“The Quiet Force” / “La Force tranquille”
Art for KOYA KAN
Listening to: Cocaine City & Evil Empire – “Coke Trafficking (Fuck Hip-Hop Edition)”
Reading: Alessandro Gomarasca - “Poupées, robots : la culture pop japonaise”
Watching: “The Diplomats : The Eye of the Eagle”
Playing: Apollo Justice Ace Attorney (DS)
I met the rapper Koya Kan ([link]
) a couple of years ago. In the streets by night, I was sippin’ on a white wine bottle with my dude Cenzino and some other cats. Once again, it’s crazy how alcohol’s good for me in some situations. I’m not exactly that kind of friendly person who gets s along with everybody. Don’t get the wrong idea about me, I ain’t that “funny”: I’m a hell of a shy person and alcohol helps me a lot to become more sociable. And then, it’s money in the air and middle fingers to the sky. In brief that’s how Koya Kan and I met: as nocturnal alcoholics.
I knew Koya Kan was into Asian cultures; I saw some pics of him posing with a katana in front of Kyoto’s golden pavilion (don’t try this at home), and his artist name sounds a lot like a Japanese one. Oh yeah, and he has those interesting chinky eyes as well. So I was like, “why don’t we do something with all that?”. That’s how I decided to put him in a Japanese/Chinese background for the artwork that he wanted: all by himself, walking in the streets at the end of the day. It reminded me of me in Japan.
When I was in cities like Kyoto and Nagasaki, I was strangely at peace with myself. I did not feel the desire to show my buttocks or lower the pants of a passerby. Normally I always wanna do stupid things, like throwing my shit nose at people or killing hedgehogs with a bow and arrows. In Kyoto and Nagasaki, I was in a trance. I was appreciating the Asian side of things, caressing the green grass with my delicate fingers, dreaming of drinking Kirin beers with Ichiro Suzuki, and thinking about that waitress called Akira saying “sumimasen” and “shochu” with her sweet voice.
It was Tuân at his best. You should’ve seen that.
Well, I just wanted to recreate in my artwork that zen and quiet vibe that I discovered in those cities. I guess my man Bernardo understands what I’m sayin’. We already had that feeling when we were in Hoi-An (Vietnam). I wanted to marry that receptionist girl and to work in a sugar cane plantation. And after work I’d eat sweet potatoes on the beach with my children and my beloved wife. Sometimes, shit is fucked up, you really need a brake with the fast life and rediscover another way of doing thangs, far from bad influences. I really think Asia’s the only place where I can feel that way.
Koya Kan in that “Quiet Force” art kinda looks like me chilling in the streets of Japan. Who knows the videogame “Shenmue”, the first simulation of unemployment? You play the role of Ryo Hazuki, an autistic martial arts expert hanging around the streets. I was in the same situation. And it was the shit.
I had some problems in drawing the background. I did the left side of the streets and then the right side without paying attention on the proportions. What a mistake. The door on the left was ridiculously small compared to the one on the right. And I only realised that in inking em. I had two solutions: jump out the window or seek help. And once again, my dear Ivy helped me. I know I’m an insistent person and it may annoy people, but Ivy never told me anything about that (surely because she loves my swag, she’s such a good girl). So thanks to her, she’s always here when I need a hand. We decided I had to cut half of the background. Ouch, what a pain. I felt the same when supergroup Take That split. I was in the middle of “the curse of the fly” (Koya Kan and people from my collective Rensa will get it…).
Thinking of it, I’m still cursed. Man, I need an exorcist (or a shrink). To make a parenthesis, I was looking for the White Lady in the French countryside the other night. Instead of her, the Devil was waiting for me just like that Richard Johnson dude. And He was not happy at all. End of parenthesis.
Why did I choose that “Quiet Force” title? Well, if I could do a comparison between Koya Kan and me, I’d consider him as a “quiet force” and me as a “lazy guy”. This means he has that “strong” potential, I don’t know, like a strong will or a strong spirit. In my case, I’m at the stage of physical and intellectual development of a shrimp. Don’t be sad for me, it’s pretty cool for the time being cuz my very specific goal in life is to have… no goal. Basically I swim, eat and shit.
But sometimes it happens that I draw.
Maybe that’s my “strong” potential after all.
Maybe I’m more a quiet force than a shrimp.
And while you think about it, I’m going to shit.
_Tuân aka “Shrimp my Ride”