POW! WOW! Taiwan Update

With POW! WOW! Hawaii 2015 just around the corner, it’s a great time to review some of the results from last year’s inaugural POW! WOW! Taiwan event. Our very own Julia Huang (Imprint’s founder) was there in Taipei to witness the artistic madness first hand. We’ve blogged some photos from there here before, and this latest content highlights the great work there by Hua Tunan, CANLOVE collective, and Will Barras.

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Imprint Presents: John Maeda (with Jackie Xu, Sash Catanzarite, John Underkoffler, & Ivan Bercovich)

We are very pleased to share a highlight video from our fascinating and inspiring 2014 Imprint Presents talk with design luminary John Maeda. John brought along several additional speakers, to stoke the conversation: Jackie Xu, Partner at KPCB; Sash Catanzarite, Co-Founder and CPO of Tradesy; John Underkoffler, Founder and CEO of Oblong; & Ivan Bercovich, Senior Director of Engineering at FindTheBest. Check out all of our talks on our Events page.

Another Day, Another Motivational Speech

Joe Rogan. Sports commentator, actor, podcaster, talk show host, and martial artist. Some love him, and some absolutely abhor him. Mostly ’cause he’s a very opinionated person and some folks tend to not jive so well with differing opinions. Just maybe. I, however, personally am a big fan and have followed him for a long time. Most people don’t really know this about him, but he is one of the most dedicated individuals out there with a work ethic that can battle the best. Check out his talk (on his podcast, I believe) on why you should do what you love and how it’s 100% possible to do so.

“You should find a job that doesn’t involve you walking in mud all day. It’s possible…because someone else has done it…I think people are pretty f*cking flexible.”

Long Beach: Work in Progress 2

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On April 26, 2013, I helped organize an Imprint conference called Long Beach: Work in Progress. The idea was to celebrate the city where Imprint and its sister companies were about to put down some serious roots. After being housed in a nondescript Ocean Boulevard high rise for more than a decade, plans were announced to purchase the nearby Psychic Temple/American Hotel, renovate the dilapidated-but-beautiful structure, and set up shop on the city’s ground level. We wanted to make a statement that our business appreciates and celebrates the local culture and heritage that it hopes to be a part of and build upon.

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John Jay gave a keynote speech about creativity–showing its lasting value in a quickly and constantly evolving culture and inspiring attendees to contribute to it in Long Beach or other hometowns. Co-authors of Long Beach Architecture: The Unexpected Metropolis (Hennessey + Ingalls, 2004) Cara Mullio and Jennifer Volland shared forgotten stories and gorgeous images from their just-released coffee table book about Case Study House architect Edward A. Killingsworth and his activity and contributions in the International City.

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Other panels put a spotlight on Long Beach’s underlying and massive skateboarding culture (highest per capita skate parks in the U.S.A) and highlights from its local food scene (old school and unironic). Speakers on the first topic included pro Chad Tim Tim, ex-pro Justin Reynolds, and shoe designer Paul Kwon (not shown: skate videographer Ricki Bedenbaugh), while Pulitzer Prize-winning food writer Jonathan Gold ruminated on the latter. Giants in their fields, all of them.

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There was also a very cool music panel mashing up the city’s colored punk past represented by Joe Escalante from The Vandals and Jack Grisham from T.S.O.L. and its modern Cambodia Town subculture via Chhom Nimol and Zac Holtzman from Dengue Fever. You can watch Suburbia and Sleepwalking Through The Mekong if you aren’t familiar with them, and what other city has spawned such influential and unique sounds from not one but two underground scenes? I’m grateful that Imprint heads Tanya, Jeff, Julia, and Renzei would encourage such a panel of outsiders–not to mention all the others.

As the Psychic Temple’s renovation nears completion, it seems like setting up a second Long Beach-related conference might be in order. What do you think? Comments and suggestions are welcome, as are vows to purchase tickets and attend. Let me know what you think at martin[at]intertrend[dot]com.

Please follow Imprint on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for more information, articles, and events–including Imprint talks and conferences.

 

8 Questions with: Shing02

Shingo Annen, aka Shing02, is a talented musician and artist – he raps (in both English and Japanese, something of a rarity in of itself), produces beats, and he’s also an accomplished visual artist. The hip-hop portion of his life began when he moved UC Berkeley in the fall of ’93, just when respected Cali hip-hop groups like Hieroglyphics were blowing up. This resulted in mentoring from accomplished rapper Del the Funky Homosapien. Full disclosure: this is a bit of a trip for me, personally, as I was well aware of Shing02 way back in the mid-to-late ’90s when I was a young hip-hop fiend – he was already getting recognition as an emcee willing to tackle tough political issues no one else was brave enough to touch upon. Shingo recently did the art/design installation for our friends at Flexfit Basecamp, creating an impressive booth at the most recent Agenda Long Beach trade show, just a couple of weeks back. I was lucky enough to catch up with him there, and chat about what he’s been up to lately, including what he’s working on, and what’s in the works. The guy has an impressive travel schedule – constantly on the move to connect with fellow musicians and also for his seemingly constant live performances. Check out his film Bustin’ about politics in the Tokyo nightclub scene, and you can follow him on Instagram and Twitter for more. Shout out to MR44 for the connection.

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What are you currently working on?
Right now, I’m assisting Hydeout Production in putting the finishing touches on Luv(sic) Hexalogy, a double CD compilation of the Luv(sic) series, which spans from 2001 to 2014, along with some new remixes that we just finished at the end of the year. That CD will be out by March 2015, right after the fifth anniversary of Nujabes‘ (Jun Seba) passing on February 26, for which we’re planning to do some shows in Japan, and hopefully tour Asia in March…Oh, and Luv(sic) Part3 will finally come out on vinyl, for those who have been waiting to complete the collection, and another 12” for “Perfect Circle”, a mellow Nujabes collab that we never got around to releasing but we recorded it last year as well. Other than that, I have a new English album getting mixed, that I finished with Cradle Orchestra (Tomiki Seto), and lots of brand new songs, so I’m very excited about that.

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How would you describe your work?
My output varies, from audio to visual to writing, but it all comes from coming up with ideas. Sometimes an idea will work well as a title for a song, or it could be an idea for a T-shirt. Most people assume I’m just an MC, but that’s just my alias Shing02, although writing rhymes, making beats, and recording will never leave me, I definitely enjoy creating various things and working with friends.

What does your average work day look like?
The average day will be basically doing average things. When I’m up against a deadline I might be in the studio recording or editing, or doing shows on tour.

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Where do you find inspiration?
I like to watch movies or read up on things. Documentaries are great, some books go a lot more in-depth than history lessons. I also love traveling, and having conversations with talented people.

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What’s the best thing about living and working in Tokyo and Hawaii?
I live in Hawaii now, after spending close to 25 years in California. I was born in Tokyo, but I’m always in and out for work, which suits me well. Tokyo is so convenient, saturated, competitive, and vibrant, it’s got such a hard gravitational pull. I’m always relieved to come back, but just as much happy to leave and go home to somewhere more relaxing. It reminds me of New York.

Agreed! As a kid, what did you want to be when you grow up?
I think 007 because I grew up in London too. I’m getting there though.

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What are you reading at the moment?
I’m nowhere close to being an avid reader, but recently I read MacArthur’s Japanese Constitution by Kyoko Inoue, for work research. It was pretty dope because it dissected the making of the constitution (which is in hot debate in Japan right now) from a linguistic perspective.

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What’s your favorite after-work destination?
A nice food place. Any good Mexican food.