Tuesday night I headed down to ArtBoy Gallery in Prahran to check out Toy To The World – an annual fundraiser for the Victorian AIDS Council where a bundle of artists (so, so many this year) customise vinyl toys with their indubitable talents. There were more people at ArtBoy this year than I’ve ever see at any previous TTTW – it was packed, and everything was absolutely loving what was on offer. Chopped, hacked, painted, glued and modified, man there were a lot of awesome toys down there!
Pencilneck Productions and all their volunteers have done a fine job of this years event, and I hope they make themselves a bundle of money for the VAC.
Check out the photos below, and if you like anything that you see, you can bet on them over at the Online Auction site – theres some really great shit there, and it all goes to a more than worthy cause!
Tuesday night, 21st January 2014 sees the return of one of our favourite fund raising events – Toy To The World – an opportunity for artists from across Australia to customise a bunch of vinyl toys, and then submit them to to an auction for charity in order to raise funds for AIDS research.
Last year the team managed to raise over $2000 for the Victorian AIDS council, and this year they’re hoping to raise even more – and having seen some of the preview pieces that have been submitted, I reckon they stand a fair chance – theres some mad shit going to be on display!
Who: A whole heap of artists, many whose names you will know! What: Toy To The World custom vinyl toy exhibition and charity fundraiser When: Tuesday 21st January, from 6pm til 9pm Where: ArtBoy Gallery, 99 Greville St Prahran, Melbourne
Man, I love custom toys and I love any kind of show that involves vinyl – the first show over at Espionage Gallery was a huge success, and they’re back at it again with Unboxed #2 tomorrow night!!
"Following on from the highly popular Custom Munny exhibition Unboxed from 2012Espionage-Gallery Adelaide is proud to present Unboxed 2, Dudebox edition.
Using the new platform of the blank Dudebox toy over 25 of the best local and interstate artists will customise their blank toys into a variety of weird and wacky characters.
Live art by Andrew Coleman aka Alphamanta We are also proud to present Unboxed 2 DIY workshop which will allow visitors of all ages to customise their very own mini dudebox toy with Nic Bic and Joshua Smith – two of the artists involved in the exhibition.
Stay tuned for more details on the upcoming workshop!"
Head down to Espionage Gallery if you’re in Adelaide to get your fill of mad art combined with rad toys – this shit aint for the kids!
Who:Joshua Smith, Nic Bic, Shane Haddy, Fredrock, Creature Creature, Rebecca Murphy, Smeagol Does Art, Losop, Chehehe, Ohnoes, Rem, J2k, SG1, Casey Farrell, Fredsticks, No Hoper, Genevieve Brandenburg, Tiff Rysdale, Caitlin Millard, Dan Withey, Harry Plane, Emma Uber, Pickles, Alyshia Eming, Kacey Boxall, Sophie Louise Ford, Kat Coppock, Catherine Scholz, Trent Lambert, Viray Thach, Matthew Phillips What: Unboxed #2 Custom Vinyl Exhibition Where:Espionage Gallery, Suite 1, Level 2, 93 Rundle Mall. Entrance off Lindes Lane next to ZU Shoes. When: Show opens Thursday October 24th rom 6pm til 9pm and runs November 14th.
So Dave Russell and I went and checked out Oz Comic Con last Saturday. What a laugh of a day. Saw some awesome costumes, and some pretty disturbing ones also HAHA!!
We checked out all the stalls in particular anyone that was drawing live. Lot’s of random characters scattered around the convention which made for some great shots, not to mention the Cos Play competition. Check out some great shots from Dave below.
After the hectic bustle of Kuala Lumpur and an overeating dose of food for Chinese New Year, I headed back to Singapore. My first few days there were, yep, full of eating, and getting back to do some proper exploring was pretty exciting. In all my previous wanderings, I just hadn’t seen any signs of graff or street art. Not a single piece, or tag …
I mean, I didn’t see anything. It was so clean, so tidy and so manicured that I was a little despondent – I’d been told by so many people that if I wanted to see street art, then I was pretty fucked in Singapore.
Late last year I’d also read some news over at BSA that a Singaporean street artist, known only as “sticker Lady”, who had put up some really fkn cool stickers across the city on pedestrian crossing buttons, was facing a hefty dose of potential jail time and/or the cane for doing so. Thankfully, as far as I know, that didn’t eventuate and from all reports the legal system went quite easy on her – but it didn’t really fill me full of much optimism for any potential visit there.
Then, not too long before I left, I saw a piece in Melbournes Blender Laneway by two Singaporean artists, Ink & Clog – and I fkn loved it. I ended up interviewing them for the first issue of our upcoming print magazine, Damn It! (you’ll have to buy a copy when its out later this month to read it, but its a good one!) and my feelings on the place started to shift – here were two amazingly talented artists who were really making some headway with their art in a place reminiscent to Australia back in its zero tolerance, culturally wastelanded 90s period.
I kept in contact with Ink & Clog, and, a week after I arrived back from KL (Id been practically bed ridden when I got back) they invited me out to visit for the afternoon. Thats when discovered Sultans Gate – and my faith began to be restored.
