The founder of art space Lost Projects in Manila and professional artist David Griggs,on his preference on the DIY essence and helping the local and international artists as well.
2010 - Seven contents
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Rot your brain with signature beats and dance till your bones break.For the love of sound.
One of the local underground sceneâ€™s most diverse and uncompromising artists,welcome your mind to CALIPH8.
“We are unconsciously influenced by their greatness.”
Sneakers Dictate the Color Dress like a pro with your sneakers taking the lead.
Nike Air Max 1 “Yellow Safari”
Paloma Esmeria x Nike Air Max 1
From Japan to Manila,Tokyo based streetwear brand KIKSTYO show the sneakernuts how it’s done..
Sneakers to fill the hunger within you. Eat up.
These gears are as important as your lunch money. Rock em’ right.
The Parties You Missed
TITAN Basketball & Barbershop opening. Wall Lords,Philippine leg 2010. Manila Art - Cubao X. Crapola exhibit.
Art Direction: YTK & Co. Model: Mish Romero
Staff and Crew EDOUARD CANLAS editor-in-chief
YENTOWNKID & CO. concept and design
DALEMATIC GARCIA design consultant
sales & marketing
advertising account executive
sales & distribution officer
SAM KIYOUMARSI photographer
ARCEE CRUZ video editor
contributors ARYAN MAGAT SEBASTIAN TAY MIKE MENDOZA HECTOR YUZON JOHN ESTOQUE CRIS RAMOS MSCLAVEL 2010 BOYBRIGHTBOY MULTIMEDIA CORP. email@example.com 703-2531
NEW RELEASES LATEST SPECIMEN SNEAKERS OF THE HIGHEST CALIBER
A brand new store concept is set to open its doors in Metro Manila. TITAN, the first ever basketball-dedicated retail store in the market, was designed specifically with the Filipino basketball player in mind. The store hopes to give consumers a unique and lasting experience every time they visit. Located in the up and coming Forbeswood Retail area at Burgos Circle (corner of Rizal Drive) in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig – TITAN will house the first and only basketball specialty store in the Philippines as well as a traditional 4-chair men’s barbershop. The store is not what you would typically expect of a sporting goods shop, with the latest performance basketball products from the best brands in the world set against a store environment that exudes an old world simplicity far better suited for a time before ours. “We wanted to create a space that would be perfect for anyone who loves basketball”, says Jeffrey Cariaso, co-founder and one of TITAN’s owners. “We wanted a store that would give basketball consumers the power of choice with the products that he wants. And with the barbershop, it was about having a space where if you’re into basketball and
you love the game and the culture that comes with it, you’ll feel right at home.” TITAN is the first retail venture of TITANOMACHY, INC., a basketball collective formed by Cariaso and his partners, who all share a common passion and love for the game of basketball. Jeffrey Cariaso is a 15year professional basketball player in the Philippines, a 10-time All-Star and 8-time champion in the PBA (Philippine Basketball Association). The store will carry the latest and most innovative performance basketball footwear, apparel and accessories from Nike, adidas, Brand Jordan, And1, Converse, Reebok, K1X and New Era. TITAN’s barbershop services will primarily focus on haircuts and shaves. TITAN opened on August 4, 2010, with 3 exclusive shoe releases from Nike on that day. The Nike Zoom Kobe V “Big Stage” Edition (Home and Away) and the Air Max LeBron VII NFS “MVP” shoe will be available in limited quantities on Opening Day. For more information and regular updates, log on to www.titan22.com.
Feed the cat
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available in all leading sports shops and department stores.
Take Back the Streets with urbanAthletics
Urban Athletics offers the fashion conscious youth a wide variety of choices from sneakers to apparels and gears.
The streets of city metros are harsh and unforgiving. For the clueless, the concrete jungle can literally become cruel, predatory, and untamed. Much like the real thing, in the maze of the urban locale there’s no telling what might pop-up at the turn of the next corner. Be it the side streets, the bustling avenues and the teeming city malls it all comes down to survival
As new fashion forms break out across major metropolitan areas from Tokyo to New York, Paris to Sydney, we see how sportswear evolved into street wear, and vice versa. Weaving in and out of city spaces also demands vanity of personal space. After all we are judged with our appearance and our most important critique is the one on the other side of the mirror.
If you need an outlet to express creativity or simply a place to crash, Urban Athletics’ spacious layout gives enough room for each personality to grow. The synergy between authentic sports and street wear bred brands such as Zoo York, DC Shoes, Vans, Ecko, Lionsdale, K-Swiss, Gola, Nike, Adidas Originals, Reebok, And1, Tretorn, Keen, and Sanuk.
Sometimes its life or death, sink or swim but ultimately what counts is how prepared you are. There is a fine line between running out and pushing on but on the street, it’s not about what you’ve got, but what you can do with what you have. It comes down to what you have in your hands, the clothes on your back and the kicks on the sole of your feet.
This fashion phenomenon led us to bring together elements from skateboarding, parkour, music, street culture and everything in between to allow every urban hipster invent new styles and make a statement on the streets. Cut along the city through the power of your own two feet or though wheels have never been better. March through with the rhythm of your own beat and make a mark, that’s the way to roll.
