I’ve been a fan of Dan Kitchener’s street art for a while now, after having seen a couple of pieces around the Brick Lane area in London. This one caught my eye last year:
The woman looked Japanese, and I wondered if she was supposed to be some kind of punk geisha. I saw another piece earlier this year which reminded me of the film The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift:
That was replaced with a piece which could have easily been based on a Tokyo night scene:
You can imagine my delight when I saw that Dan Kitchener (or ‘DANK’, as he’s known) had an upcoming exhibition in London called Tokyo Neon…
(Image source: Facebook)
Tokyo Neon is a gorgeous exhibition, and I urge anyone who is in the area to go immediately! Although many of the pieces are actually of East London, the exhibition is very much inspired by ‘Blade Runner Japan’, and the streets of East London could easily be those of Tokyo or Osaka. Kitchener hasn’t actually been to Japan, he told me, but has a fascination with these Japanese-style neon scenes, and also with geisha.
The piece above, ‘Liquid Light’, is easily my favourite of the neon street scenes. I felt myself getting drawn into the picture, which reminded me so much of Shibuya in Tokyo.
The gallery is divided – one side filled with neon-lit streets and reflections in the rain, the other with beautiful, punky ‘geisha’ and Japanese women.
The one above is my favourite of the portraits, but I didn’t catch the name of it. I love the make-up around her eyes, and there’s something about her face that says ‘don’t mess with me’, which attracts me. This is the kind of woman I would admire from afar but could never be friends with!
Kitchener’s work is captivating, and there wasn’t a duff piece on show. If I had the money and the space, this is absolutely the kind of art I would be buying, and if Kitchener ever decides to go into clothing and accessories, I would love a bag or T-shirt with one of these images printed on it.
The exhibition is on at the Hoxton Gallery (98 Kingsland Road, London E2 8DA) until Wednesday 17th April. If you happen to be in the area today, Kitchener is planning to do some live painting around 1pm. I’d love to go down and see it, but with only a week left in London I’ve got a lot of packing to do! Even if you can’t make it to the exhibition, check out more of DANK’s work at: www.dankitchener.co.uk.