contributer ‘s work looked amazing. It was fun to be counted amongst you.
Finally, Art Byte Critique Group, thanks for making the process so efficient and fun. I’m lucky to be a part of this group. It’s inspiring to see what members are up to and the feedback you give on my own work is invaluable.
What Would I Do Differently?
Put prices on things immediately and have cuter price tags. I didn’t want to be pushy by having prices, but I soon realized when I was browsing myself that a price was one of the first things I looked for.
Put a muslin sheet over our work after the day is done. One fellow artist had several books go missing. And while that could have happened while we were at the booth and the cloth doesn’t lock anything down, I think covering the table gives that sales-are-done-for-the-day feeling and one layer against temptation. I think people at the Book Fair are generally pretty honest.
Have a display rack for photos. It would be great if I could find a small v-shaped poster holder. The photos on the back wall were hard to access and I didn’t have a lot of stock. I’d like people to be able to look more closely at them.
Longer lead time on production. I had my proto-types for the application, but didn’t start producing in earnest until I learned we got accepted and got a table. But not knowing for sure if you get a spot and spending money on production just in case seems like a bad idea.
What Would I Do the Same?
The whole experience! It was great.
Work with Art Byte Critique. I think it is great to share a table with people. I could easily see being overwhelmed and a bit lonely if I were to do this alone.
More Estello! I got a lot of great feedback on this project. I was a bit hesitant about how Estello would be received so I made some very simple zines and some A4 posters. While the zines looked good and suited the casual style of Estello, I think I could get something a little better quality with a lower price point if I have a longer production time and spend a bit more.
Talk to people! I got a chance to interview some people at the book fair and to make some contacts. I also got to watch how people perceived my work. So this makes it a bit more useful as a testing ground for new ideas.
Fellow blogger, Universo Tokyo, asked me if I noticed any trends in the types of work available this year. This is a tough question. I only attended for a short hour at the end last year, so many things may have already sold. Like last year, there was a huge variety in the offerings, from high-level professionally done photography coffee table books, to stapled editions of zines. I feel like there were more zines and more hand-made books.
I think another trend was looking instead of buying. I have no idea how this compares to last year. I saw lots of people buying supplies, but proportionally less people buying books and maybe looking around for ideas. Goodness knows there was so much creativity in the building that the urge to start making something really built up.
If you attended, what was your impression of the Art Book Fair? Did you notice any trends?
I did buy a few books…
Unforgettable Dream by H. Suzuki
Make a Guess by Young-Ju Choi. A riddle book that offeres clues through layers and cutouts.
Yoru/ Nite Zine #6 (set of 3)
Memory Walk Eggs by Arthur Huang. A book of his project, including smashed egg!
Letters to Mila II by Marie Wintzer. Abtract b
Iceland. Author didn’t include name.
Akazukin Chan by Angelo Levy. Fairytales in modern Tokyo