Jun was raised in regional Kanagawa, where he studied traditional Japanese calligraphy, and where his grandfather, a Zen Monk, became a major influence on his philosophy and aesthetic vision. The solidity and grace of the forms in his paintings are evidence of the deeper philosophical foundation behind the gesture. Inoue has been creating since he was a boy. Highly influenced by American youth culture, including hip-hop music and fashion, his graffiti reflected this. It wasn’t until he studied art after high school that he began to identify with his Japanese roots and incorporate his culture into his art. At the time, Tokyo graffiti had become distinctively focused on sweeping movements and minimal abstract shapes. It was in this scene that Jun found the platform for his unique vision, adding to the vivid artistic dialogue that was buzzing across Tokyo’s streets and walls.
Jun is a key figure among current Tokyo street artists, and his work is a combination of two very different styles of art – shodo, traditional Japanese calligraphy, and raku-gaki, or graffiti. This mixture culminates in energetic, vivid and edgy pieces. By uniting the two styles, Jun has re-translated and revived traditional Japanese art to the younger Japanese population and to the western world.
Jun is a member of The 81 Bastards, a crew consisting of five Tokyo’s leading young painters, each representing a rebellious new wave of Japanese art, with a goal to redefine live performance painting. In the US, his art was used in Nike stores and on skateboards and sneakers. Most recently, it appeared in a collaborative range with Tokyo fashion designer Mihara Yasuhiro for Paris Fashion Week, where Jun also splattered the models before they walked the runway.