Campbell La Pun’s Tokyo Sea Change
Before embarking on his art career, Campbell La Pun used to work full time in the corporate world, insuring high-rise, high asset value buildings around Melbourne.
Like many artists, Campbell still made time for his creative side even while working a full time job, creating music for TV and short films on the side as well as playing in various bands.
However, in January 2013 he decided to dive headfirst into a whole other passion. “I remember thinking I was going to dedicate the first 4 weeks of the year to painting and see what happened.”
Almost five years later, Campbell is living in Japan as a highly successful artist.
“I have always been fascinated by Japanese culture,” says Campbell, “and thought it would be a great experience to live there, so I quit my job and moved [to Japan] in August 2013. My paintings had started selling in Australia so instead of trying to find a job in Japan I focused on painting, and eventually started exhibiting and selling work worldwide.”
Campbell’s fun and glamorous style is instantly recognisable. It’s no surprise his work has found a home with several high-profile celebrities known for those same qualities. “Mel B from Spice Girls has a couple of pieces now and Kylie Jenner has one too.”
Omg I’m speechless my partner in crime @heidiklum sent me all these colourful beautiful pieces,wowza yipppeeee,now I just can’t stop trying on your entire collect giirrllll,it makes me feel soooo happy inside,ahhhhh so I wanna say thank you thank you for that my lovely it’s made my day,Just what I needed!!#womenempoweringwomen #girlpower #singleparentsworkinghard #outwiththeoldinwiththenew BOOM @heidiklumintimates
Campbell’s unique style stems from his constant curiosity and willingness to explore. “Anything can become a source of inspiration,” he tells us. “I have always loved colours, which is where the Pop Art influence came from, and soon I started combining western and Japanese culture, fashion and street art too. People and conversations also inspire different elements of pieces. Everyone has a different journey and life experience that relates to some kind of imagery.”
The actual process of executing these concepts in Campbell’s signature style is a little less spontaneous.
“Each piece is first designed as stencils that are printed and cut by hand. Generally each colour is a different layer however occasionally multiple colours are painted using one stencil. Each stencil is aligned on a wood panel and painted using spray paint repeating this process until all colours have been painted on top of one another.”
Campbell’s advice to any artists who are stuck in a 9 to 5 lifestyle? “Try not to listen to everyone’s advice, just listen to the few that feel right. One of the few people I listen to recently told me ‘no challenge, no new discovery’.”
Below, take a look at Campbell’s work featured in this ad from Qantas, which tells the story of our whirlwind trip to Tokyo and how we pulled off a successful pop-up exhibition.