Highlighting the impact of the Asian-American pop culture publication Giant Robot, the debut of the latest episode entitled “Giant Robot: Asian Pop Culture and Beyond” was finally aired last October 26 in the acclaimed arts and culture series ARTBOUND on KCET.
The episode showed Giant Robot’s examination of Sawtelle Boulevard as a Japanese-American neighborhood, sparking interest in Asian and Asian-American popular culture which resulted to a long line of Asian American artists who won recognition on a global scale.
Established in 1994, Giant Robot was a bimonthly journal that focused on Asian popular culture that soon included works by Asian-American artists including David Choe and James Jean.
Eric Nakamura began publishing Giant Robot as a digest-sized zine. The piece covered a variety of subjects, including trendy Asian American independent filmmakers, Japanese punk rock, and contemporary Hong Kong films. National media sources including the New York Times, Wired, and LA Weekly published the story.
In 2001, Nakamura opened his first store named “Giant Robot Store” in Sawtelle Japantown and expanded in 2003.
Giant Robot co-founder, Martin Wong edited all 68 issues of the glossy magazine on Asian, Asian-American, and new hybrid culture from 1994 to 2010, when it was still a punk zine. His wife Wendy Lau served as Giant Robot’s graphic designer beginning with issue 18. Even today, Martin continues to publish zines and contribute to them.
The popular weekly television program and online site ARTBOUND captures the essence of California’s expanding arts and cultural scene and investigates how it is transforming the state into the world’s creative capital.
The KCET Original series investigates and clarifies contemporary cultural challenges, offering insightful in-depth study of how the arts and culture impact society.