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Opening reception:

Friday July 18th, 2014 from 7:00 – 10:00 PM

Exhibition dates: July 18 – August 23, 2014

Location: 9 First St, Ground Floor, Sai Ying Pun, HK

Mural art and graffiti were the first true democratizations of fine arts in contemporary culture.  Today anyone can see art online via blogs, Instagram, and a simple Google search, but before the Internet and smart phones, without going into an art gallery or museum, it was more difficult for the public to be exposed to this kind of culture.  People actually had to go out and seek the murals and tags, or run into them serendipitously on the street. What began as an underground almost anarchic form of expression has now been embraced by museums and galleries as an art movement. The works of these artists exemplify this generation’s transition of mural art and graffiti to the gallery space.  As artists, they have come full circle, from the streets to the galleries, and back to the streets showing their work to the widest possible audience.

Though their styles and techniques vary, their influence from graphic design and popular culture is easily visible. Stories of society, politics, and culture from across the globe sit side by side. POP seeks to display a range of artworks influenced by pop culture, bringing the diverse colors of the streets into the white walls of the gallery.

 

About the Artists

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Cope2 is an American artist of Puerto Rican descent. Born in 1968, New York City native Cope2’s paintings have been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in galleries and auctions throughout the United States and abroad. He is a self-taught artist who is a celebrated figure for over 30 years in the graffiti art culture. One of New York City’s most legendary prolific graffiti artists, he began tagging his name in the South Bronx in 1978. He developed his style in the subways and streets of the Bronx creating graffiti productions throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s achieving international recognition for his distinctive style.  In recent years Cope2 has been commissioned by Time Magazine, Converse and designed a full collection for Adidas.

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Cyrcle is a duo born out of Los Angeles California in 2010. The two artists who are Cyrcle come from different backgrounds of the artistic spectrum – graffiti, fine art, and design. They utilize negative and oppressive imagery to create hope and inspiration. Cyrcle’s aesthetic combines Classic Romanticism with alchemic symbolism, introducing it to the contemporary world through street campaigns, gallery work, and collaborations. These works reveal complex ideologies in their simplest forms. Living by the motto We Never Die , Cyrcle strives to shed light on otherwise dark matters, playfully exposing the gray areas of life. Best known for its murals and installations on the streets of Los Angeles. They use recycled materials and create works that interact with the audience and the space.

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Gemma O’Brien is a Sydney-based typographer, hand-letterer and illustrator. A stint learning letterpress in university sparked a fervent obsession with typography, and the creation of her blog For the Love of Type. At 21 she produced an experimental video, in which she inscribed her body with hand lettering, that caught the attention of Font Shop’s Jurgen Siebert and earned her an invitation to speak Germany’s 2009 Typo Berlin design conference.

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Joram Roukes was born in 1983 in Lelystad. He is currently working from his studio in Groningen, Netherlands. At the moment he is pushing a predominantly international artistic career. His oil paintings are reflections on daily life situations in western society, filtered and reassembled in a collage-like manner. These works have been shown throughout Europe with shows in Copenhagen and London.

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Kongo, or Cyril Phan, is a self-taught painter who has established himself in just a dozen or so years as a leading figure of the French, European and world graffiti scene. He initially gained fame primarily as a graffiti artist, since his mastery of the speciality and his role in the legendary M.A.C. group made him one of the major creators of the French graffiti scene for the past 20 years. But he has also managed to move his technique towards a mature artistry. Kongo has been able today to develop multiple skills, for a variety of clients including fashion label Hermes, all the while maintaining his unique artistic identity and in keeping with his tradition of mural and fresco painting.

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Okuda was born in Santander, Spain on November 19, 1980. Okuda’s work can be classified as pop surrealism with a clear essence of street art or urban art. His artwork is composed of geometric prints and multicolored ephemeral architectures that help blend with grey bodies and organic forms. These pieces of artwork often raise contradictions about existentialism, the universe, the infinite, the meaning of life, and the false freedom of capitalism. They help ignite conversations about the clear conflict between modernity and our roots. He began his career as a street artist by painting old factories and lost railways in 1996. Since 1997 his works have been recognized on roads and the factories in Santander. By 2009, his work hit a major point in his career. He had an opportunity to tour with IAM project doing gallery shows in New York City, Berlin, London, and Paris that helped him obtain new and more mature audiences.

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Takahiro Komura was born in 1986 and is based in Tokyo. His sculptures feel conspicuously out of place in the real world. They nearly seemed to have been plucked from the video games, cartoons, and comics of a twenty-something’s childhood.  Mutant superheroes and villains, video game bosses, the often dramatic story lines of each perhaps reflected the anxieties of our parents at the time.  Komuro’s sculptures capture this strange balance of youth and play on the one hand and deeper fears on the other.

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Tristan Eaton was born in Los Angeles in 1978, and began pursuing street art as a teenager, painting everything from walls to billboards in the urban landscape wherever he lived, including London, Detroit and Brooklyn. After growing up on comic books, graffiti and skateboard culture, Tristan designed his first toy for Fisher Price at 18 years old and began working as an artist full-time. He has since become a driving force in the world of ‘Art Toys’, designing the Dunny and Munny figures for Kidrobot. Tristan’s work can be seen in galleries around the world and in the permanent collection of the New York Museum of Modern Art (MOMA).

 



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