FEB 19, 2011 – MAY 15, 2011


DIESEL ART GALLERY presents the exhibition "THERE ARE MANY OF US - I'M HERE"
by Spike Jones,
who is a "prodigy" known for brilliant video production in his own style.

This exhibition, commemorating the release of Japanese version of "THERE ARE MANY OF US" which packages DVD, CD and BOOK of "I'm Here", the first love story by Spike Jonze premiered at 2010 Sundance Film Festival, unleashes his imagination condensed into the work by multiplex display of photographs, sketches and videos capturing various aspects/steps of his creation.

Remarkable artists participating in the movie such as Sonny Gerasimowicz for the robot art, Meryl Smith for figurative art of mice, and Aska Matsumiya for the title tune are also introduced in the exhibition.

You would find out the messages woven in his work.

At DIESEL ART GALLERY, art pieces by Spike Jonze and "THERE ARE MANY OF US" (BOOK+DVD+CD, Japanese version) released by contrarede will be sold during the exhibition period, as well as original goods such as limited number of T-shirt and tote bag.



    Spike Jonze is a film director and producer representing X generation (born in 1960-1974), which makes up the core of current US creative scene. Jonze keeps providing hot topics more than ever in recent years and has demonstrated anew his superabundant talents with the movie "Where The Wild Things Are".
    His fresh and inventive video works including music videos for Daft Punk, Bjork, Beastie Boys, and The Chemical Brothers etc have attracted much attention.
    Awarded MTV Video Music Awards for "Weapon of Choice" (Fatboy Slim, 2000). Made his debut as a film director with "Being John Malkovich" (1999, script by Charlie Kaufman), which earned his Academy Awards nomination as best-director.

    Movie works

    • ・ Being John Malkovich / Director
    • ・ Human Nature / Producer
    2002 / 2006
    • ・ jackass / General Producer
    • ・ Synecdoche, New York / Producer
    • ・ Where The Wild Things Are / Director


    • ・ New York Film Critics Circle Awards (Best First Film)
    • ・ Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards(Breakthrough Artist)
    • ・ MTV Movie Awards (Best New Filmmaker Award)


Feb 19, 2011 – May 15, 2011
cocoti B1F, 1-23-16, Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
11:30 - 21:00
Non-Regular Holiday
Supported by
Cooperated by
Established in 2008 by the writer and coordinator Taka Nakanishi and the editor Daisuke Nakanishi.
ASHU has been keen to introduce Asian artists toward Japan and also Japanese artists toward other Asian countries. Produced in 2010 the exhibitions of Yuji Kimura (art director) and GROOVISIONS (both in the "Japanese Hot Designers series"), 2 collaborative exhibitions between Keiichi Tanaami and Singaporean creative unit :phunk entitled "Eccentric City - Rise and Fall" and ":phunkTanaaMIX" in Singapore, and another exhibition of :phunk "WELCOME TO ELECTRICITY", which is their first solo exhibition in Japan, held at DIESEL DENIM GALLERY in Aoyama, Tokyo. Considering our base Japan as the cultural hub in Asia, ASHU would develop a variety of projects collaborating with artists around the world from 2011.
Also works as the Japanese representative of Asian artists, Michael Punchman, Stella So, tak, chihoi (all from Hong Kong), :phunk and Theseus Chan & WORK (both from Singapore).














Special Interview

--What inspired you to portray robots in your short film "I'm Here"?
I wanted to make a relationship movie about a young couple in Los Angeles falling in love. And the kind of love they had seemed to me to be best shown with robots.

--What kind of reaction did you get from the audience?
Many varying reactions. I met a robot in London who really did not like it. He became violent and hurt me. He fractured my skull and then broke down and cried. Not real tears, but robot tears. I think the film struck a nerve with him. Maybe a real raw place that he doesn't like to go to about his past relationships. I’m not sure.

