Invader urban art in Tokyo

In some cases, urban art can justifiably be labeled as vandalism, but French practitioner Invader’s mosaics are firmly in the art camp. Or if not, they are certainly more fun.

Tokyo invader art

He ‘invaded’ Tokyo around a decade ago, leaving behind what appears to be a large number of his creations dotted around the city. Some of which have obviously disappeared. While others have been painted over. But a few have thankfully survived. A measly three of which I’ve managed to photograph.

Pieces that are sometimes fairly obvious.

Tokyo invader art

At other times not.

Tokyo invader art

But are always a pleasure to see.

Tokyo invader art


  1. says

    I had no idea this guy had a name, was french, and that he also did it in Tokyo! A few years back, when I was still living in Paris, I started to look for Monsieur Chat and that’s how I met those little street invaders for the first time ( Definitely the same person. The maps he made on his website are excellent, what a brilliant idea!

    Please look for Monsieur Chat as well, I heard that there was a few in Tokyo. Hopefully they haven’t been cleaned out yet.

    • says

      Interesting, I didn’t know about Monsieur Chat. Have to keep my out for them in Tokyo.

      Totally agree. Those maps are wonderful. Would really like to get my hands on one…

  2. winnie says

    Nice Pictures!!
    These mosaics are so cool!! And cute!! I must look around to take a picture with it! :)
    The lady in the last picture looked shocked!

    • says

      Cheers Jamie. I had to dash out when the lights changed and crouch down in front of the waiting cars. Hence the look from the fella I presume!

    • says

      Thanks Lizzy. I had a few other locations that I went to, but didn’t have any luck. Fingers crossed I’ll be more fortunate in the future though.

  3. Don says

    “Exit Through the Gift Shop” – though largely about Banksy and Mr. Brainwash – does have an interesting bit at the beginning that covers a little bit about Invader’s early years. Personally, I’ve always found work in this vein to be what I consider the more true ‘street art’ because of it’s uniqueness from piece to piece and in this case the ability to endure longer and the subtlety of placement.

    Love seeing the range of subjects you find in Tokyo, Lee! As always, thank you very much for sharing.

    • says

      Thanks Don. Glad you enjoyed it.

      That’s how I first became aware of him. Really enjoyed the early part of the film in particular when the likes of Invader were introduced. Like you said, there’s a real uniqueness to his stuff. A more ‘gentleness’ too if that makes any sense.

      I did find one of his mosaics that unfortunately had been painted over, but with this kind of stuff I guess that’s the way it goes. And part of the charm too in many ways.

  4. Matt says

    Great to see some photos of this. I too first heard of through the film. There were a couple of artists in it that almost made you want to join them. I have never had the fortune to see on out on the street though.

    • says

      Yeah, I know what you mean. I’ve been wanting to see some for ages, and then purely by chance I saw the one in the second photo. The other two I found locations for online.

  5. Jeffrey says

    Perhaps I’m too old or not “street” enough, but nothing quite pisses me off as much as graffiti, particularly when you see it on otherwise handsome buildings, occupied or not. It’s vandalism and property destruction plain and simple. And as many practitioners here in the States are teen males still living at home, you wonder how much they’d appreciate it if you “tagged” the houses or apartment buildings they lived in. It’s probably a given that their parents wouldn’t be too pleased.

    These, however, are delightful and look as if they actually belonging where they have been placed.

    • says

      Certain graffiti, in certain places, I really enjoy, but I’m with you on ‘tagging’.

      These are really a bit special though, aren’t they? Not only do they look like they belong, but they make people happy. Can’t ask for much more really.

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