calligraphy

USUGROW

(Japan)

Usugrow began his own artistic activity by creating flyers in underground punk and hard core music scene in early 90's. Since then, he has been involved in various album cover designs for bands and musicians regardless of genre, art directions and merchandises, and also collaborating with lots of skateboarding brands and fashion brands.

Usugrow expanded the range of his activity and done several solo exhibition at art galleries in Japan and overseas since 2005, and published his first monograph. In addition to his solo exhibition, he has been curating the group exhibition and book projects with Japanese artists since 2009.

He currently works on mainly illustration, painting and calligraphy as well as live painting, collaboration project with other artists and three-dimensional artwork.

Watch this video:


RETNA

(1979, Los Angeles, US)

RETNA (Marquis Lewis) is a contemporary artist, primarily recognized for graffiti art. He was born and raised in Los Angeles, and started his career in the early 1990s. 

He cites eclectic artistic influences, such as illuminated manuscripts, Renaissance imagery, and contemporary text-based art. Religious architecture and décor have long been a focus of his. He has mentioned Degas, Klimt, Basquiat,Haring and the Art Nouveau movement as historical references. Particular to his graffiti writing, Saber and David Choeare cited as influences, among others.

Retna has developed a constructed script which he uses in much of his work. Each block of text is a system of hieroglyphs, calligraphy and illuminated script that has been influenced by Arabic calligraphy, Egyptian hieroglyphs,Hebrew, Blackletter, and Native American typographies. Retna's script communicates personal messages and poetry which are not immediately decipherable to a pedestrian audience.

Watch this video interview by MOCA:


KAMI

(1999)

Known for their large murals and installations that draw upon their personal inspirations, Kami and Sasu collaborate to build stunning iconographies. Drawing from traditional Japanese Calligraphy and sprawling patterns, they create new sensual forms in bold colors that represent their signature style. As a duo, their work is recognized by Kami’s strong line work and Sasu’s distinctive patterns.

Watch this video of Hitotzuki by Giant Robot: