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Brooklyn Street Art

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BSA Images of the Week 02.26.17 : Hong Kong Edition

Posted on March 25, 2017

BSA-Images-Week-Jan2015

This week BSA and Urban Nation (UN) are in Hong Kong for the 4th edition of HKwalls to capture a very international and local mix of artists in this East/West nexus; a world-class city for art and culture, English and Cantonese, hi-tech and traditional methods – all during the enormous Art Basel week. We’ll bring you the new walls, some previous pieces, some graffiti, stickers, and a whole lot of color from this fast moving and dynamic city on the Pearl River Delta of East Asia.



Certainly Hong Kong got a little richer this week – not that it needed it. Of course we mean richer in the sense that more artworks and appreciators have been coursing through the streets, the art fairs, galleries, the back alleys, roof top gardens and even a terrace or two. The most satisfying aspect of being a part of a worldwide grassroots people’s art movement like Street Art/Urban Art/graffiti is that you will always find someone you know along this continuum of practices.

Anyway, a particular thrill this week was seeing it on the street – and on the art-fair wall. Some times the same exact image. We didn’t actually hit any museums but we did see Swoon in the alleyway and represented by a gallery. Same with Cleon Patterson. We saw Vhils work in his studio and in Art Central fair – and you can also catch it on the side of the International Hong Kong School – and once in a while it is on a wall of plastered posters in the city. Os Gemeos at Art Basel is a great find, but we didn’t see any of their yellow fellows on the streets.

Thorny questions arise for some – by way of pointing out that when you catch an un-permissioned tiled Street Art piece by Invader on the wall in public here it is no more than an advertisement for the one at his gallery in the art fair, a sign of the final deleterious stages of a free-spirited untarnished proletariat art practice now corrupted by capitalists, sold out.

Yes, got it. Also, remember that since it’s earliest days, graffiti and Street Art have often been about fame and burning one’s name into the minds of many – why else would you sign your piece? You may even use your name as the art itself.

Additionally you can see a fresh Swoon for no money at all in the street. At the art fairs or museums, not so much.

Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring: Barlo, Cat Time, Cleon Paterson, Crafty Cow, Faust, Invader, Jimmy Paint, MSK, Rublut, Shepard Fairey, and Swoon.

Top image: Swoon. Hong Kong. March 2017. HKwalls/Art Basel 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Cleon Paterson. Hong Kong. March 2017. HKwalls/Art Basel 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Barlo. Hong Kong. March 2017. HKwalls/Art Basel 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

MSK. Hong Kong. March 2017. HKwalls/Art Basel 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Shepard Fairey. Hong Kong. March 2017. HKwalls/Art Basel 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Invader. Hong Kong. March 2017. HKwalls/Art Basel 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Invader. Hong Kong. March 2017. HKwalls/Art Basel 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Jimmy Paint. Hong Kong. March 2017. HKwalls/Art Basel 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Faust. Hong Kong. March 2017. HKwalls/Art Basel 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Rublut. Hong Kong. March 2017. HKwalls/Art Basel 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Crafty Cow. Hong Kong. March 2017. HKwalls/Art Basel 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Crafty Cow. Hong Kong. March 2017. HKwalls/Art Basel 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Cat Time. Hong Kong. March 2017. HKwalls/Art Basel 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified Artist. Hong Kong. March 2017. HKwalls/Art Basel 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified Artist. Hong Kong. March 2017. HKwalls/Art Basel 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified Artist. Hong Kong. March 2017. HKwalls/Art Basel 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified Artist. Hong Kong. March 2017. HKwalls/Art Basel 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified Artist. Hong Kong. March 2017. HKwalls/Art Basel 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified Artist. Hong Kong. March 2017. HKwalls/Art Basel 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified Artist. Hong Kong. March 2017. HKwalls/Art Basel 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified Artist. Hong Kong. March 2017. HKwalls/Art Basel 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified Artist. Hong Kong. March 2017. HKwalls/Art Basel 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified Artist. Hong Kong. March 2017. HKwalls/Art Basel 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified Artist. Hong Kong. March 2017. HKwalls/Art Basel 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified Artist. Hong Kong. March 2017. HKwalls/Art Basel 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified Artist. Hong Kong. March 2017. HKwalls/Art Basel 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified Artist. Hong Kong. March 2017. HKwalls/Art Basel 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified Artist. Hong Kong. March 2017. HKwalls/Art Basel 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified Artist. Hong Kong. March 2017. HKwalls/Art Basel 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified Artist. Hong Kong. March 2017. HKwalls/Art Basel 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Untitled. Art Central Art Fair. Hong Kong. March 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A Diverse Mix on All Accounts – HK Walls 2017, Dispatch 4

