Seeing the same scene through different lenses was the focus of our first City 2 City piece. In our third installment, we explore creatives from completely different backgrounds, filtering the world around them through the same lens. Despite hailing from opposite ends of the planet, during their time together, Japanese BMX flatlander and designer of Tokyo-based label 430, Hiroshi Uehara, and German street artists Low Bros quickly discovered that they have a similar perspective on the landscapes that they call home. Though the physical act of BMX riding and the nuanced art of painting couldn’t be more different, both Hiroshi and Low Bros rely on a discerning eye to develop their surroundings — transforming a park or an abandoned building into the perfect riding line, inspiration for a new collection, or a detailed canvas or mural.
Furthering the dichotomy between them, the cities that Hiroshi and Low Bros each represent might as well be on different planets. Tokyo, with walls of neon signs, dense arrays of manicured building facades and orderly disorder, stands in stark contrast to the sprawl of Berlin and all of its abandoned buildings which have become a singular, massive canvas for graffiti and street artists from around the world. But even when all factors might point to Hiroshi and Low Bros simply not being on the same playing field whether because of their background, cultures or their crafts, the opposite was the case. The way they ingest the world, find inspiration in a new backdrop and have a curiosity to explore became common ground as they got to experience the stark contrast between each of their homes.
Watch the full part 3 of our City 2 City series above to see Hiroshi and the Low Bros on the move while visiting Hiroshi’s BMX crew in Tokyo’s Olympic Park and exploring the artist studios of Berlin’s Urban Spree collective in the New Balance 247 Sport. The sneaker is available now from sneaker boutiques worldwide, as well as the official New Balance web store. Then, be on the lookout for the final City 2 City episode next week.