Here’s part 1 about my recent trip to Japan, for my 2 person art show with artist Konatsu and Max Toy stuff.
Return to Tokyo !
Has it really been a year and a half ? It seemed like only a few months ago, after many months of prepping and planning I was to travel to Tokyo for the second part of the Max Toy 5th Anniversary show … only to have the great earthquake and tsunami happen … it was very hard to cancel my trip but ultimately the concerns of my family meant I could not go. While the show went on and was well attended, I was sad i could not be there to show my support and encouragement.
So as we neared the time for me to leave, way back in my mind I thought, after again much work and coordination for this new show, a 2 person art show with artist Konatsu, could something go wrong again ;-P Nah ….
About 2 hours into the flight, the Captain gets on the intercom .. “Hi Folks, this is your Captain .. There’s no need to worry, but … “
….Ummm, Yes, I’m worried !!! ….
.. he continues …” we have a crack or leak in a window in the cockpit … and it’s making a loud sound that will prevent us from flying to Japan, so we are turning around to go to Seattle … Oh and we can’t land right away cause we have a full tank so we have to fly around another hour and also dump fuel out the wing .. so if you see a bunch of liquid off the wing tips don’t worry ” …
… at this point, I’m thinking the Toy Gods really don’t want me to return to Japan ;-P
Ok… so really nothing I can do .. but sit and see what happens. Worse case I have to spend a night in Seattle ( I’ve never been ) and leave the following morning … while I’d be late to set up the show at least I would make it for the reception … I hope …We land in Seattle ( a really hard landing by the way ) and once off the plane learn that another plane will be ready, so after about a 40 minute wait we board again .. and take off for a second time ! Oh, I also have to quickly text Yo-san, who will pick me up, that I will be late to land …and of course tell my wife I’m back in the US .. for the moment …
The ride was fine and I finally arrive at Narita at 10:30 pm, after nearly 15 hours of flying, and Yo-san and family greet me. From this point forward I have to say it’s really a big blur for me … we have the show to set up, there are numerous meetings and people to meet … !
I always feel like taffy at the end of these trips cause I’m pulled in so many directions and at the same time !!
I stay at the same place in Shinjuku, a no frills room.. but is decent, good price and the staff understands simple English .. plus I’m only in my room to sleep … it’s constantly on the go for these trips !! It’s nearly midnight by the time i fall asleep .. the next day is set up ! I fall into a deep sleep and as usual wake up at 3 am, 4 am and finally just get up at 5:30 am .. I’m fully awake… thank you, Jet Lag. The best thing about Japanese TV .. is well Japanese TV ;-P
Day 2, after a quick breakfast we make our way to Harajuku and the Design Festa complex to set up the show.
First, SunGuts and I go to another part of the building to stencil a wall they have … to be honest I have no idea what to do with a stencil, let alone make one .. but i did make one .. haha … and brought it along ….
Back to the show, Yo-san, SunGuts and Dream Rockets and others all show up to help with the set up .. I’m very lucky to have such good follow toy makers and artists willing to help 😉
This time the show was much easier for us to set up as we only had a few pieces of art and my customs .. Konatsu’s helpers would set up her side …Konatsu and I worked on several 2 person artworks, with various subjects. This is a giclee, based on two separate paintings we did for a Medicom Negora release.
The main show image .. my City Cat versus Konatsu’s Country Cat. The process was several months back I painted my side plus the others below and sent them to Konatsu to add her art to them… the cool part was she was actually paying attention to what I had painted, if you look closely I’m in the paw of the City Cat .. so she did the same on her side !
Of all of them, this West vs East Dragon was the toughest for me, above .. I had to leave spaces open for her to wrap her dragon around .. she did a fantastic job in rendering her part !
and finally Nagata Drazoran x Konatsu Eyezon.
Needless to say, the items people in Japan and here in the US where waiting for were Konatsu’s hand painted customs… to say she hit a home run is an understatement … take a look for your self … !Vampy Negora !
My personal favorite was this tiger striped custom …beautiful ….
and of course they all sold the next day .. sorry !… She also had a series of micro Negora customs, but somehow I don’t have a picture of them …oops …Here’s Konatsu’s set up, missing her micro customs and a piece of artwork, all which were brought in the next morning for the public opening …
My customs .. looking very sad and lonely … I’m thinking why I’m I in this show anyways ??
Shows just about ready .. so we take a quick lunch break …Design Festa has a restaurant so we ordered food from them …yummy … !
This massive (!!) flower arrangement showed up from Medicom President Akashi-san ! Whoa .. did I say it was massive ?!! Such a kind thought and made us all feel good !
In between worrying about setting up and various other toy politic stuff … I’m able to take a few minutes to breathe, and take in the fact, that I’m really blessed to have such good supporters and friends … it’s really been so busy the past 2 years that it’s getting harder to just sit back and enjoy some of the projects we’ve done .. but I’m trying my best to do this.
Believe it or not, this will be the last show I do like this for the foreseeable future. We have so many projects coming up that will take all my time and attention… so knowing this … I know I ‘d better enjoy this show ;-P
The next time I’ll cover the artists reception, and opening day … !