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Happy Lunar New Year (and Good Luck) from the Psychic Temple

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Happy Lunar New Year and Happy Year of the Monkey! To celebrate, we are giving away lai see at the Psychic Temple. I tried to play a casino in Canada and now I have the return rate bigger than 98%, which is a fairly good amount. Come visit us, peel a traditional lucky red envelope off the front window, and help reveal art by our friend James Jean.

Prizes in the envelopes include gift certificates to local eateries and limited-edition prints by James himself.

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Seeya on Broadway and good luck!

Psychic Temple
228 E. Broadway
Long Beach

#imprintpresents Koichi Suzuno (Torafu Architects) at the Downtown Independent

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interTrend’s sister company Imprint Culture Lab is proud to present a speaking engagement with Koichi Suzuno, co-founder of the award-winning Torafu Architects and contributor to the Architecture for Dogs project. The #ImprintPresents event will take place on Monday, May 5 at the Downtown Independent in Los Angeles.

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The Torafu team applies its architectural approach to thinking not only in the field of construction but also interior design, exhibition space, product design, spatial installations, and filmmaking. This rare L.A. appearance by Suzuno is sure to both interest and inspire creative problem solvers in all fields.

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Hope to see you there, and feel free to spread the word to like-minded colleagues and friends. For ticketing and more information, visit imprintculturelab.eventbrite.com.

Ask him to sign the Architecture for Dogs book or Wanmock!

Clippings

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interTrend has been in the news. Above, an article on Imprint Venture Lab in the Los Angeles Business Journal. Below, video of our own Julia Huang on ETTV’s MD Talk.

And then there was the Long Beach Post’s recap of our announcing Jeffrey Ng as our new Executive Creative Director

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Please let us know about other sightings!

Introducing interTrend’s new Executive Creative Director, Jeffrey Ng (a.k.a. jeffstaple)

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Photo: Lindsey Ingram

Last week at the Psychic Temple, Jeffrey Ng was formally introduced to the staff of interTrend as the creative agency’s new Executive Creative Director. I asked Jeff (a.k.a. jeffstaple of Staple Pigeon, Staple Design, and Reed Space) and the Long Beach-based group’s CEO and co-founder Julia Huang to talk about the hire, how it happened, and why they are excited about it.

iT: Julia, Jeff is a bold choice for Executive Creative Director of an Asian advertising agency. Can you describe what he brings to the team?
JH: My friend John Jay at GX (Wieden+Kennedy) once said to me that a great Creative Director makes those around him or her better and lifts the collective bar of excellence through inspiration. It’s never about the ego or creating a great individual portfolio. Jeff fits that bill rather nicely.

iT: Did you have to convince Jeff that he was right for the job or was it vice versa? None of the above?
JH: The funny thing is, I’ve known Jeff for several years and we have worked on different projects together but never for interTrend. A couple of months ago, we had a discussion creativity in advertising is so different now. Something clicked and the conversation organically flowed to how he could take on the role of Executive Creative Director for interTrend.

iT: What does his accepting the position say about what interTrend has evolved into and where it’s going?
JH: Multicultural marketing has evolved into something very different from when I started the company. Asian American advertising and marketing, even more so. Reaching the target market for our clients is still very important from a return-on-investment standpoint. But we are focusing more and more on cultural influence of Asian Americans. As Jeff quoted our mutual friend Dave Choe in his kick-off presentation: “This is the absolute best f*cking time to be Asian!”

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Photo: Lindsey Ingram

iT: Jeff, I love how you cited the ascendance of Asians around the world as your prime reason for taking the gig. What’s your take on interTrend’s relationship with Asian culture in America?
JN: I really think they’ve been paving the road—perhaps unknowingly. I’ve never spoken with Julia about this, but I would imagine she saw a necessity in the marketplace and she realized she could fulfill it. The original necessity was that there was a need for U.S.-based companies to communicate effectively with Asians. As time has progressed, that messaging has needed to be more and more sophisticated. In my opinion, Asians are very often at the pinnacle forefront of almost every facet of culture. We are in a very enviable position. As a company or brand, it’s no longer “You should communicate to Asians.” Now it’s “You must communicate with Asians—and it better be damn good.”

