HETEROMORPHISM curated by Junichi Yajima of Dream Rocket opened at Double Punch Gallery this past weekend ( 9/24 ).
A group art / custom figure show with global artists from Japan, Germany and America. While dubbed a Kaiju show, and featuring many types of Kaiju the show’s name referred to a form having different forms or life cycles such as a metamorphosis. Artists could use this idea and expand upon it in whatever way they wanted.
The day before the show, Friday , I was to pick up Yajima-san at the airport. Due to his lack of English and my lack of Japanese (!) I sent a schedule for each day almost hour by hour to be translated for Yajima-san. In particular i told him to proceed from customs thru one of only 2 doors into the international arrivals lobby where i would be standing and waiting for him.
Well, after 2 hours of waiting for him, he didn’t come out .. so i was getting worried ;-P Thoughts of him being questioned about strange Kaiju toys went thru my head … but my phone rang and sure enough Yajima-san was on the line…. I could figure out it was him but he could not tell me where he was in the airport ! After a few frantic minutes he found someone to hand the phone to.. and it turned out he was in the domestic terminal ! Now if you’ve ever gone through the San Francisco international customs .. well I’m still stumped as to how he managed to get over to this other building (!) let alone exit and walk past me (!!) I may never know ;-P Haha !
After another 40 minutes ( I had to move my car to another garage and walk around looking for him, I finally found him outside and of course smoking with a fellow traveler ! The look of relief on his face was priceless !
So off we go, checked him into his hotel and on to the Double Punch gallery.
At Double Punch we begin to unpack and figure out how best to layout the show .. which is a mix of custom toys, artwork and even hand knitted figures.
As we set up, Emilio ( jumping brain ) Garcia and his girlfriend arrived to meet Yajima-san and also to lend a hand at setting up ! Emilio was so helpful !!! Above Yajima-san, Emilio and myself attempt to mount a shelf .. which ultimately did not work out (!) But no matter, we eventually found some clever solutions 😉
Soon we had to leave to attend a dinner at Mel’s Drive In … several collectors attended and a good time was had by all.
My Club Sandwich … and below Max ordered clam chowder in a bread bowel AND he ordered a bacon cheese burger, both of which he ate !
No wonder he’s almost my height … ;-P Yajima-san even sketched for a fan .. he’s not found of his drawing skills, but I kept telling him he’s really good ! I think you’ll agree in this pic below … very cool !
The night was over and even though we were tempted to go feed the racoons ( haha ) I knew it had been a long day for Yajima-san.
The next day, Yajima-san needed to finish off a few of his newest figure Beelzebub … so using V color paints he sprayed away. The weather was not very good, with a light drizzle …
We had a good turnout and Yajima-san was happy 😉 Even though our plans for a translator fell through Yajima-san was able to talk to fans and show his work. The opening was over as quickly as if had begun and it was time to eat !
The next day, Sunday, Yajima-san was o give a painting demo at Double Punch in the afternoon.
But first, after breakfast, we watched Mad Monster Party at my house… a classic stop motion film that Yajima-san remembered from his childhood. He really loved it .. an interesting note the figures and animation were done in Japan by a Japanese crew… Yajima-san did not know this and was very surprised ;-P
We did not have a airbrush hook up, but Yajima-san used a dry brush technique on his figure …
this requires most of the paint to be wiped off and vigorous strokes over the figure to get the paint onto the high points of the figure. Several layers are slowly built up, as well as colors laid over each other.
Final details such as eyes are hand painted. While the figure appeared done, he said that he needed to spray several tints of color over the figure ( red, blue green ) and a final clear coat.
Monday Yajima-san was leaving and to make sure he didn’t get lost I walked him to the security check point and made sure he headed to his gate ;-P
I have to give a big thumbs up to Yajima-san. Not only did he plan this show but he made the trip over from Japan. This being only the second time he’s ever been out of Japan and the first time on his own ;-P
It’s a major step for this artist and i hope the fans coming to see the show will realize the determination it took him. Not understanding or really speaking the language he still forged ahead with his plan.
Yajima-san is a full time Kaiju / Toy maker … so even traveling is a great expense to him. But he felt it important, as i do, to make that human connection to fans here in the US. Yes, YOU collectors out there are mostly only focused on the getting your toys .. but you have to realize that people are behind them. And in this case a humble person who lives to make and sell toys .. crafted in the classic tradition of Japanese sofubi ( soft vinyl ) toys. It’s really important, maybe even more so now in these hard times, to make the effort to support artists like Yajima-san.
The toy world is a microcosm of the World …you’ve heard me talk about this before .. but if everyone paid it forward a little more the Toy World would be a much better place… Toy Karma !
Items now online here ! —> http://doublepunch.bigcartel.com/