With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013
With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

ACF 1140: VIZ titles sweep NY Times manga bestseller list for week of August 20th


YU-GI-OH! GX © 2005 by Kazuki Takahashi, Naoyuki Kageyama/SHUEISHA Inc.
© K. Takahashi
© NAS/TV TOKYO

VIZ MEDIA DOMINATES THE LATEST
NEW YORK TIMES MANGA BESTSELLER LIST

Newest YU-GI-OH! GX Volume Takes #1 Spot
And Is Complemented By Other Top Manga Properties
Including BLUE EXORCIST, BLEACH, BAKUMAN,
BLACK BIRD, FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST, NARUTO
And More!

VIZ Media titles have swept the latest Top 10 on the New York Times Manga Bestseller list for the week of August 2oth.

The top selling VIZ Media manga (graphic novel) titles included:

1.             YU-GI-OH! GX Vol. 7 
2.             BLUE EXORCIST Vol. 3 
3.             BAKUMAN Vol. 6 
4.             BLEACH 3-In-1 Edition Vol. 2 
5.             FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST 3-In-1 Edition Vol. 2 
6.             AI ORE! Vol. 2 
7.             SAKURA HIME: THE LEGEND OF PRINCESS SAKURA,    Vol. 2 
8.             BLACK BIRD Vol. 5 
9.             NARUTO Vol. 48 
10.         NARUTO 3-In-1 Edition Vol. 1 

The New York Times Bestseller lists are an expanded version of those appearing in the September 4, 2011 print edition of the Book Review, reflecting sales for the week ending August 20, 2011. Rankings reflect weekly sales for books sold in both print and electronic formats.

“It’s very exciting to see such a varied array of VIZ Media titles sweep the latest New York Times Top 10 manga bestseller list,” says Leyla Aker, Vice President, Publishing. “Cornerstone properties like the top placing YU-GI-OH! GX, as well as NARUTO, BLEACH, and FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST, continue to resonate with legions of fans and our new 3-In-1 omnibus manga collections have also proved a big hit with readers. We’re also very happy to see several shojo properties like AI ORE, SAKURA HIME, and BLACK BIRD perform so well. We look forward to readers continuing to look to VIZ Media for the best in both print and digital manga!”

Monday, August 29, 2011

ACF 1139: Free screening of Yoon Sung-Hyun's "Bleak Night" on Tuesday, September 6th

Korean Cultural Service NY
presents
Korean Movie Night
Series 5: Hidden Gems of Korean Cinema, Part II
Bleak Night / Pasuggun
Directed by: Yoon Sung-Hyun
South Korea, 2011, 117 minutes
When: Tuesday, September 6th @ 7:00 PM
Doors open: 6:30 PM
Where: Tribeca Cinemas
54 Varick Street, NYC
Near the A, C, E @ #1 Canal Street subway stops
Admission: FREE!!!
All seating is first-come, first served.

The Hollywood Reporter heralds director Yoon Sung-Hyun as one of the best new Korean filmmakers and director Bong Joon-Ho (The Host) calls his first movie “astonishing.” Yoon’s award-winning Bleak Night was the talk of the Rotterdam Film Festival and 2011’s indie break-out film in Korea, and it’s easy to see why. Leaping back and forth through time, the movie follows a grieving father as he tries to solve the mystery of his teenaged son’s suicide. Suffused with sadness, it’s one of the toughest movies about high school friendship ever made.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

ACF 1138: "Films for Hope" tribute animation festival at Japan Society on Septembe 11th, 2011

La Luna (c) 2011 Disney-Pixar
 Tribute Animation Festival for Japan
Debuts in NYC with Premiere Pixar Short
Films for Hope
Curated by Justin Leach with Appearances by Enrico Casarosa and Dai Sato **
Sunday, September 11, 2011, 1:00-8:00 pm, at Japan Society

Conceived and developed in response to the disasters following the March 11 earthquake in Japan, Films for Hope is a showcase of thrilling, diverse short animated films from around the world celebrating the creativity of artists inspired by Japanese animation techniques and storytelling.

Taking place Sunday, September 11, at Japan Society, Films for Hope commemorates the half year point after the earthquake, as well as the 10-year anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the U.S.

“This is a time of mourning and remembrance in the U.S. and Japan, with rebuilding efforts in both countries still underway,” notes curator Justin Leach. “This series of films captures the spirit of possibility and the incredible invention that ushers us through seemingly insurmountable challenges and makes us more resilient on the other side of tragedy.”

With over 30 shorts from countries such as France, Spain, the U.K. Germany, Poland, Taiwan, China, Canada, the U.S. and Japan, the festival features the East Coast premiere of Pixar’s latest animated short film, La Luna. Director Enrico Casarosa appears in person to discuss the creation and production of La Luna, as well as his efforts to help Japan through grassroots fundraising.

