Sub-Culture poster by Popy Oil – Screenprinted by Idle Beats
The Oilworks crew touched down in Shanghai yesterday and are more than ready to bring some seriously good music to The Shelter tonight. Along side sets from Olive Oil and DJ Zorzi, Popy Oil, who is also the designer of this month’s Sub-Culture poster, will be on visual controls. We caught up with Popy to ask him a few quick questions about his work.
Sub-Culture: First of all, please introduce yourself. How long have you been an artist? How did it start?
Popy Oil: I was born in 1980 in Tokunoshima, Japan. Currently, I live in Fukuoka, Japan. I started skating in 1994 and it sparked my interest in street culture. I started designing around 1998. In 2002, we started Oilworks, and that was when I began work as an artist.
SC: You and your brother, OliveOil, started Oil Works. Please can you tell us a bit more about Oil Works. Who is involved? What do you do?
PO: 2002: With my older brother Olive Oil who was DJing and producing music, I started doing design/filmmaking. If we wanted to show people our art, we had to start our own label and put on our own events. Now, DJ Zorzi is part of the production team and is in charge of distribution among other things. We have other staff members as well.We not only put out our own work, but also music by producers such as ichiro, BUN, and RLP. There are a total of about 32 musicians and visual artists that we will release on a compilation DVD. We do not limited ourselves to Fukuoka. We put on an event called Oilworks Technics in other regions such as Tokyo and Osaka. I am in charge of the design and art direction of these events. There are an increasing number of label/brands in Japan now.
Sub-Culture poster by Popy Oil – First layer
SC: What do you use to create your art work? Do you produce mainly canvases and digital work or do you also take your art to the streets?
PO: I use just about anything, but my main thing is my Mac. I am doing more work on canvas but the majority of my work is still digital.
SC: What was your inspiration behind the Sub-Culture poster? What is the image about?
PO: A little while ago, I started doing a series of illustrations based on children playing. Around that time, the Fukushima nuclear meltdown happened, and I tried to express what was going on in something other than in words. So I sort of “remixed” the children playing series. A different version of this image is used as the cover design of Olive Oil’s latest mix “HUMAN or HIGHer”.
SC: How is the art scene in Japan these days? Are there any other artists we should look out for?
PO: I think the art scene and artists in Japan are thriving right now, but I don’t think there are enough places and opportunities for artists to display their work yet. There are many artists that you should look at for. There are a lot more artists who are working independently now, and I think a lot of interesting work will come out of that.
SC: You also VJ. What software/hardware do you use? What should we expect from your performance at The Shelter?
PO: This time, I will use (KORG/Kaptivator) x (EDIROL/V4Mixer) x (MacBook/Pixplayer/Motion) x (Camera x1、2) x (KORG/ENTRANCER) + α for my live VJ set. You can look forward to a kind of jam session with Oilworks Sound.
As always, Popy’s Sub-Culture screenprint, along side past Sub-Culture posters, will be on sale at the back of the dancefloor tonight at the Idle Beats shop. Oilworks have also bought a whole bunch of stuff to sell (t-shirts, vinyl, cds, artwork) so make sure you bring down a bit of extra cash and go home with something nice 🙂