The diversity of what urbanAthletics offers enough to fill your palette with elements to paint your lifestyle with pigments of your own imagination. It has every tool needed to belong and to stand out, to move quietly while speaking volumes in terms of style and bravado.
The harshness of the modern world is common knowledge but still worth reminding. The city is changing and people are adjusting. Lifestyle dictates the populace’s evolution. Somehow survival has a partner in aesthetics. It’s not enough to rule, but to rule in style.
For the streets comes a hub from the streets. Inspired by the raw originality of the hustle and bustle of the city veins is a store that brings modern urban lifestyle to the forefront. The name is urbanAthletics and what’s inside is a haven that bravely combines athleticism with urban fashion.
Find refuge in urbanAthletics located at the 2nd level of Greenbelt 3, a place of creativity, a space of style. For more information call telephone number 666-2529, visit their website www.urbanathletics.com.ph or follow them on facebook http://www.facebook.com/UAPhils.
urbanAthletics does not only sell shoes, bags, accessories and garments, it offers a lifestyle crossing cultures and heard throughout the world. It is a whole new approach to the otherwise deteriorating world of recurrence. Urban Athletics represents change, a change that is very much embraced by the dynamic arms of the young and young at heart.
Flexibility for Every Workout Adidas Philippines introduced the Flexible FLUID MOTION Technology with FLUID TRAINER
Philippines, 14 August 2010 – adidas presented a new era of training with its latest multi-purpose training shoes, the Fluid Trainer. Experience extreme flexibility and freedom of movement for all your training activities.
was to try out the new adidas Fluid Trainers. Mall goers also had the chance for a quick photo op with the hosts together with John Lloyd Cruz. Jazz, Jugs, Chino and Kelvin of Itchyworms and Kevin Alas of Letran Knights also dropped by to show their support.
August 14, marked the launched of the Fluid Trainer, a lightweight training shoe, developed to ensure the ultimate in foot flexibility and freedom of motion through a unique soft technology and full-length cushioning system. Held simultaneously in 3 Adidas stores, Rockwell, Greenbelt and Trinoma, media personalities, bloggers and guests experienced first-hand what the Fluid Trainer was all about.
Completing the big launch of the adidas Fluid Trainers was at the Trinoma event. Hosted by Eric Tipan of Jam 88.3 and ABS-CBN Sports and Drei Felix of MYX, the launch started with an opening number from Rayver Cruz and a demonstration of Body Jam from Gelli Victor of RX 93.1. Mike Silungan and Woody Co of the UP Fighting Maroons and Jeric Teng of the UST Growling tigers were also game and joined in the demonstration.
Hosted by RX 93.1’s Francesca Tobias and Gino Quillamor, the adidas store in Rockwell, started the launch with performances from Aerofunk, followed by a brief introduction of what the event is all about. Kath Cruz, who handles the Training and Styles categories of adidas explained what the Fluid Trainer technology is all about. Wrapping the event is a demo performance from Aerofunk fitness professionals followed by adidas endorsers Iza Calzado, Yael, Tedmark, Gosh and Armo of Spongecola. Also spotted in the adidas launch in Rockwell was Philippine Daily Inquirer columnist Tessa Prieto-Valdes, Larry Fonacier of Alaska, Jonas Villanueva of San Miguel, Jeff Chan of Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, Poomsae World Champion Janice Lagman, Head Physical Therapist of the Moro Lorenzo Sports Clinic Kristine Warren, Karylle, Ginger Conejero, Luke Mijares and DJ Durano. Meanwhile, the Greenbelt launch, hosted by Slick Rick of Boy’s Night Out and Lia Cruz of Basketball TV, demonstrated parkour which was performed by dance group Groovejackz and the parkour/free runners from the Philippine Parkour and Freerunning Association. Actor John Lloyd Cruz was present at the event and he shared how excited he
Available for both men and women, the FLUID TRAINER footwear is super lightweight and dynamic, has 3600 flexibility and good ground contact which gives you good grip for any indoor and outdoor activities. It is designed with mesh, suede and leather to serve both function and style. The shoe also has a completely seam-free upper for extra comfort and breathability. The FLUID TRAINER comes in five (5) colour combinations for women and four (4) colours for men. This array of colours makes it easy for one to mix and match with any of your adidas training apparel or even pair it with your favourite leisure wear in and out of the gym. The fall/winter 2010 FLUID TRAINER collection is available in the different adidas Sports Performance stores, PSIs, selected Proline, Toby’s, and SM sport shops starting AUGUST 15, 2010. Get these items at Php 3,895 to Php 4,495. For more information, visit the adidas Philippines Fan Page on www.facebook.com.
