It's December and small flocks of young, creative-looking types are making their way to a shipyard in Osaka's Namura district. Tucked among an expanse of otherwise drab warehouses there is Creative Center Osaka, and tonight is "Hot Docks 2," an art and music spectacle.

Upon arrival, several things are soon worth noting. Admission is free, drinks are free, and there are Dutch artists painting alongside their Japanese peers on a 360-degree indoor wall. Pika, from the bands Afrirampo and Acid Mothers Temple, is drumming noisily in an adjacent room. Performance artist Taniuchi Ikko is pouring paint all over himself, and DJs are spinning mellow tunes in the main room. The event is an impressive testament to the diversity of the city's creative palate.

Among the organizers of the event, though, one individual in particular stands out. Dreadlocked and bespectacled, projecting digital illustrations on the wall at the center is Yasumichi Miura, known to most people here simply as "Colo."