Tokyo

snowy tokyo

It is the coldest winter in Tokyo so far in the Heisei period (the last 29 years) and last week it snowed; suddenly and violently and beautifully.I walked outside in the early evening to take a look...and found a little local shrine, glowing in the snowfall.So magical, just for a night.

sobachoko

This week I went to the Boroichi fleamarket in Tokyo. It has been held twice a year in the same place for over 430 years, and is an intangible folk cultural asset of Japan. I wandered, browsed and sketched, and bought a beautiful little sobachoko. When I got home, I did some watercolour sketches of it...I enjoyed it so much, I did a few more, looking at old sobachoko online for reference.And then made a little design of my own...

mokuhanga exhibition

Monday to Friday this week I have some prints on show in the CfSHE gallery in Tokyo. It's an exhibition of prints from all the artists who attended the mokuhanga residency in Kawaguchiko this summer.Let me know know if you'd like to meet up there! Date: From 15 to 19 January 2018 Venue: CfSHE Gallery B109, 6-11-14, Soto-Kanda, Chiyoda-ku, 1010021 Tokyo Hour: 13.00/17.00 Admission Free

2017年 MI-LAB アドバンス・プログラム参加アーティスト Artists who participated in 2017 MI-LAB Advanced Program

Kathleen(Kaite) Baldwin ケイティ・ボールドウィン (USA) Kate MacDonagh ケイト・マクドナー (Ireland) Mariko Jesse マリコ・ジェシー (UK) Melissa Schulenberg メリッサ・シューレンバーグ (USA) Natasha Norman ナターシャ・ノーマン (South Africa) Patty Hudak パティ・フダック (USA) An Gee Chan アン・ジー・チャン (Hong Kong) Brenda Petays ブレンダ・ぺテイス (Canada) Fuko Ito フウコ・イトウ (Japan) Jon Lee ジョン・リー (USA) Sarah Hulsey サラ・ハルシー (USA)

You can see more information here.

tokyo

This week I spent a few days in Tokyo, visiting friends, art stores and exhibitions. First stop the Ota Museum in Harajuku, to a ukiyoe exhibition of Edo from the water, and then the Nezu Museum, to a ceramics one. Both were wonderful, and highly recommended!Then on to Pigment, a store with paints and paraphanelia, and more brushes than I've ever seen in my life. So. Many. Brushes. And all of them gorgeous.I love the city, well, cities generally, but in particular Tokyo, and I find the everyday urban views beautiful. Even just the railways at dusk, walking home after an exhausting day.Can't wait to visit again soon!

Tokyo print exhibition

Our collaborative mokuhanga print project wood + paper + box is on show until sunday at the Tokyo University of the Arts (Geidei). You can read all about it here.This is the installation, which shows a generally chronological view of our 1 year project.Each print was framed in perspex and had its own individual shelf. We showed each artwork as a physical object.This uchiwa fan is my final print. It's double-sided and when the light shines through the white jugs, you can see the reverse print pattern through it. Hope you can make it see the show!

slice of pear

This year I'm working on a collaborative mokuhanga project with my friends Yoonmi Nam and Katie Baldwin. We're going to give a presentation and hold an exhibition of the work we produce at the International Mokuhanga Conference in Tokyo in September. It's very exciting! Here's a preparatory sketch for my first piece of work for the project...and a test print of the colours.You can follow the group's progress on our blog woodpaperbox.

iriya plus cafe mural

While I was in Tokyo two weeks ago, I went to visit my friend Naomi who runs iriya plus cafe, in Iriya, near Ueno. It's in an old warehouse building that she renovated, keeping the gorgeous original wooden beams and shelves, and overall traditional Japanese style, but adding a modern feel.She commissioned me to paint a mural on the main cafe wall, as a backdrop for the upcoming 'pancake party' event, with live music by the local band JOYZ (you can see them in the above photo).I drew this initial rough design, but found out that they don't make pancakes in a frying pan! So I took the pancake out and added more text. I also changed the font I used for 'POP' into my more comfortable calligraphic stye. Here's how it looked when it was done.A photographer called Takumi Yamamoto, a friend of JOYZ, documented the day: me doing the mural, and also JOYZ playing live while I was doing the painting. There was a typhoon that day, but we were all snug inside. This is everyone, including the cafe staff... If you're in Tokyo on October 29, try to make it to the live event, I bet it'll be fantastic. For tickets and more details, go to the iriya cafe blog. Wish I could be there!