MARC ECKO CUT & SEW LAUNCHES A NEW DIMENSION IN ADVERTISING
Lindsay Lohan stars as fall 2010 digital campaign muse August 4, 2010. New York City. This fall, the Marc Ecko Cut & Sew collection campaign ingeniously marries technology and pop culture with a traditional print campaign. The effect is a never-beenseen-before experience for consumers in which they begin their journey as an observer, then enter into the 3rd dimension via augmented reality, and end as a participant hanging with celebrity Lindsay Lohan. The idea, conceived by Marc Ecko, is the first in an on-going series, that combines the traditional ideas of a print campaign with the web technology “augmented reality” to create a multi-dimensional, interactive experience. Augmented reality will soon be a household term, but it can be defined by taking a physical real-world environment and augmenting it by virtual computergenerated imagery. The effect is a hologram that appears to be coming out of the user’s computer. How does augmented reality play into the Marc Ecko Cut & Sew campaign? A special encoded GLYPH marking (tracking code) will be printed onto all Marc Ecko Cut & Sew fall 2010 marketing collateral; including catalogs, look books, direct mail pieces and within the pages of the campaign featured in consumer print publications. Consumers can also print the GLYPH from the dedicated campaign website, w w w.marceckomuse. com. As consumers log onto the website, they will position the GLYPH mark into their web camera. Within seconds, a hologram
appears before their eyes, in this case, it’s the campaign’s digital muse, Lindsay Lohan. Lindsay will appear in a series of four video skits that correspond with each ad campaign image, shot in NYC by fashion and celebrity photographers Markus Klinko and Indrani. Each skit was written by Marc Ecko and plays into the print creative, “Lindsay inspires Marc to acquire the one thing money can’t buy…time. She proposes he goes on a heist, to steal time.” The choice to use Lindsay as the campaign muse is best explained by Marc Ecko, “A muse has the ability to inspire the artist to create in ways they wouldn’t otherwise contemplate. For better, or worse, they make you feel something, emotionally. I cast Lindsay because people are fascinated with her-they can either feel good or bad things, but they are feeling some type of emotion. She’s a pop culture icon.” Using the power of emotion, Marc has created a special tool for web users that allows them to click into a wheel icon located on the home page. The wheel icon represents psychologist Robert Putchick’s theory that humans have eight basic emotions and eight advanced emotions such as: joy, trust, fear, love, optimism, remorse, etc. Once the user clicks into an emotion, the hologram of Lindsay Lohan begins to act out that emotion. Users have the ability to “play with her emotions.”
Taking it one step further, consumers can record a video of themselves speaking to or hanging out with the hologram of Lindsay. They can upload their personalized videos to the video gallery on the www. marceckomuse.com site, and on other sites like youtube.com, Facebook, etc. The campaign is truly a participatory experience. The actual print campaign pays homage to American illustrator Robert McGinnis who created movie posters for the James Bond movies in the ‘70’s. The campaign images were shot in New York City by photographer Zach Gold, but then reworked to look similar to McGinnis’s well-known illustrations. The campaign features designer Marc Ecko and digital muse Lindsay Lohan posing together in six different campaign shots. Marc continues, “Lindsay works well in this type of creative. She projects a sense of danger and ideally fits the idea of a “bond” girl. A raspy voice, freckles, a sexiness and an independent spirit.” The campaign will kick-off with an interactive event in NYC the first week of August. Computer portals will be used throughout the event to showcase the hologram technology and allow for guests to become a part of the campaign themselves. The print campaign will break in consumer publications for September issues, in on-line banners across many digital categories, and in direct mail pieces shipped worldwide.
Kid Cudi Man on the Moon:The End of Day Motown The protégé who aided Kanye West in inventing the self-deprecating sing-song style of the latter’s jagged 808s & Heartbreak expands that sound with much better results on his own debut album, Man on the Moon: The End of Day. The album encircles his hit single ''Day 'N' Nite'' with an esoteric plot, but you won't have to follow it to be enthralled by Kid Cudi's brooding persona, knack for melody, and diverse preference in beats - including outstanding collaborations with electro groups Ratatat and MGMT and even sampling Lady Gaga. Cudi turns out to be that hardest-to-find of rap marvels: a pop glorified upstart who really does embody a hopeful new chapter in the genre's advancement. The School Loveless Unbeliever Elefant/Universal
Watch out for Kid Cudi’s new album, The Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager.
This band got signed to Elefant after only four gigs. The School’s first full-length album, Loveless Unbeliever, is so refined that one half suspects they just worked hard for several years in the rehearsal studio before coolly ambling onto the live circuit. From The Ramones to the Gossip, the DIY practitioners have long been influenced by the output of Tamla Motown and the Phil Spector-produced girl groups of the 60s. Yet not often have they directed these influences so slavishly, or so marvelously. The band is basically the brainchild of lead singer Liz Hunt, whose crystal clean, splendidly spontaneous tones take center stage throughout. From the awe-inspiring call-andresponse cooing of the glowing opener “Let It Slip”, to the time she pours herself like a bright balm over “I Don’t Believe in Love”, a duet with raspy voiced indie artist Rob Jones, Hunt is hypnotising. The band’s incalculably consummate battery of crying strings, warm rhythm of piano, twanging guitars and animated handclaps create a period-authentic setting but her voice is The School’s soul, melodious but with the untrained charm of Mary Weiss, Ronnie Spector et al, pure and pretty as the morning light. Admittedly some may find the entirety of Loveless Unbeliever rather damp: there are no belters here, just mid-paced ballads whose ruminations on two-timing men and the difficulties of love come across like something of an appropriation of Hunt’s favorite lyrics. If this album was released in 1964, The Shangri-Las in all likelihood wouldn’t be losing too much sleep.
