Wednesday, May 31, 2006

ok so i got it!

i got it down! the concept, the visual style.....yeah so it might not be the most innovative piece of work i've created, in fact, i got the idea from a flyer at super-deluxe, which was pretty awesome! i was really impressed with not only the work, but the atmosphere and the turn-out. Just another reason to stay in Tokyo.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

update 2

hmmmm......well i'm in the mac lab right now, and so far I have my columns and gutters figured out in InDesign. As for everything else..........I'll get back to this in a few hours.................................................................ok so I'm back. I think I've sort of figured out as to why I was drawn to that block in Azabu-Juban. Yes, I'm sort of backpedaling, but not without a fresh set of eyes. I realized as to why I was so drawn to this block. Although a bit longwinded, just bare with me.

There's no doubt that I look distinctly asian. Born and raised in the United States, I never felt all that out of place, especially since most of my friends were caucasian and I spoke perfect english. Everything about my personality for a long time was largely devoid of asian influence, besides Taekwondo. I never felt any less american than anyone else, and that still holds true to this day. I felt that same sense of comfort in Japan once I arrived, and other than looking similar to everyone else, I didn't really understand why. For two weeks, I was immersed in the city, eager to get comfortable, particularly with the transportation. When I stumbled upon Azabu-Juban Street, all of a sudden, I was thrown back into the states. No longer were the signs in Japanese, no longer was it loud w/ the hustle and bustle of a typical crowd of business men. Like I described before, the architecture and the businesses themselves were very american. And, to no surprise, the people were mostly caucasian as well. The day that I spent on that block, I was very confused, for my comfort level unexpectedly started to wane. My project will focus on my ongoing struggle to figure out why my comfort level in a more distinctly asian environment is different with my comfort level in a distinctly caucasian environment, and whether it's specifically because of my physical appearance or if it's something else. What's hard about this project is that I have no concrete answer to the question that I pose to myself. I have 3 more weeks to figure that out I guess.


A week into the semester, and I boldly state to everyone, "I'm never coming back to the states." I unknowingly didn't think I'd remain in that state of mind. I remember standing on the edge of Kiyomizu Temple, looking out into the forest and the cityscape. Risking the chance of sounding sappy or corny, I at that moment realized that what was in front of me, the space between myself and the remainder of everything else, was the reason why I came to Japan. To be honest, my expectations weren't all that high coming into the program, other than having the chance to come to Tokyo and have a good time. Kyoto made me realize this was more than just a "study abroad program." And I think everyone that experienced places like Kiyomizu, Nara and Todai-ji temple would understand the magnitude of this experience. It's still difficult to organize my thoughts, for I'm going thru mental indigestion. My brain, and for that matter, my emotions weren't prepared for what I was going to experience. I've told everyone I know to go to Kyoto, and more importantly, Nara. I feel like I need to go back to Nara actually, when I'm done digesting, I may come back and explain why.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Azabujuban Street

It's undeniable that western culture has had a tremendous impact in Tokyo. However, I'm constantly reminded that I am in a foreign country and that things are drastically different. Today was a different story, for today was the first time I felt as if Tokyo was a far and distant land. I stumbled upon a block in which all I that I saw and knew for the past week was gone. Buildings that had 6 floors of restaurants were nowhere to be seen, the bright, neon signs in which most are oriented vertically were very sparse. The first two things I noticed were the colors and the people. Most of the signs and buildings were earthtoned and pastel. You saw the occasional red and blue, but only shop within that block. ALL the signs were in english, and like I mentioned before, all the shops were ground level, the second floor were primarily apartments. It reminded me a little bit of rittenhouse square in philadelphia and in fact, belgium as well, for it had a small european flavor to it. And at least half of the people walking around were westerners. I later find out there's an Austrian embassy up the road. It felt like "Americantown", with Tokyo. I felt unusually awkward for some reason, although I've lived in Philadelphia for a long period of time. I would like my project to compare this particular block in Tokyo with other blocks in Tokyo, and see visually how western city blocks are structured compared to contemporary eastern city blocks.

reading response

It's been a week since I've arrived in Tokyo. It's gone by extremely fast, however it feels as thought I've been here longer than a mere 7 days. Within 6 days, I used up 3,000 yen on the subway. I guess it goes without saying that I've done my best to see as much of this city as possible. I'm glad I waited to read this text after experiencing everything first, letting everything sink in, then having the text to help organize the incessant flow of information being thrown at me. The section on calligraphy was really fascinating to me in particular.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

First post

For my print piece, I wanted to focus on the advertising that is prevalent in Tokyo. On the subway, Tuesday night, I was walking towards the stop to the Hanzomon line, I saw an ad campaign for what I believe is women's underwear. What they did was take photos of young women posing as if they were taking off their shirts and throwing them away. The catch was that they did not photograph the t-shirts, instead, they pinned up actual shirts onto the walls on which the ads were placed. An ad campaign of this nature would never fly in the united states, simply for the fact that the t-shirts would more than likely get stolen or vandalized. Seeing this ad campaign inspired me to explore and learn more about advertising in japan.