Childhood, Calm & Punk was established in 2020 - Berlin, Germany. Now based in Tokyo, Japan. Pursuing the art direction of "comic abstraction", "radical surrealism" & the "altered state", C.C.P. curates & collaborates to exhibit art shows around the globe. Inviting a thrilling & intriguing mix of international artists to present their vision on global creativity. Focussed to be a multidimensional art space, C.C.P diversifies itself into various shapes of creative expressions: The C.C.P apparel brand, C.C.P publications, exhibitions & various other cultural aspects. Their first collection is in collaboration with Ken Russell AKA Gasius, Leomi Sadler, Antoine Leisure, Braindeads Ed Davis & BIEN.
Hi guys. How's life treating you?
It has been super exciting the last months since we founded C.C.P. in October 2020. We have been working on various projects (Two Exhibitions (Russell Maurice & Kenichiro Mizuno and Ed Davis x BIEN, The C.C.P. publications, the C.C.P. capsule collection that just launched at Domicile, Tokyo, A special CCP Vinyl Record Project and the next exhibitions / collections). All happening pretty much simultaneously, it’s been very challenging but a great experience.
What are you up to today?
Getting our heads together for the upcoming projects, we will be running C.C.P. from Tokyo & Berlin. Working towards doing projects in Japan and Europe, and eventually other parts in the world. It is gonna be really exciting for both of us working on various projects, getting new experience, involving artists & other collaborators within these new projects.
So you started CCP in 2020 correct? How did it come about and who's behind it?
C.C.P. was founded in late 2020, despite the apocalyptic age where Sci-Fi got to be real real, we wanted to keep creating - The minds behind are Noriyuki Abe (Tokyo) & Alexander Kai Einetter (Berlin). We both met in Tokyo - We shared some really really great common friends, so once Nori moved to Berlin, we met up and exchanged our ideas about the future. It was an instant match and we moved on from there.. getting closer, aligning our vision and putting in the work to make it come true.
CCP stands for Childhood, Calm & Punk right? Can you explain the name?
Nori has been working for Gas As I/F (Creative Agency & Publisher of GASBOOK) and Calm & Punk Gallery Tokyo for over a decade, while I (Alexander) have been up to various things, almost couldn't see it all coming together till recently :) Been spending some time as a Chef, curating Record Labels (Childhood intelligence, O Mato Recordings, & some others..), Apparel brand work & study in Amsterdam & South Africa for a streetwear brand. Basically moving curiously towards any kind of creative expression.
So C.C.P. aka Childhood, Calm & Punk is a homage to our past, projects that heavily influenced our lives, that brought us on the path to arrive here today. We wanted to fuse our vision in one name, we really like the idea that each word represents its own meaning.
You started in Berlin. How did the move to Tokyo come about?
All connected to this global sci-fi event, at that time Berlin had not that many opportunities - we have been trying to rent spaces for a gallery there.. somehow it wasn’t meant to be that time, Covid really suffocated the Berlin culture. On the other hand, Tokyo opened doors for us, so we took the chance and moved here. Now new possibilities are rising in Europe. We hope to make C.C.P. a global multidimensional art project that challenges itself, works out exciting things just about anywhere where there are fellow like minded creative people and a fitting base to manifest our vision together.
You've just exhibited work from some amazing artists like Gasius, Leomi Sadler, Ed Davis (Braindead). How did that go?
We curated two shows. Calm and Punk Gallery had a full schedule for the year. When we came here we tried to add some shows to that, curated by C.C.P. The “ALTERED STATE” was held in OIL @ Parco, Shibuya - an art Gallery run by Bijutsutecho Magazine. The No. 1 contemporary art magazine in Japan. The exhibition showcased the first collaboration between Russell Maurice (Gasius) & Kenichiro Mizuno.
“Although Mizuno and Maurice have very different origins, they share a homogenous fascination towards animation and manga-like visual language; their work can be described as a representation of the comic abstraction genre. In the body of works, multiple themes converge into a surreal melting pot of Comic Abstraction: physicality, form and changing-form, science fiction and nature, humans, creatures and insects and all that lies in-between, and … of course an Altered State or two. ”
The 2nd and our first solo exhibition as C.C.P. was with Ed Davis & BIEN. The “Mystery Plants'' exhibition was very special to us and the beginning of a new journey.
Mystery Plants with Ed Davis and BIEN looked amazing. Can you explain a bit about the exhibition, their work and how that work has spilled over into the clothing?
"The “Mystery Plants” Exhibition was a duo exhibition by Ed Davis (BRAIN DEAD) and BIEN. Taking place at Domicile Tokyo from Friday 26th March until Sunday 11th April 2021. The exhibition featured 4 co-created print editions, unique overpainted pieces by BIEN, a mural drawn by BIEN & photographs by the duo, visualising some of the inspirational sources.
The creation of the prints on display began with BIEN sharing over 00 drawings and daily photographs with Ed Davis through C.C.P.. There was no dialogue between the two artists beyond the point of sharing material. There was trust. In the first conversation after the creation process; there was a clear red threat on both their initial feelings; Plants. In the statement of his current solo exhibition, BIEN writes: “In the days before fire was found, the only light source on the earth was the sun, and if everyone on the earth was living in the same world under the same light, then the scene I saw that day was probably the closest thing to the ancient times.”
