Happy Holiday

Four Crew Working

Thanks to Fast for the heads up today. I caught up with FourCrew underneath the bridge where Chung Ming South Rd crosses over the river. Here's a bit of how things went:

Hua Mei St

A bit of Bobo/Saven underneath one of the bridges over by Oldies & Frank's Hot Dogs.

This one and the detail below were done by a guy called Chek who was down from Taipei.
When I first saw Bobo's self portrait, I was looking at it from just across the stream and I couldn't make out what it was. Duh. How does he do that?

There's Something Happening Here

Well, for one thing, the 7th Letter Crew is coming to Taipei on the 25th of October. It's a part of their Asian Letters First tour. They're in Tokyo today and tomorrow. Take a peek at what's happening at the Known Gallery.

There's something else going on in Taipei on the 28th of October. Apparently 8 graffiti artists have been arrested, or given heavy fines for doing their thing up there, and folks are getting together to stage a protest at 華山藝文中心 for the decriminalization of graffiti art. Fair enough. Anybody know what time?

Also, in December, down here in Taichung, there will be another graffiti exhibition at the former Taiwan Tobacco and Alcohol Administration building on Fuxing Rd. More details will be made available when I get them.

Graffiti in Taiwan

The Real Taiwan has links to four YouTube videos with Graffiti Guys running around Taipei doing their thing. Is it Art? There's the eternal question. I remember taking an aestethics class in university and I'll be damned if I can remember the answer to "What is Art?"

1 Week of Art Works

Again, not necessarily in keeping with the blog title, this is a guy called Daisuke Yamamoto painting and repainting a wall somewhere in Japan. Groovy tunes, as well.

The US vs John Lennon

I hope to have the opportunity to see this film about the US Government's harassment of John & Yoko in the 70's. If I didn't have to search for a pirated version, that would be all the better. What are the chances of it showing in Taiwan?

Whoever is doing stencils in town really did a good job on this one.
And look a little closer at the attention to detail.
This is the second John Lennon stencil in Taiwan in the past few years. Two years ago, there was one at the park by Chung Ming and Kungyi, but it--the graffiti--got vandalized. How's that grab ya?

Virtual Graffiti

Fooling around, Praise Bob.

More from up by Daken

This is from The Stinky Tofu Crew, Free, Dabu, and CGSB.
The first piece asks how much time you spend in front of the TV with the remote. Unfortunately, the second picture contains another Omen rip off. I'm not saying these guys aren't talented. Let's see what else they can come up with.

BNE--San Francisco's Most Wanted

"BNE." Not sure what it stands for. "Banksy's New Elephant?" He's all over San Francisco and is possibly on a world tour now. Same tells me that he just plastered Ximending with stickers the week before last. The link goes to CNN's story, including an interview with undercover officer Christopher Putz. I wonder if that's his real name.

Banksy Opening in LA

At first I thought this was just going to be a collection of photos of all the celebs who showed up at the opening, but you can scroll past all that (check out Perry Ferrel's wife though, Zoiks!) It's nice to see what a graffiti artist does when he can bring his work into three dimensions. Again, is it "Street Art"? I dunno. Hey, I may not know street art, but I know..., well, you know.....

Street Art Finds a Home

If art is taken off the street, is it still "Street Art?" This article is from yesterday's Taipei Times. I'm looking forward to going to Taipei to check out the exhibit at AMPM gallery (AMPM Gallery, 4F, 24, Alley 55, Neijiang St. Alley, Ximending, Taipei (台北市西門町內江街55巷24號4樓).

Fresh Stencils in Taichung

Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative.
That's the first Oscar Wilde quote that jumped out at me. It's awesome to see him recreated in graffiti. New subjects keep popping up. I thought at first that the person doing the stencils might be in 4Crew, but I was wrong. Hello Stencil Person/People. You Rock.

Mural Behind the Station

Coming back from Taiping, I wound up on Fushing Rd behind the Taichung station. I noticed last week that there was quite a bit of stuff up back there and I took a minute to ride up a back alley through the freight yard and came across a railroad siding with a mural that was about 50m long.
It's quite impressive, and not just to me, either. After I'd finished. An older woman that I'd noticed walking her dog came over and asked me if I could read what had been written, she wasn't sure if it was English or Chinese. I told her that it said "BOBO" because that was the fella's name that painted the wall.

She was very impressed, she told me. There were a few guys in their 20's and they came out on three different nights. She told me over and over again how fast they did it. I asked her if she liked it, and she said "Oh yes, the colors are very pretty, and they did it so fast."

