The houses designed by Arthur Ortega spread a special charm. They are gray. The plaster crumbles. Tangled power lines and rusty gutters run along the walls. Dirty advertisements with Japanese characters are hung on electrical poles and house facades. Arthur Ortega illustrates Japanese architecture. But instead of the flair of the modern city, with which one likes to associate Japan, he is fascinated by old rusty houses.
The 24-year-old Brazilian has never been to Japan before. But his enthusiasm for the country is more than ten years old. "As funny as it sounds, it was the movie The fast and the dangerous: drifting from Tokyowho made me fall in love with Japan, "he says.At the age of eleven, he saw the movie for the first time." I remember that everything impressed me about Tokyo: the many lights, overcrowded buildings, crowded squares. "
He started drawing in 2016 only really. Before his trip to Los Angeles in the United States, his girlfriend offered him a set of watercolors. In the United States, he begins to draw buildings in his sketchbook. At home in São Paulo, he looked for new motivations – and found him during a digital walk in Google Streetview through Tokyo. "I noticed all the old houses so unique, so dirty and so steeped in history, so I tried to draw them," says Arthur, who studied computer science.
In São Paulo, you can see everywhere traces of Japanese culture.
His hometown also influenced Arthur. In Brazil, with its population of 1.8 million, the largest Japanese community lives abroad, most in the state of São Paulo. In particular, the district of Liberdade is known as the epicenter of Japanese culture in Brazil. "In São Paulo, you can see everywhere traces of Japanese culture," says Arthur. "In Liberdade you can find Japanese architecture, cuisine and everything you can imagine, and Brazilian and Japanese culture mix with it."
Arthur's drawings are well received. He is already followed by more than 2,000 people on Instagram, even though he has just published 21 drawings. "I never thought my photos would interest anyone," Arthur says. "It surprised me to receive so much love and positive comments, it gave me a lot of confidence to continue." His dream: to travel to Japan and see the houses he draws live .