Japanese body painting

Live body painting session with Shohei Otomo in Tokyo, Japan, in 2013.

orig­i­nal­ly pub­lished in April 2013

In March I shot some pho­tos for an event orga­nized by ERECT Mag­a­zine, a Japan­ese arts mag­a­zine and book pub­lish­er I interned at in 2013.

The event was an exhi­bi­tion (“SUPER ERECT EXHIBITION”) with and by artists pub­lished by ERECT, and was one of many events hap­pen­ing at the annu­al Rop­pon­gi Art Night in Tokyo. One of the show’s high­lights was a live body paint­ing ses­sion by Shohei Otomo.

Tokyo, Japan. 2013. Shohei Oto­mo doing a live body paint­ing per­for­mance at Super ERECT Exhi­bi­tion dur­ing Rop­pon­gi Art Night.

At the exhi­bi­tion space, DJs were play­ing and over the course of the night a con­ta­gious ener­gy devel­oped that not only encour­aged a lose exchange of all the artists there, but that also inspired me as a pho­tog­ra­ph­er, tak­ing pho­tos as the whole spec­ta­cle unfold­ed. There were many cre­atives you would usu­al­ly nev­er meet, from painters to col­lage artists to porn actress turned pho­tog­ra­ph­er, and all were “about free­dom and being DIY, self taught, self pro­mot­ed, anti author­i­tar­i­an, non insti­tu­tion­al, col­lab­o­ra­tive and com­mu­nal” – street artists in their truest sense, to steal the words of a Back­woods Gallery curator.

One of the high­lights was the live body paint­ing per­for­mance by Japan­ese illus­tra­tor Shohei Oto­mo, and I was sucked into this cre­ative atmos­phere while shoot­ing pho­tos, almost as if feed­ing off his creativity.

That said, I was fac­ing quite some pho­to­graph­ic chal­lenges and cer­tain­ly learned a lot dur­ing that shoot.

Here’s a cou­ple more shots from that night:

Shohei Oto­mo dur­ing his live body paint­ing ses­sion in Tokyo, Japan.

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