my favorite neckless

this drawing is called ‘my favorite neckless’.  i’m showing this drawing at hosfelt gallery in san francisco.  i’m taking part in a group show titled “vocabularies of metaphor — more stories“, all works on paper by fifteen international artists.  the show will run from september 6th to october 18th .   if you’re around in san francisco, please do take time to visit the gallery and enjoy the show.

about the show (by the owner/curator todd hosfelt)

it’s an exhibition of works on paper by fifteen international artists exploring narrative through symbols.  i’m interested in visual languages that are highly personal and lyrical.  the “stories” are also original to the artists and open to interpretation.

the artists’ choice of exploring the intimacy of drawing/painting on paper (and my choice, as the curator) is about giving the viewer a voyeuristic glimpse into private moments.  i’m exhibiting between two and six pieces by each artist to give the viewer the opportunity to observe mutating idioms and to decipher the lexicons of each.    while the show didn’t start to be about work by women, almost all of it is.    i’m including amy cutler, fay ku, shahzia sikander, ruth marten, liliana porter, yuka yamaguchi, yelena yemchuk, baseerah khan, rob matthews, henry darger, sara stites, charlotte schultz, rachell sumpter, crystal liu and seonna hong.

todd hosfelt will be writing about the artists and their works in the show on his blog.  here’s what he wrote about my drawing, ‘my favorite neckless’:

i love yuka yamaguchi’s work.    it’s what frieda khalo would be making if she were alive and japanese.    gorgeously rendered colored pencil (often self) portraits that are seemingly innocent and disarmingly brutal.

i’m reproducing “my favorite neckless” 2008 colored pencils on paper, 11×14 inches.     beyond the play on words, jay brought the phrase “turtles all the way down” to my attention.     the story, in this case, as told by stephen hawkings in “a brief history of time” goes like this:

a well-known scientist (some say it was bertrand russell) once gave a public lecture on astronomy.  he described how the earth orbits around the sun and how the sun, in turn, orbits around the center of a vast collection of stars called our galaxy. at the end of the lecture, a little old lady at the back of the room got up and said: “what you have told us is rubbish. The world is really a flat plate supported on the back of a giant tortoise” the scientist gave a superior smile before replying, “what is the tortoise standing on?” “you’re very clever, young man, very clever,” said the old lady. “but it’s turtles all the way down!”

the story is used to illustrate religious/mythic myopia, but can also be read as meaning that you can never get to the bottom of a difficult question.

and of course there seussian reference to yertle the turtle…

i didn’t know about the turtle book by dr. seuss, but now i’ve got to go buy that for elijah and me ;)

3 am

this drawing is for a group show titled ‘100 stories’ at hosfelt gallery in NYC, april 11th to may 31st. you can sneak a peek at the show on the gallery’s website and read about it on todd hosfelt’s blog.

it was also mentioned on the juxtapoz blog last saturday. exciting!

hosfelt gallery
531 w 36th street,
new york

my tiny contribution to tinyshop

tomorrow is the opening for a group show titled “tinyshop” at double punch gallery in san francisco. “Tinyshop is dedicated to the memory of a cat named Tiny, a small boy in a big catsuit. Tiny’s life was punctuated with a verve, and youthful interest of the world around him. Tinyshop carries on his affection for the world “at small.”

i made five matchboxes for this tiny theme. you can view all of my matchboxes here.

(click the image to view close up)

title :: “shizen miruku buro (natural milk bath)”


(click the image to view close up)

title :: “resaikuru miruku (recycled milk)”


i’m reusing this recycled milk idea over and over again. i think the snow brand milk incident is haunting me…

these tiny matchboxes are for sale. if you are interested in purchasing, please contact double punch gallery.

Nov 21, 2007 – Jan 11, 2008
opening night: Nov 24, 2007, 6pm-9pm

double punch gallery
1821 Powell Street @ Filbert
2nd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94133

tinyshop info:

fringe festival

(click the image to view the close up)

the fringe festival has begun! from august 3rd to 13th, there’ll be performances, shops with original art and lots of fun. i’ll be busking on broadway avenue again this year. i don’t have many tricks to show you, but i’ll be showing some prints and small originals and they’ll be for sale. i’ll bring the spencer book too :)

my two original drawings (the one above and this) are shown at off broadway theater for fringe optix exhibition. they’re both for sale. there’ll be more of beautiful artworks by local artists. so go check it out.

last year, i was busking for the first time. it was just a month after paul and i moved to saskatoon. i didn’t know anybody. so it was nice to meet new people. i met many talented artists. it was tamara bond who dropped by at my booth, suggesting to contact phonographique for a show. i also met felt birds! (their fashion is awesome. i’m looking forward to seeing their new works.) i met so many friendly locals that i felt like i was already a part of the community. it was so much fun. it looks like there’ll be a lot of talented local artists again this year. so come on down to broadway avenue and have fun!

