What does DUNKWELL mean?
It means to DUNK WELL the paint to the brush. I came up with this, hoping to paint as may walls and places as possible. It also came from my love for basketball.
What have you been up to lately?
I recently had an exhibition in Tokyo called “why not?” , I showed pieces that I created on my iPad. I’ve also been collaborating with some fashion brands and people from all different kinds backgrounds.
What is your attraction to New York?
I love street art, and NY was the perfect place. Japan has strict landscape regulations and you can’t paint on the walls even with owners permission, where NY is way more open to art. When you walk along NY city there are many galleries open for free and people could just jump in to check out the art. so I felt art is a lot closer to people in NY rather than Tokyo. That’s why I wanted to build my career there.
So you were looking for more freedom, and NY was the place…
Yeah, I mean you have a chance to paint on huge walls, with only needing permission from the building owner. That doesn't really happen in Japan. NY is way more open to art, and other opportunities.
What was your first impression of Banks Journal?
Great style! Standard but has an edge, never over done, I fell in love at first sight!
How did you come across Banks Journal?
I had an opportunity to show my work to Masa Shibahara (co-founder), and Masa showed me one of the collections from Banks Journal, and it looked so good. The ball started rolling from there. I drew some pieces, and the Banks Journal team brought it life. The final product was so much better than what I imagined!
What was the main concept for the art?
What I ended up coming up with was Katakana typography, I want to showcase Japanese culture to the world. Kanji is popular for Japanese typography but has a strong character of it’s own, where Katakana has more freedom to incorporate your own design.
There seems to be the same vibe in the Destinations Tee?
Yeah, I always have a lively sound image whenever I paint. so there could be a common vibe in both pieces.
What was the intention of keeping this collection mono-tone, and not using colors?
I love colors, but Katakana has a tighter look and feel in black and white. I also wanted to have a Japanese “Sumi” inspired vibe. I drew the whole collection using an iPad.
Why have you decided to draw in iPad?
I think all of the old masters would’ve used this tool, if they lived in this era. It opens an artist up to new techniques and ways of expression. I want to adopt new things and live the best for today.
So when the technology evolves, you might change the way you paint?
Yes, for sure. Like the way exhibitions could evolve too. A visitor could come in an empty space and wear contact lenses to experience art.
Some people are adopting and changing in the current state of how we live, and the new standards are starting to be established. How do you feel about the way things are changing?
2020 was a tough year for all of us, but because of the times spent inside, there are a lot of new ideas emerging. I think 2021 will be an exciting year with a lot interesting things that will come. Personally, I’ve been painting the beauty in every day life, like a sunny side egg, but due to COVID many people realized that ordinary life was actually a blessing. Now people are motivated to re-structure and step up. I’m hoping to paint the world with that kind of creative energy. I have no idea what the future has in store for me, but I want to paint what is in this era, and leave works so people will know what we went through, and how we live our lives.
Do you have any suggestions on how to wear this collection?
It’s up to the people who wear it. They could wear this collection anytime, or anywhere they want to. I don’t like narrowing down the possibility.
Any last comments?
I hope more people just have fun with art. you don’t have to be some specialist to engage with art, just feel as you feel. And I hope more people draw or paint in general. Like you could paint on your clothes, or shoes… there is so called art class in school, that can be graded, people tend to think that you have to be good to paint, but you actually don’t! Your brush control or whatever may not be perfect, but that could still look cool! So I hope more and more people draw and express their style.
Now that you've heard from artist, be sure to check out our most recent collaboration with the legendary Dunkwell