After arriving in Sultans Gate (thankfully the bus took me right there, and I didn’t have to wander around wondering where the fuck I was) I walked down the street, and, almost as soon as I looked I saw something that had been missing from all my glances around Singapore – tags. You have no idea how much even seeing one tag restored my faith – here it was, visible proof that there really was something cool going on in Singapore.
Wandering down the road, I bumped into Ink & Clog heading to go and grab some food, so after a few bites they took me on a quick tour of the somewhat more artistic side of Singapore.
Our first stop was Blackbook – run by Slac Satu and crew. This is the place you go to get your paint, people. They had a good range, too, mostly the local paint – Zenith which was pretty damn affordable and much cheaper than anything we get in Australia. I didn’t try it out, but the colours looked good and I was assured it was pretty decent.
Blackbook being an artist run shop, it didn’t stop at the paint supply – it also has a whole bunch of art from Slac and others adorning the walls, so if you want to pick yourself up some pretty mad art direct from the source, it’s all there for you to see on the walls.
Blackbook used to have a big wall erected that they could paint on that ran behind the shop – I’m not sure if they were asked to take it down or whatever, but it wasn’t present when I visited. I was told that they wanted to erect it again and I hope they do – given that there are almost fuck all places for people to paint with any freedom in Singapore (more on that in part 2 of this article!), I reckon anything is better than nothing. As it stands, they did have a whole bunch of boards about the place that had been painted on – and they all rocked.
I highly recommend visiting these guys when you’re in Singapore – its around the back from Ink & Clog and Bein Store.
Oh yeah, and their cats were all pretty cool. Cats rule (sorry Lukey!).
We then stopped in at a really cool store right next door to Ink & Clogs studios – Bein Store. I loved this place, not only did it have some amazingly cool threads and other locally made products (the freakin watches there were mad), but it was packed full of sweet art as well.
One of the high lights of also checking out Bein was getting to see a bunch of the Hell Lotus custom toys on the shelves.
I’d heard of the “Hell Lotus works that Clog had done, and I remember a passage he said in the interview I did with him for Damn It! that didn’t make it into the piece -
“The Hell Lotus was initially inspired by a trip to Hong Kong in 2011 together with ANTZ, ZERO and Neo,” Clog explained in the interview answers he sent through to me for the Damn It! interview.
“We visited the giant sitting Buddha at a mountain tops. I was so blown away that I made a sketch of it in my black book. It was an illustration of sitting Buddha with his head splitting open, revealing a skull, encapsulated in it. Signifying that in us, there’s God, and in God, there’s us. When I got back to Singapore, I was approached by Mighty Jaxx to design a toy for them and the splitting Buddha head illustration caught their eyes. A few changes were made soon after due to religion sensitivity, and was adjusted accordingly to remain the same ideology but yet subtle.
The design of the Hell Lotus got thrown back and forth to make sure that design are firmed, and the prototyped was also checked that the artists impression of the Hell Lotus was perfectly done for the buyers. That was the most important stage for me, making sure that people receive what I received in my head.”
So, having already been worded up on these pieces, seeing them in the flesh was pretty rad. The guys at Bein were welcoming and friendly, and looked pretty proud of their space – and the should be, there’s not much like it in Singapore and we hope to see them do great things in the future.
We then made our way next door to Ink & Clogs new studios that they’ve recently set up – inside, was a veritable treasure trove of cool shit. Paintings, toys, materials and all the things needed to create amazing work – and there certainly was a lot of that around.
Having had a chance to peruse a bunch of their work, I was pretty well left just wanting to buy a whole bunch of it – alas, canvases and backpacks are not really the greatest of travelling companions, but I now have my heart set on getting something for my walls in future!
Of course, there was the obligatory stickered out fridge in their studios as well – with a couple of pretty recongisable additions to it!
I didn’t have a hell of a lot of time to hang out, unfortunately, so just before I left they gave me the only kind of gift an artist really loves a piece in my blackbook. I can’t thank them enough for this, I absolutely love it – and what impressed me also was just how quickly they did it together. This is a well oiled artistic duo, and in under ten minutes they were done and dusted with this gem.
My quick visit to Sultans Gate gave me a real sense of an underground artistic community amongst the high octane, business driven world of Singapore. Fortunately, I can now say for a fact that all those people who said that there isn’t anything worth seeing in the Singaporean underground arts scene were wrong. It may not be everywhere and all over the place like in Melbourne, but its most definitely there.
In the next part of this article, I’ll cover a lot more of the actual art I saw up on the walls, my feelings on the overall “scene” and “artistic culture” of Singapore, as well as a place that is doing some pretty cool shit in Singapore that I’m sure you’ll all love – Kult Gallery.
Until then, check out the rest of the pics I got from around Sultans Gate, Blackbook, Bein and Ink & Clog Studios.
Last year saw a great collection of artists at GTNBZY, and this year is no exception – we’ll let the press release do the talking!
