INTERVIEW with Sayori Wada : Meet the Artist behind the MYC Hip Hop Playing Cards

MYNORITY CLASSICS X SAYORI WADA PRESENT HIP HOP PLAYING CARDS

 

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Dealing a full house of Hip Hop with Artist Sayori Wada

The world’s first hand-drawn hip hop inspired deck of cards.   

Words and Interview by @TokyoTwilighter

Photos courtesy of @DjSarasa

Mynority Classics, the brand that brought tru hip hop lovers the hip hop birthday calendar in 2011 and hip hop subway calendar in 2012 wants its fans to ‘get back to the basics’ with a full set of playing cards inspired by a DJ’s play list.  (Well, DJ Sarasa‘s play list to be exact :))

Tokyo-based artist, Sayori Wada, shows her hand and shares with @TokyoTwilighter a behind the scenes look at creating, drawing and playing with her latest work of art.

Infusing Japanese calligraphy art techniques with American music scene inspiration, whether its a pair of West Coast rappers or a full house of East coast MCs this original ‘daily art’ has made a splash onto both the style and music scene.

The interview is available below in Japanese and English 😉

Like what you see? Pick up your own deck here!  Limited stock available!

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@TokyoTwilighter : How did the collaboration with MYC come about?  /// どうやってMYCとのコラボレションが実現したのですか? 

Sayori Wada : A couple of years ago a friend of mine was working as Sarasa’s assistant, then when we ran into each other again at Crystal Kay’s ‘Delicious Kinyobi’ music video shoot we were like ‘We should totally collaborate soon!’.  She got in touch with me after that and that’s how this all came about.  /// 数年前に友達がSARASAちゃんのアシスタントをしていて、友達のミュージックビデオの撮影の時に再会して(こんな細かく言わなくていいかな?)、その後「なんか一緒にやろう!」って連絡をもらい今回に至りました。
@TokyoTwilighter : Give us your take on the project briefly, what is this latest product out of Sayori Wada and Mynority Classics?  /// Sayori Wada and Mynority Classicsの新作について詳しく教えて!
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Sayori Wada : We created hip hop playing cards.  Basically the concept was to create a deck that was like a DJ playlist which Sarasa selected and I drew.  The cassette tape image on the back was Asami’s idea.  /// HIP HOP Playing cardsをつくりました。DJのプレイリストをつくるみたいにSARASAちゃんに人選をしてもらい、私が絵を描き。裏面のカセットはASAMIさんのアイディアです。

@TokyoTwilighter : Did Sarasa and ASAMI One give you any creative direction or were the drawings 100% yours? /// この絵は100%SAYORIが書いたの?SARASAやA$AMI ONEはクリエイティブな面で参加しているの?

Sayori Wada : Of course they helped check on all the details.  The biggest concern ended up being Eazy-E’s hair.  Sarasa was really stuck on his hair, its texture and thickness and kept messaging me over and over about it, lol.  …細かいチェックはもちろんやってもらいました。中でも一番こだわったのはEazy-Eの髪の毛。SARASAちゃんとなんどもメールでやりとりして、髪の束間、質感をこだわりました笑

@TokyoTwilighter :   What is the inspiration for your drawings? /// あなたのインスピレーションは?

 Sayori Wada : Music.  Music, art, food, lifestyle, my feelings are linked to what is important to me.  I always get so much energy and inspiration from that. /// 音楽。音楽/アート/食べ物/ライフスタイル、感覚で繋がれる仲間からは、いつもすごいいいエナジー/インスピレーションをもらっています。

@TokyoTwilighter :  Why use a calligraphy pen?  Why not another medium?  /// 何で筆ペンなの?

Sayori Wada :  Well, with a normal pen once you draw a line, what comes next is predictable, but with a calligraphy pen it’ll be stronger and weaker, the angles will have depth of color and the hues will change.  That freedom, how it reacts is what I really like so I use it often.  But if I lose my concentration the line will immediately become very thick. ///    普通のペンでラインをひいたら、次になにが来るかって予測がつくけど、筆ペンは強弱、角度で色がついたみたいに見え方が変わるから、その自由さ、答えのなさが好きで、よく使用します。集中してないとすぐ線太くなっちゃうけど。
@TokyoTwilighter :    Any difficulties in transferring your art to such a small canvas? /// 小さいキャンバスに描くのは難しいですか?

Sayori Wada :  Sometimes I use large 3 metre canvases for my artwork and need a ladder to draw on the wall and sometimes my canvas may be the size of fingernail, for me the size is not really the challenge. /// 自分よか大きい3mくらいの絵をはしごにのって壁に描く事もあれば、爪サイズの絵も描くので、大きさは特に問題ないです。

@TokyoTwilighter :  .  What challenges did you face in completing this project? /// このプロジェクトを完成するまでに大変だった事は?

Sayori Wada :  Stamina was my challenge, lol.  To create just one drawing it would take one to two hours, and while drawing I’d listen to the music of the artist.  It was really enjoyable to listen to music while drawing and also I felt like I was learning a lot at the same time.  I am truly thankful to the two founders (DJ Sarasaand Asami One) of Mynority Classics for this opportunity.  ///  根気との勝負でした 笑1枚にだいたい1-2時間かかって、その間はそのアーティストの音楽を聴いて描いていたから、とにかく楽しかったし描きながらも音楽の勉強もしていた感じ。本当にMynority Classicsの二人に感謝しています。

@TokyoTwilighter :  .  How did you choose which hip hop artists to use for the card set? Any personal favorites in the deck?  /// どうやって、どのトランプに誰を描くか決めたの? 一番のお気に入りは?

Sayori Wada : I didn’t choose, the selector was DJ Sarasa.  Me personally I really like Fab 5 Freddy.  /// 選曲じゃなくて、人選はDJ SARASA! お気に入りは、Fab 5 Freddy。

@TokyoTwilighter :    You’ve said as an artist that you aim to have ‘you’ present in the piece, even if the piece is broken up, what part of this art is ‘Sayori’? /// あなたは言いました、「アーティストは自分の作品が分割されても自分のスタイルが現れていないといけない」と。そこで、あなたの「SAYORIさ」は何が一番の特徴だと思いますか?

Sayori Wada : That’s difficult to answer, but I think it’s the feeling of the strength and weakness of the line.  My personality can be revealed in that one line, and I am conscious of that as I am drawing. /// むずかしいけど、ラインの強弱感。線いっぽんでも個性が出るから、それは意識して描きました。

@TokyoTwilighter :    What are your next plans for this hip hop cards project?  How about you in general as an artist? /// ヒップホップのトランプの次は何ですか?あなた自身のアーティストとしての計画を教えて下さい。
Sayori Wada : I really want the music to make an impression on people, when people are going through stuff it’d be great if they can look at these drawings and smile, that’s the kind of art I was aiming to create.  ///  音楽が人に影響を与えるように、辛いときにも絵をみたら笑顔になれるような、そんな絵を描いていきたいです。

@TokyoTwilighter :   Any plans to display the card deck in an exhibition or have a card game event with them? /// 原画を使った展示会やトランプイベントとかやらないのですか?

Sayori Wada :  That sounds like a great idea!  Right now now we don’t have any such plans but of course I still have all the original pieces of art so to have those pieces plus the cards exhibited, I think that’d be a lot of fun. ///  楽しそう!とくにまだ予定はないけど、原画はもちろん全部残してあるから、それとカード一緒に展示。なんていうのも面白いかもしれないですね。

@TokyoTwilighter :   Any final words for your fans about the project? /// 最後にヒップホップトランプについてファンに一言。

 
Sayori Wada : カードで遊んで、HIP HOP talkで是非盛り上がってください!!/// For sure, while playing cards enjoy ‘Hip Hop Talk’!!!
★★★

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The cards are available for sale on-line here 

See the ‘Making of’ video below starring Sayori Wada to see how it all came together.  The video was produced,  filmed and edited by Magik Media Japan

 

FILM : Jiro Dreams of Sushi

Sushi and Sustenance 

Passing down the legacy of culture and food

Released in 2011, ‘Jiro dreams of Sushi’ is a sensitive look at family and food as director David Gelb gives the audience a look into the life of the world’s greatest sushi chef.  Jiro is a humble chef who despite have only 10-seats in his subway station located restaurant has earned 3 Michelin stars, the highest honor in food preparation .

The film is a visual orgasm for the senses as shots of mouthwatering sushi and vinegared rice keeping coming frame after frame in a series of gourmet food porn that leave viewers hot and hungry by completion.

But the story is less about food and more about a life’s journey in the pursuit of daily perfection by the main character, Jiro, an 85-year-old father and chef who has been declared a national treasure by the government of Japan for protecting traditional food culture.

To appreciate the nuances of the documentary’s subtle themes it is important to understand the real goals of traditional hobbies and sports popular in Japan such as karate, calligraphy and tea ceremony to name a few.  These activities are not short term competitive endeavors for fame and glory but rather lifetime pursuits of development and maturity.  Talent is of course a factor in becoming ‘good’ at your sport or trade, but the more important lesson is that consistence and persistence will lead its student onto an honorable path of long-term self-improvement.

However for me personally the most POWERFUL part of the tale was the dynamic father-son relationship between a man who has been recognized for his priceless ability and a son who may never live up to his father’s immeasurable legacy.  For every daughter or son following in the footsteps of greatness and legend there is the constant psychological struggle of never knowing if they’ve become their own person or simply a weak imitation of potent DNA.   To explore the biological need for fatherly love and the social desire for individual professional recognition, the film does an excellent job of exploring the complicated nature of the relationship without forcing an opinion on its viewer.

For more on the film check out the website here

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Elita Design Award 2012 / Panasonic by Akihisa Hirata “Photosynthesis”

Short Film : Hifana is Beat-Makers, Sound Collectors, Rhythm Streakers

 

Hifana is ‘Fresh, Push, Breakin’

“The idea might occur to you, but no one else would actually do it, right?”

That’s HIFANA.

Their music is original, their energy is unmatched and their style is authentic.

‘Sound collectors’ that gather a cacaphony of audio to mix, mash and crash together into a symphony that captures culture, inspiration and entertainment.

Their visuals match, complement and sometimes even surpass the wildly unrestrained creativity in the music.

Crazy about rhythm, the enthusiasm is infectious.

Launch off into Hifana’s world.

Very thankful to W+K Tokyo Lab for putting English subtitles into this film about the HIFANA duo KeizoMachine! and Juicy.

What a beautiful Japanese heart! Love the logo/national flag.

I came across this beautiful logo on Ameblo (Japanese blogging platform) the other day.

I wanted to share it and the story written by a Japanese blogger.

The blogger is from Kesenuma, one of the worst hit areas in Japan following the earthquake and tsunami.

You can see the original here but I’ve included the text below.

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See a lot of messages arrive from one of the world,
I almost cry every day very for joy.

Though I do not strongly feel what world and oneself are related to, I am strong at all and, in the everyday life, just take in it from the back of this major earthquake.

With all the feeling that I received from all of you of the world and,
I designed the Japanese national flag “Japanese flag = HINOMARU “.

Japan attracts a lot of heart.

For a lot of big love that arrived from the world, Japan is surrounded.

Please use it for your freedom if I liked it.

When I want an illustration of the big size including EPS, give me a message.

I transmit a message by an E-mail.

If English is wrong, I’m sorry.

A hometown is KesennumaCity.

With all the love to all of you and.

ART EXHIBIT : Must at M Space in Ebisu

 

“Voices of Ones with No Name”

Absolutely stunning stencil art work.

Amazing title that invokes a different reaction in each person that reads it.

Shouts-out to M Space in Ebisu for inviting such an amazing artist to be displayed in their event space.

Enjoy the rest of the work on flickr here

 


 

‘The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom’ nominated for an Academy Award

 

http://www.thetsunamiandthecherryblossom.com/

 

The most beautiful thing to watch can also be the most painful thing to experience.

Nearly one-year later after 3.11

 

In the weeks that come, the tv, the web, the conversations, the memories will be flooded with 3.11 stories and experiences as the one-year memorial quickly approaches.

 

And while for some it will just be a yearly newsflash and for others the most significant event of their lives, for everyone that’s seen the footage it is clear that the worst things can happen to the best people, the best things can rise from the worst situations and no matter how terrible the circumstances, there is always a reminder of hope in the smallest of flowers blossoming every spring.

#ART Makes me want kids

 

Japanese watercolor painter Chihiro IWASAKI

http://www.chihiro.jp/english/chihiro/index.htm

I never tire of this piece of art. #GustavKlimt

Man and woman kissing wearing abstract clothing and a flower garden beneath their feet.