Interview: Alvin Tan of PHUNK

How did it come about?
We’ve been admirers of Tanaami’s works ever since we were back in college, so when we got approached by our Japanese agent to work on a collaborative project with him, we were very excited. When we finally met Tanaami-san, we were amazed at the level of creative and conceptual synergy between both parties. There were a lot of corresponding elements and themes running through our respective visual iconography and vision of the universe. We both explore the themes of life-cycles like youth, decay, life and death.

Why specifically Tanaami?
We respect his passion and dedication to his work and ideology. He is a grand master of his own art and universe. His artistic and energy level, creative vision and understanding of his craft and inner world is truly out of this world. 

What was the working process was like?
Tanaami-san is a very open and radical artist to work with. We had the pleasure to visit his studio in Tokyo, where we got inspired by looking at his sketches, manga collection, odd memorabilia and posters. We simply had tea with him and chatted about our views on Japan, Singapore, comics, anime, history, art, food and everything else in-between. It was truly a natural process. Our conversations had to be translated, but we believe nothing was lost in translation!