One of our current projects here at Global Graphic is a music collaboration turned band called Aloha Death. We’ve just released our second tune! It’s called “Shibuya” (Yay!!!) and you can find it now on iTunes, Spotify, Pandora, etc.
The Naka-Meguro neighborhood of Tokyo has a distinct feel. It occupies one side of a steeply sloped hill and the expanse of flats bisected by a creek between Daikanyama and Meguro. It’s fashionable in a moneyed-but-hip, indie way, a place where successful creative professionals have settled and where street art is baked into the landscape around every turn.
The optics and media of Japanese political election campaigns are fascinating for their restraint and orderliness. Campaign posters for the various politicians are put up in designated places in local neighborhoods and often in clusters, like the ones pictured above in Tokyo’s fashionable Naka-Meguro area. The politicians each appear in posters that are basically all the same size and visually tame. In short, as outdoor billboard advertising goes (what ad industry people call “out of home” or OOH advertising), these election posters are a relatively unobtrusive part of the cultural landscape.
American artist Curtis Kulig’s cursive “Love me” graffiti message is a global street art icon, a viral, real-world visual meme that universally resonates. We’ve seen it everywhere and in some unusual places — from NYC to Amsterdam, Brooklyn to Tokyo — in the form of spray-painted graffiti, brush-painted murals and, of course, stickers, like this one we stumbled upon affixed to the tip jar at No. 8 Bear Pond Espresso cafe at On the Corner diner in Shibuya, Tokyo.
The French clothing label A.P.C. is one of our all-time favorite style brands, and we’ve been buying shirts, sweaters and jeans at their shops in Paris, New York, Osaka and Tokyo for many years while on our travels and living abroad. While A.P.C.’s retail presence in the U.S. and even is native France is relatively small, the company has many boutiques big and small throughout Japan’s major cities. This one pictured here is in the chic Tokyo neighborhood of Daikanyama, tucked between Shibuya and Naka-Meguro. It’s a tiny storefront and shop space, but it has this beautiful, minimalist style than manages to fit right into the neighborhood’s quiet ambiance and human-sized architectural scale. It’s also incorporated some leafy greenery into the space. And it’s totally “on brand.”
We’re enjoying some coffee in New York this hot summer morning brewed with coffee beans from Bear Pond espresso cafe in Tokyo. We just received the beans via heavily sealed and re-sealed — and personally couriered — package from a friend who recently arrived from the Japanese capital. Bear Pond serves all kinds of coffees, but famously only serves espresso at its tiny Shimokitazawa cafe for two and a half hours a day. If you can’t get there during “espresso hours” another place you can find Bear Pond coffee is at the restaurant called On The Corner in Shibuya.
This is the front of the Watari Museum of Comtemporary Art in Shibuya, in Tokyo, where French street artist superstar JR recently revisited with his well-publicized posters of faces of people from Japan’s Tohoku region. Tohoku was the scene of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster happened following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. JR became famous for putting up his street art images of people’s faces and eyes all over the world and eventually developed the “Inside Out” project in which participants have their photos taken by the artist and put up as street art. Participants then get to bring home their very own photo poster of their face. Lots of fun!
Mayumi Ihara Photos. All rights reserved.
Since the the 2011 reactor-meltdown disaster at the nuclear power plant in Fukushima, Japan, we’ve seen a lot of anti-nuke street art pop up in Tokyo, especially around Shibuya and Naka-Meguro. Often the artwork is in the form of a large sticker that features the line-drawing image of a little girl and the international nuclear symbol.
A Bathing Ape (or BAPE), the global Japanese clothing and lifestyle brand started by creator and Tokyo music producer Nigo, is twenty years old. To mark this milestone, there’s an anniversary exhibition of Bathing Ape design and classic artifacts at Daikanyama T-Site, the super-architecturally stylish and utopian Tsutaya-Starbucks shopping complex in Tokyo’s Shibuya. Below are some pics we took a few days ago of the exhibition space at T-Site.
This graphic on a wall in Shibuya, in Tokyo, looks and feels like a piece of street art and could have been created by stencil, paint-print, heat transfer or painted by hand. It may be graphical logo for a restaurant or company brand mark. Whatever it is, we think it’s frackin’ awesome. The image itself looks like a super-simplified rendering of a mythological Buddha-like character from Japanese historical iconography.
(Hey readers! If you can identify what this is, send us an email.)
The big, bold illuminated sign at the massive Opening Ceremony store in Shibuya, in Tokyo. Compared to the SoHo loft spaces Opening Ceremony occupies at its flagship store on Howard Street in SoHo, New York, the Tokyo branch of OC is so large and spacious it’s practically a department store in and of itself. We’ll be posting more pictures of the store soon.