This week, we embark on a very special and intimate project here at The Hundreds. We’ve collaborated with L.A.-based artist Jun Cha on a series of apparel, headwear, footwear, and accessories, that will unveil later this week at both The Hundreds LA and The Hundreds SF. The project coincides with Jun’s solo exhibition at CANVAS right here on Fairfax Ave. on Friday night, more details forthcoming.
Yes, Jun Cha has established a name for himself in the global tattoo community. But he is also a dedicated fine artist, an oil painter, as well as having worked on almost this entire project in charcoals. Before we get into the actual product range, I wanted to introduce you to the man and the story… For a sneak peek at some of the original works that served as the basis for the collection, you can rotate through the splash page.
Jun, if you had to, how would you define yourself? As a tattoo artist, a painter? Or just as an artist?
I think I’m none. I’ll always be a student… The will to continue learning from people, individuals, and everyday situations, I think, is what drives all of the ”categories” of art. Knowing how to shut up, listen and absorb the people and events around you and learn from them is where I think true growth can happen.
How did you fall into the black/grey fineline world of tattoo art and culture?…
When I first began I approached every shop from Hollywood to Venice to try and learn something. Thankfully all the wrong people wouldn’t let me in the door, and all the right people did. Men like Baby Ray, Jose Lopez, and friends at Side Show Tattoos were the few who openly began talking to me about tattooing. From that point, hard work and commitment just made things happen.
…and how influential were/are the forefathers and pioneers to your career?
They really are the reasons why I’m here. From both the business and artistic aspect of tattooing, they’ve spent years laying the pavement and creating opportunities that didn’t exist. And as a dumb kid, people like Baby Ray and Cartoon, especially Baby Ray, really set an example and generated discipline in me that I didn’t have.
Do you see a dialogue between the tattoo realm and fine art?
I think things are changing for the better. Once people fully see through the art form, behind the glamour that tattooing has evolved with, and understand that the needles go hand in hand with a pencil or brush, I think some cool things can happen. When things become less about politics, less about competition and more about collaboration, I think real art is going to be made. I think some already have.
Let’s get into our project together. Perhaps you can explain the story.
Our project is about the people of this city, and the times we face. The city’s resources exhausted, the rich get fat, while we starve on the streets. Our heroes are the women and children, left to rebuild a burned Los Angeles, that we ourselves have destroyed. We take away your money, jewelry and cars. We strip your clothes and replace them with ours. We leave scars in your skin so you can remember, and burn everything that you are proud to claim as “Los Angeles.” How our heroes have survived with only each other is what we will show you.
For this project, how did you choose which particular media you went with?
Besides the obvious connection of fire to charcoal, I mainly chose Charcoals and Oils because they are the media I’m most uncomfortable with. I can’t stand the smell, touch, feel and using them takes patience. To be as uncomfortable as I can, allowed me to produce a different quality of work.
What’s next for Jun Cha?
This is just the beginning to a series of the characters and themes presented in our collaboration. More events will unfold as it continues. Hopefully I can grab someone’s attention, and they will follow and listen.
Lalo Marquez, Steven Lucky Luciano, Lino and the Lares family, Arturo Arce, Tiimo Schulze, Albert Kang, Daniel Kim, Jose Lopez and the Lowrider Tattoo Family, Baby Ray, Brian Everett, Jack Rudy, Cartoon, Estevan Oriol, Tony Olivas, Bob Tyrell, Pint/Mike and Side Show Tattoo, Todd and many others who were apart in helping influence myself and help produce this project. And of course, the team of The Hundreds for being the most patient, and making this collaboration worth the effort. People say the clothing industry is not what it was, but the fact remains, TH is here to stay. Thank you.