LOVE MOVEMENT: Sugoi! Sugoi! Sugoi!

On Saturday night, after over a year in the making, several months of dedication, 22 days of fundraising and a 48-hour gallery transformation, LOVE MOVEMENT opened in San Francisco. The city has not known this much concentrated love (without hippies) in a long while. It was an amazing experience.

The concept-driven show began while pondering the lack of love on this planet and eating spicy Indian food in Japan with Shin and Nao. It spread to include other art couples and designers from around the world. LOVE MOVEMENT is our unified effort to fill a room with love. The exhibit is up through January 16th at the Superfrog Gallery in New People, Japantown, San Francisco. If you’re in the area, give me a shout: I’d love to meet you there.

Because this is largely a toy blog, I’m assuming you’re here for the toys. We had plenty of those: vinyl (custom & production), paper and plush (and you can buy them from the gallery and online soon). I’ve been posting previews of all the original interpretations of T-Boy and Dankeschoen, and I’ll highlight a few more here. I took a ton of photos of all the figures, and I promise to post those soon. But briefly going beyond toys (at least so I don’t completely crash your browser)…

Visiting artists Satoshi YoshiokaChota Akatsuki and Hideki Shiroma painted live, and in conjunction with Japanese and San Francisco-based artists, filled a wall with amazing 2D work. Chota-san made cute and captivating animations for a large projection box.

Nao created a kids’ area. Shin painted a Wall of Love. Merch was made. Photo-ops were staged. Champion beatboxer Kaz and extreme violinist Nanaco filled the room with music. All who visited filled it with love.

Here’s Nao and Shin with Superdeux. Seb and Shin have worked on paper toys in the past, collaborating between France and Japan. How awesome is it for them to meet up in San Francisco?

Shin hand painted these T-Boy and Dankeschoen sets just for LOVE MOVEMENT. Photos don’t do them justice.

It’s not apparent in the photo, but the center (white) T-Boy has BAGGY, CRUMPLED JEANS. PAPER JEANS. I almost don’t want to get into it right now because it makes my mind feel crazy how cool it looks. I told Shin it was “sick!” and he just smiled and said, “You crumple the paper.”

You can’t tell what’s happening here, so I’ll tell you: Gabe and Mr. Shiroma are having a BUDOG bonding moment while flanked by Mae and Nanaco. I’ve known Gabe for ages, so I was stoked to see him buy his first piece of art (by Superdeux).

It wasn’t just love for bulldogs, but also beagles. Another popular dog at the show: Snoopy by Scott Tolleson.

The soundbyte that accompanies this Kodak moment is: “You done well, son.” It was rad seeing Frank and Sharon Kozik at our show.

Left to right! 1st row: Phokos, LiLJAPAN, Dril One, Sho Murase, Colin & Sas Christian / 2nd row: Slobot, Brian Flynn, Shin Tanaka, Devilrobots, Bert Gatchalian, MCA

Take a look at this piece by local animator extraordinaire, Sho Murase. Sho brought these directly to the gallery, so you’re looking at them on the shelf with a little bit of Photoshop dodging of the background. They’re beautiful. Sho collected glass from broken car windows around SOMA for this set. Broken windows, broken hearts is my broken window theory. Please come see these before I buy them myself and take them home.

I caught this shot of Colin and Sas Christian‘s Together Forever epoxy resin piece during its green state. Gorgeous.

A hidden switch lights up Dril One‘s Tron-inspired customs.

Check out this painting of T-Boy co-piloted by Danke and Schoen by Satoshi Yoshioka!

It’s difficult to write with someone looking over your shoulder. What if you were painting while someone was beatboxing, someone else was playing violin and a crowd of onlookers encircled you? I hear it actually feels a lot like a hug.

Satoshi and Hideki Shiroma painted these love-infused gems, which are already or will soon be on sale at the gallery.

Chota Akatsuki paints in double time!

Here’s a holiday-themed painting by Chota. Awwwww….