street busker
weekdays: 6pm ~ 10:30pm
weekends (incl. holiday monday): noon ~ 10:30pm

fringe optix~ the visual art exhibition
gallery: The Off Broadway Arts Centre – Lower Floor
hours 1pm – 9pm
opening saturday, aug 5th @7:30

*i’ll start busking tomorrow night.

up with broadway art encounter

good morning. i guess it’s already afternoon.

i put up my drawings at broadway shoe repair yesterday. i was so relieved, tired and happy that i couldn’t get to sleep until 5 am.

i’m one of many artists showing work in stores on broadway as part of the broadway art encounter. i’m very happy to be able to take part in this event. the businesses on broadway have generously turned their stores into galleries. it’s a nice way to integrate art into everyday life. i’m lucky to be showing at al’s store, broadway shoe repair. he’s a great guy, with a love for art. he displays his friends’ and employees’ artwork in his store on an everyday basis.

also at broadway shoe repair, a great photographer, john conway, is showing his amazing landscape photographs of saskatchewan. they’re spectacular. he’s recently published a book, which you can purchase at the show. i’m planning to send a copy to my parents in japan.

i’m selling art prints, posters and a few originals. if you’d like to purchase any, please contact me or leave your contact info at the store. i’ll drop by the store this afternoon. also, i made some postcards for this show, featuring my elephant and giraffe drawings. please take them home with you and enjoy.

i’ll upload a photo from broadway shoe repair later tonight. until then, here are thumbnails of the drawings i’m showing. click the small images to go to the original post where i showed the drawing.

some of the images are available as prints and postcards in my online SHOP.

spencer in love

(click image for a close-up)

a page from my amigurumi storybook: “the boring life of spencer, the ennui dog”. spencer is my favorite amigurumi (he’s so handsome). his life is boring, but he has many adventures. also appearing in the book: maximum team power (duck), fiona (spencer’s love), goro-chan (a “lone wolf” on wheels), and a pink jeep cherokee.

i launched the book last night at the aka gallery / paved art book fair. this was my first storybook. i took pictures of my amigurumi (on location here in saskatoon) and paul did the layout. the story is appropriate for adult children (it’s a cute story with a hint of backstabbing).

i’ll be posting more pages here over the next couple of weeks. i’ll also explain how to make amigurumi.

arigato, ne!

(click image for a closer look)

“self-portrait, age 17”

the opening of my drawing show was last night. you can see all the drawings here.  thanks, everyone for coming out! even on the coldest day of the year, there were more people than i expected. it was so nice to see so many familiar faces. sorry if i didn’t have time to talk to you all. i was doing my best to be affable, but i’m pretty shy, so…

i was kind of overwhelmed by the response. last night, when i got home from the show, a strange thing happened. my eyes started spinning and my hair was burning with excitment and started frizzing up. it’ll probably take a couple days for me to get back to normal. if you see me on the street like this, just ignore me…

the drawings will be up until april 1st, so if you couldn’t come to the opening, check it out. phonographique is open tuesday to saturday from 12-6. i’m selling a limited series of show posters, signed and numbered, which you can get from troy at phonographique or by emailing me (click on my author photo). they’re $15 each.

some of my original drawings on construction paper are still available, including “behave francois” (below). they’re $40 each. (update: you can see all the construction paper drawings from the phonographique show here).

my larger colour pencil drawings from the show are not for sale, but i’ll be selling prints of them through this website, hopefully soon.

if you have any comments on my artwork or the opening/show at phonographique, please leave them here. thanks again!

behave, francois!

(you can click the image for a close-up look)

the phonographique show is up! you can see how it looks here, under “exhibitions”.

only two more days ’til the opening! there’ll be free food and good music (the music is also free and the food is also good, i hope). i’m making some homemade japanese dishes, plus maybe baum kuchen (coming soon to “cafe yuka“). drop in anytime after 8pm — we’ll be there ’til at least midnight.

see you there!

(behave, yuka! the show hasn’t started yet!!)


my right hand hurts….

ummmmm. my right hand really hurts. i was drawing all day long yesterday, getting ready for my show at phonographique. i’m going to be putting up the show tonight.

i did four more drawings, two of them featuring chickens. i’d never drawn chickens before. “chicken fight”, below, was my first shot at drawing a chicken. i was pretty happy with it, so i got wound up and kept drawing chickens. i’m planning to show the two drawings of chickens at the her-icane go-diva women’s art festival, because one of the chickens has nice and delicious-looking breasts. i’ll put those drawings up on my blog some another time.

i think birds in general are creepy creatures, but chickens are mega-creepy. they seem unnecessarily aggressive and stupid. since i tend to draw animals a lot, people think i like animals. actually, i loathe them. i can’t tell what they are thinking! i feel very uncomfortable when they’re around — especially chickens. imagine being surrounded by thousands of chickens — uuuggghhh…. (you can imagine my reaction to the hitchcock movie, the birds). a little bit of distance, preferred. still, i like chicken breasts, they’re delicious!

this is one of construction paper drawings. chickens are mean. so am i.