All posts tagged: Gabija Grusaite

“Urban Xchange: Crossing Over” A New Festival in Penang, Malaysia

“Urban Xchange: Crossing Over” A New Festival in Penang, Malaysia

Urban Exchange: Crossing Over 2014 is a brand new street art festival in George Town, Penang in Malaysia. In November they hosted 16 artists to paint walls throughout this city of two and a half million on the Strait of Malacca.

It is not a city that has hosted Street Art traditionally and one that frowns strongly on graffiti, but ever since Lithuanian Street Artist Ernest Zacharevic did some very successful installations here in 2012 which drew crowds and cameras, the citizenry and elected officials have become very hospitable to the idea — and have even enacted a formalized process for approving public art.

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Skolo brings tradition, sport, and modern communications together in this brand new mural for Urban Xchange: Crossing Over. Penang, Malaysia. (photo © Henrik Haven)

Today we travel to Penang to see the brand new pieces for this first-year show, co-curated by Gabija Grusaite and Eeyan Chuah, who run Hin Bus Depot Art Centre, a creative space in the ruins of a bus depot that hosted a corollary gallery show. Alongside Berlin based Urban Nation’s director and curator, Yasha Young, the two invited a mixture of local and international artists to complete murals and to host some community workshops.

“There’s never a dull moment at Urban Nation’s exchange program,” says Young, “after a year in the planning we were excited to finally make the journey.”

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Tank Petrol at work on is wall. Urban Xchange: Crossing Over. Penang, Malaysia. (photo © Henrik Haven)

Among the various murals you’ll see a selection of figurative, realistic, and illustration styles that carefully walk a community moderated fine line, hoping to bring locals to be more actively engaged in the program. As a novelty outlier, you’ll also see Brooklyn’s Mr. Toll installing his colorful hand formed clay sculptures in unusual spots if you keep your head up.

In an interview with Malay Mail Online, Ms. Grusaite says, “We want to create an artistic international cultural exchange so that local artists can learn from international artists who will be here for the project while the international artists will get exposure to the local culture and art scene.”

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Tank Petrol. Urban Xchange: Crossing Over. Penang, Malaysia. (photo © Henrik Haven)

As is the case more often, with Urban Exchange we are again seeing a new model of public art developing where at the forefront are artists who have laid their groundwork in graffiti rather than university exclusively. We’ve been using a term we’re calling the “New Muralism” to indicate the grassroots nature and populist generation of these works and we still think its definition is evolving. Not quite community murals in the strictest sense, and not seeking the approval of gate-keeping institutions either, these artists are looking for and finding new ways to challenge themselves creatively in the public sphere while being responsive to needs of the public. Huh!

Included in the Urban Exchange project are Antanas Dubra (Lithuania), Bibichun (Malaysia), Don John (Denmark), Donald Abraham (Malaysia), Elle (United States), Ernest Zacharevic (Lithuania), Fauzan Faud (Malaysia), Karl Addison (Germany), Kenji Chai (Malaysia), Rone (Australia), Sk10 (Singapore), TankPetrol (United Kingdom), Black Fritilldea (Malaysia), 4Some (a crew from Kuala Lumpur consisting of Donald, Black, Fauzan and Jojo),  Mr Toll (New York) and Vexta (New York)

Our heartfelt thank you to Henrik Haven, who took a trip from Copenhagen which took 31 hours (and four different flights) for sharing his excellent photographs here with BSA readers.

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RONE at work on is wall. Urban Xchange: Crossing Over. Penang, Malaysia. (photo © Henrik Haven)

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RONE on the left with Karl Addison on the right. Urban Xchange: Crossing Over. Penang, Malaysia. (photo © Henrik Haven)

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RONE. Urban Xchange: Crossing Over. Penang, Malaysia. (photo © Henrik Haven)

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Ernest Zacharevic at work on is wall. Urban Xchange: Crossing Over. Penang, Malaysia. (photo © Henrik Haven)

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Ernest Zacharevic. Urban Xchange: Crossing Over. Penang, Malaysia. (photo © Henrik Haven)

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Ernest Zacharevic. Urban Xchange: Crossing Over. Penang, Malaysia. (photo © Henrik Haven)

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4Some Crew at work on their wall. Urban Xchange: Crossing Over. Penang, Malaysia. (photo © Henrik Haven)

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4Some Crew (Donald, Black, Fauzan and Jojo) Urban Xchange: Crossing Over. Penang, Malaysia. (photo © Henrik Haven)

