We began working with Tokyo Bar in March of 2017 when new owners (the guys behind the brilliant Alvinos) took over one of Newcastle's favourite, yet majorly run down night spots and wanted to give it a full relaunch. Initially coming on board to work on the rebrand, we then worked with them for the rest of 2017 on a selection of incredible interior art murals and installations.
When you walk through the front doors into the bar you're greeted by an incredible installation on the ceiling by Bristol based Chris Malbon aka Melbs, 7 huge, lightboxes with Melb's instantly recognizable hand drawn artwork on, featuring a incredible amount of highly detailed Japanese related content, from the most obscure mythological references to classic pop culture imagery we all grew up on. You'll often find people stood under this artwork, drink in hand, head 90 degrees staring at this installation.
Next up, once you've ordered one of Tokyo's famous cocktails, or one of there Japanese whisky's you'll walk past the bar to the gorgeous red suede sofa's and spot the slick laser cut perspex "I Love Tokyo" sign, created by Portuguese artist André Beato , and manufactured by Newcastle's Raskal studio.
Just past that you'll be ready to let your eyes absorb in the crazyness that is Phildelphia artist Chris B.Murray's contribution to the project, the huge lightbox windows looking into fictional Tokyo environments, the first window, you've a traditional view of Tokyo, take a peek out of the second window and you can look around modern day Tokyo, and finally, the third and final window is a window into the future. We guarantee you'll spot something new every time you look out of these windows!
Once you're done with our glowing windows into Tokyo, you'll be ready to check out the epic spray painted mural by Oxford based Philth. Featuring a selection of over sized Japanese floral illustrations in a colour pallet that compliments the downstairs room, but also jumps out on it's own. Little hidden detail in the mural is a 3D Tokyo logo that's camouflaged into the back wall.
That's not it though for Philth's painting skills, as you leave the darkness of the downstairs bar and head up to the bright and light steel and glass staircase, you'll spot a giant cherry blossom tree that's been painted as though it's grown into that space. Follow that up the stairs from it's roots to the tree top and you'll then enter the upstairs bar, where once you've visited the bar and treated yourself to one of the selection of craft beers they've carefully chosen to stock, you'll spot (for now) our final piece of curated art, the mad lightbox installation, Khoi carps by Spanish artists VanilaBCN, on first glance you'll see two swimming black and white khoi's but on closer inspection you'll see them formed from loads of classic Japanese elements, like geisha's, dragons, samurai swords and lots more!
If the description wasn't enough, click the video we've had created by the always brilliant Rick Nunn, which is up first to have a walk through and see the space for yourselves!
All photography also by Rick Nunn