Those who have been to Japan will have visited the ancient capital Kyoto but may not have heard of a city called Kamakura. Kamakura is a city by the Pacific ocean 40 miles south-west of Tokyo and was the capital during 1192 to 1333. Today Kamakura is a relatively quiet town where Buddha meditates in the barrel, and surfers meet a Samurai from the past.
Kamakura is my “soul city” where I attended a Jesuit school founded by German priests shortly after World War II, and whose school uniforms were supplied by the U.S. military (they donated a bunch of used U.S. Army uniforms). Unlike Kyoto where aristocrats had always been omnipresent, Continue Reading
More than 2 weeks after he was found dead in his Manhattan apartment, Heath Ledger’s body was cremated in a private ceremony in Perth, Australia on Saturday (02/09/08) followed by a twilight swim at his favorite beach. I’m posting this just for frivolous reasons…
I posted my cynical view of New York City in GERMS. I wonder if anyone has noticed that the title of the post responded to the domain name of this web site WHAT WE DO IS SECRET… I thought it would be a good way to punctuate Made by Blog as its entries started to drift away from topics only related to perfume.
Since the entry of GERMS I haven’t responded to the comments. I appreciate all of them and apologize for not having been able to comment back. Anyhow, here are my thoughts on some of the comments given to the previous few posts.
Sarah G’s comment on GERMS has been stuck in my head… “I think that while the city may have a clean face, there are dark and dangerous forces at work within it, and within American society at large. It is our responsibility as artists to respond to them. And that is where NYC’s next artistic jolt will come from.” I don’t think any artist will disagree with what she wrote there. My only question is how many artists would be able to face the challenge…
In GERMS, Treazurekitten also left a quote from Picasso, “Art is a lie that makes us realize truth.” It’s actually one of my favorite quotes from the artist. In a way it was funny to hear Philippe Starck say “I think my job is absolutely useless …. I feel like shit…” in the video I posted recently. I’ve always believed that a truly creative and original artist will have the feeling of creating an absolutely useless garbage, and yet feels completely content with his life.
Octavian’s comment immediately reminded me of a Japanese food called Natto (fermented soy beans) which used to smell much stronger when I was a kid. Perhaps our modern society has been trying to kill all the unique smells on earth, and Natto was just another victim of this plot.
There was a brief comment from Estetik in an older post BRANDING THE FUTURE: “Olfactive branding is not really enough to achieve the goals.” Well, I think it depends on what the ‘goals’ are for the companies, and although olfactive branding may not bring immediate cash to the companies it will add a new dimension to their images for people who still have decent olfaction.
Yukiko asked about the locations shown in the 4 images posted on Dec 2. The top image in the entry is the interior of Azzedine Alaia Boutique in Paris. The second and third are Hotel Puerta America in Madrid. The last on is MHT (a jewelry store) in Tokyo. Yukiko-san, I don’t know if you live near Tokyo, but here is the address of MHT: 3-7-3 Kita-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo. I haven’t visited this store in Tokyo, but Marc Newson had lived in Japan for a while and he seems to understand what works well in Japan.
New Yorkers have been complaining about gentrification forever, but the pace of change during the past several years in downtown, especially on the West Side, has been startling… well, to be honest, it’s almost deplorable. The saddest thing to see is the way the meatpacking district has changed in the past few years. It’s easier to spot celebrities than a rat these days, and it’s been a while since we have lost sight of transsexual hookers on Washington Street.
My best friend T used to say “You got to have germs to make art.” The city, like underdeveloped countries, is still filled with all kinds of infectious germs, but the species that T used to mention, the kinds that nourished art, are almost extinct. I miss the days when artists, hookers and drug dealers were all under the same roof. It was thrilling, and art was much more powerful back then.
It’s ironic to think something positive about this change when it’s making me feel like a fish trapped in a drying pond, but if there is one good thing that has come out of this horrendous gentrification, it is that the city has become a nice place for kids to grow up in. My biggest dilemma these days … I want germs for myself, but not for my kids. Having a family is not simple.
(Here is another irony. T, who was homeless and couldn’t tell the difference between a shooting gallery and an art gallery when we used to hang out together, is now a professor at one of the ivys, and his two kids go to one of the best private schools in the city.)