In addition, Dai Sato presents his new animated feature Norageki! (Five Numbers!), a U.S. premiere, and discusses his efforts to help those impacted by the earthquake and share his thoughts on how the disasters will impact Japan’s animation industry in the years to come.

The one-day festival is comprised of four programs. The first two are family-friendly and suitable for all ages, including Once Upon a Dream: Kids Block ( 1:00-2:00 pm) and Komaneko: The Curious Cat (2:30-3:30). Programs 3 and 4 are recommended for ages 13+ due to some violence and mature themes. They are Sector Animauteurs (4:00-5:15) and the centerpiece presentation La Luna and Five Numbers! (5:30-7:00). The final program is followed by a reception.
Tickets to individual programs are $10/$7 members, students and seniors. A ONE-DAY PASS including all four screenings is available for $34/$24 Japan Society members, students & seniors. Half of all ticket sales go to the Japan Earthquake Relief Fund. All films shown have been graciously donated in support of the project. Curated by Justin Leach, the festival is a joint initiative of Japan Society’s Film Program and the U.S.-Japan Innovators Network.

SCHEDULE


Featuring Le Royaume by Oussama Bouacheria, Julien Chheng, Sébastien Hary, Aymeric Kevin, Ulysse Malassagne, Franck Monier, Nunos Alves Rodrigues, Mobile by Verena Fels, Happy Bogeys 1 by Takashi Kurihara, Paraphernalia by Sabrina Cotugno, Dreamgiver by Tyler Carter, Happy Bogeys 2  by Takashi Kurihara, Burning Safari by Vincent Aupetit/Jeanne Irzenski/Florent De La Taille/Maxime Maleo/Aurelien Predal/Claude-William Trebutien, Salesman Pete by Marc Bouyer, Max Loubaresse, Anthony Vivien,  Happy Bogeys 3 by Takashi Kurihara, The Arctic Circle by Kevin Parry, Lizard Planet by Tomoyoshi Joko, Happy Bogeys 4 by Takashi Kurihara, Shell Out by Sunmee Dong, Gulp by Sumo Science, and Out of Sight by Ya-Ting Yu.

This Program is suitable for all ages.
Program 2: Komaneko: The Curious Cat
2:30pm-3:30pm

Komaneko by Tsuneo Goda    
2006, 60 min., 35mm, color.  Directed by Tsuneo Goda.  No dialogue.
Komaneko spends her days in her attic making films with her handmade dolls. This delightful puppet animation features five short episodes from the director of the Domo-kun series Komaneko’s pastel hues, kawaii characters and storylines delight both children and adults alike.

This Program is suitable for all ages.

Program 3:  Sector Animauteurs                    
4pm-5:15pm
Featuring Rain Town by Hiroyasu Ishida, Caffeine by Danae Diaz, Happy Bogeys 5 by Takashi Kurihara, In a Pig's Eye by Atsushi Wada, Happy Bogeys 6 by Takashi Kurihara, Paths of Hate by Damian Neno2, Happy Bogeys 7 by Takashi Kurihara,  Key Lime Pie by Trevor Jimenez, Kung Fu Cooking Girls by Cloud Yang, Grand Central by Charlotte Cambon, Théo Guignard, Noé Lecombre, Hugo Moreno, Soizic Mouton, Brooklyn by Alice Bissonet, Benjamin Moreau, Corentin Penloup, Marion Roussel, Louis Thomas, Happy Bogeys 8 by Takashi Kurihara, Alma by Rodrigo Blaas, The Lighthouse Keeper by David Francois, Rony Hotin, Jeremie Moreau, Baptiste Rogron, Gaelle Thierry, Mailys Vallade, and La Maison en Petits Cubes by Kunio Kato  (2009 Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film).

This Program is suggested for ages 13+ for some violence and mature content in Paths of Hate and Kung Fu Cooking Girls.

Program 4: La Luna and Five Numbers!
5:30pm-7pm
La Luna, New York Premiere
2011, 6 min 51sec., 35 mm, color, directed by Enrico Casarosa.
The timeless fable of a young boy coming of age in the most peculiar of circumstances. Tonight is the very first time his papa and grandpa are taking him to work. In an old wooden boat they row far out to sea, and with no land in sight, they stop and wait. A big surprise awaits the little boy as he discovers his family's most unusual line of work. Should he follow the example of his papa or his grandpa? Will he be able to find his own way in the midst of their conflicting opinions and timeworn traditions?
Five Numbers!  U.S. Premiere
2011, 24 min., DVD, color, directed by Hiroaki Ando, script by Dai Sato.
Four ex-convicts wake up in the ultimate prison. The guards are all gone and they do not know why they are there. A race to escape ensues, and the only person who seems to know the way out is the fifth prisoner, a mysterious old man with a black cat.

