My street art journey started in the late ‘90s. I met my first stencil friend at a nightclub in the Meat Packing District, NYC. In the ‘90s the area was totally different to how it is now. It was a real butcher’s district – bloody, smelly and scary streets. There were small underground nightclubs; the space was banging full of young artists into the early hours. Hookers and dealers stood on the shady corners. It was the real ‘street’ and my favourite place to be – the perfect place for an art school student from Tokyo.
In a club one night a man grabbed my hand and told me that he wanted to show me something cool. It was pretty late. We stepped out from the loud music and took a little walk to a quiet block. He pointed out the stencil he had done on a wall. It was small, about letter-size, of a guy about to jump from the emergency door of an airplane. We kept walking around the neighbourhood to SoHo, and we checked out more pieces in the area. It was the first time that I had realized that there are great artists who leave fresh marks and pieces in the streets almost anonymously… COST, REVS, WK Interact, ESPO, Dan Witz, OBEY and BAST. It was tremendously eye-opening... I will never forget that night.