“Art is the lie that enables us to realize the truth.”Pablo Picasso
Street art, graffiti, street expression, tagging … vandalism?
Empty streets littered with splashes of colors, shapes, images, names – we’ve all seen at least some small signs of this movement in our towns and cities. Some pieces even take up entire sides of buildings and the creativity and emotion that a lot of these images can take is breathtaking. They can spell out political satire or commentary, depict the heartache of war and violence, show us sides of humanity in colors that move to the very depth of the soul, and some just leave a mark showing that someone, at some time, has been “here”.
While there does seem to be a lifting of the stigma surrounding graffiti around the world, it is still a chargeable offense in a lot of countries. To this point, certain communities are taking to the “streets” to try and rid this stigma and possibly change the laws surrounding it by making it an integral part of their city’s landscape and even tourism.
Graffiti is more than just paint on a wall.
Old Town Central of Hong Kong, China is exactly one of these communities, and you can see the spread of the graffiti movement throughout this part of Hong Kong like a wave of color, form, depth, and beauty. There are dedicated murals to former movie stars, including Bruce Lee (done by artist Xena), to cartoonish emblems from the latest craze in animation and fun.
In a quote from an article posted by the Independent – HKTB Chairman Dr. Peter Lam said: “Each district in Hong Kong has its unique culture and characteristics, and Central is an important landmark in the development of Hong Kong history.”
He continues: “It is a place where East and West, past and present co-exist and collide. ‘Old Town Central’ is an evergreen promotion programme and new elements will be added to it in the future.”
With this idea in mind, walking down these streets is an honest feast for the eyes, and a chance to see cultural integration and diversity in a whole new way.
So the next time you see a bit of spray paint on an old cement wall or have the opportunity to appreciate the side of a build decorated with a bit of the soul of a young artist displayed for all to see – take a moment to truly acknowledge what you see and feel. Take note that not everything that we think is “wrong” is honestly wrong. Rather, at times, it’s just a stand against the morals of some breaching the plains of creation of others, many of whom simply want the world to realize we still have a voice, even if it may be hidden within the “ssshhh” of a spray can.
Disclaimer: Please note this article, the writer, nor ProjectART UBU promote the breaking of any law. Always seek permission from appropriate parties before embarking on any type of graffiti art due to the nature of current laws.