This Program is suggested for ages 13+ for mature content in Five Numbers!

The screenings are followed by a conversation with director Enrico Casarosa (La Luna) and scriptwriter Dai Sato (Five Numbers!, Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo) on the making of their latest films and how the aftermath of the March 11 disasters in Japan may influence Japan’s animation industry.
~

Enrico Casarosa is Director / Head of Story for Pixar Animation Studios. He joined Pixar in January 2002.  He began working as a story artist on Cars and the Academy Award-winning feature Ratatouille.  Casarosa’s next project was as story artist on Disney•Pixar’s Academy Award-winning feature film Up. Casarosa made his directing debut with the short film, La Luna, which will screen with the Disney•Pixar feature film Brave in 2012. Casarosa counts his early influences in Hayao Miyazaki’s work and grew up watching Miyazaki’s television series in Italy. Born and raised in Genoa, Casarosa moved to New York City in his twenties, to study animation at the School of Visual Arts and Illustration at the Fashion Institute of Technology.  Before coming to Pixar, Casarosa worked as a storyboard artist at Blue Sky Studios on Ice Age and Robots.  He also worked as a background designer and storyboard artist for a number of Disney Channel Television Series’ including “101 Dalmatians” and “PB&J Otters”. More at http://enricocasarosa.com/wordpress.1/.

Dai Sato, is an anime scriptwriter for Storyriders. Dai Sato started as a runner at several of Tokyo's leading animation studios and TV stations before establishing a name for himself in TV. He has collaborated with some of Japan's best-known anime writers, and used this experience in game development projects and interactive club events. He set up the Tokyo-based indie label Frogman Records in 1993, and in 1996 he created the Tokyo and London-based tech/anime/fashion/game consultancy group FROGNATION with Kengo Watanabe and Lynn Robson. Then, in the summer of 2007, Dai left FROGNATION and started his own company, Storyriders. An experienced journalist, he has regular weekly and monthly columns in many of Tokyo's leading game and culture magazines.  Dai has been a writer for critically and popularly acclaimed television series and films such as Tekken: Blood Vengeance  (2011), Halo Legends (2010), Eden of the East (2009), Samurai Champloo (2004), Casshern (2004), Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (2004), and Cowboy Bebop (1998). Dai is a member of Japan Society’s U.S.-Japan Innovators Network.

Films for Hope is founded by Justin Leach, a 12 year veteran of the animation industry who has worked in on such films as: Great Expectations, Palmetto, Bunny, Ice Age, Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, Ghost in the Shell 2.0, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Ice Age 3, Rio, Ice Age 4 (in production), and Leafmen (In production). Leach lived and worked in Japan for nearly three years as a CG Creator at Production I.G. Hecurrently works at Blue Sky Studios as a Rigging Supervisor. He is a member of Japan Society’s U.S.-Japan Innovators Network. More at http://filmsforhope.org/.

Japan Society’s Film Program offers a diverse selection of Japanese films, from classics to contemporary independent productions. Its aim is to entertain, educate and support activities in the Society's arts & culture programs. The Film Program has included retrospectives of great directors, thematic series and many U.S. premieres. Some original film series curated by the Japan Society have traveled to other U.S. venues in tours organized by the Film Program. For more, visit http://www.japansociety.org/film.

Founded in 1907, Japan Society is a world-class, multidisciplinary hub for global leaders, artists, scholars, educators, and English and Japanese-speaking audiences. At the Society, more than 100 events each year feature sophisticated, topically relevant presentations of Japanese art and culture and open, critical dialogue on issues of vital importance to the U.S., Japan and East Asia. An American nonprofit, nonpolitical organization, the Society cultivates a constructive, resonant and dynamic relationship between the people of the U.S. and Japan. More at http://www.japansociety.org.

Films for Hope takes place Sunday, September 1:00-8:00 pm. Japan Society is located at 333 East 47th Street between First and Second avenues (accessible by the 4/5/6 and 7 subway at Grand Central or the E and V subway at Lexington Avenue). Tickets to individual programs are $10/$7 members, students and seniors. A ONE-DAY PASS including all four screenings is available for $34/$24 Japan Society members, students & seniors (this offer is only when purchasing tickets in person or over the phone.) Tickets can be purchased in person at Japan Society, by calling the box office at 212-715-1258, or by visiting www.japansociety.org. For more information, call 212-832-1155 or visit the website.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

ACF 1137: "Samurai Girls Complete Collection" now available on DVD and Blu-Ray


Section23 Films has announced the release of the hit series SAMURAI GIRLS. The uncensored Complete Collection is available on both DVD and Blu-Ray, and is on sale now.

The Samurai Code was never this sexy…..

SYNOPSIS: Muneakiru Yagyu is a gifted student of the samurai way. But until he arrives at his dojo, he never knew how gifted he truly was. Because there, a beautiful girl, Jubei, falls-naked-from the sky and right into his arms. And when they kiss, he magically transforms her into a powerful master samurai. So, naturally, every beautiful girl at the dojo can't wait to kiss him. And some, like the sexy Gisen, want to do even more. It's a tale of power and lust, filled with beautiful, scantily clad swordfighters who will do anything to please their master and attain even greater power. Get your sword ready for Samurai Girls!
 
Title:                 SAMURAI GIRLS COMPLETE COLLECTION - DVD
Running Time:   300 min.
Age Rating:       TV MA (V, D)
Language:         English & Japanese with English Subtitles
Published by:    Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by:  Section23 Films
Format:             DVD
SRP:                $59.98

             Title:                SAMURAI GIRLS COMPLETE COLLECTION - BLU-RAY
             Running Time:  300 min.
             Age Rating:      TV MA (V, D)
             Language:        English & Japanese with English Subtitles
             Published by:   Sentai Filmworks
             Distributed by: Section23 Films
             Format:            BD
             SRP:               $69.98

Friday, August 26, 2011

ACF 1136: : "COOL JAPAN: OLD MEETS NEW IN KYOTO" at J-Pop Summit Festival in S.F. this Saturday

NEW PEOPLE AND CONSULATE GENERAL OF JAPAN PRESENT
COOL JAPAN: OLD MEETS NEW IN KYOTO
WITH SOU • SOU FASHION DESIGNER AT
2011 J-POP SUMMIT FESTIVAL
SOU • SOU Founding Designer Explores Ideas Of Creating Modern Designs
Based On Japanese Tradition With Discussion And Fashion Show

The Consulate General of Japan, in cooperation with NEW PEOPLE will present Cool Japan: Old Meets New in Kyoto, a unique fashion show and cultural discussion set to take place on Saturday, August 27th as part of the 2011 J-Pop Summit Festival.

The Fashion Show (1:15pm - 2:15pm): A SOU • SOU fashion show, which is free and open to the public, is scheduled for 1:15pm - 2:15pm on the Pagoda Stage at Japantown’s Peace Plaza. It will feature innovative apparel and footwear products from the SOU • SOU brand, designed by Takeshi Wakabayashi, as well as a new collaborative line launched with NEW PEOPLE! Catch a variety of prominent local individuals who will act as models, including Japanese Consul General Hiroshi Inomata, famed food critic Patricia Unterman, and Graham Leggat, former Executive Director of San Francisco Film Society.

Designer Talk (4:00pm to 5:30pm): Invitation only event at NEW PEOPLE SUPERFROG Gallery (3rd Floor) SOU • SOU designer Takeshi Wakabayashi will discuss his ideas of, “Creating modern designs based on Japanese tradition.” Kyoto, where Wakabayashi resides, is an ancient capitol of Japan and a stronghold of traditional Japanese arts and culture with an accumulation of artisanship and related technology going back centuries. The city has also become a bustling center for modern creative design, where these cultural and industrial assets are to survive. Wakabayashi will also discuss how these innovative ideas are being passed to the young generations, based on his ongoing career as a professor at the Kyoto University of Art and Design.

“I’m very proud to present this special event in cooperation with NEW PEOPLE as part of the ‘Cool Japan Project,’ sponsored by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” says Consul General Hiroshi Inomata. “I invite the San Francisco Bay Area, potential business partners, and J-Pop Summit visitors to discover some great examples of Japanese innovation and high-quality products in the SOU • SOU brand, which also won two prizes at the Visit Japan Campaign - Japan’s Attractive Souvenir Contest 2010.”

Consul General Inomata will also host a reception party following the end of the lecture at 6:00pm at the near-by Hotel Kabuki in the Mezzanine Lounge. A variety of SOU • SOU products will also be on display and more information will be available on the Cool Japan Project.

Wakabayashi ‘s SOU • SOU brand has developed a unique line of Japanese classic “Tabi” shoes based on a design originally favored by Japanese construction workers. SOU • SOU’s combination of form-fitting soles and colorful graphic patterns has attracted a huge following, from dancers to the sneaker-obsessed. Designed to be fresh and fun, each shoe is handcrafted in Japan and made for durability using traditional techniques and puts a vibrant, modern twist on the ultra-comfortable, traditional Japanese work shoe.

