Street life: Cardboard house paintings from Japan

img japanese flag Japanese web site Cardboard-House-Painting has a set of galleries online with photographs of cardboard shelter paintings from people who lived on the street in Japan’s homeless city that was created around the Shinjuku Underground station’s in the mid-1990s.

…Hundreds of cardboard houses grew up in the underground passageways of the west exit. On each of these houses were paintings. Mysterious and magical, they threw vivid colors of resistance out into space, a kaleidoscope of derisive laughter against the state.

A group of painters painted them. Leading the group was Take Junichiro, who is also the person who created the Cardboard-House-Painting website. Once during the painting process Take was arrested and forced to spend 22 days in jail. The painting continued even after his arrest, but finally came to an end when the underground kingdom was destroyed in a huge fire.

After the fire, the authorities started reconstruction on the tunnels so that the homeless could never occupy them again. They succeeded in kicking the homeless out of the west exit underground….

The Cardboard-House-Painting website was created to call attention to the paintings on the cardboard houses, and …bring back to life the kingdom within a city that once was there but has now become nothing more than a phantom.

img card board painting

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