Journal — news

Introducing Cuffing Club!

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a friendship defining experience with three tiers of excellence!

Dear Special Special Friends

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Dear Special Special Friends,

On Saturday June 4th, 2022, Special Special celebrated our ‘graduation’ from our beloved storefront in the East Village. After over five and a half years, with 43 exhibitions and experiences, we have earned our full course credits and have made lifelong friendships. Happy to see so many artist collaborators, friends and family of Special Special come out to celebrate and share memories. In the full Special Special swing of things, we compacted as much as we could all at once, including:

 

  • Darts became Extreme Darts (cough, Patrick)
  • Backyard Mahjong
  • Self oracle readings with The Deck of Character
  • Coffee mocktail “44” by our friends at Bungee space (Shisi and Fiona)
  • Coffee infused soju by DEALT (Bill and Yuzo)
  • Ramen (giving y’all what you asked for)
  • Our final and first interspecies exhibition The Artist is NOT Present by Wolfie, a rabbit

 

I never could have imagined where we would be now. What started as a concept to make art more accessible to the everyday through functional editions grew into a shared experience and dialogue fueled by our playful creations. We never set out to be just a gallery or a shop, instead we explored possibilities outside of what is conventional. With a naïve sensibility the storefront became our laboratory where we explored what seemed curious to us. I am always humbled by the pleasant surprises that through openness and humor, we can share so much to elevate one person’s idea to something that perhaps an individual could not have conceptualized alone (or at least, the process brings more joy when shared.) Special Special has become a platform and community for creative and open-minded spirits. 

None of the past five years in our space could have happened without all the artist collaborators, special agents (our 23 present and past team members), and our special specialists (the like-minded spirits that consistently come and play with us.) Together we enriched our conceptual understanding of art, culture, and lifestyles. With great appreciation, and your encouragement, we are excited to enter the next chapter of Special Special. 

After accomplishing onsite projects, and off-site pop-up experiences in museums, interactive brand collaborations, and presence in the digital space—we will retire the storefront for now. If anything the last five years have taught us, we can never predict the future, maybe we will have another storefront again someday, and maybe even a ramen shop, stay tuned…


Special Special Hugs,

Wen-You


P.S. The ‘44’ drink from our graduation party is now the ‘Special Special’ special summer drink at Bungee Space! Whenever you miss us, just go over to Bungee and order a Special Special! 


Special Special Ramen Shop

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Our space has been closed for a while in preparation for our new venture… 

Special Special Ramen Shop

We’re a gallery, shop, and producer of art editions and now also a ramen shop for everyday appreciation. 

Make your reservation now on Resy

*Proof of vaccine required upon entry.

 

 


Ramen Booking

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Welcome to Resy

Thank you for your interest in booking Special Special Ramen for our scrumptious meal, however Happy April Fools!

While we do hope to serve you a delicious bowl of ramen soon, Special Special is still operating online only, and you can still order off our deliciously inedible menu:

Handle With Care Kara-age

Jackets Edamame

Follow the Rules Salad

When You Make No Ramen

Small Koi Fish Ramen

Subject to Change Omakase

Small Medium Big Beer

Fuji Apple Cider 

Stay As Long As You Like with 2 drinks

 


Afternoon Tea & Jam on Montez Press Radio: Episode 1

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Episode 1! Some topics discussed this week are: Chinese medicine, Britt's jacket dilemma, and the best bath-tub kimchi. Our special guests in this first episode are the unsuspecting 99 Cent warehouse workers below Britt’s studio, connected by their air vents. Aired March 26, 2021 on Montez Press Radio.

Afternoon Tea & Jam is hosted by Britt Moseley and Wen-You Cai, mixing long form instrumental music (Jam) with tea and teatime conversations (Tea). Special guests contribute to either the Tea or Jam. Originally created as a live video performance in virtual programming at Special Special in 2020, this show has been adapted into a talk/music radio format for Montez Press Radio. Each episode will be archived here after airing.


April Fools!

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Illuminations, Jenny Hata Blumenfield
Jenny Hata Blumenfield, Illuminations, Special Special, July 11 – September 8, 2019

Psyche! You are visiting this page because you fell for Special Specials "Blue Market for semi-legal products" April Fools joke. Maybe one day Special Special will risk getting on the FBIs Most Wanted list, but its still a distant fantasy as of today. Please dont sue us, KAWS or the Yves Klein Estate!

If you are still in the mood for something blue, why not check out our Japanese Workmans Shoes (the color is said to ward off rattlesnakes) or Jenny Hata Blumenfield's Illuminations book?


Journal
Introduction

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Hi everyone!

We are happy to announce the launch of our Journal section along with our revamped website. Over the past 4 years of Special Special, we have presented 23 exhibitions, numerous in-person and digital events, and in-house editions. Behind all of these projects, there are many behind-the-scenes conceptualizations that we have never shared. Whether you are just getting acquainted with us or have been with us along the journey thus far, we hope you will discover a lot of fun and insightful content! The Journal page on our website will be a singular platform on which you can appreciate all the inner workings of Special Special. 

“”Wen-You welcomes visitors to Special Special, 2020.

I started Special Special because I wanted to make art and design more accessible and integrated into our everyday lifestyle. Behind that vision, my greatest motivation was for Special Special to be a place where creative minds can come together to mingle and have a dialogue. The blue oval of our logo can be interpreted as a pool in which we are all submerged as one or as the sky that we all share. This ambitious and wide-reaching concept has, in the past three years, engaged countless creatives who have become friends, collaborators, and team members - all in our small space in the East Village of New York. We have put our boundless imaginations to work together to achieve something fresh and fun. This will be the page to celebrate all the exciting ideas we exchange.

To be perfectly honest, as an art school graduate in my mid-twenties, I didn’t know what I was doing when I started Special Special. I never set out with a goal or a specific outcome. Always keeping an open heart, Special Special is guided by the principle of what we find interesting, strange, and genuine; you can even say that that’s our specialty. The exchange of jokes and brainstorming sessions most often land us somewhere where we find ourselves pleasantly surprised. With every project, we find another piece of our voice. This is the spirit of what we want to share with you in the Journal. 

Browse now and revisit periodically as we share our creative collaborations with our artists and designers, in-depth interviews, studio visits, extended insights into our in-house exhibitions, events, Show and Tell digital exhibitions, and much more. We will highlight memorable insights and the special members (“Special Specialists”) of our ever growing community. We hope you join us time and time again and we look forward to expanding our dialogue with you. 


Wen-You Cai
Founder / Director of Special Special


Show and Tell at Printed Matter Virtual Art Book Fair 2021

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Special Special is delighted to participate in Printed Matter’s first Virtual Art Book Fair from February 24-28, 2021, with a presentation of our Show and Tell series.

Conceived in 2019 as an exhibition that is contained entirely within an email, Show and Tell delivers a new experience with curatorial texts directly every month to the inbox of subscribers of Special Special’s newsletters. Digital projects by artists and designers range from interactive games (Online Museum of Multiplayer Art by LIKELIKE) to kinesthetic applications (Typatone by Lullatone & Jono Brandel). As most of us now rely on the digital realm to stay connected, Show and Tell gains new meaning as we find alternative terrains to keep creativity alive.

Until now, all twenty-two exhibitions have only existed in inboxes around the world. At Printed Matter Virtual Art Book Fair, viewers are invited to experience Show and Tell projects from our archive and sign up to receive subsequent exhibitions in the series in the new format of a mock inbox. Check your emails to open new portals to intriguing discoveries.

Free and open to the public. Register for opening day festivities.

 

Related Events

Show and Tell House Party
February 27
4:00-6:00pm

Join us for a virtual house party with live artist performances, art talks, and unexpected encounters. Create your own avatar and walk in — just like a real house party! Capacity is limited to 25. Best via desktop on Google Chrome. More About Gather.town

 


3standardstoppage Books Now Available at Special Special

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From neighbors to roommates! Our neighbors at 3StandardStoppage just moved in! Stop in or browse online to support your local indie bookstore with titles by publishers like MACK, New Documents, and Onomatopee.

While 3StandardStoppage is transitioning their storefront, you can now walk 2 blocks South (4 min 33 seconds) to Special Special for a comprehensive collection of their art books for the next two months. Shop books

3standardstoppage to Special Special, East Village, New York