--Could you describe the artists you worked with for this movie, like Sonny, Meryl and Aska?
Sonny is a mad genius. He has never worked in film, but when I first saw his drawings I could tell that I liked his sensibility. And working with him, I trust his taste. I would rather hire someone with good taste that doesn't have experience than the other way around. You can learn how to do a job. You can't learn good taste.
This goes for Meryl too. I love her sculptures. When we needed the character of Francesca to make sculptures for a scene in the film, I instantly thought of Meryl. Probably because the idea of rat sculptures that I wrote in the script was inspired by Meryl's work to begin with. It's better to get an artist you love to make art than get the art department to emulate someone's art.
And Aska had written a demo of the song "There are Many of Us" while I was writing the script for the "I'm Here". And as I wrote a scene where Francessca played Sheldon her favorite song in a scene where they were getting to know each other, I started to wonder what song it would be. And this song just fell right into the script and then became a big part of the film as we were editing. What a gift that song is to the film. And Aska helped put the band together and record the music too.

--How do you feel about having an exhibition at Diesel Art Gallery in Japan?
I love it. I'm excited that they are making replicas of the robots. In japan, they always make the nicest things. Like for Being John Malkovich, the DVD came in a box set with an encyclopedia of related information. The projects are always released in Japan so tastefully with such cool things made too.

--How many times did you come to Japan...? Is there any place which you love...?
I have mostly just been in Tokyo. But I went to Kyoto once which was beautiful. In Tokyo, I love wandering. Last time I rode bikes through Roppongi down to Shibuya. Bombing the hill that goes down to the train station was great. I also love getting to visit where people work and when they take me to their favorite restaurants.

--Please give your message to audience for "There are many of us - I'm here".
I can't give you the message. That is what the movie is for. I try to make something that has feelings and ideas that are in my head but really many of those ideas are forming as I make it. and the feelings sometimes contradict each other. My hope is that a viewer can have their own relationship with the film as I do.


Sonny Gerasimowicz + Meryl Smith + Aska Matsumiya
Special Interview

Sonny Gerasimowicz (the robot art)

--Following "Where the Wild Things Are", I believe it's your second time working with Spike Jonze for "I'm Here". For this film you designed robots, but did you have any difficulties in creating them? Do you have any production secrets you can share with us?
Creating the robots was way easier. Working on "Where the Wild Things Are" for four years + is no different than going to special effects college. We ran into the same difficulties with making something non human emote. The eyes are a special design we had long meetings about how many metal hoods the eyelids could have to show sadness or happiness etc. If you think nothing is hard but instead only takes longer to find the solution that works, you'll be fine.

--Through the project "I'm Here", is there anything you've newly discovered?
New people. Always the best.

--Could you tell me your favorite scene from "I'm Here", and also what you think about the film?
My favorite scene is maybe in the parking lot and Franchesca is playing music for Shledon. The interaction between the two was animated so well. Also when they are in bed. The animation and acting is pretty much spot on.

--When did you start drawing?
Can't remember. I drew a lion with five legs which is very common at a young age. But there were moments that planted bigger seeds. One day my brother was drawing his own graphics on his skateboard. He was copying a Dog Town Graphic from some where onto a raw skateboard. I was like in a trance watching. Also my dad was giving me how to draw traditional Hot-Rod flames way before they became exploited and now end up on things like Blue-tooth ear pieces and what not.

--Where do you get your inspiration? What inspires you?
Lots of etchings from centuries ago, like anatomical drawings or even art that is made for money. It blows my mind. Also Milo Manara is so amazing. Egon Schiele, I stared at his work for hours when I was younger. And Frank Frazetta. Watch "Paining With Fire" documentary on Frazetta.

--Do you have any favorite illustrators or favorite mangas (cartoons)?
Really no manga really I like it. When it gets really dirty its kind of amazing how far they will go. But really my style.

--What kind of projects are you involved in now? Also is there anything you would like to challenge at the moment?
I need a really big challenge right now. I love movies. I watch tons. There are so many badly directed movies it makes me crazy. I'd love to direct a movie.

--Please give a message to the people coming to watch it at the theatres or purchase the book.
I truly stand behind this piece because Spike Jonze is very uncompromising in his vision, that alone makes me feel so confident about working with him. If people enjoy the movie I'm glad and I know it's for the right reasons.

I am devastated by the news of the damage and loss created by the quake. For what it's worth...When I was in Japan one thing I felt was a great sense positivity and unity as a country. The level of productivity was remarkable there. I know you will recover fast and with great strength.

