Nothing tells a story of one city as its Architecture. Even though Japan is super developed in many ways and modern buildings rise on every corner, old storefronts like these are real gems. When Mateusz Urbanowicz aka. Mattō moved to Tokio years ago he was surprised that he encountered so many old shops still in business. Earthquake wiped out a lot of downtown houses and shops all over Japan, but luckily in Tokyo they still survive. Mateusz studies included Electronic Engineering & Computer Graphics until he moved to Japan on a government scholarship to study animation and comics. This is where his artistic adventure truly starts. Tokio Storefront is just one of his amazing art series. This series of watercolor illustrations was created using reference photos from his explorations of this magnificent city.
I’m a visual artist working with multiple techniques from digital animation through gouache to watercolours. I like to try new things (one of the reasons why I live in Japan) and new ways of expression.
My inspiration comes from my surroundings. I try to always look around when I walk somewhere. To consciously observe. When I came to Tokyo from Kobe I was really surprised by the about of small, old stores still surviving between the new, gleaming, high-rise buildings. The feeling of a specific kind of nostalgia is present in those places which are well taken care of and loved. I wanted to translate this feelings I felt while walking the streets into my works.
This is a really fast technique, but allows me to put a lot of small detail in. The details are the thing which makes the buildings come alive.
Currently I’m working in a animation studio making a short animation, but later this year I plan to put more time into my own art, making more illustration series and an online comic also painted with watercolours.
Old Tokio Storefront, Fresh Perspective!
You might be into modern Japanese achitecture, and I get it. But you will have to aggre that old buildings like these tell a great story of the Japanese culture. Interested in owning some of these magical storefront illustrations? You can buy your own print on Society6. To never miss one of Mateusz’s inspiring works again check out his Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Beahance. Also, to check more of his amazing videos follow him on You Tube. Finally, I would like to invite you to share your thoughts on these Tokio storefronts in comment section bellow.
Visual content courtesy of Mateusz Urbanowicz