Interview with Street Artist TwoOne

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With a strong presence in the streets of Melbourne, Japanese born Hiroyasu Tsuri has been stroking his signature artwork on the buildings of Melbourne for almost a decade under the name of TWOONE.

Having graduated with a diploma of Visual Art New Media from Swinburne TAFE he has now been around the world painting, sculpting and even partaking in live performances. It’s evident Hiroyasu lives and breathes this passion which is why Barkly Square have commissioned him to create an amazing piece in The Laneway, Barkly Square’s new entertainment and arts precinct.

Hiroyasu, your work is quite unique and consistent. Tell us about your background and how you started your career?

I’m originally from Japan and lived in Melbourne for 10 years up until recently when I moved to Berlin.  I started my career by painting walls outside with my friends but at that time painting on exterior walls and buildings wasn’t accepted so we just went out and asked for permission of the people who owned the building….or sometimes we’d still do it without their permission. From there some local artists recognised my work and started to invite me to group exhibitions. So I guess that was probably the beginning of my career in street art.

Talk us through the piece you have painted at Barkly Square and where your inspiration comes from?

I painted the giant owl in the woods. Since Brunswick is such a multicultural suburb an owl is a symbol of guidance and new beginning. I feel that this represents Brunswick’s character.

We understand you used to live and work in a warehouse in Collingwood. Where do you work from these days?

So now I live and work in a shared studio in Berlin which used to be an old print shop.

Take us through a typical day at work.

I wake up and get to the studio around 10am. From there I do whatever I want to do! Anything from painting, drawing, making sculptures with clay and scratching drawings onto Perspex. I normally spend the entire day in the studio and don’t finish until 7 or 8pm. To relax in my spare time, I paint or go for a drink with friends.

Are there any other local artists that you have collaborated with and if so, do you prefer to work alone or with others?

Yes! Having been in the street art community for over decade I have collaborated with numerous artists. Some artists I have worked with are Ghost Patrol, Scottie Neoh (aka Bonsai), REKA and Adnate. I don’t have a preference in working solo or collaborating, I enjoy them both!

What is the riskiest thing you’ve done?

I was painting a really high building in Hong Kong. The wall was actually a rock climbing wall so we had to learn how to abseil down the side of the building and paint only being held up by rope all the while trying not to drop the paint cans onto the kids playing beneath us.  

How often are you out on the street compared to being captivated in your studio?

I spend my time half in the studio and half outside on the street. I don’t have a preference, I get a lot out of both working indoors and outdoors.

For more information on TWOONE please visit wwwtwooneelephant.com