1-3 April, 2016

So Gallery
, Tokyo
(2-14-12 Shoto, Shibuya)

Julian Klincewicz 
“Hey, I Like You” (silk flags II)


San Diego-based artist Julian Klincewicz presents “Hey, I Like You” (silk flags II) solo exhibition at SO Gallery in Tokyo, supported by Champ Magazine ~ we caught up with Julian prior to his show to talk about his upcoming exhibition and works, shooting in Russia, and his past and ongoing collaborations with Gosha Rubchinskiy and work for Kanye West. 
Including a QUICK 5 including current inspirations and what’s he’s listening to right now.


Born and raised in San Diego, what is it about the city you love? 

So I was born in Chicago, and moved to San Diego when I was 7, with my mom and sister. I’m sorta of ready to move actually, but I do like that it’s a bit separate from the LA or NY scenes – there’s something really nice about being close to places like LA that have more of an art & fashion scene then San Diego’s, but also being sort of removed from it.

Visiting Japan often, what do you like about the culture and what brings you here?

I like the energy, I like that there’s a lot of people trying to make things, to do their own things in their own way. It’s also so foreign compared to Southern California, that it really feels other worldly. It’s really cinematic too – everything looks like a beautiful movie to me here, which is just inspiring to be around. 

It’s also just been a really informative place for me – I have so many fond memories of the first time I came to Tokyo, and it just feels like a friend. Taking the JR line in a circle from 5am-9am so I could catch some sleep, or buying my first CDG piece. I feel like I learn something new everytime I come too – I feel like I grow as a person, especially when I compare where I’m at mentally now, to the last time I was here, or the first time I was here – it’s a good physical place to measure development.

This is your second exhibition in Tokyo.
Can you tell us why it is important for you to showcase
your work in a physical space when people can experience your work every day online?

So this is actually something I think about a lot – I’m really aware of how and where my work sits currently, and where I’d like it to go. On a really base level I’m just attracted to objects, to the preciousness of certain things. So showing physical work – whether it be a zine or flags or anything else, it’s about how those materials make you feel as compared to how looking at a video online makes you feel. Ideally I’d have all my video work shown at galleries as well, especially the last few projects and the few I have coming up – and this is because I believe really strongly in the transportation power of art – of art creating another world for you to live in to, to be wrapped up in and to experience. I think video is really good for this – and I feel so lucky and appreciative to get to work with magazines – magazines that really inspire me (both as physical objects, and as concepts) such as Champ or Dazed or Purple or 032c and many others, and to get to contribute to them in a very current way – through the internet , but I really like physical objects, I need to not be looking at a screen all the time, and this is where work in a gallery comes into play – physical space, physical experience. And that’s what showing in a gallery really for me provides – having a designated space to experience this other little world.


Which elements of your work will you incorporate into the show, 
and what does the title ‘Hey, I Like You’ mean?

So this show is the second iteration of an ongoing series. The work looks at the way precious objects are often used as surrogates for human connections – whether it be a card or jacket from your mom, or a precious book from a friend or just that you found and feel connected to, or even your phone – it’s totally necessary to have those connections, but I think human connection is equally or maybe more important – and it’s becoming increasingly hard to articulate that and convey that in a meaningful way. Sometimes it’s hard to even recognize that that’s what we need because we could just go on instagram and feel a sense of communal isolation lost instead of trying to talk to some one new – or sometimes that some one new isn’t even what you need. It’s just a really interesting thing to me, and something I really feel.

“Hey, I like you” is from my friend Carla – it’s something she would say when we were in Barcelona or walking around Paris, or when she came to San Diego, that could sort of just cut through everything else – to me it’s the exact feeling of real humanness that I think we need, that made me realize in a more real way how important that is for. 

So when I’m making the work, each phrase is in reference to a personal experience – whether it’s something I’m trying to say to some one else, something I need to be told, something that I just feel is important for anyone/everyone to hear some times.


Not only a photographer and film-maker, can you tell us more about your bands Lube and Bloom and what instruments you play in them?

So both Lube & Bloom were music projects with my friends Theo & Kiva – I think Kiva is still doing Bloom actually, in San Francisco. Lube started with just me and my friend Theo wanting to have fun – we just wrote a bunch of songs over a week or two and recorded them… We played one show at my friend Dolan’s exhibition at Gym Standard/Coffee & Tea Collective, but I had to loop everything since there were multiple guitar parts, and it was sort of a disaster, so after that we started playing with Kiva. Kiva’s a really amazing guitarist/musician, so the band sort of changed and grew after he joined. 

We did a tour up the west coast and started recording an album, but before we finished everything Theo moved out to Minnesota for school, so kiva and I started Bloom.

