Imagine dining surrounded by gangsta tattoo art. This is now possible in Aix-en-Provence, where patrons of a Japanese restaurant are surrounded by vast monochromatic motifs inspired by the Japanese Yakuza. The environment is a stylish feast for the senses. We may just forget to focus on our plates and get lost in the walls!
Now, the Yakuza are a notorious crime syndicate (gang would be an understatement), who are famous — among other, more unsavory things — for their beautiful and ornate tattoos. One of the many reasons for getting their whole body covered is that the dragons, koi fish and other motifs serve as “protection.” Besides, they clearly let others know where in society you belong.
Koi restaurant in the south of France was stunningly done, from walls to floors to ceiling, by architect Vincent Coste and graphic artist Claire Leina, who designed the art. Splashes of color like bright red steel chairs, natural elements like pale timber, as well as metallics contrast beautifully with the dramatic and somehow elegant black and white vibe. In the bathroom, the “tattoos” show up in burgundy.
We’re thinking the idea could be applied at home wallpaper depicting classic Japanese art motifs. Unless you can hire Coste!