The 2011 J-Pop Summit Festival is a showcase for Japanese pop culture events and is highlighted by live bands and DJs, fashion shows, a vocaloid music conference, theatrical film premieres, dance workshops and performances, and assorted arts, crafts and food vendors. Full details and programming schedules are now available at J-pop.com.

More information about the Consulate General of Japan is available at: http://www.sf.us.emb-japan.go.jp.

NEW PEOPLE opened in 2009 and has become a unique must-see attraction of San Francisco’s cultural landscape. The 20,000 square foot contemporary venue features the latest examples Japanese popular culture expressed though film, art, fashion, and a variety of specialty boutiques and ongoing monthly events. NEW PEOPLE is located at 1746 Post Street in the city’s Japantown.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

ACF 1135: "Fiber Futures: Japan’s Textile Pioneers" exhibition coming to Japan Society, NY



Akio Hamatani (1947- ). W-Orbit, 2010.
Rayon, indigo; special technique.
Diameter approximately 157 in. (400 cm). 
Courtesy of the artist.
Japan Society Showcases a Growing Aesthetic Movement–Art
Inspired By Extreme Textile Making
Fiber Futures: Japan’s Textile Pioneers
September 16-December 18, 2011 at Japan Society Gallery

This fall Japan Society Gallery will explore a new art that is emerging from a remarkable fusion of Japanese artisanal and industrial textile-making. Coaxed from materials as age-old as hemp and newly developed as microfilaments, a varied array of more than 35 large-scale works will be on view in Fiber Futures: Japan's Textile Pioneers from Friday, September 16 to Sunday, December 18, 2011.

While the spirit of a Japanese sensibility and a technical virtuosity hewn over centuries is everywhere evident, what best characterizes the work on view is a thirst for experimentation, whether it be in the search for the unconventional material or in the fusing of seemingly opposing extremes of old and new. One also sees the medium of fiber used to express ideas about nature and sustainability and personal and cultural identity.


Hitomi Nagai (1954- ).
Birth, 2011.
Cotton; waffle weave.
79 × 43 × 11 in. (200 × 110 × 28 cm).
Photo: Mareo Suemasa.

“These works remind us that important art need not always be about rebellion or subversion,” notes Joe Earle, Director of Japan Society Gallery and curator of the exhibition. “For most of the 30 artists represented here, it is the material that tells them what to do next, in the spirit of tariki, originally a Buddhist term meaning the ‘power of another.’”


Hiroko Watanabe.
Aka no kodō (Red Pulse), 1999.
Cotton and metal fiber; hand weaving.
51 × 39 × 10 in. (129 × 98 × 25 cm).
Photo: Mareo Suemasa.

“The very qualities that are unique to fabric inspire me and my fellow artists to try to move beyond mere technical mastery to create daring and beautiful works of art,” says Hiroko Watanabe, a professor at Tama Art University, president of International Textile Network Japan, and an artist represented in Fiber Futures. The exhibition is a juried show, jointly presented by Japan Society and International Textile Network Japan as part of a long-term collaboration with Tama Art University Museum in Tokyo.


Kyōko Ibe (1941- ).
Airy Sonnet of Blue, 1989.
Kōzo mulberry fiber.
197 × 236 × 276 in. (500 × 600 × 700 cm).
Museu de Arte Moderna, São Paulo.
Photo: Ei Oiwa.

Japan Society has commissioned an installation from Kyoko Ibe, one of Japan’s most influential paper artists, as part of the exhibition. An ethereal web of indigo-dyed gossamer threads will sway to the breeze and catch and reflect light as it floats above the garden pool in the lobby of the Society’s landmarked building. Ibe’s other work in the show is a screen made of paper from the 19th century, remnants of ink glowing blue-black—a palimpsest of words once read and lives once lived. Emotion is found in reuse in this highly sophisticated object lesson in sustainability.


Jun’ichi Arai (1932 -).
Flame-resistant shop curtain, 2005.
Polyphenylene sulfide (PPS) film, vacuum-deposited aluminum.
142 × 142 in. (360 × 360 cm).
Photo: Mareo Suemasa.

Jun’ichi Arai, one of the world’s most celebrated textile pioneers, is contributing a show-stopper, a huge, eye-poppingly beautiful filmy gold and silver curtain whose formal simplicity belies extraordinary technical complexity. Of a double-cloth weave—gold on one side, silver on the other—the curtain is made of monofilament “slit film” yarn, ultra-thin strips sliced from polyphenylene sulfide film with a 1/10000 of a millimeter vacuum-deposited aluminum coating. For the silver color, the aluminum was covered with an even thinner layer of clear epoxy resin, and for the gold, the resin was mixed with a yellow dye. Finally, the artist employed a process called “melt-off,” which he himself invented, to dissolve the aluminum coating from unprotected areas of the surface.


