Friday, July 13, 2012


Day 44: Saturday, April 23, 2011

About two weeks ago, Hajimeten, a Japanese art group that I am a member of, had an event at a bookstore. After the event, someone from the Parco department store approached me when it was over and asked if I wanted to have a show at their basement gallery called Logos (in Japan, the best place to have exhibitions is actually in a department store because they have money to pay for everything and it can reach a wider audience…). Anyways I was quite surprised that she asked me because I am not so well known in Japan and of all the people in our art collective, there are others way more famous and more talented… Still we exchanged contact information and then set up a meeting for the afternoon of the twenty-third which was today, so I spent the whole morning preparing for the meeting.

Kotori, also a member of Hajimeten, coincidentally was having a show at Parco this month for his new photo book Mirai-chan… Later in the afternoon, he was actually going to have a talk event at 2:00 with our friend Kayo, who is also another member. I had promised to go before, but since it was raining so hard that day, I felt lazy and decided to skip it and just go to my meeting at 4:00 instead.

My meeting with the lady from Parco went smooth. I showed her my photo project called God Only Knows about an imaginary animal farm where humans don’t exist, which is still a work in progress. She liked it and said I could have the show anytime I wanted, but we decided to find a publisher to make it into a book first… I also mentioned that my best friend/painter Yosuke Yamaguchi (who was interviewed for the very first post of Talking Barnacles) and I talked about collaborating on this project a long time ago, and that I would ask him again if he was still interested that night because it was his birthday and my roommates and I were taking him out for dinner.

After I left the building, it was slightly drizzling yet sunny out. I ended up walking around taking lots of pictures because everything was absolutely glowing, while the whole time thinking that this show at Logos would be such a great surprise for Yosuke’s birthday. Suddenly I heard someone call my name. I turned around and saw Kayo and Kotori together, whom had just left Parco. They were meeting up with some friends at a restaurant nearby and asked me to join them.

At the restaurant, Yusuke Nishimitsu, another member of Hajimeten, sat next to me. When I first became friends with everyone in our group about a year ago, Yusuke was the least shy and easiest person to talk to of them all so we ended up being quite close… but after we had our first exhibition together as a team last fall, we got into a big argument over business and our friendship kind of drifted apart... Anyways I hadn’t seen him in a while and it felt like old times talking to him again, which made me happy. At 6:00, I had to leave because I still had to get Yosuke’s real birthday gift before he showed up at my house at 7:00, so I hustled over to the store and then took the train home.

When I got there, I told Ian and Yuki the good news right away about Logos gallery and the possibility of making a book. I also mentioned that I was going to ask Yosuke to collaborate, but as soon as I said that, Ian told me that I should wait and really think about that because Logos was a big deal, and it would be better professionally if I did the show solo... In a way, I knew that already, but didn’t care until he said that because the show had just fallen onto my lap from out of the sky, so it didn’t seem very real or so serious to me… Anyways what he said immediately planted itself in me like a bad seed and soon began to spread. Immediately afterwards, the doorbell rang. It was Yosuke. I ran over to Yuki and told her to entertain Yosuke in the kitchen until I finished preparing his gift.

For his birthday dinner, we went to yakiniku (Korean barbeque) restaurant. It was a bit awkward for many reasons because my ex was there (we had gotten into a big fight the week before); I was in a weird mood because the seed had been growing in me; Yosuke was tired from working at his part-time job all day, which he really wanted to quit but couldn’t because he doesn’t make enough money doing graphic design or art; on top of that I could tell he was also a bit depressed at dinner because his new girlfriend wasn’t able to attend and, finally, he was just getting older… After dinner we gave him his gifts and he seemed quite pleased… but then things got quiet again when the night was winding down.

When the cake arrived, I decided the little seed in me could go fuck itself because Yosuke was one of my favorite people in the world as well as painters, and to see him sincerely happy on his birthday would have been worth any “professional” loss or personal sacrifice to me, and, last of all, I couldn’t keep a secret. When I told him everything, he couldn’t believe the news and kept repeating, “Logos… Logos…Logos…” stunned. I promised him then that this would be our year.

My best friend with the first ever Talking Barnacles print
(Total production cost: US $10.00)

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