March 28th, 2008
All great adventures involve something not going to plan, and so it was on the very first day as I set out for the IFAA exhibition in Japan. After not sleeping for two days to complete all of my work and tasks before I departed to the other side of the globe, I found myself standing in a queue for two hours after my flight was cancelled due to strong crosswinds at the London City Airport. To complicate the situation further, I was meant to be meeting with Anja Brinkmann and Luigi La Speranza at the Frankfurt airport for our connecting flight to Japan. So it came to pass that they had to fly without me and I then came later via roundabout journey through various airports.
After long and uncomfortable flights I finally arrived at Kansai Airport some twelve hours after Luigi and Anja had been collected by Shoji Tanaka and Satoshi Sakamoto. I was very grateful that they both made the complicated journey back into Osaka to fetch me from the airport also. This was not an easy task given the chaotic network of roads that snake through Osaka and the navigation computer that was giving wrong directions.
Late that Saturday night I was finally united with Anja and Luigi. I was also finally united with a bed in which I could lie horizontal and sleep comfortably.
March 20th, 2008
Recently, artist Otto Rapp wrote a response on my "IFAA Exhibition Kyoto" which I was very pleased to read. He brought to my attention an essay in progress on his website.
His article about the Vienna School of Fatastic Realism is by far the most succinct and informative writing I have read yet. He presents a great deal of detail that I have not seen yet. He goes on to explain the central characters and protagonists and give them life. I had from various sources previous heard that Ernst Fuchs can be somewhat of an agitator, or provocator, but now I have an appreciation of why and how that has been a central benefit to the life of Vienna Fantastic Realism.
I believe Otto's essay brings some clarity to the "mythos" that surrounds Fantastic Realism, or dare I say some realism to the fantastic?
It has given me cause to go back to my personal library and dig out a book purchased per chance on a Berlin flee market. "Die Wiener Schule des Phantastischen Realisums" by Joahnn Muschik (ISBN 3-570-06123-x). At the time I did not delve into the book as my command of German was rather lacking, but now, I feel it should be sufficient.
While this book may also be illuminating, Otto's essay also elaborates on Vienna School's influence outside of Vienna, especially that of Japan. With my recent contact with the Japanese Fantastics, Otto rightly reckonned that I would find this relevant and interesting.
I certainly look forward to Otto's further work on his essay, and thank him very much for bringing it to my attention.
Otto's essay: "The Vienna School of Fantastic Realism"
March 15th, 2008
The day draws near when I fly to Japan with Luigi La Speranza and Anja Brinkmann, where Luigi and I will be participating in the International Fantastic Art Association annual group exhibition. I feel honoured that the director Shoji Tanaka has extended this wonderful invitation to us. I have previously written about Shoji and the IFAA, and how I came to know them.
I am excited to be visiting Japan, and more so Kyoto where one can still find much of the old Japan that no longer exists. I am also excited to be meeting the other artists and seeing their artwork. A tiny image on a web page does not compare to the real thing.
Likewise, meeting cyber friends and contacts is an interesting experience. I am looking forward to meeting Satoshi Sakamoto who I "met" on MySpace. It is good to meet the human face behind the digital text and images.
I will be updating the blog with further news about my travels to Japan, and about the exhibition. Make sure you come back and read about it.
Details of the exhibition follow:
International Fantastic Art Association
Fantastic Art Show-Kyoto-2008
Exhbition 1th April to 6th April
F1 1928 bldg. Gokomachi Sanjo Nakagyo-ku Kyoto Japan
- Miyuki Aihara
- Katsumi Asano
- Shinji Asano
- Kyoko Baba
- Yasuko Fuchioka
- Yasuo Hagiwara
- Akiko Ijichi
- Koichi Iyoda
- Shu Iseki
- Kuniaki Katsu
- Kazuaki Kita
- Kaoru Koga
- Tetsuo Koyama
- Satomi Kuwahara
- Yoshiko Maezawa
- Chinatsu Miyake
- Taeko Mori
- Mitsuru Nagashima
- Akiko Oikawa
- Hitomi Okubo
- Shigeo Otake
- Kyoko Ote
- Akiko Sakagami
- Satoshi Sakamoto
- Kyoko Sato
- Leo Sawaki
- Tomoko Segawa
- Yuko Shiizaki
- Takashi Sotohara
- Hazuki Suketake
- Hayato Suzuki
- Minae Takada
- Mitsuo Takeda
- Shoji Tanaka
- Itsuki Tatsukikawa
- Hiroko Yamaji
- Sayaka Wakabayashi
March 14th, 2008
Like most artists, I dream of seeing my artwork in print and better still that being a book. After watching Jon Beinart go through the motions of publishing "Metamorphosis" (which I am in) I have feeling for the reality of it. There was some serious financial outlay to produce the book, which puts this sort of activity out of the reach of most people.
But then there's on demand printing. With the advent of digital printing, it became viable to do short print runs. Traditional offset printing is still the most cost effective for high volume runs or 500 or more.
The internet has made the ease of getting your idea to print even greater. There are now a number of companies, such as Lulu.com and Blurb.com which allow you upload the files for your book through their website. They then print your book and post it out to you. Both also offer online store facilities to sell your publication through
Both offer templates for those of us who are not professional layout artists. But that said, it still makes a world of difference if you enlist the help of some one who has skills in those directions. Book formats vary from soft covers to hardback and in set size ranges
Charley Parker on Lines and Colors has a more detailed view of on demand book printing
C. B. Newham makes very detailed comparisons between the largest online print on demand pubishers.