David Blecken
Nov 10, 2016

How Shu Uemura painted Tokyo with help from Takashi Murakami

A lively video uses light painting technology to bring colour to the city in winter.

Globally acclaimed Japanese artists are still relatively rare, but Takashi Murakami is one of them. His flower motif is instantly recognisable and bridges the worlds of art and design, making it an attractive property for brands looking to give an instant ‘lift’ to a product.

To launch its holiday collection (a collaboration with Murakami), L’Oréal-owned cosmetics brand Shu Uemura worked with the artist to ‘wrap’ Tokyo with the design. A video produced using light painting and a tool called Pixelstick features a woman who ‘paints’ Tokyo, aided by a drone orb that spreads colourful digital ribbons around the cityscape after dark. As the behind-the-scenes video (below) explains, dancers used the Pixelstick as if it were a ribbon, with the digital images captured on camera as a trail of light through long-exposure photography.

Directed by Genki Ito and produced by JKD Collective, the short film features a cameo appearance from Murakami (as a taxi driver) and music by Yuri Habuka. 

Campaign’s view: The film is an imaginative application of technology that injects an element of fun into cosmetics that is often surprisingly absent in the sector. Murakami has collaborated with Shu Uemura in the past, and while his own brand ends up being the bigger of the two, Shu Uemura undoubtedly benefits through association.

Campaign Japan

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