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Vexta at work on her wall. Urban Xchange: Crossing Over. Penang, Malaysia. (photo © Henrik Haven)

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Vexta. Urban Xchange: Crossing Over. Penang, Malaysia. (photo © Henrik Haven)

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Vexta. Urban Xchange: Crossing Over. Penang, Malaysia. (photo © Henrik Haven)

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Bibichun. Urban Xchange: Crossing Over. Penang, Malaysia. (photo © Nikko Tan)

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Don John at work on his wall. Urban Xchange: Crossing Over. Penang, Malaysia. (photo © Henrik Haven)

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Don John. Urban Xchange: Crossing Over. Penang, Malaysia. (photo © Henrik Haven)

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Elle at work on her wall. Urban Xchange: Crossing Over. Penang, Malaysia. (photo © Henrik Haven)

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Elle. Urban Xchange: Crossing Over. Penang, Malaysia. (photo © Henrik Haven)

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Elle. Urban Xchange: Crossing Over. Penang, Malaysia. (photo © Henrik Haven)

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Karl Addison at work on his wall. Urban Xchange: Crossing Over. Penang, Malaysia. (photo © Henrik Haven)

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Karl Addison. Urban Xchange: Crossing Over. Penang, Malaysia. (photo © Henrik Haven)

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Karl Addison. Urban Xchange: Crossing Over. Penang, Malaysia. (photo © Henrik Haven)

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Antanas Dubra at work on their wall. Urban Xchange: Crossing Over. Penang, Malaysia. (photo © Henrik Haven)

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Antanas Dubra. Urban Xchange: Crossing Over. Penang, Malaysia. (photo © Henrik Haven)

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Sliz assists Skolo. Urban Xchange: Crossing Over. Penang, Malaysia. (photo © Henrik Haven)

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Mr. Toll installing his clay sculptures. Urban Xchange: Crossing Over. Penang, Malaysia. (photo © Henrik Haven)

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Mr. Toll. Urban Xchange: Crossing Over. Penang, Malaysia. (photo © Henrik Haven)

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Collaboration between Ernest Zacharavic and Etoja. Urban Xchange: Crossing Over. Penang, Malaysia. (photo © Henrik Haven)

 

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!
 
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Ernest Zacharevic Plays on Walls in Singapore

Ernest Zacharevic Plays on Walls in Singapore

A quickly rising Street Art installation artist from Lithuania is keeping his work refreshingly down-to-earth and sincerely engaging with the public. While some artists working on the street can lose sight of how to have fun, Ernest Zacharevic keeps his eye on creating installations that punch through the third dimension and pull passersby into his work, and some times on it.

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Ernest Zacharevic. Singapore, 2013. (photo © Gabija Grusaite)

It’s not surprising to find his sculpture-paintings including wheels, as in this new one he’s just finished in Singapore. “It’s a part of ‘play’, but also a wider narrative about the continuous desire by human beings to travel, push forward, explore unknown horizons,” he explains to BSA.  “Cars and bicycles and tricycles were invented because just walking is too slow to most of our imaginations.”

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Ernest Zacharevic. Detail. Singapore, 2013. (photo © Gabija Grusaite)

The new work on the street is rare considering Singapore’s very severe punishment for graffiti and street art, which actually includes severe beatings that can rip skin off the backside, called caning. “We feel that it is a ground breaking project that will hopefully open Singapore up for other artists,” says his friend and photographer Gabija Grusaite, who shares these images of his new piece that uses a sawed in half shopping cart. Possibly the organizers saw the success of his piece last year in Penang, Malaysia, which became a popular tourist destination and still draws people to see it and pose with it daily.

“Most of my work is photography based and site-specific, so I photograph my subjects and later choose angles for painting. Working with children allows more anonymity, I don’t consider my artworks to be portraits of a specific person, rather a universal experience,” says the energetic and curious Zacharevic, who is still in his mid-20s and has done installations in Japan, Italy, Norway, Lithuania, and Singapore so far this year.  “It is also easier to work with children – they are not self-concious and are not afraid to look stupid or ugly. So we play together and I take pictures that later translate into my artwork.”

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Ernest Zacharevic. Detail. Singapore, 2013. (photo © Gabija Grusaite)

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Ernest Zacharevic. Detail. Singapore, 2013. (photo © Gabija Grusaite)

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Ernest Zacharevic. Detail. Singapore, 2013. (photo © Gabija Grusaite)

Take a look at Ernest’s installation last year in Georgetown, Malaysia, that had hundreds of people interacting with it moments after it was finished and is a celebrated tourist destination.

