THE KNOT Artist Collaboration: Tote Bag Artist Profiles

Mar 08, 2021

At THE KNOT, we value our relationships with our artists. We are proud to announce that the Limited Edition Artist Tote Bags are finally here and can be purchased at our Online Store! Here, we introduce the four artists who we worked with and their diverse backgrounds.


■ Profile
Miya Kaneko
2017: Obtained a Ph.D. in Fine Art from the Graduate School of Fine Arts, Tama Art University
2018: ART IN THE OFFICE 2018 Award
2017: Tokyo Midtown Award 2017 Grand Prix
2017: Koganecho Area Management Center Residence Artist

□ Main Exhibitions
2020: Creative Railway Art in the Minatomirai Stations, Motomachi-Chukagai Station (Kanagawa)
2020: Koganecho Bazaar 2020 (Kanagawa)
2019: ‘Rokko Meets Art’ art walk 2019 (Hyogo)
2019: Nakanojo Biennale 2019, Kondo Park (Gunma)
2019:  Solo exhibition, Information Center – World Atlas Project in Gwangju (2019, Space Ppong, Gwangju).
And more

Kaneko san is also involved in an ongoing project to draw an invisible ‘portrait of the city’ from people’s memories.

Instagram @kanekomiya

■ About the Piece on the Tote
Title: Observed Undiscovered Asteroid_1 (35.441566, 139.625390)
Materials: ink on paper
Comments: The term “social distance”, which became household vocab during the various lockdowns around the world this year, has changed our daily lives in the community. At the same time that everyday conversations with friends were cut out, people started speaking to strangers. It was a social phenomenon that actually added color to society as a whole, without us realizing it at the time it started happening.

Further, with everyone being involved in web conferences and meeting online, you get to attend lectures and talks you would not otherwise get to see, as well as hear different things. I discovered that the tempo of the story or the speaker’s breathing brings a surprising amount of delicate information to light.

From these experiences, I reflected on the transformation due to COVID-19 of human-to-human communication, paying particular attention to the speaking voice. In one particular work, I exhibited in a glass-walled gallery facing a road. People who visited during the exhibition could call me and talk on the phone about places that were particularly important to them or that left a strong impression on them, and I imagined and drew a map based on that conversation. One of the drawings (which actually is part of a set) that came from one of these conversations was the one I have used on the tote.

But what is an ‘undiscovered asteroid’? The phrase started to play around in my head when I was walking alone in an unusually tranquil Yokohama during the lockdown, and I imagined how the city was changed. Without others around who would have usually been witnessing the same thing as me, I felt that the city was somehow so far away, as if it were an undiscovered asteroid that existed but could not be seen. I couldn’t share it with anyone.

Can a city be a city when if no one is looking at it? This project is an attempt to remind us of the image of our current location.

■ Thoughts on THE KNOT and the Collaboration With Us
Personally I love outings and travel, and know that hotels are really important as bases when doing so. When I was little I remember using a small stone as a kind of landmark in a place that was important to me. I hope this work acts as my stone did for me, a small memory of an important place.

■ Other Works

<< Invitation to the current location several light years away from an undiscovered asteroid >> Creative Railway Art in the Minatomirai Stations, Motomachi-Chukagai Station (Kanagawa) 2020. Photo by Ujin Matsuo

<< Undiscovered Asteroid Observatory >> Production Scene Koganecho Bazaar 2020 (Kanagawa) 2020.
Photo by Yasuyuki Kasagi

THE KNOT TOKYO Shinjuku Tote Bag

■ Profile
Hokuto Ichibayashi
Born in 1992, Ishikawa prefecture. Graduated from Kyoto Seika University with a major in Japanese painting. After graduating, I continued to create Japanese paintings but moved away from using natural materials as I was taught at university, and explored more artificial materials (acrylic paints, etc.) and fluorescent colors. I changed my style to express it in my own color.

One of the main reasons I changed my style, was that when I went to sketch a natural object with natural materials, I kept finding that the image on an LCD screen was better and more beautiful than what I had seen with my own eyes, and I couldn’t capture it well enough. It led me to adapt from the days when we were surrounded by natural objects, to this present world which is now cluttered with artificial objects. People like me who are born in this age of digital transition feel the aesthetic sense of artificial objects, and I was compelled to try something new.

In addition, there have been more opportunities to shirt from natural motifs to artificial ones, and I this had led me to be more interested in social, historical, and secular motif styles.

Currently, the paintings I mainly work on are social and historical. Many of them have a satirical angle, especially the bird’s-eye view screen that shows tiny details of a game that I played in my childhood (the original game had a bird’s-eye view and distorted perspective that was apparently inspired by classical paintings).

2020.8: Group exhibition “Input/Output” at Tsutaya Bookstore. Ginza, Tokyo.
2019.10  – 2020.1: Solo exhibition “THE TOWER” at Fujii Daimaru. Shijo, Kyoto and Daitokai, Shibuya, Tokyo
2019.4: Group Exhibition “People and Landscape” at The blank gallery. Harajuku, Tokyo.
2018.11: Solo exhibition ”melee close in” at ANAGRA. Hanzomon, Tokyo.
2018.10: Group Exhibition ”memento mori” at L’illustre Galerie LE MONDE. Harajuku, Tokyo.
2018.6: Group Exhibition “EPIC PAINTERS vol.4” at The blank gallery. Harajuku, Tokyo.
2018.2: Group exhibition “Young Man’s” at kara-S. Shijo, Kyoto.
2017.7: Solo exhibition “FIGHTER” at ARGUMENT GALLERY. Kichijoji, Tokyo.