Hopefully a few of the songs off the Lube album will still come out though – a while back we filmed a music video that never got released, so maybe that can come out some time ☺

Your latest film project was with Kanye. Can you tell us more about that?
How did he first come across your work?

I can’t really speak about that project yet – I’d like to wait for it to be released first. But Kanye was introduced to my work through Ian Connor and my videos with Gosha & my friend Alex’s band – Underpass. I’m really grateful to have had the opportunity to work with both of them.

You also worked with Gosha on a film for his collection with Vans.
How did this come about?

I was just really attracted to the work he was making, and we started talking a little bit over Instagram. I felt like what his work was really authentic and true to skate culture, and to see his photos and ideas from his interest in skating and youth culture in Russia, translated into fashion was just really interesting. He always talks about the energy in Moscow, the energy of the youth, and I could just really feel it and connect with it through his work. 

He first invited me out to Paris to shoot back stage for Autumn/Winter 2015, and then the Vans Collaboration was from that season, so it sort of made sense to do another video – to look at the relationship between California skating and Russian skating. I think it was just a really mutual interest in the others work and ideas, and everything sort of fit together.

What was it like shooting in Moscow and St Petersburg?

It was really other worldly! Getting to see the city with Gosha and Tolia and everyone was really amazing. Moscow is unlike any other place I’ve ever been, and definitely one of my favorite trips. I’m so appreciative of getting the opportunity not only to work with Gosha, and to be able to be apart of his creative out put, but to get to travel and work in Russia as well.

The film was VHS-inspired – what about this medium inspires you?
What other tools did you use for the making of this film?

So pretty much all of my video work is VHS. Recently I’ve started shooting a little bit of super8, and a little bit of Mini DV, but I’m realizing I still prefer VHS. 

I started shooting videos on VHS because my aunt sent me a camera from my grandmas attic, and I felt like I should make the most of it. When I realized it was something I really enjoyed doing, I forced myself to buy a Vimeo Plus account – thinking that if I spent the $50 It’d help force me to make videos – and I sort of just haven’t stopped. Right now I’d really like to start shooting on 16mm – I have a lot of ideas that are a little more filmic extensions of things I’ve done in the past, but it’s hard because it’s such an expensive medium – especially compared to VHS, which is almost free to shoot with.


With skateboarding a big influence for you, when did you start skateboarding
and what board do you ride (what is your setup)?

I started skating when I was 10. I think it’s really influenced everything I do – it’s showed me a different way to look at the world, and a different way to be creative. Skating is a lot like dance, so in a lot of ways it’s just really freeing. Someone like Mark Gonzales is the epitome of what that looks like – so having someone like that to look up to, to show you that anything can be anything else – that everything is an extension of anything else, is really great. 

Right now I’ve got a lurkville board based off of this cool like 1990’s Mike Caroll shape – it’s sort of like a football. I’ve got some indies, bones swiss, spitfire street burners (53mm), and some shorties hardwear, and then I got my Route 44 stickers, my Heshdawgz stickers, two Jason Jessie stickers, and a –bertos sticker.

Practising transcendental meditation, how did you first get into this?
Do you practise every day? How did this affect you and your work?

So I’ve been doing Transcendental Meditation since I 13 years old, and was introduced to it through one of my friends/mentors – Zarosh. I met him skating at Washington Street (the DIY park in San Diego) and he had this energy that I could just feel and was really stricken by. After we became friends, I learned that he practiced TM, so I just thought “This is it – I gotta learn how to do TM.” 

I don’t really know how to explaine it, but I notice that  basically every aspect of my life improves when I’m meditating regularly – it’s this sort of space that feels like home, it feels like love, it feels free and weightless and funny and comforting. 

I think doing TM has had a huge influence on my work, on my life really, just in a positive way. I couldn’t point to one specific thing that’s it’s influence, I think it sort of just seeps into everything.

Travelling a lot for work, where are some of your favourite destinations to travel to?

I love Tokyo – I just arrived back here for the exhibition at S.O Gallery and it feels like a home away from home. I also really love the Midwest, and New York. I haven’t spent much time in South America, but I went to Peru and that was truly amazing. I’d love to go back and see Patagonia too.

“Hey, I Like You” (silk flags II) by artist Julian Klincewicz will be on show at SO GALLERY, Tokyo from April 1-3, 2016.



Virtual or reality?

Imagined reality.

Project you are most proud of to date:

It changes, but I think the Vans video with Gosha was exactly what it needed to be.
Getting to work with Gosha was a really great and truly amazing experience as well.

What you’re currently listening to:

“White Light Doorway” by Florist.
And “Superused” by Lattice Moore (Theo’s solo project)

Album you’re currently listening to:

“Valentina Lisitsa plays Phillip Glass”

Name your top 3 film-makers:

Jim Jarmusch
Chris Marker
Gus Van Sant