For the first episode of AD’s Movie Club, Justin will be discussing Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s 2008 Film Tokyo Sonata with three of his close friends.
First, we are joined by photographer and podcast host, Yoshino.
Yoshino uses his photography to draw out deep lingering emotions while seeking to unveil a psychological truth embedded within all of us. He attempts to create a dichotomy and a confluence between his observations, molding them together between varying ideas and disparate elements. With these images, he invites the viewer to enter his world and to give space for the contemplation of their own personal framework and reality.
Yoshino is also the host of the Artist Decoded podcast.
Amirtha Kidambi is a composer, performer, and professor currently living in New York City.
Kidambi earned an M.A. in Ethnomusicology from Columbia University, an M.M. in Voice and Musicology at CUNY Brooklyn College, and a B.A. in Voice from Loyola Marymount University. She currently serves on the faculty for the New School, teaching music history courses and heading a large-scale curriculum development project. She has also served on the faculty at Brooklyn College.
Ru Storey (They/Them)is a Los Angeles-based queer skater, graphic designer, and editor.
Ru and Justin are currently working on a short film to be premiered this summer.
Justin Daashuur Hopkins is an internationally exhibited artist and award-winning director.
Jan Hopkins is a master at creating sculptural vessels and figurative sculptures from unusual natural materials such as citrus, melon and pomegranate peels, lotus pods, fish skin, leaves, and seed pods. Each piece is a marriage of deep sensitivity and reverence to materials with a heavy emphasis on concept and innovation.
Jan studied basketry with indigenous and contemporary artists, learning the art of meticulous construction, the basics of how to gather and prepare materials, and understanding new concepts in design beyond traditional construction. In the early 90s, challenged with the depletion and unavailability of many of the natural basketry materials, she began experimenting and innovating new ways of processing organic materials that she successfully uses in her work today. Her initial aspiration was to preserve the beauty of the materials she began to by constructing vessel forms. Jan’s work evolved to more figurative work with narratives sewn into each intricately designed piece.
Jan and her husband Chris have also embarked on a deeply personal collaborative project about a part of her family’s history, The Japanese American incarceration during WWII. Piece by piece, Jan is puzzling together family stories that are both heartbreaking and inspiring. Jan states, “This project has changed the essence of my work and has challenged me to innovate new ways of construction and storytelling.” Their two-person show was exhibited at the Schack Art Center, Everett, WA in 2018. A future exhibit is scheduled to open at Bainbridge Island Museum of Art on Bainbridge Island in 2022, The timing of this exhibit marks the 80th Remembrance anniversary of the first Japanese Americans taken away from their homes on Bainbridge Island and sent to Manzanar Concentration Camp.
An award-winning artist, Jan has exhibited across the United States and featured 8 years at SOFA International Expos, held annually in New York, Chicago, and Santa Fe. Her work is included in museum permanent collections across the country including the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, MA, Museum of Art and Design in New York, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and Racine Art Museum in Racine, WI.
Mitch Horowitz is a historian of alternative spirituality and one of today’s most literate voices of esoterica, mysticism, and the occult. He is among the few occult writers whose work touches the bases of academic scholarship, national journalism, and subculture cred. Mitch is a writer-in-residence at the New York Public Library, lecturer-in-residence at the Philosophical Research Society in Los Angeles, and a PEN Award-winning historian whose books include Occult America; One Simple Idea: How Positive Thinking Reshaped Modern Life; and The Miracle Club.
The Washington Post says Mitch “treats esoteric ideas and movements with an even-handed intellectual studiousness that is too often lost in today’s raised-voice discussions.”
He has discussed alternative spirituality across the national media and is collaborating with Emmy-nominated director Ronni Thomas on a feature documentary about the occult classic The Kybalion, shot on location in Egypt. Mitch received the Walden Award for Interfaith/Intercultural Understanding. The Chinese government has censored his work.
Damon Davis is a post-disciplinary artist based in St. Louis, Missouri. His work spans across a spectrum of creative mediums to tell stories exploring how identity is informed by power and mythology. He is well known for his body of work, Darker Gods, which explores Afro-surrealist manifestations of Black culture. Davis is a Firelight Media, Sundance Labs, TED, and Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Fellow. He is the founder and creative director of St. Louis-based music label/ artist collective FarFetched and his work is featured in the permanent collection at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.