Lynn Cosyn in her studio at the Youkobo Art Space in Tokyo
Photo: Lynn Cosyn
Lynn Cosyn’s first exhibition abroad, “Wild Calmness”, kicks off on 16 June in Tokyo. Delano caught up with the Luxembourg illustrator midway through her artist’s residency.
When Lynn Cosyn learned she had been selected as the 2018 artist-in-residence by the Luxembourg embassy in Tokyo, she immediately started learning basic Japanese and researching the neighbourhood she would be in during her stay at the Youkobo Art Space.
The art space has welcomed 280 international artists from 40 countries, including graffiti artist Sumo from Luxembourg.
Growing in her work
Cosyn gained local popularity for her Luxembourg City posters and her first exhibition, “Lynn’s Little Luxembourg”, in November 2017. She is now looking forward to showcasing her impressions of Tokyo through the “Wild Calmness” exhibition.
“For the first two weeks, I was travelling a lot throughout Tokyo, taking a lot of notes and sketches,” she says. “I realised there are a lot of contrasts here: some places may be crowded, but people seem to have such calm behaviour. The city is wild and dynamic, but there is a peaceful side to it.”
The exhibition will showcase Cosyn’s illustrations, which she drew from her surroundings while trying to “simplify my experiences into something charming, adding a touch of humour.” Cosyn has also declined client work through her normal business, Cosymore, during her stay so she can be “free to try new things and hopefully grow in what I do.”
The first part of the exhibition, open to the public, will be held in her studio which is large enough to transform into a makeshift gallery. A private exhibition and reception will also be held at the Luxembourg embassy in Tokyo; the exhibition at the embassy opens to the public on 25 and 26 June.
Feeling at home
Cosyn has been pleasantly surprised at how “nice and polite” the people in Japan are. She already felt welcomed, she says, by the Youkobo Art Space owners. She is surprised by just how large her residence and studio are. “I have a typical tatami room and roll the thin mattress up every day,” she says. “The interior is quite minimalistic, which in itself is inspiring.”
She adds that she feels very secure in Japan, “even as a woman taking the train at night. There’s no strange eye contact. You feel at home really quickly.”
The illustrator has enjoyed the nature and vegetation in Tokyo, particularly flower pots dotting the streets. But what has really stood out is the cleanliness: Lynn recalls witnessing a man accidentally spill some coffee from his to-go cup on the floor of a train station. “There were only a few drops, but he got a handkerchief from his wife to clean it up,” she says. “To me, it was really a sign of how much they take care of their environment.”