Avant-garde skateboarder Gou Miyagi makes art on wheels

Arts Sports - December 31st, 2013
Gou-Miyagi

It’s snowboarding season, which might be a good thing. If you’re inspired to try some of this Osaka-based skater’s moves, it wouldn’t be bad have some powder available to break your fall.

Gou Miyagi, a 35-year-old who hails from Okinawa, may never be a heavily sponsored megastar in the skating world, but he’d probably be OK with that. He’s a skater who has taken his sport up to another level. As he explained in an interview in 2013, “It’s an art, not a sport: a way of expressing something that I can’t anywhere else . . . I like the creative, rebellious spirit of street skateboarding—it’s not about scoring points or showing off tricks. Other skateboarders of my generation say this, too. But I seem to be the only one going through with it.”

As you can see, a lot of Miyagi’s brilliance—and humor—comes from what he does off the board as he does while he’s on it. Or in a shopping cart. Or doing some gentle political protest.

YouTube being YouTube, some commenters don’t quite get it, of course. They just want the big tricks, or they think what he’s doing is too easy. It reminds us a bit of what some folks might say when they see abstract art in a museum: “I could do that!”

But as it is with the art, and Gou Miyagi’s moves:

  1. But you didn’t do it.
  2. It’s harder than it looks.
  3. Go out there and give it a try!

Enjoy, and like we said, be careful if you decide to hit the streets. The pavement can be unforgiving.

Here’s the first clip that put him on the map a few years ago:

Image: Screengrab