Sunday, August 29, 2010

Episode One (Prologue) of Johnny Weir: Johnny Comes to Our Office.

While Johnny Weir was in Japan in July 2010 he accomplished several things; he skated in Fantasy On Ice, he announced he would take a year off from competition, he shot numerous photographs and a couple of videos for the Johnny Weir Art Book, and he was interviewed by respected Japanese editor, writer, video game designer and essayist Itoi Shigesato.  The interview between Mr. Shigesato and Weir came about after the agent working on the Art Book came upon these words written by Mr. Shigesato February 20, 2010 after he saw Johnny Weir's performances at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics:

'Right now, my interest and attention goes to Johnny Weir, the figure skater.  He was as if the definition of art had come to life.  Medals, scores, nationalities, the crowd...he seemed to have transcended them all.  To my eyes, he seemed as if he had an uncontrollable desire to express himself, devoting that energy solely to himself.

I felt that I witnessed "Art" as discussed with philosopher Takaaki Yoshimoto.  I'm really happy that I was able to see his performance.'

She (the agent) then contacted Mr. Shigesato and his people.  They exchanged ideas, Johnny showed interest, and the idea for the interview came about.

Episode One of Johnny Weir: Johnny Comes to Our Office was put up today (August 30th) at the Website.  The website contains the interviews in both English and Japanese; as well as several wonderful photographs and two videos!  The interview will be released to the public via this website in ten parts.  Here are the titles of the ten parts and the dates on which they will be published:
Note: The times and dates in the index are for Japan (GMT plus nine hours) at 11am local time.  The release of episode one in the United States, for example, corresponded to Sunday August 29 at 10pm EST, and 7pm PST.  You must figure out where you are in relation to the dates given here if you wish to read the interview parts as soon as they are posted.  You can find information on the time difference as well as a world time zone map on My Blog here.

The interview between Shigesato Itoi and Johnny Weir was conducted with the invaluable assistance of interpreter Makiko Shinoda

Photography by Hidemi Ogata
Art Direction by Yumi Hamano

Episode One Tweet in English

Episode One Tweet in Japanese

Johnny sitting on a chair at Hobo Nikkan Itoi Shinbun ("Almost Daily Itoi News") abbreviated as 'Hobonichi', the office of Itoi Shigesato.  The chair was designed by Taro Okamoto.

Johnny arrives at Hobonichi.

Johnny is introduced to the Hobonichi office staff.

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