First Light

Taken at dawn this morning, these images display the off-campus murals that are in the process of creation during Pow! Wow! Japan.

Found in the skatepark, the striking monochrome fowl rests upon the cardinal backdrop. The mural incorporates contrasting movements rippling to the left and right, which in turn creates dynamic movement on a 2-dimensional surface. The basic colours allow for the subject to be the emphasised and direct the audience’s attention to the intricate design. Mural at the skatepark by GRIND PENCIL .

The second mural, found in River Mall of Rokko Island, by the duo HITOTZUKI inadvertently performs as a contrast to the monochrome fowl. Fluid movements are reflected in both murals. However, the work of HITOTZUKI employs vibrant shades of blue that imply both a sense of calm and vibrancy. The superficially juxtaposing tones are fluently fused with HITOTZUKI’s use of “dynamic flowing curves” and “strong and flamboyant symmetric motifs” to introduce an invigorating youthfulness that reflects both the street art duo and life in Kobe.

The two murals, although different in size, express similar messages and themes of vibrancy through alternative imagery. Photographs cannot truly capture the life that resonates within these murals; to fully experience and appreciate the pieces, visit the skatepark and River mall.

INSTAGRAM @grindpencil @htzk


Moving Forward: a Feature on Kensuke Takahashi

On the fourth day of Pow! Wow! Japan, the campus of Canadian Academy was bustling with the work and artistic developments of Cinta Vidal, Luise Ono, PRIME of 808 Urban, Kensuke Takahashi and other artists.

An artist that has been generating quite some exciting within the campus is Kensuke Takahashi. His mural features a magnificent dragon constructed with striking tones of blues and greens, ranging from rich navy to dazzling emerald. Furthermore, the overarching theme of the connection between the natural world and mythology is ever present in his mural.


Takahashi began the mural in the North Western staircase with primary free hand outlines of the mythical dragon. Heads popped in and out throughout the first day as curious faces took in the stunning form of Takahashi’s mural.

Within the second day, Takahashi had progressed onto the contours of the subject’s face and had elaborated upon the backdrop of the mural. The horns had matured into robust tree trunks and accents of orange and purple stippled to create depth.


Today, on Takahashi’s third day of work upon his mural, he introduced a new element to the mural: the scholar reading in peace amongst the gentle beasts. One can assume the message behind the addition to the already elaborate piece, but a later interview with Takahashi will reveal his interpretation and goals.

Cinta Vidal: Playing with Gravity

Cinta Vidal’s main philosophy towards art is quite simple: to have fun. It’s very straightforward and honest to everyone’s most basic desire, the desire to enjoy their lives.

However, the amusing bodies that are captured by Vidal are not only entertaining, especially whilst humouring the possibility of their existence, but they send one of Vidal’s central message. We live together in the same world but observe and experience our environment and lives  in various ways. Contorting gravity allows us to look into the world of Cinta Vidal and lets us reflect upon the way we, as both individuals and communities, perceive our world.

Vidal’s philosophy and theme were both the essential factors that attracted her to Pow! Wow! Japan. The festival, amongst the various others Vidal has partaken in, gives her the opportunity to collaborate, experiment, and share ideas with other artists. To Vidal, Pow! Wow! Long Beach assembled a wider selection of street artists in a larger stretch of artistic space whilst Pow! Wow! Japan has introduced the artists to a relaxed, intimate environment in which they could not only contribute but also both learn and teach in an educational environment. The aforementioned atmosphere has been manifested by Vidal’s signature use of warm, non-saturated colours that project her desired ambience of calm and “non-aggressive”.

Art has been a part of Vidal’s life prior to her memory. Following her passion, Vidal entered the field of scenography where she worked in collaboration with other artists to paint assigned designs. Vidal is still relatively fresh to the street art scene, having spent only approximately one and a half year on her independent artwork. Vidal took her vigour for art and followed through with the suggestion of street art by her friend. Her enthusiasm and artistic talent, in both creativity and articulate expression, make her an invaluable artist to this year’s collection of Pow! Wow! participants.

With much more to express about her artwork and many thoughts to share, Vidal is an artist to observe and talk to, with respects to her artistic process. Visit the second-floor atrium to watch Vidal in action.

Work In Progress

Canadian Academy saw the commencement of the various murals throughout the campus on this day. Spanning from the sunrise to sunset the artists began work on their murals on  a wall in the atrium, the front facade of the dormitory, and a staircase in the main building.

Luise Ono launched the vibrant floral mural on the dormitory that reflected her universal theme of “maturity”. Painting with rich shades of orange, yellow, and lilac, Ono’s work has begun to take life on the teal foundation.

Progressing with her exploration of typically ordinary shapes and objects in surreal arrangements, Cinta Vidal began her work on the wall in the second-floor atrium, painting illogically positioned houses with photographically precise skill.




Rokko Island Eco Art Capsule 2016

The Eco Art Capsule, hosted by the Kobe Fashion Museum and Kobe Artists Museum, united the local children with the freedom to artistically express and experiment as well as an awareness of the endangered environment and enjoyable means of promoting eco-friendly behaviours. The free workshop booths allowed the children to make practical crafts such as bracelets made of recycled leather and fabric, terrariums made from recycled jars, and badges decorated with unused scraps of paper. The collaboration between various aged members of the local community was also complemented with performances by children’s entertainers, including an especially talented one-woman band.

This introduction of POW! WOW! Japan! in Kobe sets the tone for an educational and artistically interactive week for Canadian Academy packed with immersive workshops, musical performances, and multiple murals by both artists and students.