For Justus Becker, the famous graffiti artist from Frankfurt, the artist exchange between Yokohama and Frankfurt began with the first meal after landing in Japan: Ramen noodles in the Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum. On November 2nd, Mr. Isamu Ishikawa, executive director of the International Affairs Bureau Yokohama, welcomed Mr. Becker and both sides promised to help make this newly established artist exchange between the partner cities a successful one. Everyone was already excited for the workshop to take place at the Yokohama College of Arts and Design and the big artwork, Mr. Becker traveled to Japan for. After that meeting, Mr. Becker had the chance to have a panoramic view of the whole city and even Mt. Fuji from the top of the Landmarktower.
Graffity Art Workshop
Sunday, November 5th, marked the big final of the trip of Mr. Becker, and at the same time the beginning of the artist exchange between the two partner cities. In the morning he taught a group of 20 students the technique of spraying and had them work out a concept as a group to spray on big wooden boards later. When the simultaneous workshop of Sony Digital Arts, under the lead of VR artist Ms. Kasumi Yoshida, was over, the participants joined the graffiti-group and got in touch with spray paint as well.
Despite the brief time, the students mastered the technique of spraying and in the end, both groups proudly presented beautiful and interesting artworks.
The first hurdle was cleared to everyone’s contentment and the real final followed on the campus of the University. Many came to see Mr. Becker finish the wall painting and admired his talent. The motto of the painting and under which the students developed their concepts, signaled the peak of perfection: “Don’t bury your dreams, put them to reality“.
Future Hopes & Inspiration
Apart from the wish, that the painting should be nice to look at, Justus Becker had a message to convey to the students. His sincere hope is, that the students may follow the motto and always believe in themselves and their talents. They shall become open-minded persons who, in the future, will foster the international relationships and treat every person with respect, regardless the origin. This hope does not only apply to the students but for every beholder. And should there be someone among them who was inspired by the artwork to try spray colors themselves, Mr. Becker would be very delighted.
The beginning of this new artist exchange between Yokohama and Frankfurt was very successful and it was an immense pleasure to see the artwork develop until its completion. Thanks to the candor of Mr. Becker and the leaders of the University, there even might be more joint projects to come. Whatever the case, in 2018 Frankfurt will welcome an artist from Yokohama, to continue this fruitful exchange.