Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Eye Candy

Rarely do I get any time off when being sent to location on TV jobs, I managed to schedule myself to get fair amount of free time in Chicago - and been here probably 6 or 7 times, I knew how I wanted to spend it. Just to do the best for the job, and to enjoy the best for the rest.

Decided to take train (blue line) from O'hare to downtown Travelodge, where I stayed, near Art Institute of Chicago. I could take a cab and it'd be paid for, but somewhat I decided to take train, just to feel the local vibe-

Got off at LaSalle station, and Yelped the best pizza around in this area- this was the first attempt in Chicago (as I bought my first iPhone only a year ago). Technology...makes you lazy!

At Giordano's. Meatball in deep dish. 
Doggy-bagged it for the next day breakfast.

Then head to one of my favorite museums in the world, Art Institute of Chicago. It was almost 4PM already, and got discount (half-price off). Knowing what I wanna see, an hour was enough. Scanning through the 18th century to Impressionism to Modern Arts to Contemporary Arts, just strange flashback of 12 years ago (when I was still a teenage)...

Architecture section. This was new to me.

I was on a backpack trip across the States, taking Amtrak. Chicago was my second destination after New Orleans, and my first stop was here. I was interested in art, but not knowing quite enough, I was mesmerized for whole time, feeling high. I made a buddy at youth hostel, a half Japanese half Swiss student / artist,  hit off immediately and went there together. A very cold winter day.

This was new too I think... 

Seurat, Monet, Van Gogh, Dali, Pollock, and among all the greats, what struck me was this bunch of colorful candies sitting at the corner of the room. I wasn't sure it was Art then, and I stood and thought for a while. What's the meaning behind this, I thought, but didn't care about the explanation then. 
It just existed pure art for me, and it was just fine - but left me wonder what it was.

It wasn't just eye candy

And finally, this time after 12 years, I found this object again... discovered what this means:

"Felix Gonzalez-Torres produced work of uncompromising beauty and simplicity, transforming the everyday into profound meditations on love and loss. “Untitled” (Portrait of Ross in L.A.) is an allegorical representation of the artist’s partner, Ross Laycock, who died of an AIDS-related illness in 1991. The installation is comprised of 175 pounds of candy, corresponding to Ross’s ideal body weight. Viewers are encouraged to take a piece of candy, and the diminishing amount parallels Ross’s weight loss and suffering prior to his death. Gonzalez-Torres stipulated that the pile should be continuously replenished, thus metaphorically granting perpetual life."

This really sadden me, as well as made me happy to find out. Took a piece with out hesitation, but with the respect. It's so sweet outside, but true emotion, raw meaning inside of it. I couldn't help associating this with many things in the world, including myself.

Stepped out in deep thought, reflecting that time and now comparing how I've changed over a dozen of years; now I am here for work - and people rarely tell me what to do. Through series of struggles (will take days to list),  I've finally earned what I didn't have and wanted- working in the industry I wanted to make a living, and confident that I will keep going - but lost somewhat the pure passion and amusement. Mixed sense of achievement and lostness.

My favorite park right outside of the museum

Ducks chilling

Maybe for that reason, I decided to have my dinner at Panda Express, reminding me of good old college time in Long Beach California.

Then I opened the fortune cookie...or rather say, the fortune cookie opened me. Panda knows well what to tell me at the right time.

The job itself was a live broadcast, taking place at 7AM next day. So I quietly ended my day going to the bar my friend suggested. 

And on my way back to the hotel, of course I ran into the hostel I stayed in those days, where I met my best friend (who ended up living in Chicago for a few years, moved to Flagstaff to learn the environmental science from Native American, then went back to Japan - and went back to Japan)
Hope he sees this blog, it's still here!

And live broadcast was success. I flied back immediately to NYC, from the location to the airport. I don't get hassled by the security any more.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Live Video

The video we shot (along with a talented DP Yosuke Hosoi) are up on the youtube!

A great jazz quartet "Identified Strangers", lead by another talented fellow Japanese Hiro Momoi.
Their gig was so solid and this tune "Impending Launch" was particularly groovy and my favorite... It took place in Brooklyn's new hidden gem, Shapeshifter Lab. Check it out!