8 Asians

Mike Shinoda is widely known through his work with the band Linkin Park, although I’m more of a fan of his hip-hop/rap project Fort Minor and his album, The Rising Tied.

He also has a degree in illustration, and is a graduate from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. This past Sunday August 30th, Joz and I had the honor to go see Mike Shinoda at the Japanese American National Museum in LA’s Little Tokyo, where he presented artwork from his previous show Glorious Excess (Born) in 2008. (His other art exhibit, Diamond, Spades, Hearts and Clubs, was presented at Gallery 1988.)

I was totally hyped and anxious — not only go to see Mike Shinoda, but to also see what was in store regarding his art. The day started off with a JANM Members Only event — a conversation between him and Roger Gastman of Swindle Magazine. During this event, Mike touched on various topics from his influences and background in art to the character and story of Glorious Excess (Born and Dies). After his discussion, Mike took questions from the audience, where he gave some really personal and in-depth answers; he mentioned how people labeling his music drives him crazy — like “rock/rap,” which was funny because I later mentioned to him that was the type of music I liked.

After Mike took questions from the audience, we got to see a short video segment that is being played at the JANM exhibit (part of that segment is also in the video above). Then Mike took pictures, autographed catalogs and other items for those in attendance, while being extremely cool the whole time! On top of that, Mike graciously walked us through the entire exhibit at JANM and further discussed certain topics in regards to his art. One particular subject that he brought up was the idea of a sellout; he defined a sellout as being someone who loses their creative integrity, which correlates with the character in Glorious Excess. Overall, for me this was a once in a lifetime experience and this is something I will remember and share for the rest of my life. I thought Mike’s art exhibit was very interesting and I understood a lot more after reading more about it in his catalog. As for Mike Shinoda the person, I thought he was very cool and down-to-earth, as well as being very humble and considerate.

Glorious Excess (Dies) exhibits until October 4th, 2009. You should check it out if you can. For more information and background, see JANM.org and MikeShinoda.com. Many thanks to Koji at JANM.

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