Posted on March 25, 2017

This week BSA and Urban Nation (UN) are in Hong Kong for the 4th edition of HKwalls to capture a very international and local mix of artists in this East/West nexus; a world-class city for art and culture, English and Cantonese, hi-tech and traditional methods – all during the enormous Art Basel week. We’ll bring you the new walls, some previous pieces, some graffiti, stickers, and a whole lot of color from this fast moving and dynamic city on the Pearl River Delta of East Asia.


Last night was a blast with Louisa Haining and “Secret Walls” at the HKwalls HQ here on the southside of Hong Kong. DJs were pumping old school hiphop hits and happy jams from 80s and 90s and the young and extremely attentive HK crowd was happy and savvy, although a BK crowd would have singing/yelling the lyrics and fronting and jumping around more probably.

Debe. HKwalls. Hong Kong – March 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

It’s a sort of franchise, these Secret Walls events, begun In Berlin in the 90s(?) and the competition of multiple artists and art styles up on a stage creating in teams in a semi-competitive environment  with black instruments on a white wall – all while the audience is swilling beer and pumping to jams blasted by a DJ… is just flexible enough to respond to any range of tastes and ultimately does what we love the most; engages people directly with the creative spirit.

Also we appreciated the diverse mix of graff writers and Street Artists from Thailand, Indonesia, Hong Kong, UK, Italy and US – not unlike the representation of people in HKwalls itself out here on the street.

Debe. Process shot. HKwalls. Hong Kong – March 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

And that spirit has been alive on the streets for HKwalls these last few warm and sticky days, now at full volume with artists around many corners (and up a few elevators) making new murals in this industrial and auto neighborhood now in the early-throes of gentrification. On the one hand, walking on some streets is so loud and near-death-defying with boldly defiant drivers who don’t appear to register your existence as you scurry across the street in front of them.

On the other hand there are some of those trendy shops with pressed panninis and olives in a tub and pretty mommies and business suit daddies ferrying their progeny up the elevator of new glass buildings to private day care activities – and of course the sparkling green soccer fields full of teams playing every night.

Debe. Process shot. HKwalls. Hong Kong – March 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

It helps matters that there is a brand new extension of the MTR train system, all shiny and smooth and hi-tech and friendly, running right though the neighborhood out to the furthest island of Apleichu – now five minutes away.

Enter the HKwalls festival. Run by three partners – founders Jason Dembski and Stan Wu and managing director Maria Wong. This is the fourth time out for the festival, which has been held in different neighborhoods and had various configurations in terms of art and artists. Determined to break the mold in whatever ways are possible, the three have backgrounds in graffiti, architecture, marketing, entrepreneurship, and curating/producing events.

Tuts. Process shot. HKwalls. Hong Kong – March 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The mix of artists is about a third from Pacific Rim, a third Euro-US, and a third locals and expats. Respected by the graff kids and old schoolers, they are smart to be inclusive of HK’s professional artistic folks too, including inroads from the illustration side, tape artistry, brushwork of all manner, aerosol freehand, stencil, projection mapping. More on this later but just wanted to give you a little background on the solid knowledge that is in effect, yo. Suffice to say more attention needs to given to this hard-working big hearted team.

Tuts completed his wall. HKwalls. Hong Kong – March 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Today’s update gives you a sense of some of the flavor on the festival tip, along with some shots of pieces inside the Art Central show on the other side of mountain on this island.

While it was good see the offerings in the deliriously corporate environment under giant tents near a Ferris Wheel – and a number of the full ceiling to floor sculptural installations were of good quality – there is a definite reigned-in quality, with a slight tendency toward cute. As artists in certain parts of the Western world and even the Middle East have become more activist and challenging in certain aspects, the art fairs in general are sort of playing it safe.

