Escapism In Shibuya

With travels all but being cut these last couple of years it’s been impossible to see the world outside of the United States but things are in full swing again and there are sights to be seen. This past week while in Tokyo, I got to reunite with my brother from another, artist and originator of the Peanuts reimagined in a Hip Hop fashion, Mark Drew who has been residing here in Japan for the last 10 years. Mark and myself go back a ways and have always been fans of each others work as well as work together on his solo gallery exhibition in New York. I shot Mark a text after landing and adjusting to the new time zone so that we could coordinate our annual hang. After setting the date and time we met in Shibuya at the most obvious place to meet, Hachiko statue of course.

From there we decided on taking a walk through the area to see what has changed, much like most cities especially where the Olympics are concerned, plenty has. From the closing two of the major night clubs to giant office building seemingly popping up out of nowhere. After an hour walk we took sometime to relax at a park, people watch and discuss what’s been happening over the last 3 years since we’ve seen each other. Everything from how the pandemic changed us as artists and life in general, to what kept us going creatively which we both agreed that it was long walks or rides to parks to just soak up life and gather thoughts. ¬†From there we kept it moving to another area and one of his favorite parks that he hasn’t been to since before things shut down where black crows were everywhere, people relaxing and taking in what was one of the first springlike days reaching a high of 76 degrees. Keeping the stroll moving, it’s always the small streets and alleys off of the beaten path that yield the best finds especially architecturally and other things to pull inspiration from .

One of the main reasons for venturing out when we did was to check out the opening of the Cope 2 gallery exhibition “Within My Essence” at JPS Gallery. It’s always great when I’m in another city and there’s a special exhibition, film screening or happening going down that I would have otherwise missed had I not been there. It’s very easy to loose track of time especially walking and in deep conversation as we both realized, it’s been more than 6hrs since stopping to eat which meant finding ramen in the area which would pass the test.

More than 23,000 steps later I was back on the Ginza Line heading back to Asaskusa, dead tired but motivated to be creative after an all day adventure. It felt good to be out and about after the on and off rains that dominated the weather forecast that prior week but spring is finally here and more adventures in Tokyo await.