janm and giant robot present zen garage

If you're in Los Angeles, be sure to check out this cool concept exhibition at the Japanese American National Museum: Zen Garage, a collaboration between JANM and Giant Robot, beginning this week as part of its continuing "Salon Pop" series. The display explores the essential idea of Zen as a point of design inspiration:
The concept of Zen has been thwarted by popular culture in the form of awkward connotations and new 'urban' meanings. Its basic meaning in our new world is essentially a 'pure focus.' Likewise, a garage is no longer just a place where one parks their vehicle. Today's garage can also function as a place of inspiration, development, and creation. With these words together, we bring you Zen Garage.
Zen Garage will feature three innovative creations illustrating various facets of contemporary aesthetics, lifestyles and cultural backgrounds:
The Super Famicom Car, a retro video game inspired by a converted Scion xB that utilizes projectors from both the front and rear to play video games. Its conversion includes sound making doors, a cartridge starter key, and controllers for each passenger. Designed by Giant Robot's Eric Nakamura and fabricated by Onimotorworks Len Higa, the car includes a custom video game, "Return of the Quack" featuring art by Matt Furie, programming by Chevy Ray Johnston, and game consulting and co-producing by Adam Robezzoli.

David Choe's custom Monster Scion xB exemplifies his aerosol street style as well as his larger than life perspective. A muralist and graphic artist, his work can be found on walls from Los Angeles to Vietnam. He is known as much for his exaggerated vulgarity as for his aesthetic sensibilities. An avid drummer, Choe keeps a drum kit in the bed of this Monster Scion xB that he played to an audience at Miami's Art Basel in 2006.

Shinya Kimura's Spike is not only a motorcycle, it's a work of art. Inspired by his imagination, Kimura creates functional art by infusing his philosophy and aesthetic values into his sculpturally unique and rolling designs. Kimura believes that the motorcycle represents in its form barbarism, vulnerability, and ephemeral beauty. By exposing the inner qualities of these machines Kimura instinctively creates machines that are an extension of the soul.
Zen Garage, running December 30 through February 13, is part of the Salon Pop Series, an experimental program that provides an opportunity for the Museum to present the creative talents of Asians and Asian Americans whose work is having an immediate impact or influence on American culture.

For more information about Zen Garage, go to the JANM website here. Also go to the Facebook event page here. And to see photos of the exhibition, check out this cool Flickr set: GR X JANM curates ZEN GARAGE.