Spok. Process shot. HKwalls. Hong Kong – March 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Maui. Process shot. HKwalls. Hong Kong – March 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Maui. Process shot. HKwalls. Hong Kong – March 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Jecks. Process shot. HKwalls. Hong Kong – March 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Jecks. Process shot. HKwalls. Hong Kong – March 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Messy Desk . SeeNaeMe. Process shot. HKwalls. Hong Kong – March 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Messy Desk . SeeNaeMe. Process shot. HKwalls. Hong Kong – March 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Messy Desk . SeeNaeMe. Process shot. HKwalls. Hong Kong – March 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Dilk. Process shot. HKwalls. Hong Kong – March 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Dilk. Process shot. HKwalls. Hong Kong – March 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Aspire. Process shot. HKwalls. Hong Kong – March 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Aspire. Process shot. HKwalls. Hong Kong – March 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Wong Ting Fung. Process shot. HKwalls. Hong Kong – March 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Cleon Patterson at Art Central Art Fair. Hong Kong – March 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Shepard Fairey at Art Central Art Fair. Hong Kong – March 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Desire Obtain Cherish at Art Central Art Fair. Hong Kong – March 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Anida Yeou Ali at Art Central Art Fair. Hong Kong – March 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Invader at Art Central Art Fair. Hong Kong – March 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Craneo at Art Central Art Fair. Hong Kong – March 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

 


HKWalls and Hong Kong stories come to you courtesy BSA in Partnership with Urban Nation (UN)

#urbannationberlin #allnationsunderoneroof #unblog @urbannationberlin @bkstreetart

BSA Film Friday: 03.24.17 – Hong Kong Edition

Posted on March 24, 2017

bsa-film-friday-JAN-2015

Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.

This week BSA and Urban Nation (UN) are in Hong Kong checking out flavors and practices on a true international scene. Street Art and graffitti too Euro-centric for you? No worries, Asia has a growing, shape-shifting series of scenes of their own, not easy to categorize and very alive.

Now screening :
1. Graffiti Asia
2. BSA Right now at HKwalls2017
3. UTAH & ETHER – Hong Kong
4. M.I.A. – Rewear It

bsa-film-friday-special-feature

BSA Special Feature: Graffiti Asia

Hong Kong, Shenzen, Shanghai represent!

Let’s make some noise for Indonesia, Thailand, Malayasia, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan! Phillipines in da house! Jakarta where you at?

Here is your inside trip around some of the most popular graffiti locations, words of some of the emerging and established artists, a good selection of the attitudes and incidental atmospheric sounds and details that are evocative of life and the street scene in each.

The mini-documentary dates back a handful of years yet remains completely relevant and accessible – possibly because it does not rely heavily on spoken word, allowing you to gain a sense of the practice through other means. Clearly the international style is evolving, local flavor is always king, and you can see how Graffiti Asia changes the game.

HKwalls has a nice selection of videos looping on a wall inside their main event space that highlights a variety of aspects of current street culture. We feature this one because it keeps the focus on the people who are organically preparing the creative soil for what comes next.

BSA Right Now at HKwalls2017

No need to wait for the fancy video team here to cut together all the best shots – Jaime’s got his phone, yo. 60 seconds of right now at HKwalls.

Featuring still-wet and fumey pieces from Alphabet Monsters (Amuse and Merlot), Spok Brillor, Dilk, Mauy, and Tuts.

UTAH & ETHER – Hong Kong

The Grifters invariably take the thrill level ten times higher toward hair raising painting adventure with UTAH & Ether.

UTAH & ETHER – PROBATION VACATION: LOST IN ASIA (Episode 10 – Hong Kong) from The Grifters on Vimeo.

M.I.A. – Rewear It

And let’s get up and dance. It’s Friday !


HKWalls and Hong Kong stories come to you courtesy BSA in Partnership with Urban Nation (UN)

#urbannationberlin #allnationsunderoneroof #unblog @urbannationberlin @bkstreetart

The Tiniest Brutalist Sculptures – HKWalls 2017, Dispatch 3 (as in 3 x 3 x 3)

Posted on March 23, 2017

This week BSA and Urban Nation (UN) are in Hong Kong for the 4th edition of HKWalls to capture a very international and local mix of artists in this East/West nexus; a world-class city for art and culture, English and Cantonese, hi-tech and traditional methods – all during the enormous Art Basel week. We’ll bring you the new walls, some previous pieces, some graffiti, stickers, and a whole lot of color from this fast moving and dynamic city on the Pearl River Delta of East Asia.