Sleepwalk Circus The Great Secret Show Terno This album gives real meaning to the term that self-professed music critics refer to as “soundscapes”. From opening track to finale the listener is thrown into a spinning musical whirlpool, the threshold for Sleepwalk Circus’ Great Secret Show. We are tossed somewhere where vacant templates blow up with abounding melodies and morph into the backdrops of the band’s uncanny dreams that merge with our own. Giving this album a spin we sleepwalk through a madcap exploration of vigorous sorrow, an escapade not shattering enough to be described as distressing but not moving enough to be the opposite. Caught in the indeterminate state of nirvana, here is the only time we will ever use our sense of hearing to dream.
Very Truly Yours Things You Used to Say Skywriting/Universal
Miike Snow Miike Snow Downtown Nope, that’s no typo. And it's not even one dude - this trio is comprised of members based in New York and Stockholm, the “surname” an engineer in LA, the first name a tribute to Japanese film director Takashi Miike. They can already lay claim to one of the greatest pop songs of the last ten years, having written Britney Spears' “Toxic”. Easily enough, the story of their name just about describes their music. Definitely well engineered, it nevertheless contains some weird twists, turns and syncopations as it unfurls, not to mention some unequivocally gloomy lyrics. What works considerably in their favor is the fact Miike Snow are one of those groups whose music refuses to fade away. They've perfected the art of the album as a “grower”. Give the album one listen only and it might possibly just pass you by, leaving you ephemerally stunned by its odd harmonies, ironed out into pop structures. Go back to it again and the means of drawing the listener in begins, as the acerbic lyrics uncover themselves and the appealing tunes and rolling drums start to pop their heads above the ramparts. Nowhere does this occur more perceptibly than the lead track “Animal”, which comes off like a lost Police song given a newfound, intensely dyed costume change. It's exceptionally and bizarrely cheerful, a frame of mind that persists through the album, with top-notch lyrical sketches and hooks that seem unwieldy at first listen, resplendently dissimilar the next.
Very Truly Yours’ debut album, like its debut EP before it, finds the twee group by now longing. Things You Used To Say follows last year’s Reminders EP, and even their early singles reminisce, titlewise: take “Popsong ’91,” a song paying tribute to a year the band’s eldest band members were most probably going to elementary school and playing Home Alone on repeat. The group’s obsession with the past stretch to the music: the band’s first batch of singles were rattling and captivating in a ‘90s Slumberland-y way, but its geography, not era, that’s changed with this release’s influences. As implied in Reminders, Very Truly Yours have taken to the gentler, Glaswegian sounds of Camera Obscura and Belle & Sebastian over the past few years, with lead vocalist Kristine Capua at times a dead (or at least more delicate) ringer for the former group’s Tracyanne Campbell. Things You Used to Say finds her diverging out from at times simulating Campbell’s quirks, though, turning to a mellower approach for the band’s newly sun-splashed chamber-pop. First track “I’d Write You A Song” emulates Belle & Sebastian’s “Photo Jenny,” while “Homesick,” is its most exemplary: a lead guitar arpeggio dazzling over major and minor 7th chords, high-hatheavy drumming and an endearing, waifish vocal. One could fit that categorization to any song from the twenty-year history of twee; but that doesn’t make the formula any less incessantly effective.
N.E.R.D Nothing Pharell, Chad & Shae’s fourth studio album entitled “Nothing” was supposed to be called “Instant Gratiffication” and despite the namechange, falls nothing short of their trademark beats. Noticable are the heavy 60’s 70’s funk & RnB, psychedelic rock influenced music and while seemingly absent are the uber hard party crash, the production in the album is great to say the least.Though songwriting is not their strong point, it’s nice to see the overly sexual lyrics become songs about love, heartbreak and success.Their first released single Hot n Fun featuring Canadian recording artist Nelly Furtado is as its namesake Fun, obssessingly catchy and while not a certified club banger will be the fun starter for any great party around the world. I seen the light is a love track with slow rock like riffs with A hot beat is going to be locked on replay. The song Party People is certified to get you dancing and melt the lyrics In your brain. While the album according to Pharell Williams Is designed to connect to their fanbase especially women and while vocalist Rhea is seemingly missing, the band doesn’t disappoint with this latest album.
The Man of Lost Projects Risking sounding like a cliché, but acclaimed Australian artist David Griggs is a man who eats, drinks and breathes art. He is the founder of Lost Projects – an art space located in Industrial Valley, almost totally astray from the commercial art districts in Manila. Based on Griggs’ particular preference towards Filipino and Australian contemporary art, Lost Projects is directed at promoting the works and practices of artists from both regions. Classic example of a man who’s giving back to the industry he is fortunate enough to excel and live a stable life from.
