Taking inspiration from Japan’s many Shōtengai (local market streets) we curated at Coal Drops Yard, Kings Cross, Lower Stable Street Market – a mix of stalls featuring Japanese homeware and food in celebration of the Tokyo Olympics. The market consisted of 10 – 12 stalls curated by BEAMS & CO alongside regulars from the Lower Stable Street line-up.
Like most Shōtengai in Japanese cities, a wide range of goods were available including homewares from Native & Co, artisan Japanese breads from Rise Bakery and Bar, and a range of posters from Problem Press.
Recent work from the acclaimed fashion photographer and director Mika Ninagawa was also exhibited. Entitled Beauty and Power, Ninagawa’s photographs of Japanese Para athletes radiated positivity and colour and displayed using lightboxes on site. A free screening of the film ‘Witches Of The Orient’ was shown on the big screen opposite Granary Square.
Branding, a newspaper brochure and social media content were created for the event.
BE AT TOKYO is a space where everything happens, representing new voices of creatives from Japan and beyond. The brand name stems from the vibrancy and the underlining beat of Tokyo.
The logo is inspired by the works of graphic predecessors such as M.C Escher; bringing the ordinary and the esoteric together. It plays with interlocking forms that can be viewed from different perspectives to signify this new physical and digital space where collaborative, innovative thinking and ideas can be born.
BE AT TOKYO is a new online / offline platform, realising new cultures that will lead the next generation. It is a space where all types of creatives meet, collaborate and create a new set of values and experiences.
In collaboration with Natsuki Kikuya, founder of Museum Of Sake, we have designed the label and branding for the UK launch of Tsuchida Brewery’s low-intervention sake, TE TO TE (originating from the meaning, Sky & Hand – 天と手).
Tsuchida Sake Brewery is situated in Kawaba, a small village in Gunma, a mountainous region northwest of Tokyo. Established in 1907, it has been a family operation for six generations.
Natsuki Kikuya is founder of intangible museum Museum of Sake. It provides education and promotion of the craft of sake, connecting Japan to the UK and Europe through a range of special events and courses for the public and food industry. Their activities allow guests to experience the art of sake, discovering the history, land, climate, weather and craftsmanship of the many different regions of Japan. Through an international growth in the popularity and appreciation of Sake, the Museum looks to enrich and extend the history to a new generation within Japan and the wider world.
We designed and art directed an official exhibition product for Olafur Eliasson x TOKYO CULTUART by BEAMS in conjunction with the exhibition ‘Olafur Eliasson; Sometimes the river is the bridge’ taking place at the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo in Japan.
These collaboration T-shirts, featuring slogan typography, printed in using PVC-free inks, are made out of 100% recycled polyester yarn, regenerated from recycled plastic bottles. Japan has the second highest rate of disposed plastic waster per capita in the world according to UN’s Environment programme’s research published in 2018. This project is brought together in an attempt to raise public awareness about the consequences of climate change and also shed light on the important of renewable energy through art, with an aim of increasing awareness of Olafur Eliasson’s philosophy and exhibitions to a wider audience.
Olafur Eliasson was born in 1967 in Copenhagen, Denmark, and is currently based in Berlin and Copenhagen. Eliasson often uses natural phenomena and is internationally renowned for numerous works. Eliasson has also increased his efforts to advance sustainable development in recent years.
TOKYO CULTUART by BEAMS: A label launched in 2008 to introduce art, design, and culture to the world. The name CULTUART is a coined word combining CULT, CULTURE, and ART. The shop carries a wide range of art and design products, books, and exclusive collector toys including figurines and soft vinyl figures. TOKYO CULTUART captures restless Tokyo to express modern Japan.
We were commissioned to undertake research, make editorial proposals, conduct interviews and produce shoots for POPEYE magazine, the leading Japanese men’s fashion and cultural title for over 45 years. Working closely and regularly with them we have made creative in some of their most popular issues, including features on world renowned designer Marc Newson, London based skateboarding brand Palace Skateboards and editorialising English cultural content.
With their tagline of ‘Magazine for City Boys’, POPEYE Magazine focuses on authentic cultural and lifestyle topics including fashion, food, outdoor activities and travel.
X-Girl commissioned us to manage and oversee an in-store pop-up installation at the Dover Street Market London to commemorate their launch of the collaboration collection with renowned American graphic artists Frank Kozik. We conceptualised press and marketing strategy to announce the launch.
In the summer of 1994, Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth, founded X-Girl with her friend, Daisy von Furth, who worked in XLARGE. Mike D, one of the members of Beastie Boys, who has also been a business partner of XLARGE, asked Kim if she was interested in starting her own line.
Kim and Daisy designed “real clothing” which was the collection of what they wanted to wear. They used graphic designs on their collection. X-Girl is considered as a pioneer of “Girl’s Movement” in the fashion industry, involving art and music. X-Girl continues to offer “Real Girl’s Clothing”- basic style that are inspired by rock, military, outdoor, sports, and many other street culture factors.
Ace Hotel London commissioned us to create a unique Christmas tree whereby we presented a handmade Japanese alive moss-covered cabinet in shape of Christmas tree titled “Bonsai/Christmas Everywhere”.
The interior, which had two chambers, was made up of an internal maze of LED lights and mirrors to depict two Bonsai trees as centre piece, showcasing both of Northern and Southern hemispheres Christmas scenes, complete with miniature sized human, animals enjoying the festive season. The concept of project was to make traditional Japanese horticulture accessible, combining the Western and Eastern cultural values and aesthetics in a harmonious way.
We engaged in brainstorming, concept-building, managed the local creative production for Uniqlo x JW Anderson collection by casting London’s tastemaker under the title “Why London Loves Uniqlo and JW Anderson.”
Photography by Chris Tang.
Former Fashion Editor of Jocks & Nerds magazine, Chris Tang is a London based photographer, stylist and creative consultant.