Andrew’s world in Japan

Artist & researcher based in KL since 2009, passionately exploring thcreative process & connecting with other creative people.

Ultra Super New Gallery

89andrew-_mg_8921_editMind in a daze, my back aching and drenched in sweat, I managed to meet up with my buddy Jojiphoto. Only a handful of hours earlier onboard an airplane to Tokyo. He hands me a beer as we begin to banter some quick catch up. It’s been a few years since our last face to face. Things are a bit different while also being so the same. I think he’s gauging how much energy can I muster. The original plan had been to meet with another friend, drop off my luggage and grab some dinner. Flight delay threw that off.
At the same time loving and hating the position I end up in. Ice cold beer in hand with some snacks in easy reach it’s catch my breath time. Score a bit of wifi from the office plus charge my phone to settle the nights biggest question, ‘where to sleep,’ before we head off to something I’m apparently certain to enjoy. Just a few minutes walk from the Volcom office is a new gallery called ‘Ultra Super New Gallery.’ My mind was swimming in closed eyes deep-sea kind of blur, but it’s all good.

Knee deep in Harajuku, we rocked up to the gallery. Inside an artist is painti89andrew-_mg_8930_edit ng the walls while DJ’s spin turntables and folks chit chatter. This is an extension of a global Heineken campaign dubbed “Shape Your City.” It’s Thursday and the real party isn’t meant to happen until Friday when they celebrate the weekly completion of a different artists contribution to the interior mural. They appear to be promoting city dwellers to express themselves molding their community. Sounds just like my kind of program. The space is a bit compact, but pretty normal for an alternative creative space in Tokyo I suppose.

I’m introduced to a French man and an American who’s names I don’t remember, but I believe they were the gallery owners and curators. My luggage had me feeling self-conscious and they were gracious enough to allow me to stash my items near the cramped DJ booth in the window. Kampai Sound Area managed the bar and space. It was the third week into this project. A different artist contributed elements to this growing wall mural, layer on layer. Very representative of how people often engage and contr89andrew-_mg_8924_editibute to their community.

The artist broke his concentration to reload his beverage and Joji snapped up that opportunity to introduce me. We had a very brief chat before he returned to painting. He didn’t look rushed, but I’m sure he felt the looming deadline of the next day. A few photos and quick friendly conversations with others in attendance, then it was time to head to the next destination. Joji had to catch his train to Chiba and I needed to sort out my accommodations. I’d hoped to catch the main event the following night but knew it was unlikely. A great way to begin a visit any time, straight to the creative community.