There was so much good energy present in the gallery.

Left to right! 1st row: Mark Nagata, Scott Tolleson, Frank Kozik, Loulou & Tummie, SallyandJosh / 2nd row: Jason Freeny, Nathan Jurevicius, Jon Burgerman, Skinner, Gary Ham

One small artist and three small paintings by the man behind the mascot, Touma.

Here, Eric and Alice of Phokos, meet their collector, Matt of Toypinionated.

Left to right! 1st row: Le Merde, Stephanie Inagaki, TADO, Scott & Anne Wilkowski, Toybot Studios / 2nd row: Bwana Spoons, Touma, Chino, Kaijin, Arbito & Snaggs

We had a few fashionably late arrivals to the show, but none more red (black?) carpet-ready than this duo accessorized in Stephanie Inagaki‘s Miyu Decay.

Bwana Spoons‘ pair (+ painting) arrived the day of the show. The saying “better late than never” results in one nervous curator, but in the end, it really is true. I was stoked to be able to include Bwana’s take on T-Boy and Danke love in the show.

Here, Shin signs a toy for one of his biggest fans, Super Cooper.

Left to right! 1st row: Dustin & Alicia, Julie West, Yosiell Lorenzo, Leecifer, A. Bamber & We Are Objects /2nd row: Sergey Safonov, Matthew Waldman (Nooka), Noferin, Bob Conge (PlaSeeBo)

Newly local Yosiell Lorenzo hugs it up with Nanaco and Nao.

The more I look at Yosiell’s figures, the more I love them. There’s a whole technique going on with T-Boy that you have to see in person. It’s a 6-week show. Get in there.

Stripes and plaid were mandatory: Kaz, Nao, me, Shin.

In the corner, over by the wine and sushi. Top row installation piece with real working speakers by Jason Siu. I had this at my house briefly. Nobody needed to know it had arrived…damn guilty conscience! Left to right, three pieces all dealing with personal experiences of love: Task One, my piece with Greta, and cozy robot & bonkydog.

Yep, Greta and I made a piece for the show. It wasn’t for sale, and I’m not sure if it’s art, but it has meaning. It’s about long-distance relationships. It’s hard to tell, but T-Boy is wearing a Joy Division T-shirt, and under all that Modge Podge, glitter and tulle, Dankeschoen has on an Einsturzende Neubauten pendant. Two guesses who’s who.

Task One, clever guy that he is, managed to integrate Dankeschoen without Dankeschoen. Task was also the only artist to completely obliterate Shin Tanaka’s logo stamp on the sneaker bottom with his own–a minor detail noted and approved of by Shin!

Spotted: Adrianna Bamber and We Are Objects.

Spotted: David Stowe of Vannen and Dril One.

Nao testing out the kids’ area.

It’s not just for kids.

Herdah, Jonathan, Alice and Eric.

I didn’t meet these people, but they looked like they were having a good time.

Jules, Josh and Lee with Seb, Yosiell and Michal in the background all watching the beatboxing performance. So many friends (old and new) in one space. Pretty amazing.

Kristen and Barbara: some new friends I met after fumbling with their camera to get this shot. Turned out Barbara had been corresponding with Shin for a while. So many happy people at this show. Really a curator’s dream.

Jay222 and Sarah, already on my shortlist for LOVE MOVEMENT II. Here‘s Jay’s blog-up of LOVE MOVEMENT.

What love shines brighter than that of two toy bloggers? It’s the unsung hero of toy blogging, Toybot Studios! Here‘s Kirkland’s POV on LOVE MOVEMENT.

The last photo of the night. Left to right: Satoshi, 460, Chota, Nao, Shin, Jeremy, Greta, Nanaco and Kaz. I can’t say enough what a terrific time this was. (Photos of Sunday’s events coming soon…) Thanks to everyone who worked on this, supported this and came out to see it. We hope lots more people will experience the exhibit during its existence. You ARE the LOVE MOVEMENT.