The beauty of calligraphy is in the energy behind each stroke, and presentations that show the movement of the brush illuminate one of the normally hidden aspects of this art. Mami, a Japanese calligraphy artist, realized this years ago, and performed in kimono as a form of tribute to the movement inherent in this tradition.
The idea of calligraphy performances came to her mind in an unexpected way: “I was really drawn to the way rappers and DJs can express themselves within the culture they want,” says Mami. “I wanted to do calligraphy, but I wanted to do it like them. Back then , live painting was just taking root in Japanese clubs, so I jumped on the wave. ”
The appeal of Hip Hop runs even deeper in her, as graffiti plays an important role in her style. “I have liked Hip Hop since I was 12 years old, and I always found the graffiti on CD covers fascinating. When I was 16, some graffiti would suddenly appear on the road between my house and my calligraphy class. So I was drawn to graffiti. ” remember Mommy. It wasn’t long before he began to draw a line between the two cultures, so to speak.
Mami is part of a global network of “calligraffiti” artists that bring together street art and calligraphy. Many of them, like her, developed their style individually, only to realize later that there was a global trend. A couple of years ago, the book entitled “The art of writing your name” tried to bring together the artists of this still diffuse current, and included Mami among its pages.
His interest started very early. “I started noticing that I could make other people happy with the images I made when I was just 4 years old,” he says. Before he was ten he was already practicing calligraphy, which was introduced by his parents and teachers. In college he studied the history of calligraphy.
Despite her love for the rebellious nature of hip hop and graffiti, Mami clearly shows an appreciation for tradition. When speaking of the subject, it is poetic: “Tradition is a tree. Its roots do not change, but its age rings multiply, its branches divide, and its leaves disperse. I would like my art to become part of that tree. ”