mixed bag

INVISIBLE KITCHEN for the Library Foundation of Los Angeles (2015)
Photo: Ryan Miller / Capture Imaging
"Invisible Kitchen" was commissioned by the Library Foundation of Los Angeles for the exhibition "To Live and Dine in L.A." The exhibition and book by the same name, curated and written by Josh Kun,  showcases the vast menu collection of the Los Angeles Public Library and celebrates the rich, as-of-yet-untold, history of restaurants and food in the City of Angels. 3 contemporary artists (Fallen FruitKarla Diaz, and yours truly) who use food to explore social issues also have installations in the exhibition. "Invisible Kitchen" is an installation of custom made fake food samples (of Japanese fame) and a collection of menus from imaginary "invisible kitchens" that illuminate themes of transculinary (?) culture, immigration, homesickness, under-representation of food, and illness.

INVISIBLE KITCHEN - Menus for the San Jose Museum of Art (2013)

Beginning with Homesick Cafe '92 (see below) in 2008, "Invisible Kitchen" is a series of projects paying homage to under-represented eats, ingredients, and untold culinary stories. This time 7 menus were commissioned by the San Jose Museum of Art for their group exhibition "Around the Table." Starting back with 'Homesick Cafe' the new series includes menus such as American classics that non-American transplants find very scary ('Mammano' and 'Mammano II'), rice porridge the world over (Gohanz), dumplings the world over ('Momo Ya'), indigenous soups the world over ('Sopa Tei'), and a menu of the only appetizing foods people could stomach while extremely ill ('Le Petit Appetit- All You Can Eat').


A 'slideshow' of sounds from many years of travels around the world and travels without moving. Compiled for the first time in a composition for Alan Nakagawa's show Ear Meal and performed on the streaming show in August of 2011. Listen to it here! (And don't worry, I won't be passing out any 'come to my dj night' flyers anytime soon! Watch the hilarious Portlandia dj night episode here!)

Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena / Gene Ogami
An installation including photographs, a curtain, cushions, and poetry. It is a room, that unfolds almost like scenes from a film. There is a background, there is a dialogue, there are fade-in's and fade-out's, there are long stationary shots and there are little inserts of images that look like they sound like pauses. Time moves, and then takes a break with the slight swaying of fabric pushed by a gentle breeze. The movie that is the installation Café Kiss of the World is about looking at what we already have, what is already there; it is about restlessness and calm and comfort. It is about traveling thousands of miles and traveling without moving. It is about past lives making appearances in this one. Like the background to any layout the 2 colors on the wall set the stage which is warm and light. 

 HOMESICK CAFÉ '92 (2008)

Menu, 11" x 4-1/4"  GRAND OPENING NOW! in your mind and on your tastebuds....There's fusion food, there's the Kogi Truck and then there's "homesick food." Homesick Café '92 offers a selection of diaspor-ic eats for those who miss Japan, with an American twist (or compromise, depending on how you look at it). All items on the menu are veggie friendly. Homesick Café '92 is the beginnings of a larger project INVISIBLE KITCHEN, a series of projects paying homage to under-represented eats, ingredients, and culinary sensibilities. 

Plastic grocery bags, string, bamboo, brass, zip ties, 8’ x 1‘dia.  Based on the Japanese tradition of folding 1,000 cranes with well wishes for a sick loved one, world peace, or in the hopes of getting into a desired school, 1,000 triangles for some peace, replaces the cranes with plastic grocery bags, folded into triangles (an efficient Japanese technique). The mundane and hurried task of storing away a grocery bag is elevated into a moment of calmness and creativity, and the ever over-flowing quantity of plastic bags manifest themselves meaningfully 1,000 times, like a mantra, like a prayer, for some kind of peace. 

   L.A. RIOTS (2007)

Poster, 22” x 11”  This poster was created for Exquisite Crisis and Encounters, an exhibition commemorating the 15th Anniversary of the Los Angeles Riots. While brain storming for the project collaborating artists Bia GayottoDee Williams, Haruko Tanaka, and social activist Amy Bowen began by asking the questions~ What were the LA Riots about? Who were the players? Where did it begin? Are its wounds healed? Why can't we agree on a name? Will it happen again? The open ended answers led the group to take the letters of L.A.R.I.O.T.S and create a poster that showed the multiplicity of views around the same issue. Inspired by John Cage’s mesostic poems, the poster took on a similar vertical and horizontal structure, where notions of dominance and control (verticality) intersect with democracy and change (horizontality). John Cage believed in social utopia. The poster hopes to act as a reminder that each one of us is equally responsible for social change.