How did you get into sneakers? “Ever since I was 13 I have been riding skateboards. I’m now 35. I used to ride a skateboard at least twice a week, so naturally I needed skate shoes.” What’s your preference when it comes to sneakers? “Two brands I always use – Vans and Fallen skate shoes. You can put them on and skate straight away. Because of the usual – they’re comfortable, they’re practical. Some other skate shoes you have to walk them for a month before you get comfortable enough to use on skating.” Were you ever into professionally competing as a skater? “In my teens I used to compete, but now I just do it for the love of it.” So what brings you to do Lost Projects? “I guess I’m a full time artist now. I guess because I like it here so much & seeing so much talent that don’t get showed much. Work is great it’s so easy. IN 2005 I started collecting Filipino contemporary art and it naturally led to opening this small space called Lost Projects.” For the uninitiated, what exactly is Lost Projects? “It doubles as exhibit and studio space. Lost Projects acts as an operational platform where a direct dialogue for you with that artist is encouraged and likewise promoted.” Any profound effects that Lost Projects has done for you personally? “It’s very healthy for me working here. It’s great to have good artists around and seeing them help each other out.” Has your skating ever influenced your art? “I think there’s a growing trend of artists who are also into skating but I keep the skating to myself and it hasn’t really influenced my art directly, at least not yet. Skating doesn’t really influence my art necessarily but how I am as a person. Since my personality influences my art I guess we can say it does influence me in a way.”
So how do you pick the artists who get to work in Lost Projects? “The artspace’s main program consists of three residency slots a year wherein the selected artist or collective is offered a three to four-month long studio. An exhibition as introductory or culminating event of each residency is an option supervised by myself. I try to mix it up. Every time there’s an exhibition, it should always be jarringly different from the previous show. I guess my interest is specifically painting, photography and conceptual work. When I curate, I pick the best.” How do you separate your appreciation of art with professionalism? “Well, if a work is compelling enough I’ll collect it whether or not the one who made it is an asshole or not. But for Lost Projects I want the best, but I also want ones I can trust with the simple things.” “Who are your favourite local artists right now?” “It’s funny that over the years the artists I always admire changes. Right now my top 5 would be Pow Martinez, Poklong Anading, photographer Sam Kiyoumarsi, Robert Langenegger and MM Yu. I could list more, but they’re my faves right now. I’ve collected creations from all those artists over the years.” And where are these artists in terms of being recognized? “Pow has been painting for five years, he’s at this point where he’s garnering interest. He’s more successful than many of them, but still upcoming.” “Robert is well-respected and he has made it to Paris. I refuse to talk about his works with some hyped-up, trumped-up art theory barrage of information that’s been written about him before.”
“Poklong is more into installations, his work has been curated in numerous shows in SouthEast Asia and Australia. All these guys are now wellrespected in their own right.” How has the Filipino Artist made it in terms of getting international recognition? “It’s like in any other country where you can only get so far. Of course, if you are an artist you want a different audience see your work. And that’s one of Lost Projects’ main objectives.” Still remember the first exhibit that Lost Projects did?
How are you exactly gonna structure the calendar of Lost Projects? “For this studio I’m planning to break it into three chapters a year – one for a Filipino art, an Australian artist to show his work and do a dialogue and another international artist as well. At any given point there will be an artist working in the studio. The gallery will always be open for anyone to see the works or speak to the artist.” Any steps being made towards helping great local artists to be seen on an international scale?
“It only opened last June but the first time the gallery was put in the map it was in Switzerland. Since that inaugural show we have also opened space in Bazu. The actual first show here in Manila won’t be opening until October.”
“Definitely. I’m looking at different possibilities.”
Any particular show that can whet our appetites further?
“I would like to keep things in the DIY sense, there’s total control and not relying on promises from other people. For me that’s extremely important.”
“Pow will be showing a new series of paintings in the near future. Pow just got awarded as one of the Ateneo Young Artist Award recently. It will be his first solo show since winning that award, so I’m personally looking forward to that.”
What’s the most important thing to your work beside from having the art as beautiful as it could possibly be?
What do you think is the strength in the local art scene?
How do you make a living while maintaining all this?
“I think the biggest strength is that there’s some great artists who are willing to go out on a limb and just create what they want to do and do it extremely well.”
“I’ve been a full-time artist since 2003. I’m fortunate enough to be making a living off my art.”
What do you think is the weakness?
And what was the specific incident that led to you putting up Lost Projects? “I’ve always had this idea of opening this space. Was planning to do it later but when I was looking for a flat to live in I found this 3-storey studio, there was so much space. This was perfect I thought, since I’m living here there would be no need for artists to rent the space.”
“One weakness I find is that the institutions don’t seem to have much grasp with what’s happening with the contemporary art scene.” How do you channel inspiration to create your art? “It sort of varies. There’s two sides of a coin for me. I think some of the most successful exhibits I did is where I try to do research on a particular topic so I can make a vision and create an outline. There’s the flipside where I try not to reference anything.”
The Symbiosis of Caliph8 According to the Oxford Dictionary, the term symbiosis (from the Greek: σύν syn "with"; and βίωσις biosis "living") commonly describes close and often long-term interactions between different biological species. It is also the title of the Bill Evans vinyl that was playing on the turntable when this writer and the Clavel crew went to the flat of Arvin “Caliph8” Nogueras for this interview. He is easily one of the most uncompromising artists in the underground scene today. One minute he’ll be rapping, another he’ll be jamming with the diverse likes of Pasta Groove, Radioactive Sago Project, Drip and Vigo, among many others. He is also an accomplished DJ, multimedia and visual artist. Needless to say, his life has been devoted to a symbiosis of different art forms guaranteed to be not for everyone and blow the minds of anyone who would care. And he’s passionate about it that in the course of this interview, he’ll be asked one question and answer a couple of others in the process.
