An Afternoon in Ginza

As I moblogged earlier today, I was in Shibuya to meet up with PingMag‘s Uleshka to talk about writing for them. I had a chance to visit the IMG SRC and PingMag offices, and I’m pretty happy about getting to work with them (since I’m such a big fan of the site). After that, it was off to Ginza for my monthly gallery tour. I started out with the Ginza Graphic Gallery for the Nagi Noda “Hanpanda” show. Pakuri or not, she’s at least a great remixer, and knows how to put out a beautiful product. I did find quite unfortunate the way they had set up the video displays though — enclosed in a walled area — as it made it difficult to see properly because everyone was crowded in the space, and blocking off people who had to stand directly behind them. I can’t see why they didn’t just put the displays along one wall, which would have given more standing room. It was probably the most crowded I’ve seen the GGG, and every one there was pretty much identical: twentysomething girls with similar fashion sense. I guess Noda has a very specific fanbase.

Then, I was on my way to Creation Gallery G8, where I spent quite a bit of time for the 84th New York Art Director’s Club show (I guess that in a year’s time we’ll get to see some of Craig’s selections). It’s a great exhibition, with some very nice prints throughout, and I spent about an hour watching the entire video reel, which included TV commercials, as well as movie title sequences. Very nice.

Heading back in the general direction of Matsuya, I stopped at the Sony Building to check out some PSP games in the soon-to-close PlayStation area (on the 6th floor). The POWER SMASH tennis game by Sega was lots of fun, but I had a hell of a time trying to play the PSP version of KATAMARI DAMACY. I think the digital pad on the PSP I was using wasn’t working properly (it looked like it was in pretty bad shape) as I couldn’t really push my ball straight, and so quickly gave up. The graphics look amazingly sharp though, and the music is the same as on the PS2 version. I then took the back streets behind the Sony Building to have a look at the recently opened (a couple of months ago I think) Shanghai Tang store. I’m a sucker for chinoiserie, and love visiting the Shanghai Tang stores when I’m in Hong Kong. A bit pricey, sure, but they do have some nice stuff.

Later on, at the Matsuya Design Gallery, there was an interesting exhibition covering temporary displays that cover construction sites — think the Klein Dytham green wall for Omotesando Hills or what Kenya Hara did when Matsuya was undergoing its renewal a few years back. One wall is dedicated to comparing the scale of various projects, and then the other wall lets you peak inside small holes to view some nice motion-graphic videos of various projects, followed by interviews (in Japanese) with their creators. I took a few pictures, which I’ll post later on Flickr.

I finished up with a stop at Muji Yurakucho (of course), where I noticed a new line of clothing they’ve launched called “Muji Labo.” I haven’t seen this yet at the other Muji stores.