Monday, June 30, 2014

Artist process - Unarm t-shirt printing

Yesterday, i had the chance to document artist process of the Unarm members printing their tshirts at one of the vocalist Nanae san's home. The design is by Yusuke san, about the main issues that's been protested constantly about nuclear power in Japan. He illustrates and put together in photoshop then send to the shop to make the block and he mix the colors in this images and video its grey for the black tshirts and another design with leaf motifs or Happa, he mix turquoise and black which came out so beautifully, that look like olives color. The tshirts he ordered from internet in a bundle a costs 350¥ (RM11) a piece which is really cheap with its good quality and the tshirts dye ink costs 3726¥ (RM118) a tub, good price for a high quality dye. The Happa design is my most favourite, a motifs of leaves an opposite to the nuclear power logo. I told him many people compliments the design when i wear the tshirt in Koenji. He was happy. Arigatou gozaimasu Yusuke san, Nanae san, Unarm san.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Seku Hara and Tempé

Finally, everyday i walk pass by this Indonesian food place and today i tried and see, there are some free seats so i ordered Nasi Goreng, Kopi Bali and tapau some tempé. I had a chat with the owner, his name is Petang, a nickname or his village where he came from in Bali. I'm asking how long he's been opening his place and other stuff, he said he's been living in Japan for 12 years but the shop was opened for 5 years. He married a Japanese and she's an office lady. I ask him about his shop how he first open it, it was quite expensive the first time he opens the shop, he was struggling with buying all the kitchen wares.
He also mention this morning news he saw on TV there's tighter law regarding sexual harrasment or 'SekuHara' towards women so that's why most Japanese men are single. First he ask me wether in malaisea, if my family members, friends, relatives asking me wether i'm married or not. But in Japan, for example asking a woman without knowing the person, like first time meeting a women and asking how old is she or is she married, she can easily go and make police report and the guy asking could get sentenced for sexual harassment. We're just comparing between malaisea, Indonesia and Japan. That's why he said most Japanese men go to Bali or Indonesia, so they can ask the local are you married? maybe he was joking around but maybe that's how he met his wife. Petang also is an artist. He do paintings of mostly Bali traditional dancers like the ones on his shop's wall, and he sold them for 1000¥ per piece like A5 size. He also mention Bali is the only place in the world left that strongly practise their traditions, i guess that means their local custom were perfectly preserved from other cultural invasions. But i love it how he's talking in Indonesian but laced with Nihon go here and there so its kinda unique and cute as well.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

What on earth?

.Went to the bookstore in Tower Records in Shibuya, they have some nice imported books, graphic novels. Then i flip through this book 'What on earth happened? brief', few pages and i'm sold.
Here are some interesting snippets from the book, besides from "the doctor's" eye view from the birth of universe, the earth, evolution of life, human civilization ups and downs up until now.

What on earth happened?
pg.163 (template our world is using today)
What made the Roman civilization so remarkable in the classical world was its ability to survive so long, despite its addiction to the constant economic growth needed to feed the insatiable appetites of its rich ruling class. It ruthlessly suppressed the poor by enlisting them as soldiers for its armies or slave laborers for its engineering projects. It controlled its huge populations through mass-entertainment programs and propaganda. It exploited the earth's natural mineral resources when further military expansion proved impossible, and it hijacked a minority religious sect to incorporate a new state religion with fierce intolerance for anything its leaders deemed heresy.

Such tactics become powerful templates for the future. They were subject to repeated reincarnations in various guises, initially across the fractious lands of Europe and the arid deserts of the Middle East, but later throughout  the entire world. THanks to the rise and fall of the Roman Empire, the relationship between human civilizations and nature lurched into new phase that helped set the stage for the beginning of the modern world.