 

 

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!

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This article is also published on The Huffington Post

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NUART UPDATE: Talk with Ernest Zacharevic and Images of C215, Hush, STROK

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Nuart 2013 continues to engage and converse with people in Stavanger Norway as the big formal opening Saturday night was packed with guests and tours have begun around town with Gt Aamdal and Kristel Talv, who yesterday had a group of a hundred people following them around as they helped explain the new works that have been appearing and the artists who have been creating them.

Today we bring you some recent photos of works in progress shot by Gabija Grusaite and a brief interview with one of the artists this year at Nuart, Ernest Zacharevic from Lithuania, who has a pretty large following of ardent fans who dig his technique of interplay with mural and sculpture for an integrated third dimensional experience.  By focusing on the spontaneity of children’s play, Zacharevic can tap into the original instincts of adult viewers who may have lost their ability to access their playful nature. His street work is unpretentious and sometimes ingenious, while steadily staying away from being cloying or overly sentimental.

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Ernest Zacharevic. Detail. (photo © Gabija Grusaite)

Ernest took a few moments during a break from this weekends preparations to talk to BSA about his work.

Brooklyn Street Art: Many of your pieces include play and more specifically, children at play. How important is that theme for you and what attracts you to it?
Ernest Zacharevic: Most of my work is photography based and site-specific, so I photograph my subjects and later choose angles for painting. Working with children allows more anonymity, I don’t consider my artworks to be portraits of a specific person, rather a universal experience. It is also easier to work with children – they are not self-concious and are not afraid to look stupid or ugly. So we play together and I take pictures that later translate into my artwork. I really like this unrestricted energy.

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Ernest Zacharevic at work on his installation. (photo © Gabija Grusaite)

Brooklyn Street Art: You have been traveling a lot in the last year – where have you gone and can you talk about one of your favorite experiences on the street with your work?
Ernest Zacharevic: I do travel a lot. Japan, Italy, Norway, Lithuania, Malaysia – to name few places I’ve been this year. At the moment I am based in Penang, Malaysia, but originally I come from Vilnius, Lithuania and I graduated from Middlesex University, London where I lived for 5 years. My artwork is heavily influenced by all these layers of geographical backgrounds.

Probably the most memorable project I’ve done so far is Mirrors George Town murals that I created for George Town Festival in 2012. The murals became so popular that they started having a life of it’s own – there are people lining up to take pictures with it and Malaysian Government recognized them as valuable tourist objects. Crazy! It was even copied by one Chinese town near Shanghai. It is really nice for an artist to realize that his piece of work means so much to other people.

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Ernest Zacharevic. Detail. (photo © Gabija Grusaite)

Brooklyn Street Art: Many of your characters have mischief in their eyes and their actions. Are you getting into trouble in Stavanger?
Ernest Zacharevic: I wish, but the weather is taking it’s toll. Stavanger is great! Everywhere you go there are traces of street art and amazing murals round the corner, places you would never expect to see it. It really inspires me to do a few smaller pieces if the Norwegian summer will be kind to me tomorrow.

Brooklyn Street Art: Can you talk about using wheeled forms of transportation in your vignettes – bicycles, shopping carts, rickshaws… do you use them to create a sense of movement?
Ernest Zacharevic; Yes! It’s a part of play, but also a wider narrative about the continuous desire by human beings to travel, push forward, explore unknown horizons. Cars and bicycles and tricycles were invented because just walking is too slow to most of our imagination. That is way my main installation for Nuart 2013 will feature a car – half sliced – continuing the theme of my previous work.

Brooklyn Street Art: Sometimes you integrate something that is already on the street or the wall into your piece. Do you find yourself doing this mentally as you walk through the streets?
Ernest Zacharevic: I find everyday objects to be fascinating. Signs that look like animals, doors that smile, little holes in the wall that look like part of a Tom & Jerry cartoon. It’s fun and I love to reveal this to other people just to make them smile.

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Ernest Zacharevic. Detail. (photo © Gabija Grusaite)

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HUSH. Detail. (photo © Gabija Grusaite)

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STROK at work on his wall. (photo © Gabija Grusaite)

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C215 at work on his wall. (photo © Gabija Grusaite)

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!

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