Idols: Demons and Saints by John Wellington


My new friend, George, from taiko school invited me to the event which has the theme of Asian pop culture. It was held at the Drom in East Village and the Avant-garde paintings of today's presenter, John Wellington, were hanged in everywhere. (You can check out his works at his home page). He includes lots of stuff from Japanese pop culture; such as Poke-Mon, Hello Kitty, Astro Boy, and the plastic figures from comic books and anime which are very popular in Japan nowadays. The title of the exhibition was "Idols: Demons and Saints." Mmm, well, I am just an ordinary man so I cannot quite tell which part is demon or saints, but the artworks sure are interesting. The appeal of mismatches. I can tell you that you have never seen anything like them before. You should check it out.



The show started in this Avant-garde atmosphere with Kazumi's beautiful belly dance, which continued to Masae's very exotic Cabaret style dance, then Rami Seo, the gayakeum (Korean Zither) player, showed her virtuosity on her instrument with a great tabla player. To wrap up the whole night, one and only Okinawan pop band in New York, HappyFunSmile, came onto the stage. The whole act is based on Chindon-ya, which are the strolling musicians who advertise for shop openings and sales and so on. They go streets to streets playing music, dancing, handing flyers. They usually wear some kind of costumes to get people's attention. You don't see too many of them any more but that was how lots of local advertising were done in Japan. Anyway, let's get back to HappyFunSmile. These guys transformed this strolling advertising to a great stage act. WELL-DONE!! This is really great idea to make a show out of it. Their act is fun, loud and crazy. Some people might not be able to digest this craziness but I think this is the origin of music, this is the healthiest appearance of musicians. We do not have to put on airs. Music is jubilance, wilderness and insanity.

I was so happy to see such a great band today.

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