Creation Incarnate: The Intuitive Process of Bryan Iguchi October 02 2014, 0 Comments « Back to Blog

Words by Colin Wiseman, frequencyTSJ. Photos by Andrew Miller

SoCal to Jackson Hole. It’s not a typical migratory pattern for a snowboarder. Especially one who grew up in Los Angeles and came up at Big Bear in the late 80s and early 90s like Bryan Iguchi. Indeed, Iguchi started riding at a time when jib-centrism was taking over the sport, when big mountain pursuits were hardly a blip on the radar of the skate-influenced snowboarding boom. 


The 2014/15 Asymbol x Union collab bindings, designed by Bryan Iguchi

Iguchi was, no doubt, at the forefront of that freestyle scene for a few years. A pro skateboarder at 13, he started snowboarding at 15 and did the whole park rat thing through his late teens and early 20s. But it was also there at Big Bear that he met Asymbol co-founder Mike Parillo, who, at the time, was living in a tent in the woods and sharing rakes and shovels with Iguchi on the Big Bear park crew. They connected through artistic pursuits.

“When I was young, I was always drawing and doodling,” Iguchi says. “But when I met Mike Parillo I started painting.”

While Iguchi wouldn’t be known as an artist for a few more years, his exploratory tendencies were already leading him beyond well-groomed features as a conduit for creative snowboarding. 

“I had this realization that I was a professional snowboarder but I didn’t really know anything about the mountains,” Iguchi says. “It was when I was filming for Volcom’s [1994] ‘The Garden’—I realized that there’s endless terrain, but you have to learn how to access it safely. I wanted to learn about the mountains and riding in the backcountry. I saw Jackson as a place I could do that.”

So off he went. It took a couple years before Iguchi dropped anchor permanently, but he was immediately entranced by the small community vibe and endless terrain. “Everything that I wanted was here,” Iguchi says. “I was finding this satisfaction every year and just getting really inspired to snowboard.”

Fast forward almost two decades and Iguchi still calls Jackson home. He is still a pro snowboarder at age 41—his media presence seems to have increased in the past couple years, in fact—and serves as something of a backcountry mentor to young riders. He is raising a family there with his wife, Lily, and their two sons Mylo (age 5) and Silas (2 in December) and continuing to find new lines, new sources of creative inspiration in the burly expanse of the Tetons and beyond.

“With snowboarding, the landscapes and natural world inspire my artwork,” Iguchi says, “just the light and the lines of nature, what exists in nature, I get to feel the most amazing compositions out there. I want to try to capture and remember that… when I’m splitboarding, laying a good skin-track that’s straight, efficient, to the point—it’s an art form that takes years. I’m constantly trying to improve my awareness of moving through the mountains and picking a clean line, and being as efficient and fluid as possible. Drawing lines and splitboarding is a connected kind of art form.”

Although Iguchi maintains that his art work is primarily a personal passion, it can regularly be seen and purchased via the product lines of his sponsors like Volcom, Electric and Bluebird, and, of course, through Asymbol. His most recent project, a newly-released collaboration between binding sponsor Union and Asymbol exemplifies his approach. 

“I wanted to do something that was symbolic of the strength and connection to your board,” Iguchi says of the binding. “I started thinking about it and I was fascinated by the buffalo, the spirit, what it represents. I thought it would be a good, iconic, traditional image—the buffalo jump. The buffalo jump is this old Native American hunting technique. The natives would run the buffalos off a cliff. There’s a famous photograph of these three buffalo going over the cliff with such good style—it’s kind of a haunting image, but graceful at the same time. So I went with that and used that for a symbol of strength to represent the connection from you to your board.”

Iguchi is the type who sees deeper connections and artistic tendencies in the interactions of humans with the land—in his case, through his pursuits as a snowboarder. 

“On my snowboard,” Iguchi explains, “when I’m trying to learn a new trick or riding a line, you get this thing that obsesses you. And you work towards your goal. I find that process of trying to make something happen, to make an idea become a reality in the artistic sense, a physical feeling much like snowboarding… Riding is obviously very physical and the art is more mental, but it’s that feeling that you get, the high that you get, you know?”

Snowboarding, art, the pursuit of that feeling—for Iguchi, it’s all connected. His art is an intuitive extension of his life—the process of creation incarnate. 

For an extended Q&A with Bryan Iguchi, head over to frequency The Snowboarder's Journal.

Check out the video of Guch at Asymbol's Jackson Hole gallery talking about the design of the new Asymbol x Union collab binding.