Yuh Okano (1965- ).
Flower: Coming Events Cast Their Shadow Before, 2010.
Silk, partially felted with raw wool; hand-formed corsages.
71 × 20 in. (180 × 50 cm).
Courtesy of the artist.

Yuh Okano, another noted textile designer and artist active in both Japan and New York, will show a brick-hued piece from her “Water” series, pairing the natural (wool) and the synthetic (polyester) to rugged, regal affect. The tireless inventor Reiko Sudo, known for devising “abusive treatments” in the pursuit of unexpected surfaces, presents a new installation work. Fabrication (2011) floats in space, a single piece of fabric fashioned from tightly embroidered “warps” hand-shaped over a metal rod into strips and then sewed together in different combinations.

Reiko Sudo’s “abuse” of fabric is just one of the extremes to which conventional textile methods are taken—or pushed—in this exhibition. On occasion, the process becomes part of the meaning of the artwork, as in Kazuyo’s Onoyama’s astonishing Orikata (Folded Form), 2006. Here the artist has taken a thin yellow polyester fabric and folded it over and over as a prayer for, in the artist’s words, “happiness, peace, abundance and good health, and as an expression of the close relationship that should exist between human life and our natural environment.” (It is a custom in Japan to fold 1,000 paper cranes as a way of praying for recovery from illness.) For Hiroko Watanabe, the challenge was to so saturate a handwoven piece of cotton and metal fiber fabric with scarlet that, in the artist’s words, would draw out “the magical power of red.” The resulting tufted drop of fabric is tough, dense, difficult, and unforgettable.


Yasuko Iyanaga (1948- ).
Umi kara no okurimono: Air, X [A Gift from the Sea: Air, X], 2010.
Spun silk and wire; tie-dyeing.
51 1/8 × 51 1/8 × 19 5/8 in. (130 × 130 × 50 cm).
Courtesy of the artist.

For the viewer who encounters Yasuko Iyanaga’s bravura application of shibori tie-dyeing on a single piece of spun silk, it may seem as though a gentle breath is animating a giant, curvaceous, and ridge-encrusted sea creature. Other artists as well explore fiber’s potential as a sculptural medium to express natural beauty, including Hitomi Nagai, whose large-scale waffle-weave is composed of white warp and weft threads gathered and twisted at regular intervals into an enigmatic honeycomb, and Kyoko Kumai, whose large-scale installation—near-weightless orbs of fine stainless-steel yarn—evokes the sky and the cosmos.


Naoko Serino (1962- ).
Generating—8, 2006. Jute; free technique.
51 × 79 × 157 in. (130 × 200 × 400 cm).
 Courtesy of the artist.

The artists featured in Fiber Futures: Japan’s Textile Pioneers are:

Machiko Agano, b. 1953; Mitsuko Akutsu, b. 1952; Jun’ichi Arai, b. 1932; Tomoko Arakawa, b. 1974; Tetsuo Fujimoto, b. 1952; Dai Fujiwara, b.1967; Akio Hamatani, b. 1947; Kyoko Ibe, b. 1941; Kiyomi Iwata, b. 1941; Yasuko Iyanaga, b. 1948; Naomi Kobayashi, b. 1945; Kinya Koyama, b. 1946; Shigeo Kubota, b. 1947; Kyoko Kumai, b. 1943; Akiko Kumazawa, b. 1976; Tetsuo Kusama, b. 1946; Hitomi Nagai, b. 1954; Emiko Nakano, b. 1941; Yuh Okano, b. 1965; Fuminori Ono, b. 1971; Kazuyo Onoyama, b. 1951; Rei Saito, b. 1978; Hisako Sekijima, b. 1944; Naoko Serino, b. 1962; Reiko Sudo, b. 1953; Hideho Tanaka, b. 1942; Takaaki Tanaka, b. 1967; Misao Tsubaki, b. 1941; Hiroko Watanabe, b.1957; Atsuko Yoshioka, b. 1947.

For further information about this upcoming exhibition, click here.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

ACF 1134: U.S. Premiere of "Hatsune Miku Project DIVA Arcade" Game at upcoming J-Pop Summit Festival


"HATSUNE MIKU PROJECT DIVA ARCADE"

TO MAKE SPECIAL U.S. DEBUT AT

2011 J-POP SUMMIT FESTIVAL


NEW PEOPLE will team with SEGA Corporation to bring the Hatsune Miku Project DIVA Arcade to the 2011 J-Pop Summit Festival, taking place in the city’s Japantown for two days – Saturday and Sunday, August 27th and 28th.

