FEATURE: Wall Lords Asia
by Couch Sessions
While the results for Wall Lords Asia unfold before international viewers and make us feast on an altogether different level of script-ability, this competition is also revealing itself to move into a super-visual gear rocking forward the epic reach of graffiti. Malaysia’s winning crew has just been announced and the first prize has gone to KL Zinc Nite Crew. This means that they will be heading for the grand finale in Shanghai later this year, representing Malaysia. Next is Wall Lords Philippines scheduled for August 7, and the ante rises, rises, colour-rises.
The pieces, tags, and throw ups bombed by writers in the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia are incredible elaborate murals. They seem to turn the areas they strike into a customised book of history, writing itself with the invigorating breath of graffiti. All this inspiration is captured by many a graffiti writer in Asia. Here are a few names :
Flip 1, in Manila, writes experimenting with the Baybayin style script, could it be that he and artists like him are rewriting the Philippines’ iconography? Flip 1 says he belongs to the pioneers of graffiti art in the Philippines and that he started bombing in the 90s. He formed the SBA crew with Flow 1 and together they have become major influences in Filipino graffiti.
The artist from Singapore that has blown the frontiers of my conception for colours and shapes is Slacsatu. His pieces explodes on murals: elaborate, full blown, full grown photo-graff pieces.
Slacsatu’s work is in a sense whole stories on a wall.
Having won the second prize of Wall Lords Malaysia, Phobia Klik is a must to look up, together with The Super Sunday crew in Kuala Lumpur, one of the most energising Crews to my eyes, at least that I have come across .
I particularly like the paint-flow of Tha-B and his inter-play of bright, inviting colours.
The work of graffiti artists from Indonesia carries so much vitality that I am sure that if you stroke it, even slightly, it would charge you full up of boyant, unexplainable happiness. Artcoholic Crew in Jakarta bears a name that speaks volumes as to their scope and aim. Darbotz, in Bandung, who also writes ‘Monster’, is a writer who graffs grey scaled lines that make flesh-like cuts. Intricate, intertwined, resembling primal monsters : the ‘monster in diguise’ he says.
Zany13 from Jakarta started doing graffiti around 2003, his profile says. He is part of the well known crew MASE (Mad Artists Striking Existence), together with NSANE5 and SAME33. His graffitis range from name throw ups to full images, and well, I just love his work.
The FAB Family crew (Flagrant Act of Bombing), a name that graffiti writer Cheztwo invented, is a crew from Bandung. The result of all the individual writers is an ebullient, dynamic vision.
I have discovered all these artists through the wealth contained in ‘Graffiti Asia’ a book by authors Ryo Sanada and Suridh Hassan, the creatives behind SRK (www.thesrk.com). They previously published a book on graffiti in Japan and have just dropped ‘Graffiti Asia’, the first book that looks into the graffiti movement there. These two writers have been going around Asia, interviewing themselves graffiti artists, photographing and recording their work on site. It’s a fantastic contribution and head up to the productive art scene and to graffiti, as a movement to be reckoned with. A documentary is part of the story they tell in their book. Watch this space for the trailer and a little tour of their brilliant work.
Finally, a LOUD hellooooooo and thank you to www.tembokbomber.com, www.pylox-world.tk, www.wall-lords.com, www.thedarbotz.com , www.zany13worldhome.blogspot.com, www.fabfamilyfoundation.com and Fat Cap for all the information and visual treats they provide and for allowing picture download!