Treat others well: a simple concept that is often misconstrued and tossed aside. Cue Love Your Neighbour, an exhibition held in Tokyo city, Japan, that sprung from a movement in Melbourne’s western suburbs. Curated by Melbourne native and one of the city’s most prolific artists, Doc-G, Love Your Neighbour paid homage to the creatives that inspire his work daily. We spoke to the man of the hour on the importance of being kind, why he chose Tokyo, and the completion of a goal he’s held since the tender age of 16.
How was your trip?
It was an experience. First time curating an event overseas, rolling with the crew twenty deep, the trip was just wild and definitely had its effects on me. As an individual and an artist, it was something to grow from.
Where did the concept for Love Your Neighbour spring from?
Love Your Neighbour originally was a paste-up project that some close homies and I decided to run in the western suburbs, displaying the simple message: Love is the only creative, redemptive, transforming power in the universe.
As the opportunity arose to display an exhibition in Tokyo, I wanted to bring it all together with something that is dear to my heart and a reflection of what we already do.
The concept pays homage to the biblical verse: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.’
The world needs more love in it and, more importantly, those living in it.
We were freely given love, so it’s our duty to freely spread love, not only in our own city and country but the world we are apart of: to all people from all walks of life.
Who was involved? How did you decide whose work you wanted to bring over?
First of all mad love and appreciation to the homie Senekt who helped organise the exhibition with the talented people at AMPcafe Koenji and BnA.
Conceptualising Love Your Neighbour in a gallery context was crucial to solidifying the concept. The exhibition showcased established artists next to emerging artists that had never or rarely exhibited work in a gallery. Showcasing the wide variety of mediums in the show depicts the range of talent our city has to offer. We placed photographers, illustrators, and painters, which are seen as more traditional mediums, right next to graffiti writers and a projectionist.
Choosing whose work would be in this exhibition was probably the easiest part of the whole process. I literally chose artists I love and admire most in Melbourne: which were all my homies. Supporting what’s happening in Melbourne and the various expressions of creativity that each artist displays are what’s going to put our city on the map.
I could probably write an in-depth description on each of the artists in this show about why I love them and their work. But their creativity always speaks for them.
Thank you to Sabrina from BnA, and my boys Noah Ichi, Koles, and Isaiah Morris who helped install all the artworks. Shouts out to the artists involved: Aki Yaguchi, Adrian Jung, DigableGoods, Doug Bennett, Isaiah Morris, JaDezz, Koles, Noah Ichi, Take Kosugi, Michael Danischewski, Jean-Paul McAllan, and Wilhelm Philipp.
What was it about Tokyo that drew you to put an event on?
Their art, design, fashion and general way of life inspired me from my first visit there, right after I finished high school, and I just kept going back.
Love Your Neighbour illustrates my respect and love for the culture in Japan and Tokyo city. Our goal with this exhibition was to create a lasting bridge and connection between the two creative scenes in our cities that we can build on for the future.
I know this has been really important to you since you were 16. How did it feel when it finally came to fruition?
I’m still in awe that it happened and that I was able to share this accomplishment with the people I love most in the world. Just scheming for what’s next after having a much needed break in Tokyo.
Are we going to be able to peep Love Your Neighbour back in Aus?
Time will tell.
Watch the exhibition unfold in the video and gallery above.
- Photography: Clara Mathiesen
- Photography: AMPcafe Koenji
- Videography: Abraham Fuentes