Katsuya Terada: Hot Pot Girls 2013 / Giant Robot, L.A.

This weekend, a great art show by the king of drawing, Katsuya Terada, opens in Giant Robot 2. This post is about his 2013 show, to let you know why you should, most definitely, hurry over there.

Back in 2013, I got to meet my utmost favorite artist in all of art history, Katsuya Terada. The venue to thank for this once-in-a-lifetime experience for me, was none other than the super-cool Giant Robot 2, in Los Angeles. I flew in from Jakarta, Indonesia to San Francisco to meet my best friend, Richmond / Art-Eater and then we headed straight for LA.

Now, Richmond had met Terada several times prior to this, I’m the one who was still seeking an audience with the Rakuga King. Before we got to even enter this cool gallery, I couldn’t stop staring at what was before me: Terada’s fresh linework.

The wall also had me frozen, yet again. It was unbelievable, I had spent my entire life collecting magazine issues, model kit packagings and jpegs (dial-up era, pre-broadband) and now I could see every line pass through every pore of this wall. Minutes ago, I had just experienced the decadence that was marker ink fade in and out of each other, to form what was unmistakably Terada’s very own drawing.


Then… a chalk drawing on this header board that stood like an island in a mini-ocean of Terada goods. The world was a whirlwind of stimuli, there were only things I wanted to see, as far as my eyes could see.

Then the drawings and paintings hanging on the wall. So many of them. Terada’s art everywhere. If I would ever come close to understanding how a rabbit would feel being caught by a thousand headlights, that was it. Then Richmond told me to look behind me and see who’s there.

KATSUYA TERADA was there.

Right behind me, across the room.

He was right there, standing in the corner and I was star-struck. After I put on my best impression of a man who wasn’t about to faint, I walked up to him and told him that he is my very biggest influence in art, in Japanese. He laughed and said, “Hahaha… Oh, kakoi“. My favorite artist in art history called me a cool guy. That was very, very cool.

A very patient girl was there, Sena, to translate each and every question his fans had for him. This wasn’t a panel, you could just walk up to him and ask him questions. I got to ask him all kinds of questions about his work from his early film design work with Keita Amemiya and Takayuki Takeya (my OTHER utmost favorite artist), up to his thoughts and processes behind his ongoing, famous manga, “Monkey King”.

Let me show you some of the beautiful pieces of the Hot Pot Girls (2013) collection. The show could be split up into 3 general categories, his Hot Pot Girls on canvas/misc surfaces, his collection of sketches (Monkey King and Rakuda Ga Warao were there!) and Hot Pot Girls on loose pieces of paper.

Eric Nakamura, a most gracious (and fun) host, noted that Terada did this one just a day before the show. He stayed up and just started drawing on a paper set on the door. This one is very reminiscent of his earlier art show/series called “Spiral”. It’s also astounding how impeccable the mark-making and composition are.

The other pieces were also major stunners.


That very last one is my favorite out of the Hot Pot Girls of 2013. Everything about that painting spoke to me, from the shapes, to the linework, to the colors he picked. Sometimes it hurts a bit to know that this one piece isn’t hanging on my wall.

And for the old-school fans, here’s a few loose sketches that got me to skip a few heartbeats.

Other than Mirai Ninja, his Monkey King is my favorite Katsuya Terada character.

This was also one of my favorite pieces in the show, this one is from his pin-ups. The shapes and linework are unbearably luscious.

Remember when this manga first came out?

It’s baffling how beautiful this show was, for how laid back the tone and setting are. There are not enough words to express how grateful I am that my favorite artist is so accessible and constantly pairs up with these great, friendly people over at Giant Robot. Those are some of the most exciting art I’ve ever seen in my travels through numerous museums, whether classical or modern.

Please make time for any events they’ve set up along with the show. The live-drawing, Q&A sessions were great and they have a great team over at Giant Robot, translating and setting up seatings and projectors, so you can enjoy your time with a world-class artist. The live demo I had went to was also a very intimate setting where you basically got to sit down, watch Terada draw and chat with him, as translated by the ever-patient Kio Griffith.

I actually have a lot more to gush and write about (in another post), especially considering how the Giant Robot team went out of their way to make that very special day even more special for me. I didn’t even get to the part where Terada drew on the back of my iPhone and the warm welcome and patience the Giant Robot team extended to their visitors. These are top-notch human beings. I will always be grateful for the patience and kindness exhibited by Katsuya Terada and the Giant Robot team.

Consider this throwback post a meaty appetizer, to hurry you along and visit Giant Robot 2 this weekend for Katsuya Terada’s “Return of The Hot Pot Girls”. I can’t make it but you should most definitely go!

If this post was what convinced you to go there, do tell these excellent people Weigy sent you there; I miss showing up to bother them.

Posted Saturday, November 15th, 2014 under Artists, Personal News, Travel.

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