I was first introduced to Koyama Press through the comic book Lose #1 by Michael Deforge at the TCAF Festival in (2009? if memory serves...). It stood out from all the other professionally published comics I had seen, and opened up my eyes to a whole new world of indie comics - which I thought I knew . It was the art I loved, put into the format of a comic. Over the years I would find myself picking up art books and comics that drew my attention and noticed that they had been published by, or thanks to, Koyama Press. I felt similarities in Anteism's publishing platform to produce the work of emerging artists . After talking to many people who had worked with Annie Koyama and reading the thank-you's from the artists in the books I realized the work she was producing was much more than the sum of its parts.
Skip ahead a few years. Out of frustration for lack of venues to show art/books and simultaneously layed off of work and evicted from my home/studio, I decided to make the leap and follow through with an idea that I had for well over a decade. An idea introduced to me by a good friend Luke Ramsey who had submitted his zine to a mobile book library all those years ago.
It just so happened that I had six months of Employment Insurance and the good fortune of making an arrangement with a friend to donate a cube van. Over the course of this time the OuterSpace Mobile Gallery took shape, all the while ideas for shows and publications took form.
One idea that felt important was to provide a venue (gallery format) to publishers. To exhibit a publishers books all together as a whole and to allow the viewers to experience the timeline and vision of a publishers endeavours. It allows the viewer to get an aesthetic understanding of the publishers tastes and would help to showcase links to artists often working in loose collectives. From zines to coffee table books, comics to photography this could be a focused art book fair, one publisher at a time.
It seemed fitting to send the initial exhibition invitation to Annie Koyama. It has been a great pleasure to put this show together, to witness the amazing work she has produced over the years for a new generation of emerging artists. As the rain and wind pummels Victoria I look forward to rolling open the truck door and sharing this work with the people out braving the elements over this weekend.