In celebration of the upcoming Grand Opening of Snow Peak’s HQ4 on NW 23rd Avenue in Portland, Oregon, we’re exploring different elements of the 15,000 square foot space in a multi-part blog series called Inside Snow Peak HQ4. Whether or not you’re able to join us for our grand opening festivities, we hope you enjoy learning more about the space that will serve as Snow Peak USA’s home base for years to come!The two-story mural visually welcomes each visitor and serves as a homage to Snow Peak’s origins in Niigata, Japan. Hand-drawn in pen and ink by Seattle artist Shogo Ota, the mural is a recreation of a beloved photo of Snow Peak Founder Yukio Yamai.
"My intention was to preserve the history of Snow Peak on the wall while maintaining a Japanese drawing style. It is important to take into consideration the architecture and interior of the space as a whole.
I feel that these details really help the mural feel like an organic part of the Snow Peak experience, not overwhelming the customer and team members. I actually scaled back the original weight of the mural in order to support a less busy, more calm atmosphere," explains Ota.In the photo, a young Yukio can be seen kneeling on the mountainside of Mt. Tanigawa, the most storied mountain in the Niigata Prefecture.
It was Yukio’s passion for mountaineering and the outdoors that ultimately led him to start the company that would become Snow Peak in 1958. The mural serves as a reminder of Snow Peak’s family heritage, and of the inspiration that can be found in the outdoors.
Watch the mural being drawn in real time with this timelapse of Shogo Ota’s process and a take an inside look at our new Portland Flagship store.