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Media Advisory for Monday, March 24, 2014

WHEN:  Monday, March 24, 2014, 2–3:30 PM

WHERE: Oak Street Plaza, the Oakland Museum of California, 1000 Oak Street, Oakland, CA, 94607. Conveniently located 1 block from Lake Merritt BART Station. Secure underground parking is available at the Museum, entrance on Oak Street.

WHAT: Andrew Hem’s introspective, otherworldly paintings explore realities one step away from waking life and have earned him a place in the contemporary indie and underground art pantheon of most-recognized urban artists. Hem is installing a 12 x 40 foot mural of a slumbering youth in a bucolic mountain landscape as part of Oakland Museum of California’s exhibition SuperAwesome: Art and Giant Robot, opening April 19. Hem weaves atmospheric, richly textured narratives in a vivid palette of twilight blues enlivened by swaths of deep red and splashes of golden light. His haunting impressions of culture and landscape evoke the life of the spirit through the visionary manifestation of memories and dreams. Born during his parents’ flight from Cambodia in the wake of the Khmer Rouge genocide, Hem grew up poised in the balance between two cultures—the animistic society of his Khmer ancestors, and the dynamic urban arts of the tough Los Angeles neighborhood where his family eventually came to rest. Fascinated by graffiti at an early age, he honed his skills with graphics and composition on the walls of the city before following a passion for figure drawing to a degree in illustration from Art Center College of Design.

RSVP your coverage of the March 24 installation to Scott Horton 510-229-9739 or Claudia Leung, 510-318-8459.

Co-curated by Giant Robot visionary Eric Nakamura and OMCA’s Associate Curator of Art & Material Culture Carin Adams, SuperAwesome: Art and Giant Robot presents new or recent works by California and international-based artists affiliated with the culture and aesthetic of the popular magazine that brought Asian, trans-Pacific popular culture to mainstream audiences in the United States. The exhibition opens April 19, featuring 15 contemporary artists that have been inspired by the artistic sensibility of Giant Robot throughout its 20-year evolution. Featured artists include: Ako Castuera, Sean Chao, David Choe, Luke Chueh, Hamburger Eyes, Andrew Hem, James Jean, kozyndan, Masakatsu Sashie, Shizu Saldamando, Rob Sato, Amy Sol, Deth P Sun, and Adrian Tomine. Art works in the exhibition represent a range of mediums, including mural art, sculpture, illustration, portraiture, large-scale installations, graphic novels, photography, as well as a Giant Robot Scion XB. Designed by Eric Nakamura, inspired by Nintendo’s Famicom gaming console, and fabricated by Len Higa, the car-turned-interactive gaming station boasts built-in sound and projectors, and more.

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