If you follow my other blog, Picturing England, you’ll know I’m a big fan of street art and often photograph the art I find here in the UK. Last weekend there was a street art festival called Upfest here in Bristol, and I was delighted to find a number of Japanese-inspired pieces of street art! Here they are…
This first piece is by Dan Kitchener, who you might remember from an exhibition review earlier this year. He’s one of my all-time favourite street artists, and I especially love these ‘Tokyo Neon’ Japanese women he paints.
Next up is an artist called Faigy (Stephen Fagan). I don’t know if his work is consciously inspired by Japan, but with big eyes like that I can’t help thinking of manga…
Big eyes were a popular theme, and I particularly liked this piece by Eion, which also has a manga-like quality:
An artist called Cherie made these totally kawaii paste-ups, each one painted on a page from a Japanese comic book:
I also found a little Japanese on the side of this piece by Jakob Belbin. Judging from his website, it looks like he’s quite interested in Japanese culture and often paints with a Japanese theme.
Down the right hand side of the painting it says 「あいしているよ」which means ‘I love you’.
One thing I love about photographing street art is finding small things that other people don’t notice. Along my travels last weekend I came across these two stencils, presumably done by the same artist:
They appear to be depicting the recent Japanese schoolgirl trend of photographing fake Dragon Ball attacks. I could be completely wrong of course, but that’s what it made me think of anyway!
Manga seems to be a big inspiration for many artists, and that was evident in this piece by Inca:
I was sad to see one of my favourite kawaii shutters be painted over. Here’s the original – Totoro:
And here it is now – still kawaii:
Here are a few more Japanese-inspired pieces, but I’m afraid I don’t know the artists’ names:
Finally, I came across one artist with a Japanese name – Hoshiko. I don’t know if Hoshiko is actually Japanese or not, but I saw an artist working in this space and she didn’t appear to be Japanese. Anyway, she has a great eye for all things kawaii!
If you’re interested in looking at more photos from Upfest, you can view the full set on Flickr.