How conscious of a sneaker collector are you?
What were the first hip-hop LPs that you bought since then?
“Medyo unconscious, it’s because it’s an innate thing. It’s part of the culture I love living in. I’ve been collecting sneakers since 1994 but it’s more because it’s part of hiphop culture, more of a lifestyle thing. I hardly even refer to catalogs and web sites, I have a preference when it comes to sneakers.”
“Eric B & Rakim’s Paid in Full and a 12-inch of KRS One’s ‘The Bridge Is Over’. From there my sensibility developed; just playing it by ear. I would rely on what I would find in the crates, playlists ng mga similar minded collectors.”
What comprises most of your shoe collection? “Puma Clydes, Suede, Timabalands, Swallops.....”
Was there ever a particular sneaker brand that made you want to go ‘I gotta have that!’ the most? “Clark’s Wallabees – when I saw it it was really expensive, but I didn’t mind the price. That’s how much I wanted it.” We’re pretty sure that your sneaker collection is not as valuable to you as your vinyl collection, how did you get into it? “I acquired my first few records in 1987 when I was 10 years old. A neighbor in Fairview was into that mobile thing, eventually I made friends with them and did sound trips with them. Their crates were full of New Wave. I eventually got into beats and hip-hop because of Herbie Hancock’s ‘Rockit’. I didn’t know it was part of any movement then, talagang I was looking for a certain beat that would move me.”
And how has it developed you as an artist? “I got into hip-hop culture, with it comes the beat process, the words, the aesthetics and everything fell into place. It was an inevitable and essential part of my growth as a person.” Where do you rely your vinyl collecting on? “Everywhere – swap meets, ukay-ukays, friends, strangers, anywhere.” What about your turntables? “Turntables are still being produced. Vinyl has resurfaced. The turntable has outdone the guitar as far as purchases go on a worldwide scale.” Is there any part of hip-hop culture that you have a hard time grasping? “Breakdancing, hahaha! I’ve always had the knack for it when I was young. But nowadays pinaubaya ko na siya sa mga mas physically fit,hahaha!”
How’s your work as a visual artist going? “With the visuals I’m now into new media. When I find the time I’ll be constructing linear stories. I would also love to bomb again but I haven’t found the time. Siguro, the most I do is when somebody just presents me a wall and the tools to do it.” What goes in the mind of Caliph8 when you DJ? “I totally enjoy playing other people’s music and treating the whole thing like a story. I’m mostly into analog, but I also have the software – nag-eembrace din ako ng new technology.” Also we’ve notice that you’re also into scoring silent films.... “I enjoy scoring silent films dahil sobrang pasok siya sa vintage feel na sensibilities – the psychedelia that perfectly captures silent films.” What to you was the most memorable silent film score you ever did? “Last year, it was for a 1915 sci-fi film called ‘Mechanical Film’. The directress allowed me to manipulate the film. Director Tad Ermitanio chopped the film and helped me disconstruct the film into a visual collage. We were able to do this amazing LSS effect. May mga tumayo na puritans.” And how did that sit with you? “I’m not an elitist. If I can provoke someone
to create or support or even react strongly with what I do, that’s the beans for me.” Will we ever see a Caliph8 album in the near future? “I’ve been procrastinating on it. It’s just that I really find the live performances more enjoyable. But I do have a lot of material just waiting to be laid down and produced. I just have to align my sked with my producer of choice Noel Debrackinghe (Sweetspot Studios and Rubber Inc) who’s pretty much a busy person as I am.” When will we see you rap again? “I have a night called Subflex where I do more of the hip-hop and the rapping, no need to show off just do whatever I feel like doing. Most of the time I just rock the MPC.” Ever battle rapped? “Never did, I think it’s just a waste of time. When battling occurs, it’s subject to the judges. So pano yun, it doesn’t justify or quantify how good an artist an MC is. I’ve been telling these battle rap organizers
since they’re friends too to why not inject discourses, have performers para may matutunan yung mga pumupunta. So far naman it’s good nakakapag-inject sila ng performers.” “That’s the problem – the kids nasasanay lang sa kung ano ang nakikita nila na puro ‘putangina mo, putangina mo’. Nakakalungkot, dapat culture-building. Ang nake-cater lang halos na part is the ego-boosting side of things. It saddens me that out of all the music genres, hip-hop is the most bastardized, the most put out of context. It’s all about hype, having to get more people.” Who or which for you is the most important person to have pushed hiphop forward locally? “The best platform would be Francism’s radio show. It would run for two hours and he would play everything from East Coast, West Coast, left-field, walang nagguglue. When I do anything I try my best to contribute to the whole platform – hip-hop is my springboard for a wider platform.”
