Amerikamura was not always the hip place it is now. In the 1960’s, it was known as a very low-profile part of town with warehouses and parking lots, quiet with one park for children in the center.
It was only ten years later when a cafe’ called LOOP opened, run by interior designer Mariko Higiri, did the area start to gain popularity. Becoming a hub for designers and creative people, the warehouses slowly became shops for vintage items and records. When the ‘80s started to roll around, the influences from the United States was apparent in the style and street
fashion. Not only were items and clothes imported from different parts of the states, but media and art also seeped in. The area became known as “Amerikamura” (American Village). After Amerikamura was introduced nationwide, it started to be recognized as a mecca for the youth over seas as well. Big stores and brands opened up in the neighborhood and the number of shops
increased ten fold within a ten year period. Designers, fashionistas, and artists flocked to the area.
The lamp posts
With the area now holding the reputation as “a town for young people”, the community is continuing to grow and attract young creators to inspire others to open their own shops, be involved in live events, or begin art projects. The Lamp Posts of Amemura Art is one of such projects. Starting in 2013 with only five artists work shown, the posts grew to 50 in 2015. We would like to introduce two incredible artists that currently have their art in Amerikamura.
With strong influences from his surfing environment and the natural world around him, Iki creates drawings and illustrations that will make you forget about the hustle and bustle of busy city life. He started traveling to various countries and discovered drawing along the way. His style is simple and uses that minimalism to convey his message and philosophy. While he doesn’t display his art often in Japan, you can see his work in exhibitions in New York, California, Hawaii, Mexico, and Australia.
Discovering his love for art at a young age, he developed a character and a style over years and years of designing. His playful art has been no secret to Osaka. You can find him on most nights in the Shinsaibashi-suji shopping street, creating art for tourists until late hours. He believes that once artists develop their technique and expression, the effort they put into it will be felt by others. “It is the same as giving someone a heart-felt present on their birthday. You automatically know how much thought went into the gift/product.”
By Life in Kansai