Tokyo Part 1: Art
My never-ending yearning for adventure landed me in, undoubtedly, the most famous city in Japan, Tokyo. For Nanzan's only fall semester break in classes (Oct.31-Nov.5), I traveled roughly 5 hours by bus to experience an all new side of Japan, all by myself. Initially I had planned to try and see as much of Tokyo as possible in that short 6 day period. It didn't quite work out like that though. I didn't explore every corner of Tokyo for one main reason, I fell most in love with the part of town I went on an adventure to my first day there, and returned every day of the break. The area of Harajuku was a young Atlanta artist's paradise. It bears an unbelievable resemblance to midtown Atlanta. This resemblence extended to almost every aspect of Harajuku; food trucks, street art, art galleries, streetwear and vintage wear stores, etc. The experiences, art, and people I had, saw and met in Harajuku will stay with me forever. I am almost certain I will spend time living in Harajuku or the surrounding area sometime down the road. This post will focus on the art I saw while in Tokyo, mainly in Harajuku, including street art, deisgn, and architecture.
An art avenue that (pun intended... man, I'm funny!) holds a very special place in my heart, street art can often easily portray the general attitude of the city it is in. More times than not, street art can embody and empower the people, buildings, events of past and present and countless other things around it. Though graffiti specifically is what initially sparked my interest in pursuing art at all; street art goes so much further than that. It can be murals, graffiti, colonies of stickers, performances, so many things so commonly passed by in a big city. In my opinion, the common denominator all of these things have in common is that their creator, the artist, arranged them in that specific space, time and fashion, in order to either entertain or engage the general public. That, to me, is the core of street art. Welp, enjoy some of my favorite street art Tokyo had to offer me.
Super detailed mural that was SO cool, apparently done for Vans? maybe? Maybe an artist that goes by "VANS"?
Really big mural of a shadow that dropped his egg, very saddening experience.
Awesome, awesome, awesome, huge mural.
Random alley on the right, up some dark staircase, a reassuring message on the door that I am 100% in agreement with.
Tokyo's use of nature in terms of design was truly inspiring. Being a graphic design major and someone who loves mother nature, I really felt like I was right at home while walking around Tokyo. I can't tell you how many times I saw a cool sign or logo out of the corner of my eye and went the complete opposite way of where I was going in order to snap a picture. A reoccuring design style I saw use the use of clean, white letters, surrounded or filled with greenery. In my opinion, an awesome and beautiful idea. But don't take my word for it, judge for yourself.
Here a some more shots of some really cool sign designs.
Above the door of a restaurant only for boxers that love ramen. (Just kidding, everyone is invited... maybe free ramen for people in boxing uniforms though?
So glad I passed the sign while it was transitioning to the evening. Also really glad I passed it at all.
All my fellow designers, you know when you pass something really cool and you think "I wish I had done that"... yeah.
I'm not a huge architecture guy, all though some ancient building styles do intrigue me; namely Edo-period type castles and Ancient Greek architecture. But some of the buildings in Tokyo just struck me, as a designer, as being so innovative and spectacular. To think somebody could sketch this idea, plan it at this large scale, and actually produce such a structure is pretty impressive regardless of your interests. Unfortunately, as I just mentioned, I don't have too much to elaborate on, in a personal sense, on this subject, but here's some pics!
As you can probably tell, I definitely enjoyed my time in Tokyo. Although a strong factor of why this post is so personal is because I really love art, a lot. Welp check back in soon for my next post: 東京 Pt.2: 東京の人と経験！
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<p>I am a graphic design student at Georgia State University. I work in a number of mediums including drawing, painting with oils, acrylics, and watercolors, and screen-printing. I tend to draw inspiration from artists such as Chuck Close, Dan Flavin, Roy Lichtenstein, KAWS, and Jeff Koons. I also enjoy studying different artistic styles as a whole, including: surrealism, pop art and Japanese ukiyo-e prints. Other than art and work, the majority of my time goes to listening to music and attempting to learn anything new from photography to playing a saxophone to transcendentalism. **attached creative sample is titled "A Groovy Portrait of a Universal Soul". 19.5x25.5. Micron pen and watercolor on paper.</p>