During a lazy Sunday afternoon of mundane errands, I had a serious “Ah ha!” moment. (More like, “No duh!” moment.) I was reminded that there is way more to my life than a 9-to-5 job and emails and agendas and deadlines and things to prove. That everyday things can be works of art and that I am completely content simply spending time in a Japanese grocery store or Tokyo Outlet. And it was all thanks to our old neighborhood, Little Osaka along Sawtelle Boulevard.
I decided to wander into GR2 and was immediately inspired by the current Stories group show. Galleries and museums can often be so alienating but I love the shops on Sawtelle. The art scene here in West LA feels authentic yet approachable and even fun. Always inspirational. I love checking out what other artists are trying. Edwin Ushiro‘s graphite on vellum drawings are amazing. And I am totally in love with Jeni Yang‘s paintings on wood with laser cut embellishments. My favorite is her Nuke piece. I couldn’t stop staring at it.
Just as I was about to leave, a little stack of Audrey Kawasaki tins caught my eye. I couldn’t resist. Audrey Kawasaki is one of my favorite artists. And just when I thought my modern Asian-American art adventure was coming to an end, who happened to be the cashier but none other than Eric Nakamura himself! Founder of Giant Robot. I was completely awestruck. I tried desperately to think of something intelligent and thought-provoking to say as I paid for my tins. Instead, all I could think of was, “Uh that’s a cool watch in the display case… It’s on sale? Can I take a look at it?” I’ve bumped into famous people both in NYC and in LA and I usually have no problem chatting it up. ”Excuse me, are you Henry Thomas?… OMG, I loved your work in E.T.! Wow!”
Oh well. I was never a very good extemporaneous speaker. Next time I run into Eric Nakamura, I’ll have my speech prepared about how inspirational his work has been — both in the art world and in the Asian-American community. In the meantime, I’ll just have to say my somewhat silent thank you via this blog post.