Hatsune Miku Project DIVA Arcade” is being shipped from Japan as a special treat for J-Pop Summit attendees and is the first and only unit outside Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore. Players will be able to purchase $1.00 tickets to play the game at the NEW PEOPLE Booth stationed on Post Street throughout the Festival. Ticket sales begin at 11:00am on Saturday. August 27th. Due to time limits, only 50 tickets will be available for purchase each day.

J-Pop Summit attendees are also invited to play Hatsune Miku Project DIVA Arcade”for free – at the J-Pop Summit VIP party, taking place Saturday August 27th from 7:30pm to 10:00pm at NEW PEOPLE. Come mingle with a variety of featured artists and performers from the Festival, enjoy snacks and beverages, and try your skill at the first-ever Hatsune Miku video game to come to America! Get your VIP Party ticket now.

The weekend-long J-Pop Summit is highlighted by live bands and DJs, fashion shows, a Vocaloid music conference, several theatrical film premieres, dance workshops and performances, and assorted arts, crafts and food vendors. Full details and programming schedules are now available at J-pop.com.

Hatsune Miku Project DIVA Arcade” is the first-ever CGM (Consumer Generated Media) arcade game and features a dazzling digital world created by the players themselves. “Hatsune Miku Project DIVA Arcade” is a rhythm game featuring Hatsune Miku and other Vocaloid virtual pop stars singing popular songs from SEGA’s Hatsune Miku -Project DIVA-“ game for the Sony PSP, and from the Niko Niko Douga web site. Check out how to play.

Hatsune Miku, whose name means, “first sound of the future,” is a digital female avatar and the most popular of the Vocaloid Character Series software originally created by Crypton Future Media using Yamaha’s Vocaloid 2 engine to create synthesized vocal tracks. In Japan, Hatsune Miku is a major national phenomenon where she appears in many popular video games and music videos.

Hatsune Miku has also played several sellout “concerts,” performing on stage as a 3D hologram backed by a live band. Her international notoriety has spread to North America, where she was recently featured in a TV commercial for the 2011 Toyota Corolla. Hatsune Miku also performed her first U.S. concert for more than 5,000 people at an event called “MIKUNOPOLIS in LOS ANGELES,” which took place at the 2011 Anime Expo in Los Angeles, CA.

NEW PEOPLE opened in 2009 and has become a unique must-see attraction of San Francisco’s cultural landscape. The 20,000 square foot contemporary venue features the latest examples Japanese popular culture expressed though film, art, fashion, and a variety of specialty boutiques and ongoing monthly events. NEW PEOPLE is located at 1746 Post Street in the city’s Japantown.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

ACF 1133: VIZ Media seeking submissions for "ART FOR HOPE" digital book anthology to benefit ongoing Japanese relief efforts

VIZ MEDIA CALLS OUT TO DIGITAL ARTISTS
TO SUBMIT WORK FOR ART FOR HOPE TO BENEFIT
ONGOING JAPAN DISASTER RELIEF

Unique Art Book Project In Partnership With Autodesk Will
Curate Digital Artwork Created With Autodesk SketchBook® Software

VIZ Media is reaching out to visual, graphic and manga/comic-inspired artists to submit original work and participate in ART FOR HOPE, a special limited edition digital art book anthology, to be sold through VIZManga.com and the VIZ Manga App for iOS devices, with 100% of net proceeds supporting ongoing disaster relief efforts in Japan. Artists interested in submitting work to be considered for the collection can get the full details at www.viz.com/artforhope.

The unique project was launched in partnership with Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK), a leader in 3D design, engineering and entertainment software, and was initially announced at the 2011 Comic-Con International. All of the artwork for the ART FOR HOPE collection will be rendered using Autodesk SketchBook® digital paint and drawing software applications.

VIZ Media’s editors will collaborate with Autodesk to review and select works for inclusion in the digital anthology, which will be released later this fall through VIZManga.com and the free VIZ Manga App, available on iPad™, iPod Touch™ and iPhone™.

Friday, August 19, 2011

ACF 1132: "The Art of Vampire Knight" coming September 6th, 2011 from VIZ

VIZ MEDIA DEBUTS
THE ART OF VAMPIRE KNIGHT

New Hardcover Edition Features Captivating Artwork
From The Bestselling Manga Series By Matsuri Hino

VIZ Media invites fans to savor the lavish, gothic-inspired illustrations of manga (graphic novel) creator Matsuri Hino in THE ART OF VAMPIRE KNIGHT, scheduled for release on September 6th. The new hardcover edition will carry an MSRP of $24.99 U.S./$28.99 CAN.

THE ART OF VAMPIRE KNIGHT is an ideal companion to the bestselling manga series, and contains favorite images in color plus never-before-seen artwork in the United States. The new book features an extensive character gallery with author comments, a how-to tutorial, and an exclusive full-color VAMPIRE KNIGHT poster.

