Street art is evolving, giving our urban environments a splash of color and providing a canvas for emerging artists. Suiko is one of Japan‘s best-known graffiti writers, having worked on his craft for almost two decades. His murals are dynamic bubbling shapes, fusing European-style graffiti with traditional Japanese art and writing forms.
Suiko lives in Hiroshima and became a pioneer for graffiti art in his city. Now his work can be found throughout Asia and all over the world. Speaking to NONAGON.style, he said “I travel to two to four foreign countries a year to paint murals. It’s inspiring to me. I also travel in Japan, too.”
When at home, he lives next to the art studio he runs with his friends since 2009. It’s a place where people hang out, work, exhibit and have a lot of parties. Having the strong neighborhood feel and a great artistic community is something Suiko is thankful for. “I have been working in my city [Hiroshima] for about 20 years, and I have had many people to help me throughout my life here.”
As well as friendship, music, and nature, Suiko is inspired by many different types of art. One of which is shodo, the fine art of Japanese calligraphy. Like many Japanese children, he grew up with a lot of manga which also fueled his passion for art. Additionally, his father was a children’s book illustrator. Expression through art was always there for him.
One of the striking things about Suiko’s work is how he draws on the cultures and ideas from each town where produces his pieces. He talks to people in the area and studies the location for site-specific inspiration. His work has been showcased around Japan, and cities as varied as Kathmandu, Miami, Istanbul, and Hong Kong.
What inspires you at the moment?
My recent works are inspired by Cassini [the probe sent to explore Saturn]. It depicts the moment when Cassini traveled the universe for 20 years passed between Saturn and the ring of Saturn.
Is it important for you to have art in the home?
For me what is very important is my place where I come back from travels.
I don’t often paint canvas work in the studio, because my projects I usually do on outside walls, but I still need a place to relax.
How can everyone enjoy art?
My murals open for everyone. I would like people to have open mind for enjoy my art.
What is coming next in your art?
It’s a turning point in my painting life, a lot is changing.
Please enjoy which direction my art going.
*This interview has been formatted for clarity and length.