Donald McDonald in Shibuya, Tokyo. Photo: Nick West

Donald McDonald in Shibuya, Tokyo. Photo: Nick West

For street artists in Tokyo, the combination of strict property protection laws and the harsh penalties they carry when violated has produced a subculture of sticker bombing. Rather than spray painting or stencilling an image onto another’s property, by pasting a sticker on a wall, lamppost or vending machine, the street artist notably reduces the likelihood of being caught by the authorities.
Often character driven, sometimes political in content, and prone to subverting familiar figures or brands, independent sticker bombing in Tokyo emerged a few years ago. Clustered mainly in Shibuya and Harajuku – two districts synonymous with pop culture – here are some characters we’ve encountered recently:
281_Anti Nuke, 'Don't Trust Government', Omotesando, Tokyo. Photo/ Nick West

281_Anti Nuke, ‘Don’t Trust Government’, Omotesando, Tokyo. Photo/ Nick West

Smiling with spray cans in Shibuya, Tokyo. Photo: Nick West

Smiling with spray cans in Shibuya, Tokyo. Photo: Nick West

Cobras in Shibuya, Tokyo. Photo: Nick West

Three cobras, a pyramid and an eye in Shibuya, Tokyo. Photo: Nick West

An eye or a hood in Shibuya, Tokyo. Photo: Nick West

An eye or a hood in Shibuya, Tokyo. Photo: Nick West

Pinocchio in Shibuya, Tokyo. Photo: Nick West

Pinocchio in Shibuya, Tokyo. Photo: Nick West

A squid in Shibuya, Tokyo. Photo: Nick West

A squid in Shibuya, Tokyo. Photo: Nick West

Nola Nolee, Shibuya, Tokyo. Photo: Nick West

Nola Nolee, Shibuya, Tokyo. Photo: Nick West

A sticker in Shibuya, Tokyo. Photo: Nick West

A sticker in Shibuya, Tokyo. Photo: Nick West

Chaplin in Shibuya, Tokyo. Photo: Nick West

Chaplin in Shibuya, Tokyo. Photo: Nick West

Dan Schmatz in Shibuya, Tokyo. Photo: Nick West

Dan Schmatz in Shibuya, Tokyo. Photo: Nick West

Out of fashion, in Shibuya, Tokyo. Photo: Nick West

Out of fashion, in Shibuya, Tokyo. Photo: Nick West

A sticker (160cm tall) in Shibuya, Tokyo. Photo/ Nick West

This black and white sticker is about 160cm tall. Shibuya, Tokyo. Photo: Nick West

281_Anti Nuke, 'I hate rain' in Shibuya, Tokyo. Photo: Nick West

281_Anti Nuke, ‘I hate rain’ in Shibuya, Tokyo. Photo: Nick West

http://www.tokyoartbeat.com/tablog/entries.en/2013/08/sticker-bombing-tokyo.html
©Nick West 2016