Street Art Finds a Scene in Hong Kong

Hopare working in Sheung Wan. This photo and all others from HK Walls Night falls over Stanley Market and a small crowd of people gather in a back lane, staring at the pristine aluminium of a drawn shop shutter. One of them is 4Get, a prolific street artist who travelled here from his home in […]

The Last Days of 5 Pointz

Even if you don’t follow street art or hip hop, you might have heard the news: 5 Pointz is dead. Technically, the old warehouse in Long Island City is still standing — though it is slated for redevelopment — but its essence as an art space was stripped away in the early hours of November […]

Foreign Interventions in (Calle) Honduras

You can tell you’re in Palermo by the names of the streets: Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica — every one of them running parallel to the Rio de la Plata a different Central American country. Together with the bright pastels and fluorescents of the buildings that line them, these calles give the Buenos Aires barrio […]

Posted in: Art and Design, Latin America, Politics by Christopher Szabla Comments Off on Foreign Interventions in (Calle) Honduras , , , , , ,

Roadsworth’s Legacy

Eight years ago, I was crossing Fairmount Avenue near my apartment in Montreal’s Mile End district when I noticed a strange addition to the zebra crossing beneath my feet: barbed wire. Not actual barbed wire, but a painted rendition of it along the edge of the crosswalk, half in yellow, the other half white, both […]

Graffiti Republic

Splat! Before Greece erupted into riots against austerity measures, before the sit-ins that convulsed public squares across Spain, long before 2011’s tumultuous protests against world financial systems began “kicking off everywhere“, things had long since kicked off in Argentina. The 2001 protests that gripped the country during its madcap financial crisis offered a sort of […]

Posted in: Art and Design, Latin America, Politics, Public Space by Christopher Szabla Comments Off on Graffiti Republic , , , , ,

Seen in Sheung Wan

Though street art is not as pervasive in Hong Kong as it is in European and North American cities, it is very common in certain neighbourhoods. Sheung Wan is one of them. In the district’s many back lanes and quiet streets, just about every spare surface is covered with a tag, stencil or poster. Last […]

Posted in: Art and Design, Asia Pacific, Public Space, Society and Culture by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Seen in Sheung Wan , , , ,

In Defence of Street Art

Ai Wei Wei projection graffiti, Hong Kong. Photo by Cpak Ming This month, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles opened a new exhibition on the history of street art and graffiti, the first such show at a major American museum. It has been greeted by controversy. One of the curators has been accused […]

Strange Graffiti in King’s Park

I’m a big fan of street art for all sorts of reasons: it is a sign of dynamic urban life, it is a jab in the face of authority, it makes my walks through the city more interesting. But street art, like all forms of art, can get stuck in a rut. When it takes […]

Meet the Plumber King

Last summer I wrote about the Plumber King, who writes advertisements for his plumbing services in unusual corners of Hong Kong. Contractors usually promote themselves by scrawling their name, number and occupation on utility boxes or lampposts. But Kui Wong, as the King is known in Cantonese, carefully paints his ads in back alleys, street […]

Posted in: Art and Design, Asia Pacific, Public Space, Society and Culture by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Meet the Plumber King , , , ,

Madrid rebelde

Utopia, Lavapiés Rebelde, Lavapiés

Posted in: Art and Design, Europe, Public Space by Daniel Corbeil Comments Off on Madrid rebelde , , ,

Brick Lane Street Art

[vimeo]http://www.vimeo.com/15673926[/vimeo] It’s right next to the City of London, but the Brick Lane area is everything the financial district is not. It has long been one of the poorest districts of London, notorious for its crime and council housing. It also has an artistic atmosphere and abundant street art that contrasts with the sterile corporate […]

Writing on the Streets

It was late on a chilly March afternoon as I wandered through a small plaza near Houhai Lake in Beijing. The air was struggling to stay above freezing and I shivered in my spring jacket. Looking down, I noticed some Chinese characters drawn in water on the plaza’s grey paving stones. Whoever drew them was […]

Posted in: Art and Design, Asia Pacific, Public Space, Society and Culture by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Writing on the Streets , , , , , ,

Need a Plumber?

In Hong Kong, like in many Asian cities, it’s common for contractors to advertise their services through graffiti. Forget Google — to find an electrician, a plumber or a cement specialist, just walk down the street and look at the phone numbers scrawled on utility boxes with magic marker or stencilled on walls with spray […]

Posted in: Art and Design, Asia Pacific, Public Space, Society and Culture by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Need a Plumber? , , , ,

Hong Kong Rooftops: Russell Street

The tong lau on Russell Street, across from Times Square, is not in the best shape. Walking upstairs from the street, I pass a bookstore and a hair salon; after the third floor, the shops give way to apartments and the stairwell becomes filled with rubbish, its tiles stained by years of grime. By the […]

Posted in: Asia Pacific by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Hong Kong Rooftops: Russell Street , , , , ,