Obviously, this is not your bread and butter.... “I’m a Creative Director for a multimedia company, I work with developers. And I don’t make money at all out of music, asa ka pa. Even in my art I don’t think about the money. My dayjob allows me to say no to certain music projects out of principle. As I told you in the past when you interviewed me and A.M.P.O.N. for the compilation album we put out years ago, kahit maisipan naming pamigay na lang yung copies ng album namin hindi pa rin namin mauubos yun. The next releases we’ll make will probably be more of an online thing. Steady lang kami, it’s not about blowing up. For us it’s just a matter of archiving our work which we get to create virtually everyday. We just want to get more people to be interested and involved and kicking shit.” What would your dream project be? “Gusto ko makagawa ng show na magkakaaccess ako sa orchestra. I want to give orders to those classically trained mofo’s (Laughs). I want to be able to have access to all the weirdest instruments I could think of.”
“It’s all about the sneakers.” For as long as there sneakers exist, they KIKS TYO will be around. That’s neither a threat nor a promise. That’s a fact. And it’s very refreshing to come across a small tight group of sneaker hooligans that know where their heads at. Who are honest about what they represent and what they bring to the table. “No accidents”. That ought to be the mantra of the guys behind KIKS TYO. To them, and to every self-respecting dude that is moved by good design swear that design must have a purpose, otherwise, it’s not design. Freshness with a point. “From the ground up”. Possibly another KIKS TYO mantra. Everything they do is dictated by sneakers. It’s a simple system, but it’s a system that works for them. And apparently, it’s a system that also works for their legions of followers. When they get out of bed, and head to their closets, it’s picking out freshness piece by piece, working from the ground up. And ‘heads have found a strong ally in KIKS TYO’s creations.
Please tell us your name and delegation: My name is HAMAJI. I’m the creative director and chief designer for KIKS TYO. You’ve had a lot of sneaker-oriented teeshirt designs this whole time you’ve been in the streetwear game… which is your favorite? A while back, we put together a collabo with MANIK SKATEBOARDS and YUKO ISHIDA. The guys who run MANIK in Japan are our close friends and we always entertained the idea of working together. The collab included a tee, a skate deck and a jacket. We just dropped it out of nowhere and the reaction around the world was wild. What does KIKS TYO bring to urban culture that is distinctly and uniquely KIKS TYO? We made the culture, the fashion industry and the footwear industry believe in the concept of designing clothing that specifically coordinates with sneakers. Is there love in every design you come up with? Of course. Always. What was that turning point or that event that triggered you to say, “Fuck it, let’s do this.” At the time in Japan, we were coming off a a
big decline in people’s interest for sneakers. We wanted to focus on doing something to energize and expand sneaker culture in a creative way and to also connect heads worldwide. Our passion for sneakers, clothing and the lifestyles we were living would allow us to do this. So we said “let’s go” and it’s been on ever since. Do you plan on making a other collaboration in Philippine shores soon? We have worked with a lot of good heads from the Philippines like Jave at CRATE, artist Milen David (based in Tokyo) and artist Eric Quebral (based in Canada), and we know the heads in the Philippines are die hard. Real recognizes real, so if there is a creative chance, we would like to make more happen locally. Any plans of visiting the Philippine tropics? Is that an invitation!? What would be a dream project for you? Actually, we just opened a new store in Harajuku in Tokyo and a spot in Taipei, Taiwan. Eventually, I’d like to see a KIKS TYO door in every city that matters to heads like us. That’s the long-term dream project. What kind of people do you want to see your clothes on? And on the flip side, what kind of people don’t you want your clothes on?
When people who obviously have a deep interest in sneakers wear KIKS TYO, it’s a validation of all of our work. We set out to communicate across cultures, nationalities and languages through a shared passion (sneakers), so it’s always cool to see this manifest itself in the real world. What’s the discipline or philosophy behind a KIKS TYO design? We know ourselves, so we know our customers and fans. Each design, garment, accessory or product is made to connect with the mind, inspiration and lifestyle of a sneakerhead. What do you think are common mistakes in putting together a proper wardrobe? Proper sizing and originality are things people could benefit from paying more attention to. Try to silence the voices in your mind that tell you to dress like anyone else. Say you’re stranded in a deserted island, what are the five things that should be with you then? Here’s three: Water, Women and Sneakers. What is that one element of urban culture that every self-respecting sneaker-head should have? Passion.
What are your holy grails (sneakers, you can answer individually)? Deadstock, OG, Black / Royal Blue Air Jordan I’s in size 10.5. What brands do you respect and stand by? STUSSY What sneaker model or models do you have the most pairs of?
Brothers (Bugs Bunny), DC Comics (Batman), Peanuts (Charlie Brown), Sesame Street, Felix the Cat, Marvel Comics, Trainerspotter, Quolomo, Manik, Double Hard, SBTG, Limited Edition, Crooked Tongues, Street Jack Magazine, Pete Rock and quite a few others. As I mentioned, working with Manik was one of my favorite projects. When you were starting out, what got your work off the ground? What was your big break?
Jordans. What does the future hold for KIKS TYO? Right now, we are focused on working more with our favorite sneaker brands. Are you cooking up any book concepts lately? Not at the moment. What statement are you trying to communicate through your designs? For sneakernuts, by sneakernuts.
The first Aki Hoshino tees we dropped changed everything overnight. Let’ not be humble for a moment, why do you think your work fetches pretty large sums? We try to connect to with our supporters in a way that allows the design, the quality, and the experience of KIKS TYO to not only justify the price, but to to take precedence over it. As sneakerheads we always do whatever it takes to get what we want. KIKS TYO heads around the world are the same breed. Who would you like to collaborate with?
