Giant Robot’s Fifth Biennale Celebrates Asian American Pop Culture

Giant Robots Fifth Biennale Celebrates Asian American Pop Culture | RetinaComics

“Imagination” by Felicia Chiao. All images © the artists, shared with permission

Returning to the Japanese American National Museum for the fifth time, the Giant Robot Biennale showcases a diverse selection of artworks from Asian and Asian American creatives. The show’s lineup includes an array of artists including Giorgiko, Taylor Lee, Luke Chueh, and others previously featured on Colossal such as Rain Szeto and Felicia Chiao.

Originally created in the 90’s by Eric Nakamura in the form of a magazine, Giant Robot celebrates alternative Asian American pop culture relating to the punk scene, comic books, pop art, vinyl toys, and graphic arts. Paying homage to the publication that created a safe space for Asian American creativity decades ago, the recurring exhibition does the same for artists today.

The recent show was Chiao’s first museum opening. Working in her signature style with watercolor and ink, Chiao ventured outside of her comfort zone to create some of her largest pieces so far, incorporating several motifs related to the essence of Giant Robot. Reflecting on the opening she shares, “I was lucky enough to show with a wonderful group of AAPI artists and the turnout was incredible and humbling. The love was overwhelming and getting to spend time with so many other artists always inspires me to get back to making more work.”

The biennale is on view until September, and Giant Robot’s 30th anniversary book will come out this year, complete with a cover illustrated by Chiao herself.

 

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“Giant Robot Cover” by Felicia Chiao

A ceramic robot sculpture

“Mega Mazinger” by Taylor Lee

A portrait of a figure holding a mug of coffee.

“Far From Home 1” by Giorgiko

Left: a sculpture of a head with purple hair shaped into a crescent moon. Right: a sculpture of a head with a yellow V on its headwear.

Left: “Dome 02.” Right: Dome 06″ by Yoskay Yamamoto

A portrait of a bunny against a golden yellow background.

“Golden Eye” by Luke Chueh

A small figurer sinks underwater as it holds a mug. All the items in the pool area float.

“Waiting” by Felicia Chiao

A bulbous black figure emerges out of a deteriorating, larger figure.

“Bloating” by Felicia Chiao

A cat falls asleep on top of a section of snacks in a grocery store.

“Shop Cat 2” by Rain Szeto

A fruit stand.

“Fruit Dude 2” by Rain Szeto

Blue Koi fish create a pattern to symbolize the sea, as one golden fish emerges from the pack.

“Maybe in Another Life” by Felicia Chiao

Cover art for Fort Minor’s "The Rising Tied" album

Cover art for Fort Minor’s “The Rising Tied” album, by Mike Shinoda

 

 

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