iT: Is there anything about your career trajectory that makes the timing right on your side as well?
JN: I have founded three incredible companies and have a team of 35 people, mostly in New York City. We have a menswear collection (Staple Pigeon), a boutique creative agency (Staple Design), and a lifestyle retail concept (Reed Space). In some way, I feel that I’ve reached a very comfortable position in all these industries. There’s still more to do, but I think with my guidance the team will get us there. Now I’m really interested in doing things that move the needle. So I want to apply my learnings from the past 20 years to making things shake, rattle, and roll in the mainstream.

iT: Julia, I’m sure you’ve considered that more conservative clients may not “get” Jeff’s body of work. What is your response to that notion?
JN: The kind of pedigree clients or advertising agencies are looking for in an Executive Creative Director, while still important, is not the priority anymore. Consumers are looking for authenticity in brand messages and Jeff gets it.  And I’m confident that clients will understand that he gets it, too. Through his many successful businesses, Jeff has always understood the pulse of what’s happening in the world of culture.

iT: Jeff, as a guy whose business and client work have always seemed very personal, how do you feel about taking on a mass-market audience?
JN: It may seem like my work has been tied to me personally, but I’ve always had the ability to separate emotions from the reality of doing business. I think the thing I have been deliberate about is being “authentic.” That’s either authentic to the project, to the client, to the consumer, or, ideally, all of the above.

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Photo: Lindsey Ingram

iT: What are some of interTrend’s recent campaigns that you are a fan of? Why, and what would you like to do more of?
JN: Interestingly enough, the most impressive campaigns have been the in-house ones. The summer internship and the Psychic Temple poster campaign were standouts. This tells me a lot. Our clients need to allow us to spread our wings and show them more of what our capabilities are. This isn’t their problem, though—this is our problem. It’s an inability on our part to showcase our skills or instill a level of confidence. I don’t expect this to happen overnight, but I do think a major goal of mine is to push that boundary as far as possible.

iT: I’m pretty sure I’ve heard you say that New York City is the greatest place on Earth. Is there anything about Long Beach that you look forward to being around more often?
JN: Clean air, sunny skies, and Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles.

iT: Julia, when the office moves into the Psychic Temple, what do you think about employee uniforms/work wear by Staple?
JH: To be honest, with so many birds residing in and around the Psychic Temple we just need to be careful that our everyday outfits don’t get stained by the famous Staple pigeons above!

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Photo: Lindsey Ingram

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ultraman x State Farm campaign launches today

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The long-awaited Ultraman campaign for State Farm launches today! Mashing up Asia’s O.G. costumed hero franchise with motorists in distress is a perfect fit for the Chinese market in America, and the videos are pretty cool. (Be sure to clarify that it’s Ultraman Neos when sharing this, or you will be slammed by your otaku friends.)

Check out the first piece below and get more details about Ultra Service at statefarm.com/chinese.

The Missing Picture event at the Art Theatre

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By now you might already know that the Academy Award-nominated The Missing Picture is making its theatrical debut at Long Beach’s Art Theatre. It’s a very big deal and an honor that Rithy Panh’s masterful reimagining of his experience surviving the Khmer Rouge is premiering so close to the city’s Little Cambodia community, and perhaps you even attended the red carpet screening on Saturday night. How cool was that?

While every viewing of the surreal, stylish, and powerful documentary is a visual treat and emotional journey, another special event will take place at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 1. The director will be in town and on hand to present the movie and participate in a post-screening panel with producer Catherine Dussart, French narrator Randal Douc, and composer Marc Marder.

Guests providing extra perspective on Panh’s groundbreaking film will include singer Chhom Nimol from Dengue Fever, rapper/filmmaker Prach Ly, Hawaii International Film Festival’s Creative Director Anderson Le, and Giant Robot magazine co-founder Martin Wong. Moderation will be supplied by interTrend’s own Julia Huang.

