Get lost in this optical feast by Nagoya based artist Washio. He came highly recommended byRandom Acts of ArtalumniYoshiand boy he did not disappoint! Washio has woven together iconic Australian indigenous land sites, the rivers of our new Tokyo cafe neighbourhood in Hamacho, plus coffee cherries and mountains. Take a minute to get to know him below.
FIRST UP, WHAT’S YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH COFFEE?
No matter where it is, it is an indispensable ritual to start the day.
DO YOU HAVE ANY CONNECTION TO SINGLE O? AND IF SO, WHAT IS IT?
Until now, there was no connection. But I found out that my acquaintance (Former RAOA artist Yoshi) was connected to Single O, and I felt a strange connection.
YOU’RE IN AN ELEVATOR & YOU NEED TO DESCRIBE YOUR ILLUSTRATION STYLE BEFORE WE REACH OUR FLOOR… AND GO!
Hmm, I’m sorry! I don’t know!
IF YOU COULD MEET & ILLUSTRATE ONE PERSON WHO WOULD IT BE?
Mountaineer Aron Ralston. I want to draw a TE-KUN (his signature character) and give it as a gift.
WHAT DOES YOUR PROCESS FOR CREATING WORK LOOK LIKE?
The start of the project is basically the same. First of all, go to the usual coffee shop in the morning I sit at my usual table and the usual coffee comes out, and from there I spend my time sketching and reading magazines until noon. After that, I go to the studio to take the ideas that came out at the coffee shop and verify them. Still, the idea doesn’t take shape easily, so I’ll keep doing it for a few days. It repeats for a few days and after a while it begins to form. The work is made in this way.
WAS YOUR PROCESS FOR CREATING THIS WORK ANY DIFFERENT THAN USUAL? IF SO HOW?
The picture I drew this time was completed by adding elements for Single O to the drawing I drew a few years ago. I was also interested in adding ideas to what I drew in the past to make a new work, and this time I completed it through that process. After that, I added elements related to Australia and coffee that I had never drawn before, and incorporated the ideas that I got while taking a walk in the city of Hamacho.
THIS DRAWING IS SUPER DETAILED, WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE SECTION & WHY?
The diamond-shaped framework which is divided into comic strips. By using the diamond-shaped framework, the scenes play the role of a jump cut that can be seen in the movie, so it will be established even if it does not make sense, or it would be nice if the viewer could imagine that part. This was fun to draw. I also like the Sky Tree as seen from Hamacho. I went to the site after taking a walk on the Sumida River in the morning, and I was overwhelmed by the great presence when I tried it again. I drew it small in the picture inside the store, so please look for it.
IF YOU WEREN’T DRAWING WHAT CAREER DO YOU RECKON YOU’D HAVE?
It’s very difficult, but assuming that information on scenes such as culture, hip-hop and graffiti didn’t come into my life, I wonder if I would have taken over the family business. I grew lotus roots in the rice fields cultivated by my grandparents, and now my parents have taken over. There are times when I like a job that has a clear purpose. Sometimes I want to try being a taxi driver. I’m thinking it seems that you can’t do business while playing your favourite music in a Japanese taxi. I stopped. It’s a long way to go, except when it comes to private taxis. I think the rules are strict.
HOW DO YOU STAY INSPIRED?
Instead of creating the world with your own values, you become overwhelmingly lonely. It’s about surviving with curiosity in a world full of strange things.
WHAT IS THE CONCEPT AND THEMES OF THIS MURAL?
The concept is a sense of distance that connects Australia, Japan, and Hamacho, a new base.
TELL US ABOUT THE JAPAN STREET ART SCENE?
How is it? It may have become familiar in the sense that things in the market area have come in as information, and it may be a world that is still out of the world. I like the time when I quietly create works in the studio and repeat experiments, so I may not have thought much about “Japan”.
AND FAVE JAPANESE FINE ARTIST?
Let me take a break with this series of difficult questions, take a break with a beer, ah, coffee and a cigarette. Hmmmm … I have been working at an art university in Aichi since this spring, but I am still fascinated by the students I meet there. I can’t call it an artist yet, but the inspiration I get from youth is also exciting, and I’m paying attention to future students who are still stepping forward.
AND WILL YOU BE DRINKING FILTER ON TAP, OR ESPRESSO, OR BOTH?
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT SINGLE O OPENING A CAFÉ IN TOKYO?
Inevitable. Isn’t it? I only can see a good future!
WHAT’S THE BIG IDEA BEHIND YOUR MURAL?
Is this because I’m drunk because I drank too much beer…? I think a similar question was asked before… In terms of the main idea, or the visual aspect, I was conscious of deciding coolly with black and white. (I was really wondering whether to put oranges on site.) It is an image that the Sumida River follows Surry Hills. Exactly from Australia to Japan East Tokyo, Sumida River, crossing the Kiyosu Bridge, and taking a break is Hamacho. “Space Japan Sumida River” I feel like.
WHO SHOULD WE WORK WITH NEXT?
That’s also a difficult question, but London-basedPete FowlerorWill Sweeny. I don’t know if he will accept it, but in Japan,Suikoin Hiroshima!