This is KRINGE , a dear friend and artist who to refuses to allow a city to condemn his existence, on one of my mid-construction, post demolition sites.
The practice of writing graffiti is interesting not only because of the act itself, but also the location where its practitioners decide to express themselves. Those that are more focused on being seen, choose to do it within the public domain, in the public space, sometimes at the expense of government or other’s property. However, there are those whose craft have deviated from the original goal of being seen, or recognised, and are more focused on the stylistic and artistic development of their writing. This line of graffiti art brings focus to the structure and overall composition of the graffiti lettering, and as the letters become the main focus, the environment of which it sits within also has a direct influence on the overall visual impact of the graffiti piece.
In Singapore, Graffiti writers face a unique challenge. With the strict laws and limited designated “legal” zones, the practitioners have little choice but to work with less than 5 wall spaces, over and over again. Over the years, they have grown accustomed to having their history erased, and only a photograph as proof that their art once existed in this world. This is a challenge that I have both detested yet embraced. The ability to express your all even if momentarily before letting go of your work, determined to return once again to do better.
Hence, the black coated walls in Singapore have always seemed bland and without character for me. And so I have always seemed to travel outside of Singapore, with the freedom to express myself on the various concrete canvases that different cities offer. A bridge pillar with an uneven coating of cement, or a weathered down brick wall on the side of a factory. These surfaces provide a much more meaningful backdrop for my art.
There is a certain charm to the sight of the textures and facade of urban decay, whether intentional or not. It seems that such a sight strikes a chord with where I enjoy putting my art because that undertones of decay and destruction are eventually what has made my art what it is today. Most artists, myself included will attest to the fact that not many pieces of ours still exist, most have been painted over, destroyed, cleaned off. It is a reminder to us that like humans, our art can be meaningful even if it only only exists in the world for a short period of time, even if no one has seen our work in flesh or we remain anonymous, our expression is something quite special, unique and pure.
Thank you for allowing me to witness the process of your identity as an artist in space amidst the city’s suppression, it has inspired me deeply. Also, for lending me an opportunity to bridge a gap I never knew existed – in your search for an alternate canvas. A special thank you to my most wonderful clients for allowing the loop to be completed.