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Brooklyn Street Art

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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)

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

Mauy. 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)

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