As if that weren’t enough, there will be a short dance performance by the Khmer Arts Academy and a casual reception afterward. And, oh yeah, the movie is blowing away audiences and racking up awards around the world. Check out gushing coverage from The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, The BBC, and The Long Beach Post.

There is no extra cost for this special screening, so I suggest purchasing tickets in advance at the Art Theatre site. See you there!

Save the date: Love for Leni in L.A.

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Love for Leni is an art auction that takes place next Wednesday, February 19. Proceeds go toward helping 8-month-old Leni fight Leukemia. Leni’s dad Jerry is part of the interTrend/Imprint family, and we consider her to belong to of our family as well. Participating artists include Gary Baseman, Deanne Cheuk, David Choe, Faile, Shepard Fairey, James Jean, Geoff McFetridge, and many more. Items to be auctioned from Adidas, Girl Skateboards, Warby Parker, and others.

Check out the event from 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm at Slow Culture Gallery, 5906 N. Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, CA 90042 on Wednesday, February 19, 2014. Get the latest at loveforleni.com or the event’s Facebook page.

See you there!

Architecture for Dogs book now available in the U.S.

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In case you didn’t make it to Imprint Culture Lab’s Architecture For Dogs installations in Miami, Long Beach, or Tokyo, this handsome book features gorgeous photos and detailed descriptions of the species-specific pieces curated by MUJI’s Kenya Hara. The world-class designers and architects include the following:

Atelier Bow-Wow x DACHSHUND SMOOTH
Toyo ITO X SHIBA MVRDV X BEAGLE
Kengo KUMA X PUG
Konstantin GRCIC X TOY POODLE
Kazuyo SEJIMA X BICHON FRISE
TORAFU ARCHITECTS X JACK RUSSELL TERRIER
Hiroshi NAITO X SPITZ
Shigeru BAN X PAPILLON
Sou FUJIMOTO X BOSTON TERRIER
Reiser + Umemoto X CHIHUAHUA
Hara Design Institute X JAPANESE TERRIER
Kenya HARA X TEACUP POODLE

And if you did manage to visit the exhibit in person, this publication includes photos from each of the cities and also features essays, interviews, blueprints, and other original material that will blow your mind. Its text is in Japanese and English and its design is as elegant as the structures that it showcases.

Architecture for Dogs was released in conjunction with last year’s Tokyo stop, and is only being released in America now. Dog lovers, fans of architecture, and design freaks, find out more about the book HERE.

Jane Nakagawa on the Huffington Post

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Today the Huffington Post posted an essay by interTrend’s own Jane Nakagawa. In the piece, Jane not only shows insight gained through her expansive experience in the auto industry but demonstrates why her newest effort, Portia Consulting, will be so valuable to clients. Read the complete article at huffingtonpost.com.

 

Architecture for Dogs opens in Japan

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Imprint Lab‘s Architecture for Dogs crew recently returned from Japan and their photos of the installation and opening events are very cool. Doors opened on October 25 at Toto Gallery•Ma in Tokyo.

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The display of species-specific doghouses curated by Kenya Hara had previously shown in Miami and Long Beach. The Asian debut included new pieces, including 12 explorations of Hara’s D-Tunnel concept.

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The gallery also invites visitors to submit their own doghouse designs. The sketches, which are updated daily at architecturefordogs.com, are wonderful. So is the new book.

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There was also talk at Design Hub in Tokyo Midtown, featuring Hara along with contributors Atelier Wan, Torafu Architects, Sou Fujimoto, and Elien Deceuninck of MVRDV.

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Imprint and interTrend’s own Julia Huang participated in the opening events, too, and was documented by several Instagram accounts.

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Check out coverage from The Japan Times and Wallpaper* and, better yet, visit yourself before the exhibit closes on December 21.

Toto Gallery•Ma
Toto Nogizaka Bldg. 3F
1-24-3 Minami-Aoyama
Minato-ku, Tokyo
03-3402-1010

11 a.m.-6 p.m. (Friday until 7 p.m.)
Closed Sunday, Monday, and holidays

Free admission