November 14, 2009

Japan Year 7

November 13th marks my anniversary of coming to Japan. Around this time of year I'm always taken back to that time. A lot has changed since then, and then again, not much seems to have changed at all. Buildings have gone up and down, I've moved more times than I care to have, I've changed jobs between radically different industries and I can now say with confidence that I can speak Japanese better than ever.

This past year has been incredibly tough, stressful, chaotic, surprising, full of crises and problems. And yet I would not change a thing. Being under this much pressure has forced me to prioritize, find more efficient ways to do things, spend less, make more, and reassess and transform my business. A lot of things went sour, but there were also a lot of new opportunities that came up. Two years ago NOVA went belly-up, dragging thousands of people into a nightmare I rather not remember. Since then I've focused entirely on SoHo, giving it my all and all every day. I'm exhausted. The good thing is that it keeps going, we've had to tweak, cut back, adjust, trim, and restructure to make through a very bad business climate. We had the chance to rethink what SoHo is and design and build a new gallery space from scratch! My life is SoHo now. It's about all I can think about. Not the building, not the walls, but rather the people who make up this crazy place.

The gallery has become my child, and while it is very hard to run it, I would not do anything else in the world. Today, as I write this entry we're preparing for two rather large group shows with a total of 80 people participating. Nowdays I live for this kind of challenge and I love it. I've also been fortunate enough to have met dozens and dozens of really amazing people, working with them, talking with them and generally looking for a way forward in life and business. I now find myself writing for two great publications and taking part in a whole world of mainstream and underground art events doing business almost exclusively in Japanese.

Japan is like an onion. the more layers you peel, the more layers you find underneath. The more I think I know this place, the more I realise I don't! That is what fascinates me about this place, you never reach the bottom. In the 6 years I've been here I feel that I know less than when I first arrived. Freaky isn't it? The more you learn about the culture and its customs and its history, the more that is expected of you. Thus you're set up for much more learning and unique experiences. I've learned more Japanese over the past 2 years than in the 4 years before opening the gallery. The reason? survival.

The safety net is out, it burned off one fateful october day in 2007. While I am not yet where I want to be in terms of financial independence and business success, Thank God I'm no longer in the dark place I was in before. The road is still long ahead, and there are a shitload of challenges waiting for me, most of them under a crapload of layers I haven't even come across yet. Who knows what the future will bring. Come what may, That is less important than being able to realise that life is not this thing that you can plan out and predict. That in itself is one hell of a thing to know.

Here's to the start of year 7 in the land of sushi!

August 03, 2009

Only in Japan

Now you can enjoy your greasy burger guilt-free, as Japanese Macdonalds are all equipped with freaking DEFIBRILATORS!!!

March 24, 2009

Spring Report

Well, the house is almost finished and we're going nuts packing and moving our stuff little by little. Goldie's been stressing out a bit, as the new place is a bit smaller than our current place. I hadn't worried so much as I thought i didn't have a lot of stuff to move. That all changed today when i started packing my crap and realized that i have way to much junk i never ever use but I hold on to for various reasons. So, as we only have mondays to do anything non-gallery related, we went nuts today getting the move ready. Were we able to get it all done? not by a long shot. We move next monday and we're barely 10% done i think. this will be one massive challenge. Needless to say that the schedule at SoHo will remained unchanged while all this moving's taking place. What's more, no one will ever notice the great great deal of stress we're under, that just wouldn't do. Anyhow, after business hours is gloves off and we'll be expressing ourselves rather colorfully for the next few days. we'll post again once the move's finished and put some pics up.

Aights, TTYS!


February 02, 2009

January Report

Woah! 2008 flew by! and January now seems like a blur. We started the year doing some work on the cottage, which needs TLC by the truckload. We're very happy to be working on it, and can't wait for it to be ready. It will be sometime before we can stay there, as it needs some major repair work and many other things.

Our friends George and Tamara came to visit last week, and we were so happy to have them here. unfortunately we were really busy with an off site exhibition and couldn't spend as much time as we wanted with them. However, it was the first time both of them had come to Japan together, and I'm very happy they could come. In previous visits we had shown them different parts of Osaka to each of them and I think they spent some time showing the city to each other. It had been almost a year and a half since we last saw them. We're going to try to head over to Seoul again and spend some quality time with them before they return to Canada.

As for the shop, things are really busy, or have been really busy. We curated and organized a really cool art show with a friend's gallery from Shanghai. It was an amazing experience and everyone's works were really incredible. We are so proud of each of them and want to do everything we can to make their work shine.