After the Tsing Yi Nature Trail, we popped over to Causeway Bay to check out the Urban Hacking Exhibition. Opened in May during Art Basel, Midtown POP is the new art space redefining the use of commercial property, in Soundwill Plaza II, with a myriad of revolving pop-up projects co-organised by the Avenue des Arts gallery.
Urban Hacking features four street artists – Pure Evil, Nasty, Hopare and Marc Allante. As redefining the nature of public spaces is a fundamental aspect in their work, their creative use of the walls gave birth to awesome murals, hanged paintings, sculptures and tiled pieces.
The lift opened onto the 17th floor and these giant murals immediately caught our attention! The piece on the left is by Marc Allante, while the mural on the left is (surprisingly) by NASTY.
Alexandre Hildebrand (aka NASTY) discovered graffiti in the 1980s during the cultural influx of American street art and hip hop in France. Drawing stylistic inspiration from classic NYC graffiti in wild-style with bright colours and old school block letters, he distinguished himself as a prolific subway painter in Paris by the end of the 1980s. His underground activity has made him a reference for current generations.
NASTY often transplants tiles from Parisian metro walls into exhibition spaces.
He also spray-painted this bad-boy.
Next up was Ry’s favourite artist, Hopare. In just a few short years, this 24-year old French artist has taken the European art scene by storm with his captivating images. His colourful work dramatically contrasts with the grey streets against which it is often displayed.
Regarde Croise – Hopare
Regard Du Sud – Hopare (Ry’s favourite!)
Charme 1 – Hopare
Reveuse – Hopare
Charme 2 & VlorVandal – Hopare
This mural was my absolute favourite!
The colours and details are mind blowing!
Oh, and did I mention how insane the views were from the 17th floor?!
We got a little bit captivated/worried for the builders hanging from the bamboo scaffolding at such great heights though…
Moving back to the art…other than the aforementioned Hopare mural, my favourite artist was Marc Allante. With an international following, Allante is one of the most sought after young emerging artists today. Having lived in HK, London, Sydney; his art is crafted from both these Western and Eastern influences. The merging of traditional Chinese inks with European watercolour and pen techniques reflects the fusion of his Chinese-French ancestry, bringing it into a modern context.
Clash – Marc Allante
Orion – Marc Allante
Allante’s use of watercolours are incredible; Ry and I felt inspired to buy some watercolours of our own and get creative!
‘Cascade’ was our favourite piece of his. The colours are stunning!
Tsunami – Marc Allante
Touche – Marc Allante
Ry also loved ‘Punked’
The fourth and final artist is Charles Uzzell-Edwards, also known as ‘Pure Evil.’ He is the son of a Welsh painter and a stablemate of Banksy. Inspired by skateboard culture and the west coast character graffiti of Twist in California, he returned to London and spray-painted weird fanged rabbits everywhere. As an artist in the past 5 years, Pure Evil has exhibited worldwide in China, Russia, Brazil, USA and all over Europe. He lives in London, where he produces a monthly radio show and regularly gives workshops and lectures about Street Art.
The Black Queen – Pure Evil
Marlene Dali – Pure Evil
We both really enjoyed this exhibition and were really impressed with the site-specific works!
Although this exhibition has ended, Soundwill hopes to put on many more art shows by emerging local and international artists. They aim to dissolve the boundary between commercial space and non-commercial art, so keep an eye out 😉
Happy weekend! ^.^