LY in Tokyo

Artist LY guides us through the places and spaces in Tokyo that have galvanised her practice - including some locations that are instantly recognisable in her latest works. Photography by Niko Wu.

2 min read

Imperial Place East Gardens ,Chiyoda

Planet Park, Hachioji

Ly used to work exclusively in black and white, but after a while felt it limited her drawing and expressiveness. It was an encounter with Planet Park skatepark that pushed her perspective on this, and encouraged her to introduce grey into her palette for the first time.

Planet Park

On her first visit to this skatepark, LY was struck by the way the concrete atmosphere reflected how she was feeling. She could more accurately express her worldview by incorporating its hues in her work. Grey became synonymous with hope. Skateboarding and the skatepark are now significant motifs in her practice.

Confused LUV at Planet Park

LY's first work using grey

Shinjuku Gyoen and Imperial Gardens East

Urban escapism is a strong influence on her work. These landscapes in particular are among LY's favourite places to walk.

Shinjuku Gyoen, Shinjuku

Imperial Place East Gardens, Chiyoda


The restaurant scene in Tokyo appears in many of LY's paintings, and she picks out the contemporary iki EXPRESSO as her favourite place to eat out in the city.

iki EXPRESSO, Tokiwa

Confused LUV waiting outside

Tokyo National Museum and The National Museum of Western Art, Ueno

Ueno is home to cultural institutions such as zoos and museums. When LY was a child, she would visit the area with her family to see the art and paintings, and sketch her favourite animals at the zoo. The first impressions of her artistic career were made in this culturally vibrant district.

Tokyo National Museum

Tokyo National Museum

More works from LY to discover



Subscribe to the Avant Arte newsletter for the art world in your inbox.

By continuing, you’re agreeing to our terms & conditions and privacy policy.