Who’s your muse? Apple and Nintendo. No one in particular. What is that single piece of design work that first moved you?
How long do you think you’d be doing this? As long as sneakers exist.
The Nike Air Force 1 What challenges do you encounter in your work? The biggest challenge that I think all designers face is finding the balance between raw creativity and business. What challenges you? As a person and as a designer?
They say that the wheels are extensions of the foot, ever thought about designing an automobile? I’d definitely like to work on a customized interior. Do you think your parents are happy about how you turned out? Of course!
In this past year I got married and had a new baby daughter so building a family is my greatest and most rewarding personal challenge. As far as design, I’d say preparing a full collection 3 times a year is a challenge each and every time.
Any guilty pleasures? Crazy nights at Philippine pubs in Japan! Name names. Who do you consider a design rival?
Do you have a design hero? No one. Eric HAZE. Who to you is a rising star in design? There are quite a few all around the world, so it’s very hard to mention just one individual. What brands have you collaborated with? Who is your favorite? Here’s a few off top: New Balance, Casio G-shock, Champion, Medicom Toy, New Era, Penfield, Technics, Black Flys, OBEY, Sneaker Pimps, Sanrio (Hello Kitty), Disney, Warner
Finally, What would you want to be your street culture legacy? KIKS TYO began as a crew of sneaker heads from Tokyo and Yokohama in Japan. We started calling ourselves the “Community of Sneaker Nuts”. We wanted to make gear that represented our crew, hooked up with our sneakers, and helped to expose this Japanese sneaker maniac kind of lifestyle to like-minded people around the world. As a brand, I hope our legacy will be that we always stayed true to that essence.
KIKS TYO is a uniquely Japanese streetwear label, brand and brick & mortar retail experience. Founded in 2006 by DJ, designer and streetwear/sneaker culture personality hobby:tech (Shinichi Izaki), KIKS TYO has since gained recognition worldwide for its dedication to producing well crafted, high-quality tee shirts, apparel and accessories based on the worlds of sneakers and sport culture. The company operates multiple stores in Japan including the KIKS TYO Head Shop in Shibuya and KIKS TYO Harajuku along with the KIKS TYO Pop UP in Taipei, Taiwan. In early 2008, after focusing the majority of his time to new clothing and lifestyle ventures QUOLOMO and erect81, hobby:tech handed over design leadership of KIKS TYO to longtime protege Hamaji (Hideaki Chujo). KIKS TYO has collaborated with Japanese and international partners including: CASIO G-SHOCK, NEW BALANCE, MEDICOM, DISNEY, SANRIO, CHAMPION, NEW ERA, TECHNICS, WARNER BROS, DC COMICS, AKI HOSHINO, AYA KIGUCHI, YUKO ISHIDA, SOLE BOX, SNEAKER PIMPS, BLACK FLYS, PENFIELD, MANIK, YONEX, YASUMASA YONEHARA AKA YONE, PETE ROCK, CROOKED TONGUES, TRAINERSPOTTER, STAGE, SBTG, MESS, FLY, REACTION INC. and others. Outside of Japan, key retail doors include: CRATE (PHILIPPINES), LIMITED EDT VAULT (SINGAPORE), SOLE WHAT (MALAYSIA), ESPIONAGE (AUSTRALIA), SOLE BOX (BERLIN), BOTTEGA BACK DOOR (ITALY), MESS (BEIJING), REACTION INC (GUANGZHOU), and FLY (SHANGHAI).
hobby:tech – Aside from his work with KIKS TYO, hobby is known as one of the former founding members of Japanese creative team "BROWNRATS", as a recording artist and DJ for Universal Music Japan and as one of Japan's most prominent and die-hard sneaker collectors. hobby's passion for introducing and exposing elements of the worldwide sneaker and streetwear sub-cultures to Japanese audiences is manifested via his popular Street Jack Magazine columns "hobby:tech EX" and "FRESH AIR with hobby:tech and hamaji" and via his role as host of Street Jack TV. hobby's design work has molded a variety of products via a multitude of companies including: New Balance Japan, Nike, Vans, Adidas, Medicom, Champion, Levis, Island Records, Eames, United Arrows, Fred Perry, Beams, Arnold Palmer, Honda, Warner Brothers and DC Comics. Hamaji – Since gaining control of KIKS TYO's design and creative direction, Hamaji has continued the label's evolution as a full scale lifestyle brand and is considered amongst the leaders of the new generation of Japanese creators age 25 and under. In 2003 after leaving his native Hokkaido, Japan's northern most prefecture, to study at Tokyo's Vantan Design Institute, Hamaji joined the Japanese creative team "BROWNRATS" under the mentorship of hobby:tech. In 2006, Hamaji left "BROWNRATS" to help support the foundation of KIKS TYO alongside hobby:tech. He has since taken creative control over the brands design, placing a large emphasis on creating cutting edge outer, denim and cut & sew offerings.
FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 10
THE PARTIES YOU MISSED FINGER ROLLER.
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“manila art” cubao x
â€œwall lordsâ€? the collective, makati
“crapola - exhibit” pablo, cubao x
“crapola - exhibit” pablo, cubao x
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