Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Graffiti Asia

Courtesy of Laurence King Publishers, I received a copy of Graffiti Asia, the new book from the authors of Rackgaki, Japanese Graffiti.

Their new book is a diary of their travels through Asia taking in various cities across the continent and the graff and writers that they have come across in their travels. Like Rackgaki, the book also comes with a free DVD which contains some footage of their travels as well as interviews with some of those included in the book.

The authors (SRK) make it clear in their foreword that they are not writers and this seems to give them a fresh and unbiased approach to their collection of flicks and interviews.

Packed full of a variety of differing styles this is a great insight into a largely unseen part of the graff community and its work. The various interviews in the book, and DVD interviews, also give you an idea of how young the scene is out in Asia and the make up and mentality of those contributing to it.

The work included in the book ranges from the street tagging exploits of a Hong Kong plumber (no joke) black and white dubs, full colour pieces and a few trains. Styles vary from the traditional New York inspired to the more experimental works of those working with traditional characters of the Chinese and Indonesian language.

Personal favourites from the book include the works of YYY +NAN from Shenzhen (the great wall of Shenzhen looks like a great spot and would be well worth a visit if your ever in the area) and Slacsatu from Singapore. Favourite flick though comes from Indonesia where there is a water buffalo checking out a writer at work. The DVD also has a great shot of an elephant walking past a wall while its being painted - could come in handy if you need something to reach the top of your letters! For me these two flicks sum up the impact of graff on the world and how it has reached each and every corner.

Overall a great read as well as some real visual treats from a young, experimental and under exposed scene. If you liked Rackgaki then for me this takes that up a notch and is well worth adding to your collection.

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