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Jul 20, 2012
12:29 AM | 0 comments

This is a repost of a cyworld entry I wrote on Saturday March 24, 2012 at 1:34:00AM

Oh Junko Mizuno, where do I start? For me, my first encounter with Junko's artwork was when she was featured in a female-targeted magazine called "Shojo Beat" that focused on giving its subscribers translated chapters (a couple per issue) from various japanese comics. Back then, I wasn't really sure what I liked about her art, except that it was reeaallllyy cute. A year or so later, she was having an exhibition at an anime convention that's hosted in Toronto every year. Of course, I jumped at the chance, but the ticket prices were over the top imo, and very few of my close friends were even bothering to go, so I had to sadly watch it come and go. Another year-ish passes and all of a suddensomeone posts a notice on fb a few days ago about a Junko Mizuno exhibition that was going to be hosted in an 
independent art gallery called Narwhal Projects:

The back reads:

Junko Mizuno's Food Obsession

Junko Mizuno presents a shojo manga inspired 
psychedelic journey through delightfully 
dark food fetishes. 

It was officially opening on March 16th, but the exhibition was going to last until April the 20th. Of course, being a fan I wasn't planning to let this opportunity escape me so I had to see it NOW. The plan was to meet up with my friend J at Eaton Centre's food court, grab a bite and then go to the exhibition from there. While we were eating, we started talking about LCBO because of my love for Mike's, as well as my curiousity to find an ingredient called "EverClear" in an alcoholic drink I wanted to try called "Apple Pie Moonshine". 

After eating, we decided to search out LCBO first so J took me through something called "the PATH", aptly described by the city's website as "Toronto's Downtown Walkway linking 27 kilometres of underground shopping, services and 
entertainment." It's like a maze so it took us as awhile to get there, but when we finally reached LCBO, EverClear and Mike's were nowhere to be found. Which sucked. However, J suggested another LCBO location for me to go to in my own time where Mike's(at least) would be sold so we left LCBO and officially began our journey to Narwhal Projects. Yay!! 

We took the streetcar there, but after getting off and walking for quite a while, we felt we had passed it. For some reason, I had a feeling it was further down the street. Still, to be on the safe side J looked it up on her phone. Turns out it really was just a little further down the street. Yay for gut feelings that legit come out of fricken nowhere. Now if only it had helped me in the past... > >;; In any case, when we got to the place, it had a little store at the front, while the gallery was located in the back beside the cashier. Honestly, I wasn't sure whether we had to pay a fee to get into the gallery, but considering the lady working there pretty much saw us walk in, I guess it was free. Yay!!

The gallery was actually pretty small, perhaps no bigger than a bedroom size with two adorable chairs in the middle for people to sit on. The gallery started from the west side with an introduction to Junko Mizuno and her work and her comics neatly displayed in a glass box. Then began the framed artwork that was hung up and formed a neat vertical line with adequate spacing between each piece and extended all the way around the walls of the gallery. The west section of the gallery was her acrylic on canvas artwork, the north being the original pencil roughs on what looks to be moleskin-type paper, east and south sections being acrylic on canvas with 
glitter detailing. I wasn't sure if pictures were allowed to be taken, so to stay on the safe side I'm using google images instead.

The gold you see in the picture is true gold paint.

The green fruit thing actually sparkles. According to her twitter, she uses glitter pens. (thanks J for the tip!)

More gold paint here.

And here as well. 

This one is just plain acrylic on canvas.

And this is one of the cleaned up pencil roughs.

Don't you just love her signature? I find it really cute, and it totally matches the content of the artwork. This woman is
seriously amazing. Even her signature is a work of art, seriously 

Halfway through the gallery-viewing, J and I were wondering whether what we were seeing was the true original artwork or a screen-print of her work onto canvas because when you look at it on it's side, it looks really flat. J discovered this, and honestly I have absolutely no idea xD Either way, I was most amazed by the fact that the lines are so clean that if you take a few steps away and look at it from a distance, it looks like she had vectored it in illustrator instead. I found that to be the coolest illusion ever.

Finally, after we finished looking at the gallery we strolled around for a bit in the store. They sold the most cutest things I've ever seen. There were also art-books, figurines that come in boxes, jewelry, stationery, and really awesome framed art prints. I swear, the day I move out I'm gonna buy one to hang in my room. Fits me so well haha~ Also, one item that stood out to me the most was a book by Junko and it was signed!! It was only $25, so I definitely plan on going back to buy it. After our strolling, J bought a Totoro-themed wallet and we left. I spotted a pile of design magazines on the floor beside the entrance and asked the store lady if it was free. Surprisingly, it was, so I took one xD

After that, we walked to the nearest streetcar stop and rode it back towards the subway. I actually had a class after this, so I stayed on the streetcar since it took me straight to my college. We said our good byes and J got off to take the subway home.

Wow... this blog entry is so damn long LOL I never expected it to be so long, but I guess it's to be expected. Today was a long day. A great day, but also long. Anyway, I'm going to go admire the Junko postcard I got from the gallery(the first picture in this post) now, so... guess I'll see you around :) Until next time!!

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