Sunday, May 16, 2010
GRAFFITI JAPAN on Tokyo Japan Times
Before Drainspotting, I photographed Graffiti Japan, which was my first book published by Mark Batty Publisher New York. It is a study of Graffiti art and Artists from around Japan. Japan has long been a breeding ground for innovative approaches to Western traditions. But, the fanatical embrace with which Japanese artists have welcomed graffiti has made for a form of graffiti wholly apart from its Western origins. Graffiti Japan captures the culturally unique aspects of Japanese street art, providing a most complete look at Japan’s contemporary graffiti scene up until 2009.
I could never have guessed that this first, on-a-whim trip to Japan would result to me moving to Tokyo and befriending the scene’s most prolific and talented artists. The more time I spent with them traveling from city to city, meeting local luminaries, the more photographs I took, the more excited the artists became about helping me delve deeper.
Interviews with KRESS, BELX2, FATE, TENGA, EMAR, SUIKO, QP,SHIZENTOMOTEL, PHIL and many more reveal how these artists define their work as specifically Japanese, musing on everything from replicating the calligraphic intricacies of the Japanese language with spray paint, to foreign influences and national pride. Every single photograph in Graffiti Japan was shot in Japan, featuring anime and manga characters, kanji, sprawling legal murals and illegal hidden spots, all of which comprise this spectacular scene that could not exist in any other country.
You can find the book on Amazon and check out the websites and blogs here.
Graffiti Japan will be coming to IPAD soon.
see full article here: