Designart has come and gone (held in Tokyo last month, October 16-22), but here are a couple of reports to read on the event that was, from The Japan Times and Dezeen. So happy to see Mark and Astrid (Klein Dytham architecture) be involved in this, and it sounds like it’s the start of a great new series of art & design events for the city.
Alas, Tokyo Game Show is just around the corner, and it’s again going to be something I’m going to miss — along with the legendary pre-TGS 8-4 party and big Nakame drinkup at Otaru — but I’m still happy to see that there’s now a new cool event set for TGS week, organized by my buddies at Dangen Entertainment. Not only that, but the Indie Megashow Tokyo party/event will take place at my old PechaKucha stomping grounds of SuperDeluxe, so you know it’s going to have an awesome vibe (bolstered by live performances from Megaran and DJ Uppercut). You’ll find details here.
Big congrats to David on getting Ametora released in Japan — it’s available now. He shares a few details about the new Japanese edition in his latest Ametora Dispatches newsletter, and he’ll be doing a “talk event” at Ginza Tsutaya on September 1, with Popeye magazine editor-in-chief Takahiro Kinoshita.
I’d love to visit the upcoming Yayoi Kusama Museum in Shinjuku, opening in October — not only to take in her work, but the building itself looks quite nice. You’ll find more details in this Spoon & Tamago post.
On a related note, here in Montreal we live near the Musée des Beaux Arts, and this summer they’ve set up an outdoor collection along Sherbrooke street, and we’re lucky enough to have a piece by Kusama near our place (pictured below).
Longtime readers of this blog may remember that I’ve done a lot of music-related projects over the years, like my PLAY sessions at Cafe Pause in Ikebukuro, and then in more recent years my Codex music podcast. I haven’t done anything in the form of creating mixes or playlists in ages, but recently have been teaming up with one of my colleagues and friends at work, Samya Khemri (who together with me is part of the studio’s Game Online Operations team), in creating playlists in Spotify for internal events at the studio. Since we’re both huge fans of Twin Peaks, we call ourselves DJ Dougie Jones. The first playlist was for a happy hour on the studio’s rooftop terrace, the second playlist we did as a soundtrack for an evening of Cards Against Humanity (that we played in a meeting room), and the third one was for our team’s summer BBQ, that was held last week in a park not far from the studio. These are really fun to make — we basically bounce off each other, track by track — and I love the exercise of listening to something someone else has selected, and then trying to think about what would be fun to follow with. It definitely scratches my music itch.
I’m very happy to see the arrival of the new Designart (“Design & Art”) festival in Tokyo, set to take place for the first time in October of this year. I’m especially happy because among the founders are Astrid Klein & Mark Dytham, who I of course worked with during my last 6 years in Tokyo. Here’s a Facebook post by Mark talking about the new event.
And another BitSummit has come and gone in Kyoto. As with last year, I’m quite sad I couldn’t be there, and seeing so many of my friends (through social media) have a blast — during and after hours — was a pain. But I am happy to see that it looks like it’s been the biggest edition so far, and I am looking forward to catching up on what happened on the main stage through the Twitch archives (I think everything was streamed). Big ups to the gang for putting on what is one of the most exciting developments in indie gaming in Japan in recent years, and I’m sure we’re going to see them coming in strong again for the next edition. The photo above (tweeted by Jeremy Parish) is of the opening speech by James Mielke, the event’s founder and creative director.