When you spot one of these palm-sized concrete sculptures on the street in Hong Kong they may remind you of Brutalist architecture  or the dense clustering of concrete beehives like so many of this cities’ neighborhoods.

3 x 3 x 3. HK Walls. Hong Kong – March 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The tiny formations by UK Street Artist Steev Saunders aka 3x3x3 may point you toward the man-made environment, but they may also recall organic shapes, sort of like industrial barnacles which attach themselves to the bodies of factory-whales during their free-swimming concrete larval stage.

These could be hi/low tech sensors of the city environment, in much the same way as Hong Kong ocean scientists use selected barnacles as biomonitors to measure concentrations of trace metals like arsenic, cadmium, chromium, cobalt, copper, iron, lead, manganese, nickel, silver, zinc.

3 x 3 x 3. HK Walls. Hong Kong – March 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

3x3x3 has worked as a sculptor and sound designer with complex creations that employ fundamentalist mechanics in rather a Steam-Punkian manner and style. On the street simply as “3” he has used a triad of sprayed repetitions of stenciled symbols and the numeral 3  as well as larger complex tags formed with rebar that is fired and pounded and beaten and bent into outlines.

These smaller pieces are so understated that they may well be overlooked, but once you discover them you are tempted to childhood, playing with your toys, imagining all the tiny people who live within them and realizing what a gargantuan giant you have become.

3 x 3 x 3. HK Walls. Hong Kong – March 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Certainly these expressions of the creative spirit on the street are not easily grouped with the massive murals that have characterized the rise of so-called Street Art festivals, and their humble simplicity and scale makes the impact that much more impressive.

An invited exhibiting artist in the formal inside exhibition at HKWalls this year, 3x3x3 tells us that these pieces on the street art not only recalling his experience of the city, but also the country.

BSA: What inspires these small sculptures? Architecture? Materials? Comic books?
3x3x3: Architecture is the inspiration behind the concrete pieces, as you can see around, HK is packed with the stuff. Yeah they are brutalist style but in a delicate way. I’m not a fan of giant skyscrapers, I like the countryside, mountains and rocks.

3 x 3 x 3. HK Walls. Hong Kong – March 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: Have you watched someone discover one of these pieces? How do they react?
3x3x3: I haven’t watched anyone discover the pieces. They are so small I think few people notice them and I often put them in positions where they blend into the surroundings, I like that they can be unnoticed but in plain view. Some government workers have even painted around them.

BSA: You have also tagged with a metal cutout of the number “3”. Are you the 3rd child in the family?
3x3x3: Ha ha , I’m not the 3rd but I like the number, it has many graphic possibilities , it’s a nice shape and it’s a lucky number too. In the graffiti scene it’s all about getting your name up so I thought “I’ll be just a number”.

3 x 3 x 3. HK Walls. Hong Kong – March 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: There is a rebar sculpture in the fine art show for HK Walls. Can you talk about your interest in art that takes a third dimension in public space?
3x3x3: I’ve always been interested in sculpture, making stuff is fun and the processes bring up new ideas. Welding and bending steel is physically demanding so I don’t focus on that exclusively. In 1995 I started carving spirals into wet concrete whenever I came across it, which was fairly often in HK. When street art started to become noticed more I was inspired but wanted to do something unique so in 2003 I put up my first concrete pieces.

3 x 3 x 3. HK Walls. Hong Kong – March 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

3 x 3 x 3. HK Walls. Hong Kong – March 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

3 x 3 x 3. HK Walls. Hong Kong – March 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

3 x 3 x 3. HK Walls. Hong Kong – March 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

3 x 3 x 3. HK Walls. Hong Kong – March 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

3 x 3 x 3. HK Walls. Hong Kong – March 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)


How to Detect a Brutalist Building by Charles Humphries (© Charles Humphries)


HKWalls and Hong Kong stories come to you courtesy BSA in Partnership with Urban Nation (UN)

#urbannationberlin #allnationsunderoneroof #unblog @urbannationberlin @bkstreetart

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