Preview: Kai & Sunny's 'Caught by the Nest'
Kai & Sunny's first solo exhibition on the West Coast, "Caught by the Nest," opens Saturday at Subliminal Projects in L.A. The 25 works selected for the show are inspired by the Naoki Higashida-written and David Mitchell-translated book The Reason I Jump, for which the duo designed a cover. "It's about an autistic child and how he is able to relay his thoughts ... how he deals with life," explained Kai. " 'Caught by the Nest' comes from the idea of being trapped within your own body, as an autistic child feels, but there's also the implication of comfort and protection. It has a double meaning." Mitchell authored a short story called "Lots of Bits of Star" to accompany Kai & Sunny's art.
Also for the occasion, the illustrators collaborated on a print with Subliminal Projects' owner, Shepard Fairey. "He does this mandala series and we've made a lot of flower shapes, so it was a perfect fit," Kai remarked. "We took one of his more solid, graphic mandalas and did our loose, gentle thing with it. We were pleased with the results. It doesn't feel forced; it feels as though it's Shepard's mandala and like it's ours, too." Kai & Sunny plan to give away copies of a mix CD, as at each of their shows. It was put together by Toy Drum (a.k.a. Kai's brother, Pablo Clements) and DFA Records' Tim Goldsworthy, includes re-edits of popular songs, and "gets quite dance-y in some places."
The draftsmen are excited to bring the Kai & Sunny experience to a new, Cali-cool audience. "Our art has a nature element, so it does feel slightly more mellow," Kai said. "On first viewing, it appears laidback, slow, and peaceful ... but we use a lot of angles and sharp shapes, so it can be hectic and harsh. That's what we try to play off of."
"Caught by the Nest" at Subliminal Projects
12 p.m. to 6 p.m. through October 5
1331 W. Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA