Another Year Complete

Yesterday was the closing event of Pow! Wow! 2017. Talents from many different fields were represented in yesterday’s performance, from a live artist to a break dancer. Yesterday was a showcase of some of the artistic culture in Kobe, demonstrating the amazing talent and creativity of people. The variety of music that was performed caused chills as people listened in awe to everything from classical piano to rap.

As the week comes to a close, Pow Wow has left Kobe a better, more colorful place. The art and music left a footprint on the city both physically and in the memories of all of the people who had the opportunity to participate in this unique event.

Remember to check out all of the finished artworks using this powowo map

Until a future date, Pow! Wow! is leaving Japan. What Pow! Wow! has left for our community, however, will remain. Pow! Wow! has beautified, improved, and inspired the city of Kobe to continue to observe and create beauty and art in the world around us. Until next year.


finishing and performing

NOTICE: due to the rain forecasted, the event scheduled for tomorrow has changed location to the Ten Ten!! building near Harbor Studio.

As Pow! Wow! japan comes to a close for 2017, artists and musicians alike are preparing for the closing event on Saturday and finishing up with their artwork. here are some pictures of the progress around Sannomiya. 

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These pictures simply do not do justice to the artwork in real life. all of the artists have done amazing jobs beautifying the city of Kobe and contributing to an event like POW! WOW! which aims to bring the community together.

Also, anticipate an amazing performance tomorrow by Pow! Wow! school of music and other special guests at the Ten Ten building.

Musical expression

Along with the visual art aspect of Pow! Wow! there is also a musical aspect. At Canadian Academy international school, a program is occurring where professional musicians are assisting and guiding select students in writing their own music and exploring the possibilities of creating sound. This is a great opportunity for these students as they explore their passions and talents while developing new techniques and strategies towards creating better music.


The Pow! Wow! school of music students are also preparing for multiple performances at the end of this week. On Saturday, the students perform their debut concert for two live performances at both 2 and 5 O’clock at the Pow! Wow! closing event in Meriken Park. The closing event goes from 11 AM to 6 PM.

These two performances will be great opportunities for the students to demonstrate their musical abilities, and for the community to come together and enjoy music.

Similar to the way that each artist is different, each student and teacher has a different musical expertise and philosophy towards music. Ranging from modern hip-hop to classical violin, the collaboration of musical diversity in the CA design classroom is astounding! It will be interesting to hear what these students come up with in order to combine all of their diverse talents into a collaborative musical performance.

looking closer

As artists continued to work the day away today, it became even more evident how their techniques and styles are as diverse as their identities. One artist with a wonderfully unique style is Defer (@deferk2s).  Defer uses both line and shape in order to create large perplexing caligraphic tangles of line and color. His style has a distinct appearance that brings gothic text to mind while at the same time forming contemporary patterns.


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Defer is also able to create these patterns very quickly. Within the past two days, Defer has gone from a huge blank wall to a wall filled with intricate lines and patterns. While Defer has not yet finished his work, he has made leaps and bounds in that direction. In just one day, Defer was able to cover more than half of the wall in detailed patterns of paint.

Another artist with both amazing talent and unique style is YOHEYY (@Yoheyy). YOHEYY is creating a beautiful mural in Meriken park which combines a stunning photorealistic portrait of a woman with a vibrant surrealistic scene. Both elements of the painting interact in a way that creates both contrast and unity between the woman and the scene. YOHEYY is able to masterfully combine imaginative surreal elements with more traditional portrait painting. While the context behind this piece cannot be confirmed yet one presumption could be that this mural juxtaposes dreams and reality as being both separated and intertwined.


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As artists continue to work, make sure you come out and witness the creative process firsthand if you can.  All of the murals simply cannot be represented in their full magnificence through photos.

artist from Ig tag Mural
Slick California @og_slick room4 Building SLICK Mural
Defer California @deferk2s Harbor Studio West Defer Mural
Mr. Ogay Taiwan @mrogay KITAKUBO House MR. OGAY Mural
OneQ Kumamoto, Japan @negiyakisoba Harbor Studio North ONEQ Mural
CAB Osaka, Japan @cab_is_ Harbor Dockside Cafe CAB Mural
YOHEYY Osaka, Japan @Yoheyy Meriken Park Building Yoheyy Mural
Cook One Osaka, Japan @cookdissizit Pier 1 Cook One Mural
Whole 9 Hitch Kobe,Japan @hitch_w9 Center Plaza Whole9 Mural
Whole 9 Simo Osaka, Japan @simo_w9 Center Plaza Whole9 Mural
Bad Hands HIROSHI Kobe,Japan @hiroshi_irezumi KINGSX  BAD HANDS MURAL
Bad Hands KIWAMU Kobe,Japan @kiwamutattoo KINGSX  BAD HANDS MURAL
Bad Hands CICCI Kobe,Japan @452cicci KINGSX  BAD HANDS MURAL
Ahhi Choi Kobe,Japan @ahhi_choi Harbor Studio interior
KAC Osaka, Japan @KAC_one Harbor studio south



Preparation and Progress

As Pow! Wow! Japan 2017 begins, artists ranging from local to international are beginning to paint murals throughout the Sannomiya/Harbor Land area.  While many artists such as YOHEYY (@Yoheyy) and Cook One (@cookdissizit) have prepared and projected their ideas onto walls in order to paint, others such as Mr. Ogay (@mrogay) and Defer (@deferk2s) have begun to paint on their walls without exact reference. This only begins to illustrate the incredible diversity of artistic styles, processes, and talents that are being brought to the table in order to beautify the city of Kobe.

Throughout the weekend, artists, coordinators, and volunteers alike began to prepare for the week ahead. Paint was moved and distributed, equipment was gathered, and merchandise was inventoried. All of these preparations were made in order to ensure that the week ahead is efficiently executed in a way that allows artists to display their best work.

Artists then began to prepare their murals with projections and outlines. These steps are essential to many artists, allowing them to envision the finished result, and refrain from making unnecessary mistakes.

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After preparing, artists begin to render their final piece. This process can be very different depending on the artist. Some will use spray paint while others may prefer to use a brush. Many will even combine both mediums in their artwork.

It’s remarkable how quickly the artists work!  Over the past two days, all of the artists have made significant progress with their artwork, and have created breathtaking first steps towards completion.

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Anticipate fast progress in the coming days as these artists continue to work towards completion of their pieces.

Visit any of the murals and experience them for yourself!new powowo map





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.