Yukinko Akira is a funky beats-master artist, skinny and frantic and one heck of a showman. He performs regularly at the fountains in Yoyogi Park, his own unique brand of frenetic dance moves, dance beat remixes, and exhilarating yawps and whoops, all the while constructing some dystopic work of art which he signs, rolls up into a poster case, and hands out for free to one lucky spectator at the end, with a wry smile and very polite manner.
Then he pauses, re-frames, and rocks right out again. What a guy.
Yukinko Akira puts a trance on you.
I’ve seen Yukinko several times before, probably always in Yoyogi though maybe I’ve seen him elsewhere. He always has a sizable crowd gawping,Â entranced by his bizarre but joyful display.
Slashing yellow lines across the work.
Adding details with one hand, remixing the beat with the other.
Yukinko is one of several public performers lucky and skilled enough to have the Tokyo government’s approval- granting him status as ‘Heaven Artist’. Heaven Artists have to pass multiple stringent interviews and trial performances, proving they bring some real cultural value to Tokyo’s public spaces. They have to have skills, time, and the inclination to seriously commit to their chosen art.
The finished work. Go! My Way!
There must be several, but I only know of one other Heaven Artist: I forget his name, but he plays a set of home-made xylophones and drums, along with all manner of percussive devices and jangling bells affixed to his wrists and ankles- making him a seated one-man band. What’s even better- all his gear fits into the panniers of the bike he rides to work, including multiple xylophone keys and 2 frames and more. He’s a great performer, when I next find him I’ll get shots of him.
Yukinko shows his rock style.
Folding up the art.
After he gives out the art, he steadies himself, then hops up into the air with a big yawp, ready to get on the next work.
Dropping to jump.
Apex of drop.
Apex of up.
Come down, exhale.
A second work.
And of course, no post featuring music and performance would be complete without a little video:
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