Ed Davis made use of various motifs: insects, plants, toys, and aliens; connecting the ancient feeling of BIEN’s work to the “Present”, the “Ground” and the “Universe”. Each Being from a different place, time and dimension, all connected through BIEN x Ed Davis.”
The motifs, the art & composition of the prints have such strong energy, we felt it would be the most natural thing to print these on apparel and offer it to a slightly different crowd than the “art people”. Their collaboration has such a unique vibe, their work merging so seamlessly.. It was amazing to see how strongly it affected people & other visitors.
Russell (Gasius) and Kenichiros collaboration "Altered State" looks like it's inspired heavily by Manga and animation, the type of imagery that lends itself nicely to clothing. What is the "Altered State" and how do you think it shows itself in their work?
The “Altered State” can be described as “An Altered state of consciousness, sometimes called non-ordinary states, include various mental states in which the mind can be aware but is not in its usual wakeful condition, such as during hypnosis, meditation, hallucination, trance, and the dream stage.”
The ALTERED STATE has a direct connection to the now, Our lives before and after covid. An unexpected world changing event that transformed daily lives in various directions. The Zeitgeist basically transformed into the.
In terms of how we draw lines to the art exhibited, the ALTERED STATE describes a transformation from one state to another. Looking at both their works, the initial idea, or the elements shown, have resemblance with existing objects - while their art takes it to another state - keeping contexts partly alive, partly twisting it, always with a sensitive feeling of the artist's intention. The ALTERED STATE creates a certain freedom for objects to transcend their given meaning by making use of various elements, using the framework of animation/manga to create new worlds for the visitor to journey through.
Will you be looking to follow this collection up with regular, seasonal collections or will you keep it sporadic?
We are not intending to join the apparel world circles at this point. At the moment we are running this all by the two of us, with back-up by various eventual new team members. Our main focus is to keep delivering high quality, combining Art with other media that make sense at certain times. Therefore we want to enjoy the freedom to create in our own flow. We are very grateful to have found some new partners that are welcoming us with that system, one of them being you guys, big Arigato for that, as well as Goodhood (London), Sporadic (Berlin) & Domicile (Tokyo).
Currently this is the flow, till we establish the relationships & proper systems to move this to the future with the same eye for detail, quality, while assuring good relationships with everyone involved in C.C.P. curated works.
Are you looking to follow the same pattern going forward as far as exhibiting work and releasing items alongside it?
Things happen very organic & surprising anyways, we won't know what will come next next. We love the idea, curating through mixed media, there is really no limit to it. So while art is one of our main Focuses, film, animation, apparel, cooking.. all have a big appeal to us. We both come from different worlds, we see C.C.P. as a chance connect all these different creative branches into one, connecting & supporting creative culture.
My favourite items are the Flying Logo Puff Print Tees and Sweats by Gasius x Leomi Sadler. I believe you've carried this graphic over from a previous release? Will this graphic feature in all upcoming collections? I hope so!
The flying Car Leomi & Russell Logo combo carries a very special meaning to us. It's the start of it all. Nori has been fanatic about it since he first saw it in a Publication by Leomi and Russell & Leomi are both very important people to us, we totally love them and their combo carries us all together in that flying car to the future. So we will keep it special for now, reviving it at times - putting it into new content. It defo will stay close to C.C.P.
What's next for CCP?
At the moment We are working on some very exciting projects, a show in London with some of our friends. Some projects for Berlin, as well as exhibitions in Japan. We are super open to travel the world with art, so we hope along the way we will find other collaborators with the same spirit and vision. Creating with good intentions, keeping a DIY state of mind and working without boundaries. Positively we look to the future, we believe lots of things are about to happen to this planet, we want to make a positive impact on it, while keeping our feet on the ground and walking step by step, doing what we can at this moment.
Also ...we wanted to share some things we digg:
Classic Fugees “The Score”, FISHMANS, Saada Bonaire, Rappin 4 Tay “Ain’t no Playa”, The Childhood Intelligence Mixtape’z, Jean Grae & 9th Wonder “Jeanius”, Heresy London Noise, Larry Heard’s Deja Vu (Musaria Mix), Bill Withers “Just The Two Of Us”, Letta Mbulu “Nomalizo”, Fleetwood Mac “Dreams”, Ken Boothe “Ain’t No Sunshine”, Yuri Tanaka “Plastic love”, Steve Miller Band “Fly Like An Eagle”, Raekwon “Still Strugglin” Dmx Krew & lots of Jazzzzzzz (Japan really being the place for it)
Movies, Animation & Documentaries:
Chungking Express & other Wong Kar Wai’s, Takeshi Kitano, The Gremlins, FLCL (Fooly Cooly), Ergo Proxy, “Wizards” by the King of Kings Ralph Bakhsi, Louis Theroux, Beautiful losers and a documentary by our friend Akimi Ota called “Kanarta” (he is running a crowdfunding if peeps wanna support).
Books & Publications: All Masanobu Fukuoka, The Catcher in The Rye, Hermann Hesse, Quentin Chambray’s new Zine, Dubuy & BIEN’s publication, Ed David “Artificial Artifact Vol.7”
Some of C.C.P. recommended Artist Squad: Lucas Dubuy, Shun Okada, Kenichi Miyazawa (agma), Mudwig, Mossa, Laura Jane Herman, Aki Yamamoto, Quentin Chambray, Leomi Sadler, Antoine Leisure & Uncle Horfee..
Thanks for your time.
Arigato, Dankeschön & Thanks for yours 2
Shop the full collection here.