Instagram @hokuto_ichibayashi

■ About the Piece on the Tote 
Title: Yabusame (a type of Japanese mounted archery)
Materials: digital media
Comments: The theme of the work is a combination of Japanese beauty and the city of Shinjuku. I thought that the expression of the morning sunrise would emphasize the notion of Japan, and I depicted Nasu no Yoichi, a famous samurai, aiming for the target of the unseen Japanese flag.

■ Other Works

Title: Confused by figurines
Media: Acrylic color, canvas
Size: 1050 × 780 (mm)


■ Profile
Yuya Suzuki
Born in Fukushima City in 1983. Graduated from Nihon University College of Art, Department of Fine Arts in 2007. In recent years, he has developed a drawing project called “archegraph study”, based on observations of the urban environment in cities in Asia and Europe. Received an overseas training grant from the Agency for Cultural Affairs, and from 2020 has been based in Germany.

Major exhibitions include “archegraph study_Berlin” (Migrant Bird space, Berlin, 2020), “Phantoms Agora” (Xiaolong Children’s Museum, Tainan, 2019), “Futuristic Allegory” (Migrant Bird Space, Beijing, 2019), “archegraph study_Tainan” (Absolute Space, Tainan, 2018), “archegraph study_Seoul” (salon cojica, Sapporo, 2017), “Assembly Nagoya 2016” (Nagoya Meiko District, 2016), Sapporo International Art Festival 2014 (500m Museum, Sapporo, 2014), “Becoming Undone” (Kleiner salon, Berlin, 2014) “Jeune Creation 2013” (Saint Quatre, Paris), and more.

Instagram @uyasuzuki

■ About the Piece on the Tote
Title: archegraph study_Berlin
Materials: Colored pencils, paper
Comments: The image printed on the back was originally an abstraction of the fragmentary elements of the cityscape. By printing this image on a bag, the image once extracted from reality, now circulates in that space and life once again. I created it with the idea of having it flow as a part of the cityscape.

■ Thoughts on THE KNOT and the Collaboration With Us
When I heard about the collaboration, I thought about a hotel I had stayed at in Taiwan who also collaborated with artists to make bags. My image of the hotel was formed alongside the image of the bag, which left a lasting positive impression. At that time, I felt that hotels and art seemed to not closely related, but that there might be some type of image that can connect them.

Art, like hotels, can shape experiences. Of course, art and hotels may not be similar, but I feel that there may be a surprising chemical reaction when products from seemingly completely different industries are combined. So in that sense, I thought this collaboration offered by THE KNOT was a really fresh idea.

■ Other Works


■ Profile
Yuki Tejima
Born in Hokkaido in 1989. Painter. After studying and producing techniques for classical Western painting, he moved to improvisational, drawing-like paintings. As an attempt to connect himself to the history and context of the land, he draws landscapes as the main subject.

Major exhibitions include: sanwacompany Art Award 2021, sanwacompany Tokyo Showroom; Shell Art Award 2020, The National Art Center, Tokyo; “Solo Exhibition: Hiroshima Sketch” (Gallery G, Hiroshima, 2020); “specimen (s)” (EUKARYOTE, Tokyo, 2019); “VOCA Exhibition 2019: Perspectives on Contemporary Art-Writers on a New Plane” (Ueno Royal Museum, 2019); “Solo Exhibition: Landscape and sky” (7T Gallery, Daegu, Korea, 2018); and more. Also directed “Tamiki Hara -Slightly Aching Star-” (Gallery Crossing 611, Hiroshima, 2018). Currently living in Hiroshima. 

Instagram @yukitejima_art

■ About the Piece on the Tote
Title: AID#25
Materials: oil paints, canvas
Comments: “AID” is a series of works that reproduces images I sketched with a smartphone drawing app, using paint. This particular work is a bird’s-eye view of Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. Since the war, Hiroshima has been depicted by numerous local painters in numerous different ways, so I tried to redraw it in my own way, but while also thinking about this fact.

■ Thoughts on THE KNOT and the Collaboration With Us
Branding that makes the most of the culture and characteristics of each city, such as THE KNOT has done in Sapporo, Tokyo, Yokohama, and Hiroshima, makes the hotel a very attractive place. Even though I am making works based on Hiroshima, I was very happy to work with a place that has a concept like THE KNOT. Even though it has just opened here, I know they are already actively collaborating with other various local artists, and I am very much looking forward to watching it develop.

■ Other Works

Sales are scheduled to start soon.
Updates will be posted on THE KNOT’s Facebook and Instagram so keep an eye out!

The story of the THE KNOT original mask, and the reason for collaborating with Araiseni ☞ Details
Click here for mask campaign ☞ Details