The Contempo #artshop is an event that happens at the Honolulu Museum of Art. In 2015, it took place at the the Honolulu Museum of Art's Spaulding House at Makiki Heights. It was an honor to participate in a project of this magnitude in our 50th State which was offered a great readership and support of Giant Robot Magazine. The exhibition featured "Giant Robot Day" following the exhibition opening with guests, Rob Sato, Ako Castuera, Luke Chueh, and Yoskay Yamamoto who explained their work and painted at the event.

Event: #ArtShop: Giant Robot Day

Date: June 20, 2015 11:00am-04:00pm

Location: Spalding House

Saturday, June 20 | FREE shuttle service from Roosevelt High School to Spalding House 10:30am-4:30pm
• Giant Robot Day
 11am Talk Shop: Meet Giant Robot’s Eric Nakamura and exhibiting artists Luke Chueh, Rob Sato, Ako Castuera, and Yoskay Yamamoto
• 1pm: Drawing and painting demonstrations by Luke Chueh, Rob Sato, and Yoskay Yamamoto.
• 1pm: Docent tour

Giant Robot Day at the Honolulu Museum of Art – Contempo #Artshop took place on saturday and it was an mind and heart filling experience. The Day and Giant Robot pop up is a testament to the excitement and energy that a “zine-turned-magazine-turned-many things” project creates after 21 years.

There are many emotions that came out of this project, most of which has little or nothing to do with art. It’s more about the effort, ideas, and selflessness that went into every aspect of this event. The “help” came from everyone. The smiles and stress-less-ness was infectious. The museum staff including Allison, Aaron, Sheryl, and many more with non-museum staffer Lofa Lightsleepers, and his many compadres gave and gave without asking for much in return. Trying to pay it back is impossible, so I’ll continue to try to pay it forward.

My unrehearsed spiel at the outset of the day gave the day no justice. I should rehearse these better. I make an effort to explain the space and what it’s all about, yet the talk about the exhibition and art had little to do with the actual work. It’s more about the background of where we come from and our current status of working together and having a bond enough to feel like a family. I suppose understanding our backgrounds are as important as knowing who we are and where we’re at. Yet, I’m always wishing I’m able to go full emo and talk about the miracle of us being able to make enough ripples in a dense art world to garner the attention of a great establishment halfway across the Pacific – and maybe include how stuff like this isn’t supposed to happen to a bunch of misfits, but it is.

Perhaps the context of where it all began for me as an Asian American kid in Southern California exposed to cool import toys, Japanese monsters, and brown bagged Asian food lunches that other kids made fun of isn’t as unique as I thought. It’s a story and aesthetic shared in some form by each artist and many of their fans. That’s what the hard work in publishing GR was all about – documenting and packing it all. I’m glad someone read and believed in it. I did.

Luke Chueh, Yoskay Yamamoto, Ako Castuera, and Rob Sato got to speak about their work, and later, they got to actually make work in a casual setting as part of their public demo. Each operated in their own way. Rob painted with kids. Luke painted in front of people. Yoskay collaborated with his friend, Matt Ortiz of Wooden Wave.

Lofa Lightsleepers is a local, friend, fan, and now family to Giant Robot. He picked us up, used his influence and knowledge to get things done, and helped make the experience incredible. While working alongside the Museum’s needs, he helped fill in the gaps and generally took care of us. He was an integral part of the experience in Hawaii, and it was selfless and generous.

Lastly, thanks to the Museum. I’m hoping this is just the beginning of more to come. I’m actually repeating their words. Yes, there will be more to come. Because of the Museum and Giant Robot Day, the bridge between my life in the mainland, specifically West LA feels closer to Oahu than it ever has. It strangely felt like it could be home.