Work in progress shot of Cinta Vidal's mural for POW! WOW! Japan 2016. @Cinta_Vidal
Kobe, Japan is alive with fresh paint thanks to artists working under the flag of the POW! WOW! street art festival. Cinta Vidal is one of nine painters introducing the southern Japanese port to mural culture. Half are from Japan's fledgeling legal mural scene, and half flew from all over the world to bring their unique style to the 1,800-year-old city. On day five of the week-long art-making frenzy, we're checking in with Vidal on Facebook Live, which you can tune into here.
Vidal has traveled from Cardedeu, a small town outside Barcelona, to bring her architecture-inspired murals to Kobe. Her venue is a wall at the Canadian Academy, an international school in Kobe's Rokko Island neighborhood populated by a mix of locals and the children of expatriates. Vidal's paintings are recognizable for their many conflicting planes of gravity. Different stories play out right next to each other without crossing into the same world.
Vidal paints a flock of ping pong paddles. Photo by Jenny Hart
Her latest is centered around two table tennis players magnetized to the bottom of a floating rock. Flipped upside-right, they could be on top of a cliff, but from Vidal's given perspective seem to be floating in space. Nearby there are similarly-floating clusters of houses facing every direction, a large tree, and another outcropping of rocks inhabited by scraggly shrubs. While her work often focuses on architecture, she brings in the great outdoors to contrast manmade stories with those that play out in nature.
As she paints, Vidal takes in the setting of the Japanese school. "Even though we're in Japan, I listen to the students as I paint and they all speak English to each other," she tells The Creators Project. "This mural is inspired by the ping pong table in the school's common area where all the kids hang out." Ping pong seems to be a universal language among the kids, bit also the artists at POW! WOW!, many of whom learned English as a second or third language.
As a resident of the area outside of Barcelona, Vidal's own first language is Catalan. She trained as a scenographer at the the theater Escola Massana in Barcelona, and developed her style during an apprenticeship at Taller de Escenografia Castells Planas in St. Agnès de Malasanyes. Now she does freelance illustration, sells her paintings online, makes backdrops for large scale theater productions, and continues to develop as a mural artist in the Estaquirots Crew, a collaboration with her friend Uriginal.
The Creators Project got an exclusive glimpse at Vidal's notebook, which sheds light on how she plans her mind-bending murals. Check it out below.
Follow Cinta Vidal here and purchase her work on her website.
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