Shiro One's Pop Up at All City Legends

Written by Kurt Boone
Photos by Kurt Boone

Shiro One, the popular Japanese graffiti and street artist, exhibited some of her work at All City Legends with an opening reception on January 27, 2024.  I had a chance to briefly interview Shiro One about her art.  Below are edited excerpts from the interview.

KURT BOONE:  Can you tell me a little bit about how you got started as a graffiti and street artist?

SHIRO ONE:  So I started in 1998 in Japan.  I was a hip hop dancer and study music videos.  A lot of hip hop music videos had graffiti in the background.  I became interested in graffiti.  I was a Judo player and my body was so much injury I couldn’t dance and my passion went to graffiti.  Early on there was not much information on how to do graffiti in Japan.  So I experimented with other local graffiti artists in Japan with a variety of different caps on spray paint cans to develop my own painting style.

KURT:  How did you come up with the name Shiro One?

SHIRO:  Shiro means color white in Japanese.  No color on me.  Meaning she is original.  I also like the letters in SHIRO.

KURT:  You have travel around the world painting murals.  What are some of your favorite murals?

SHIRO:  I love the 2nd newest one which is 1 block from here.  I painted it before Christmas last year. I completed it in a day and half.  The title of this mural is “Hip Hop Is Sweet Science” because I have been painting 25 years.

KURT:  You have a popular character in many of your murals.  Who is she?

SHIRO:  Her name is Mimi.  Mimi, I have a special history with her because since I was little my family-my father had a job where he had to keep moving.  I had to go to many schools and I also had hearing problems.  I was very shy.  I think this is the reason I began to draw.  I was always drawing the

character.  Eventually the Mimi character became my imaginary friend.

KURT:  Tell me about your painting in this exhibition?

SHIRO:  I have 38 pieces including drawings.  Most of them were in storage for 10 years.  All City Legends contact me to exhibit them.  I also have stencil worked and clothing in the exhibition.  Fashion is my new passion.

Shiro One’s pop up at All City Legends is open through February 4 2024.