Welcome to Wet Paint in the Wild, the freewheeling—and free!—spinoff of Artnet News Pro’s beloved Wet Paint gossip column, where we give art-world insiders a disposable camera to chronicle their lives on the circuit. To read the latest Wet Paint column, click here (members only).
Hey there, it’s been a while! Wet Paint in the Wild took a short break for the summer, but we’re back with our first recurring photo-diarist, Lauren Quin. The Los Angeles-based painter was headed out to Tokyo to open her new show “Salon Real” at Blum & Poe’s space in Japan, and I couldn’t resist seeing the city through her bright eyes. Once more: take it away, Lauren!
My view from the Cerulean Tower bathtub, jetlagged, waiting for the Shibuya scramble crosswalks to populate. I opened my second solo with Blum & Poe right before Annie asked me to pick up a camera, only after my opening, the Gendai fair, and the trip to Kyoto . This is my first time visiting Asia, and Tokyo feels like three cities collapsed together. There’s a pronounced sense of etiquette in casual encounters. Things here are neat, compact, and always highly functional.
Starting at the gallery, which is located just at the top of Takeshita Street, in Harajuku.
The neighborhood is the capital of kawaii style, mashups of babydoll, rainbow, and goth variations of cuteness.
Kenji, who works at Blum & Poe, being cute in front of my painting.
Mari Imai Kobashi, the gallery director. I looked forward to her outfits every day.
The view from the gallery overlooks Yoyogi park, a wall of green to balance out the city.
Sushi at every opportunity.
Nothing compares to the Blum & Poe dinners. Earlier that evening, we went to the opening party for Hamana’s installation in Aoyama, on the roof of The Row’s showroom, overlooking a Herzog & de Meuron building.
Tim Blum and Umar Rashid.
Kazunori Hamana and Yukinori Yanagi, both sculptors. Separately, they both shared details of their studios in harder-to-reach places in Japan. Yukinori also told me you should just stick to drinking soju after your 30’s.
Asuka Ogawa and Mari. Asuka threw a cocktail party at a bar called Mother in Shibuya. All of the familiar faces from Gendai week were floating around.
Robbie Fitzpatrick and Philippe Joppin.
Ulala Imai and I.
Earlier that week, Patty and Taka Ishi at Taka’s Gendai party with Sadie Coles, a dance floor above Miyashita Park.
Dinner at Sorano with fresh tofu cooked in a little oven on your table while you drink. I never knew tofu could taste like this.
An embroidered detail from Lila de Magalhaes’s piece at PARCEL gallery. I loved the title. A gorilla who was taught sign language in captivity was asked by her caretakers to explain what happens when we die. The gorilla responded, “Comfortable Hole, Bye.”
A new friend, Takuya Wantanabe, showing me his tattoos after my talk with Kensho Tanbara for Salon Real. He told me he traveled all the way out to Kansas City to see my show at the Nerman Museum. I was very touched.
Mari, Alex Muret, and August Blum at Alex’s unofficial Gendai afterparty.
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And me, I’ll be back!