On Friday, May 6th RW Creative in Los Angeles hosted a curated show called Photo:Japan to raise money for tsunami relief efforts, with all proceeds from the fundraising going to Save the Children. Inspired by the photography wall that has developed in Otsuchi Japan, one of the cities hardest hit by the March 11th quake, the event featured images taken by local amateur photographers during their travels to Japan. Small photos printed on photo paper were displayed alongside a bevy of larger-format PhotoGiclées canvas prints that YPOC printed, all in an effort to raise money for this worthy cause. The smaller photos were available for a suggested donation of $5 and the canvas prints were sold via silent auction. And all of it was showcased on a beautiful wall built by J1studio, erected in RW Creative’s new office space on Abbott Kinney Blvd.
The event was held on a famed “1st Friday”, which meant the streets were bustling with people. At one point it looked like the entire LA gourmet food truck scene had showed up at once to feed the thousands of people that were in the area to soak up the culture. In fact, appropriately, Temaki Truck was outside of the gallery space slinging curbside sushi to the hungry masses. A portion of their sales that evening were also donated to Save the Children as part of the event.
By the end of the night, all PhotoGiclées were gone, with a good chunk of them purchased immediately at the Buy It Now price. The best part for us was the fact that many of the photographers who’s work was featured on canvas were only seeing their shots presented this way for the first time that very night. It was a pleasure to see honest reactions by photographers after seeing their work on canvas, a rare treat we don’t normally get to enjoy. Since we ship all of our customer orders factory direct, it was a change of pace to directly interact with the photographers and to get their honest reactions. As I’ve always said, it’s one thing to take a photo … but it’s quite another to see it printed on canvas. These photos in particular, which captured a nation just before a serious disaster, were powerful when printed on stretched canvas. Some of the images, which could be overlooked on a Flickr or Facebook gallery, were bold and beautiful and entered into the realm of fine art when presented in this gallery setting. That’s probably the reason they sold so swiftly.
One photographer noted, “I’m really impressed, actually. In just looking at the work on canvas, it takes me back to where I was when I originally took that photograph. I remember the sounds of the machines, the boxes crunching, the smell of the fish in the fish mart, how busy and active the bustling scene, and it brings me right back.”
At first the entire wall was covered with beautiful photography, but as the night drew on, and as people continued to buy both the smaller pictures as well as the PhotoGiclées, the wall thinned out. It was great to see the white spaces grow in number because each blank spot meant a donation had been made to Save the Children.
Included below are selected images by Travis Do from the event. We hope you enjoy, and we hope to be involved in more events like this in the future. The team from RW Creative was really stellar in putting all of this together. For our part, we had the luxury of showing up and enjoying the event while talking with a host of great amateur photographers. All credit goes to RW Creative & J1studio for all their heavy lifting.
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