Project Remix Panel Looks at Customized Figurines

The show-within-a-show that celebrates the art of modification

Long before anime, manga, and kawaii culture became mainstream American obsessions, Eric Nakamura and Martin Wong were celebrating them in Giant Robot, the zine-turned-glossy they started in 1994. Nearly 20 years later, Giant Robot has become a cultural force with a store in West L.A. and its own biannual museum exhibition.

Running through January 20, Giant Robot Biennale 3 includes paintings, illustrations, arcade machines, indie video games, and Project Remix, a show-within-a-show that celebrates the art of modification. More than 80 artists from seven countries were invited to customize vinyl models inspired by Uglydolls, those quirky-cute stuffed animals that Giant Robot helped popularize. Fine art? Not quite, says Nakamura, who will expound on the art form Saturday (Jan. 19) during a panel discussion. “But I think a lot of people like it because it speaks to your senses in a simpler way.”