pg169 (closer to home, Penan tribe from Borneo)
Sharing resources between all living things, animals or people was central to the lives of animistic people. SOme of the most common taboos didn't prohibit things at all-rather they promoted obligations of generosity. The Penan tribe belongs to the Dayak people of the Borneo. They are thought to have been part of the Austronesian expansion which took place about 1000 BC, eventually leading to the populating of Polynesia. A distinctive element of of their culture is the requirement of always sharing wisely. This is called 'molong', a word meaning 'never take more than necessary'. To molong a sago palm is to harvest the trunk with care, ensuring the that the tree sucker up from the roots. Molong is climbing a tree to gather fruit rather than cutting it down, or harvesting only the largest fronds of the rattan, leaving the smaller shoots so that they reach the proper size in another year. Whenever the Penan molong a fruit tree they mark it with a knife -  a sign that means 'Please share it wisely'. The greatest taboo in Penan society is see hun -  a failure to share.
The tougher the living conditions, the more generous the spirit. In Timbuktu, a city in present day Mali that lies on the southern edge of the scorching Shara desert, there's an ancient tradition that still survives amongst some camel herders. It demands that any guest be given what he needs-even if it means slaughtering the last goat whose milk feeds the nomads' children, or sharing the last drop of drinking water.
Some cultures venerated trees as much as animals, and for them the forests were the holiest of holies on earth. They were the sacred places of the Celtic European pagans long before the onset of Christianity gave them a new, more abstract God to worship. The pagan beliefs of the Nordic people, who came front eh Southern Scandinavia, the Netherlands and northern Germany, led them to worship their gods in woods not temples.

pg. 192 (localized outside knowledge like what the Japanese are doing now)
Rulers such as Harun al-Rashid (ruled 786-809 AD) sent diplomats to Constatinople to acquire Greek texts. His son al-Ma'mun (ruled 813-33 AD) is even  said to have made it a condition of peace that the Byzantines habd over a copy 'Ptolemy's Almagest'. Written in about 150 AD, this book of matematical astronomy explained in precise detail how to predict the position of the sun, moon, and planets on any given date, past, present or future. It became an astronomical gospel for Islamic rulers, who used it to determined the dates of future religious festivals, such as Ramadhan, that were based on the cycles of the moon.
Thousands of other ancient texts were translated into Arabic or Persian in Abbasids' House of Wisdom, an enormous royal library in Bahgdad. Caliphs lured translators, scholars and philosophers from all over the known world to their courts and even encouraged debates on how  to reconciled the works of rational philosophers like Aristotle with the divine revelations of Mohammed.

Monday, June 23, 2014

climate change / polar bear

In 2009, an environmental acitivist friend of mine had the chance to go to Copenhagen and join the world government meetings and talks on climate change. She ask me to design a tshirt for her to wear so i design a tshirt for her and the image stuck with me and i painted it from time to time in art events, on walls and in some interviews i explain that not much has been discussed in local media on climate change and the action or strategy or resolutions towards it. So here are some images and timeline on the polar bear standing on the last melting block of ice while searching for another ice block or land , i titled this image 'emigrate' but later i remembered 1 of Megadeth song titled 'Countdown to extinction' which could be the title and then i remembered one of Nofx song lyrics 'extinction never felt so good' from the song 'Dinosaurs will die' that could be the title of this polar bear illustrations so, those are the 3 titles 'Emigrate', 'Countdown to extinction' and 'Extinction never felt so good' or maybe one more 'apati' in the case of malaisean society towards climate change issues.

'Survival is non-negotiable' - 2nd Dec 2009

Silkscreen tshirts - 9 Dec 2009

Markers on post it note - 14 Oct 2009

Tiktok earth exhibition - 22 May 2010

 Drum art project/Publika, 'Emigrate' - 28 March 2010

Ampang Jelatek, 'Emigrate' - 17 Oct 2009

January 2010: Failed

Silkscreened painting - May 2010

'Ferns' album cover - 24 Nov 2010

Urbanscape event, wooden pool - 5 July 2011

Drawings 10 Aug 2011

Ferns/OJ Law album launch gig flyer - 6 Jan 2012

Illustrations - 9 Jan 2012

Mural - 10 Feb 2012

Illustrations - 26 Feb 2012

Paintings - 13 April 2012

Silkscreen items/artforgrabs - 25 March 2012

emigrate on recycled materials, Koenji/Tokyo - March 2014

keep on floating - 21/6/2014

i still draw this image with many variations and compositions, some not just climate change but merge with the plastic waste caused by human as well, but this is what can get this morning...
will update and add more to the timeline soon