Brian Kennedy (@sewp)

Brian Kennedy (@sewp)


December 23, 2018

Words by Brian Kennedy

Photography by Brian Kennedy

Tokyo: The horse in the entrance of Club Ren. Yakuza Karaoke. Only ended up here because I got thrown out of a host club.

TTTism is proud to present a photo series by multi-modal artist and tattooist Brian Kennedy, who tattoos under the moniker “sewp” (@sewp). The series—a collection of film photographs which balances the documentary impulse of the travelogue with creative and impactful abstraction—follows Kennedy’s extensive sojourn to Japan, Switzerland, Taiwan, and many other locations. Kennedy graciously provides commentary on each photograph and a short description of his artistic background.

My name is Brian Kennedy. I’m based mostly in Toronto but spend much of the year in London. I’ve been tattooing for almost three years.

I went to school for graphic design and illustration but I dropped out of both programs. School is not for me. I used to make a lot of music; I have an old Roland SP404 that I make beats on under the name “RATBATH.” I don’t find much time for that nowadays. I do a lot of graffiti still, but mostly tags and pieces. The long nights of drinking and fill-ins are behind me, I think.

I love writing as well, but drawing and tattooing consume most of my life—and I’m okay with that. I’m very grateful to be where I’m at. Recently, I’ve been moving into more large-scale work on canvas and wood. I’m down for whatever.

You can see more of Brian Kennedy’s photography on Instagram (@npsp35mm). Kennedy's tattooing can be seen on Instagram (@sewp) and online (

Tokyo: Endless signage in Shinjuku
Tokyo: Pachinko spot. Though this place looks like it would be quite dim and quiet, it actually sounded like a fucking plane taking off there. Manga Las Vegas. The animations on the machines almost gave me a seizure. I'm not epileptic.
Tokyo: Do not ever support owl cafés. These animals deserve to be in the wild where they belong. Fuck owl cafés.
Tokyo: Sashimi and Cigarettes.
Tokyo: This little dude didn't like me much. His hat needed a wash.
Hong Kong: The never-ending ocean of cramped accommodation.
Hong Kong: Double exposure full of flamingos in Kowloon Park.
London: Delph chugging away at Sang Bleu.
London: Letting the red soak in.
London: Fuck's goin' on out there?
Spain: Beauty in the Mediterranean.
Spain: Perfect contrast.
Prague: I'm pretty sure this was someone's home.
Toronto: My grandfather on the day of my grandmother's funeral.
Taipei: Street shop in Taipei.
Taipei: Fuck are you doin' on my property?
Taipei: You good bro?
Taipei: Receiving terrible news on a payphone shaped like a frog.
Florence: Neon sky.
Leeds: Sonn showing off his chest tattoo he got in the '80s for £14.
Leeds: Jesus was tight but you'd probably find more happiness with a good plastic surgeon.
Leeds: Rays glistening off this geezer's remaining hairs.
Switzerland: Fuckin' leaky dude posted up at Saint Noir (formerly Tattoo Harbor) in Basel.
Switzerland: Close up of this leaky fucker in Basel.
Switzerland: Bird-chase through the Alps.
Switzerland: A decent view from the top of Mt. Titlis.
Switzerland: The only chrome fill-ins in Engelberg
Berlin: Cris and Lugo chilling at 1928 Tattoo Club.
Hamburg: Creepin' at the layup.
Toronto: On today's episode of Sleeping in Inappropriate Places...