Taste of ‘Kakimochi,’ part 2: The heart of art

February 11th, 2011

Missed Part 1 of this account? You can read it right here.

Someone — I think it was MangaBento’s Brady Evans — asked me at the opening reception for the “Kakimochi” exhibit on Saturday, “So! Do you have any favorite pieces?”

The question reminded me of something I wrote about judging the Liliha Library Anime Art Contest, about how choosing a favorite piece is like choosing a favorite child among all your children. It’s just not possible to do without feeling like you snubbed something else.

And so it was with choosing pictures to spotlight for this post. Believe me, I’d love to feature all of the close to 70 works in the exhibit — probably around 150 if you count each one of Devin Oishi’s “64 Sketches” and the new pieces that have gone up since the reception. (More on those new pieces in a bit.) I hope that what I’m featuring below will be enough of a taste for those of you who aren’t able to make it out to the exhibit and will whet the artistic appetites of those of you who can make it out to the exhibit to see more. (As always, you can click on the pictures to see a larger version.)

So about that art. A diverse array of media is represented, from simple pen-and-pencil sketches to acrylic paintings, digital prints, photographs, even a few ceramic pieces. So you have something like this untitled piece by Algeson Panopio …

… along with this Copic marker-inked three-panel piece, “Lai Mai Lai,” by Nicole Kanemoto.

… and an incredibly detailed pen-and-ink work by Devin with an equally detailed name: “Hakaida vs. Jiro: Yoshitoshi Danjuro Starring as Hakaida.”

There was also a drawing by Schyler Lai Shinde. Yes, that Schyler. And yes, you can see his fine pencil work on display in this drawing, too.

A tribute to late artist Ryan “Buuzen” Lapastora is present with the inclusion of two of his drawings; here’s one of them, “Sunset.”

And I love the childhood innocence — and vibrant colors — in Angela Song’s “Children’s Day.”

The photographic element is represented with Jeff Gaskell’s panoramic “Shibuya Summer,” which is neat in the way the image fades from photo into a wire-line image.

Ceramics are represented by these pieces by an anonymous artist and Lia Rodriguez. I must confess, I skipped over these the first time I was at the exhibit, thinking they were part of the Academy’s permanent collection. That omission, as you can see here, has since been corrected.

Like acrylics on canvas? Here, have these two paintings by Yumiko Glover, “May I Have Your Attention Please” and “The Messenger,” with their alternate take on the Red Riding Hood tale. I understand Yumiko actually worked on “The Messenger” first, but the two pictures work so well together. Plus the attention to detail is wonderful, particularly on the video screens on the airplane seats.

Nak Yong Choi and Danny Deocares did this piece, “Sehmowzow,” notable for being the only piece I’ve ever seen where a giant alligator isn’t about to ravage some poor, defenseless town, but instead is more than content to dance the hula with his friends.

Those of you who went to the Kawaii Kon art auction may remember this painting by Dennis Imoto. And if you didn’t go, you’ll remember this painting now. It’s one of those images that just sticks in your mind and doesn’t let go.

There are also several local professional artists participating in the show. Ryan Higa — no, not that Ryan Higa, but the printmaker behind Gruntled Funk — contributed this acrylic painting capturing a moment in that universe, “An Unembarrassed Manner.”

nemu*nemu artist Audra Furuichi naturally had a piece spotlighting the plush pups’ owners, Anise and Kana.

But before nemu*nemu came along, there was a piece Audra did in 2005 in watercolor and color pencils, “Reminiscing.” Fans of the strip will immediately notice something a bit … familiar … about the young women pictured below.

And then there was this piece that shows Audra’s range beyond the nemu*nemu girls, a watercolor she did back in 2004, “Terra,” based on the Final Fantasy VI character.

Star-Advertiser cartoonist Jon Murakami, meanwhile, posted some “Ararangers” prints and several kakimochi-related comic strips. But I loved this print, “Comfort Food,” the most. Because as any true connoisseur of local snacks will tell you, popcorn and kakimochi are a match made in culinary heaven (and, admittedly, a nightmare for anyone not used to the smell sitting next to you in the theater).

He also drew “Arare Fight,” a comic drawn especially for the exhibit.

Speaking of comics, there were several others posted around the gallery. My favorite was this untitled piece by Eileen Roco recounting the story of Noah’s Ark.

And that would be the end of the story if not for the fact that I went back to the exhibit a few days later — Thursday, the same day part 1 of this account went up. Part of it was to reshoot some of the pieces and, as I mentioned earlier, get pictures of the ceramic pieces I had missed on Saturday. It’s a good thing I did, because something new arrived at the exhibit since the opening.

I give you … THE CUBE.


And frankly, with pictures like these, who could possibly turn it down?

So off I went to the make-and-take table, which also had a few previously unseen adornments of its own.

So did I draw something? Of course. Not something for the cube, mind you … something smaller, on the surface of the make-and-take table.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you … the world’s ugliest cute bunny EVER.

… note to self: Start looking through pile of “how to draw manga” and “how to draw, period” books immediately.

A clarification: After Part 1 was posted yesterday, Devin Oishi sent me this note clarifying Ayumi Sugimoto’s role as MangaBento’s founder:

Ayumi is from Japan, and she was an established animator specializing in backgrounds when she came to Hawaii. MangaBento was founded as an offshoot of a series of workshops she held on anime and manga at Ben Franklin and maybe other places. Her plans to move to Hawaii fell through. but the core staff — Scott Yoshinaga, myself, and several others — kept it going.

Thanks for the clarification, Devin!

2 Responses to “Taste of ‘Kakimochi,’ part 2: The heart of art”

  1. Tweets that mention Hawaii News - Staradvertiser.com -- Topsy.com:

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jason S. Yadao, Jeff Gaskell. Jeff Gaskell said: RT @jsyadao: In Otaku Ohana: Part 2 of coverage of @MangaBento's "Kakimochi" exhibit, where it's all about the art. http://bit.ly/hzNxE4 [...]

  2. parv:

    I wonder if the girl drawn in blue ink on brown paper (2011/02/IMG_4368.jpg), below dearest Shin Chan, is a character from Tekken [56].

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