She said the cops had come out one night and told them not to "Sloppy Paint" is the Chinese. Models come to have their pictures taken in front of the wall now. When she asked the guys how much it cost to do a wall like that, and the price quoted was about 3000NT, she said that's a pretty good deal. Sounds like she'd like to have her garage done.

I know that I must have misunderstood the woman. At least once, maybe twice. She pointed at the two guys below and ... I should have recorded the conversation so I could double check. The night these were going up, she complained that with one guy across the tracks looking at her house, she felt like there was a prowler, so they added another one, and it was ok? She's pleased with the results.

Back to Taiping

I found myself with a day off in the middle of the week, so this morning I rode out to Taiping to see what the guys came up with in the end.



TT:How long have you been painting?

fast: 12 years, but the first few years were mostly just putting up tags, i guess i started pieceing about 8 years ago. mostly consistently but there have been a couple breaks in that time for a half year or year.

TT:What did you draw when you were younger? What do you think about the art classes you took in school?
fast: i didnt really draw anything seriously except graffiti. the art classes i took in school were mostly for the credits. i didnt find art class in school really made me interested or motivated me to do art.

TT:When you first started tagging, what gave you the push to start putting your work on the walls for everyone to see?
fast: i was just drawn to it. cant really explain it but when i started noticing tags around my neighbourhood it just felt natural to add my name to it.

TT:How did you meet the other members of 4Crew?
fast: i met sam first. it was actually on my second day in taiwan i just saw him painting under a bridge and walked down there and talked to him. a few months later we hooked up to paint and been painting together ever since. since taichung has a relatively small scene we hooked up with bobo and then omen after that.

TT:Where in Taiwan, besides in Taichung, can your work be seen?
fast: ive done a tiny bit of bombing in taipei but most of my stuff is in taichung area. sam and bobo go to taipei quite often and they kill it up there. omen too. ive painted in toronto, vancouver, montreal, new york, amsterdam, and obvilously taichung. in taichung we basically have the city pretty much to ourselves. i havent been down to kaoshiung yet but bobo has. he has some friends from down there.

TT: where are some of the more difficult-to-reach places that you've painted?
fast: im not much of a crazy bomber...when i was younger i was addicted to the insides of subways. i still like to go out and do fillins every once in a while, but i guess the only "difficult-to-reach" locations ive done are passenger and subway trains. i like to do freight trains as well but in taiwan you dont have much oppourtunities for those. i dont do as much trains as i would like to though. ive been in subway tunnels a couple times but didnt paint anything worth talking about.

TT: What kind of paint do you use?
fast: in taiwan i use the brand called PP Spray. its cheap, has a decent selection of colors. covers pretty well. i know there are a lot of better paints out there but you cant beat 55NT a can. i think graffiti fading at different rates have more to do with the surface of the wall and how watered down the primer is. i usually buy a bucket of primer and thin it out by adding water. so the first half of the bucket is more paint and the second half becomes really watery.

TT: What are the hazards of this kind of artwork? Police? Gangs? Drunks? Injury?

fast: the most problems ive had with graffiti have been police. dont get caught for graffiti in canada its a lot of hassle. taiwan is much better in that regard. ive done some stuff when i was younger that i wouldnt do now because of risk to personal injury. but as for gangs and drunks ive had pretty good luck so far.

Taichung 4Crew In Person

Had the pleasure of meeting BOBO, FAST, & SAME of 4Crew today. They're a great bunch of guys, and were very open to talking to me about their work. Check back in the next couple days for more pictures from the river bank in Taiping.

Banksy at Disney

Banksy snuck into Disneyland and added a little something to the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. The article says that it took security 90 minutes to remove the item as a security precaution.

He was also quite naughty at some record stores across England. Here's a link to the Flickr stream showing what he did to Paris Hilton.

Omen in the East

This is a rather ham-fisted combination photo of a mural that must have been done a while back on Fuxing Rd on the other side of the train tracks.

4Crew Other Side of the Tracks 21

Taichung East Side

I've been driving around town a little more than usual lately and I've come across quite a bit of 4Crew/YIA's stuff that I hadn't seen before. There's a lot more to see on the East side of the train tracks.

Reverse Graffiti

In London, Paul Curtis, aka Moose, uses soap and water to create art out of the grime left by progress. He's taking a bit of heat from critics who say he's selling out by throwing up logos for X-Box and TV shows. Maybe he is.

Listen to the NPR story here. There's more at Moose's website here.

And there's actual moose graffiti at this site from Sweden. Believe it.

Plenty of dirt in Taiwan.

Tagging Taichung County

SAME from 2005 next to some fresh paint by FAST & BOBO .

BASTR/BOBO? Not sure.

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