Meryl Smith (figurative art of mice)

--How was working with Spike Jonze?
It was awesome. Especially the day of they were shooting the scene I was helping with. He's got great ideas and I really appreciate his attention to detail... And he's funny.. Which always makes working fun. He let me yell "ROLLING!" when it was time to shoot. That was extra awesome.

--You created a very cute rat sculpture that really stands out in the film "I'm Here", but is there a reason why you chose a rat?
It was actually Spikes idea to do the rats. The way I imagine it, rats often inhabit peoples homes and live in the same environments as people. I can see how Francesca the robot might see the things around her, like rats or the colorful tissue paper she found in the garbage, to create her fantasy.

--Did you have any difficulty in the creative production?
Yes I did... First of all because of the time constraints. I only had 4 days to do everything and I was totally unfamiliar with the city. I had to depend on many other people to help me find things and get around. Also 2 days into it, I had to start because the rats was built facing the wrong way for the scene when they're in bed. I had to actually rip their heads off. I came so close to crying that day.

--Through the project "I'm Here", is there anything you've newly discovered?
Yes.. I love working on film productions, in particular with the "I'm Here" gang. I really hope I get to work with spike again.

--Could you tell me your favorite scene from "I'm Here" and also what you think about the film?
My favorite scene is the scene that I worked on with the rats. I'm sure I am bias, but still.. it's my favorite. I love the entire film. I've already watched it so many times. I feel so lucky to be a part of it.

--You've created a lot of unique and impressive art based on animals, but is there a reason why you choose animals?
I've always had a very strong and special connection the animals. I've been so drawn to them ever since I was a little child. Making art is the other thing in my life that has always come naturally for me. So it only makes sense to me that my affinity for animals comes through in my art. The two are just innate parts of who I am.

--Where do you get your inspiration? What inspires you?
Animals.. Other than that it's difficult to say.. I find inspiration everywhere.. It's just a matter of noticing things or just discovering things that move me in some way.

--What kind of projects are you involved in now? Also is there anything you would like to challenge at the moment?
I'm just focusing on my own personal artwork at the moment.

--Please give a message to the people coming to watch it at the theatres or purchase the book.
Enjoy! Maybe bring a tissue... And ALWAYS be kind to animals!

Aska Matsumiya (the title tune)

--How did you come up with "There are Many of Us", featured as the theme song of "I'm Here"?
One afternoon after my first experience of heartbreak, my best friend told me that she would move to another town and then I wrote the song, crying in a bathtub.

--Did you have conversations with Spike Jonze while you were creating the song?
I wrote the song before Spike told me about the movie. This is my first music piece which I composed on guitar. I sent the song to him who had encouraged and supported me a lot when I had hesitated to start my solo music project, and two weeks later I heard about the movie from him.

--How did you like the atmosphere on the set of "I'm Here"?
That was my first time to see the movie shooting. Unrealistic and original mood was produced by lighting effects. Some friends of mine were there, but I felt like I had a reunion with them on the moon.

--What would you like audiences to feel by "There are Many of Us"?
I want them to feel anything they feel freely. It will be wonderful if this song becomes something that emotion can rely on.

--Could you tell us your favorite scene from "I'm Here"?
I love Spike's works, which elicit our emotion beyond our expression or bring great surprise to us more than expected.
Love or emotion leads the consequence, sometimes romantic and sometimes bitter, with being intuitively inspired or affected by someone else. I think everyone has some kind of sympathy toward that fact as we all pass through it.

--Please tell us about your solo debut EP "ASKA".
This EP with 5 songs is my first work as a solo artist. I was writing these songs without knowing clearly what I want to express or share through my music, so I tried to put what I experienced at that time as it was into the music. I have got a certain feeling that I finally met my music which is closer to myself through the album to be released in this summer or autumn!

--You collaborated with big name artists, such as Nick Zinner (Yeah Yeah Yeahs) or Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers). How was the collaborative production with them?
Nick and Flee are my good friends, so we had a very natural process of collaboration and enjoyed it very much.

--Could you update your latest activities?
I finished recording of the album, and have started composing for another short film and CM, and also preparation for a new art project. An ambient music album collaborating with Nick from Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Butchy Fuego from BOREDOMES will be released in April. Please check my website ( www.askamusic.com ) for more update.

--At last, please give your message to audiences.
magic is magic.