Cross over into this mysterious and dangerous world of vampires with the lush artwork of Matsuri Hino. VAMPIRE KNIGHT takes readers to Cross Academy, which is attended by two groups of students: the Day Class and the Night Class. At twilight, when the students of the Day Class return to their dorms, they cross paths with the Night Class on their way to school. Yuki Cross and Zero Kiryu are the Guardians of the school, protecting the Day Class from the Academy’s dark secret: the Night Class is full of vampires!

VAMPIRE KNIGHT (rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens) was created by Matsuri Hino, who burst onto the manga scene with her debut title, When This Dream Is Over, in LaLa DX magazine. With the success of subsequent series such as CAPTIVE HEARTS and MERU PURI (both published in the U.S. by VIZ Media), Hino has established herself as a major force in the world of shojo manga. VAMPIRE KNIGHT is currently serialized in LaLa magazine. VIZ Media also offers the VAMPIRE KNIGHT anime series on DVD and episodes are available online through its innovative video streaming web destination at VIZAnime.com.

For more information on the VAMPIRE KNIGHT manga and to read free manga previews online, visit www.shojobeat.com.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

ACF 1131: "DOCUMENTARY of AKB48 – To Be Continued" licensed by NEW PEOPLE Entertainment & will have U.S. premiere at J-Pop Summit Festival in S.F.

NEW PEOPLE ENTERTAINMENT LICENSES THE
JAPANESE POP MUSIC BIO FILM
DOCUMENTARY OF AKB48 -- TO BE CONTINUED

New Film Follows The Rise To International Fame
Of Japan’s Most Popular Pop Idol Group
And Will Have Exclusive U.S. Premiere August 28th
At The 2011 J-Pop Summit Festival In San Francisco

NEW PEOPLE Entertainment, a film division of NEW PEOPLE, Inc. that focuses on the licensing and distribution of Japanese films and media, has announced that it has licensed the film, DOCUMENTARY of AKB48 – To Be Continued, in the U.S. and Canada. The film follows the unstoppable all-female Japanese idol group, AKB48, and offering an insightful glimpse into the challenges that the group’s members have faced during their rise to international stardom. A trailer is available to view at: www.newpeopleent.com/AKB48

The U.S. premiere of DOCUMENTARY of AKB48 – To Be Continued will take place on Sunday, August 28th at 1:00pm at NEW PEOPLE’s cinema as part of the 2011 J-Pop Summit Festival. Tickets to the DOCUMENTARY of AKB48 are $12 and on sale now at www.newpeopleworld.com/films.

The annual J-Pop Summit, held in San Francisco’s Japantown, celebrates Japanese pop culture and is highlighted by a variety of film screenings, panel discussions, DJ dance parties, fashion shows, and live performances from several notable Guest of Honor artists. More information on J-Pop Summit Festival is available at www.J-Pop.com.

AKB48 was conceived in 2005 by Yasushi Akimoto, one of Japan’s most respected music producers. Starting as a small all-girl singing group based in the Akihabara district of Tokyo – the city’s bustling electronics and anime/pop culture shopping Mecca – AKB48 has grown to 60 members and topped Japan’s Oricon music charts with the two best-selling pop singles in 2010 as well as another two singles ranking in the Top 10.

“Pop culture and J-Pop music fans will delight in the news of our licensing of the DOCUMENTARY of AKB48 and we invite them to attend the special North American premiere at NEW PEOPLE during the upcoming J-Pop Summit,” says Seiji Horibuchi, President and CEO of NEW PEOPLE, Inc. “AKB48 has become massively popular in Japan and also enjoys a fast-growing U.S. fan base. This is a group unlike any other in pop music and we hope more people will discover AKB48 through this film. Stay tuned for more news coming soon on the release of the DOCUMENTARY of AKB48 on DVD!”

With a complicated balance of competition and friendship among its members, the group’s bond is extremely strong. DOCUMENTARY of AKB48 – To Be Continued traces AKB48’s history with scenes from concerts and rehearsals, member general elections, and fan activities both in Japan and abroad. The film also includes personal interviews with select members that reveal each of the girls’ personal struggles, joys, path to growth, and dreams.

One unique aspect of AKB48 is that the group is divided into “Teams.” When AKB48 debuted in 2005, originally there were only 24 girls. Now there are 16 girls each on Team A, Team K, and Team B, who are the core members of the group. In addition, there are trainees who are aspiring members. Members total to around 60 girls as some graduate and some new members come in. In the recent years AKB48 has begun holding elections to determine the members who will participate in the recording of upcoming singles. Fans vote for their favorites and the girl ranked Number 1 performs at the center of the group.