It’s rare to find commissioned street art in Japan, perhaps because of strict law enforcement towards anything construed as graffiti, but also because of a general avoidance of public displays of expression. But there are exceptions, and it’s certainly nice to see an exception so colorful. In Takatsuki City, Osaka a mural recently popped up depicting a vibrant Haniwa doll, a horse and a traditional home.
The mural was created by Kobe-based street artist DAAS and was commissioned by the Takatsuki Art Expo 2015. The Haniwa are terra-cotta clay figures which were made for ritual use and buried with the deceased as funerary objects during the Kofun period (3rd to 6th centuries AD). A large number of them were unearthed in Takatsuki and so this mural was designed to celebrate the area’s history.
“Often times, I will find inspiration by referencing the crease patterns found in origami, studying the variations of textures and hues in the layers of old aged walls around historic sites in Nara, Japan,” says the artist, speaking about his work. He goes on to explain that the sporadic colors are informed by road signs, neon lights, fashion and other sights in his environment.
The mural is located at the entrance of Takatsuki Center-gai.