"It’s Fringe season again and GTNBZY is back with their next ‘Fringe Dwellers’ group art exhibition and music showcase – ‘Outside the Box’. Upstairs at the Light Hotel on Saturday the 2nd of March, ‘Outside the Box’ combines visual art with the local hip hop scene and will showcase fourteen exhibiting visual artists, two live visual artists and seven of Adelaide’s emerging hip hop acts.
A varied collection of artwork, all following the ‘Outside the Box’ theme of creativity will be displayed from 7pm, featuring artists Alex Gilchrist, Jelena Vujnovic, Dabman, Dan Adams, Donovan Christie, Fletch, Joel Sanders, Josh Muller, JPEG, Kevin Rumbelow, Luke Trevorrow, Munki, Nick Strutton and Pip Cocciolone. As a part of the exhibition Dan Adams is exhibiting his own custom vinyl toys which will be painted by each artist, and local art heavyweights Donovan Christie and Luke Trevorrow will also be providing a live painting demonstration using aerosol and acrylic mediums on the balcony outside during the exhibition, courtesy of Clinic 116. Entry to the exhibition is free before 8pm, and $10 from 8pm onwards.
Following the exhibition, ‘Outside the Box’ will transform from art-space to music venue, showcasing a broad and talented collection of local Adelaide performers. As well as performing, 2011 Hilltop Hoods Initiative winner Koolta will host the night alongside The Kid, with additional performances from Til the Break, Foreign Correspondence and Elapsed Time. DJ’s Chaps and Antrax will round out the night on the decks."
Looks like another great event from a great crew, who have a lot of experience in putting on some fine assed art events! Head down and see it for ourselves next week!
Who: Alex Gilchrist, Jelena Vujnovic, Dabman, Dan Adams, Donovan Christie, Fletch, Joel Sanders, Josh Muller, JPEG, Kevin Rumbelow, Luke Trevorrow, Munki, Nick Strutton and Pip Cocciolone What: GTNBZY Outside The Box Group show & Event Where: The Light Hotel, Adelaide When: Saturday the 2nd of March from 6pm, entry to the exhibition is free before 8pm, and $10 from 8pm onwards.
Ah, we do love ourselves a great fkn customised toy show, and, as always Espionage Gallery puts on one of our favourite types of shows in the best possible way – we’ve seen some of the hints and previews, and damn this looks good!
"Espionage Gallery has invited 41 of the best artists from Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne and Argentina to modify, customise, paint and decorate 41 Blank Munny Vinyl Toys. This is one of the BEST exhibitions to showcase at the gallery this year."
As far as we are aware, this is the first toy show from Espionage, and damn, but they’ve done a great job at assembling the artists involved! Some great names in there – head down this Thursday to check it all out!
Who: Joshua Smith, Gary Seaman, César Zanardi, Rebecca Murphy, Cameron Brideoake, Creature Creature, Michael Duncan, Luka Va, Nic Bic, Fredrock, Fletch Cuts, Donovan Christie, Caitlin Millard, Peter Fong, Lilian Choo, Scatterbrain, Lampin, Elita, Alphamanta, Chris Edser, Sam Barratt, Ali Harmony Brown, Sally Jo Cook, Claire Wee, Trent Lambert, Mustachio, No Hope, Rem, Dave Court, Backyard Jesus, Michael Carney, Tiernan S, Hex 1, Tiff Rysdale, Julian Lee, Daniel Purvis, Lucas Croall, Kat Coppock, Shane Haddy, Jerry Pendleton, Alyshia Eming What: Unboxed custom toy show Where: Espionage Gallery, Suite 1, Level 2, 93 Rundle Mall, Adelaide, (entrance off Lindes Lane, next to Zu Shoes) When: Opening Night Thursday October 18th at 6:00pm til 10pm
"Decorating the Apocalypseis a playful investigation of themes related to cultural identity. Images of masks and faces function as the primary signifiers in Fowler’ work. Through sculpture, painting and printmaking, he is questioning the ‘mythologies’ or artificial constructs surrounding issues of identity. Cheap, plastic, Chinese-manufactured toys are sourced locally before being deconstructed and re-configured, to finally emerge – through the ancient process of casting – as intricate, bronze masks. Kitsch wooden ‘primitive’ masks, found in flea markets in Paris and Melbourne, are methodically vandalized, painted and re-presented as cultural artifacts of contemporary society.
Also on display at the exhibition will be a 72 page book showing selected works from 1996 – 2012 both on and off the streets.
Selected solo and joint exhibitions include Raiders of the Lost Art, A.R.T Gallery Eden, Melbourne 2001; Productivism, Fine Art Gallery of Ballarat, 2003; No Comply, Federation Square, Melbourne, 2006; Refil 7, MTV Gallery, Sydney, 2007; Bootlegger, Until Never Gallery, Melbourne, 2007; Highland Chamber, Until Never Gallery, Melbourne, 2008; The Outsiders, Kristian Pithie Gallery, Melbourne, 2009; Surface, Michael Koro Gallery, Melbourne, 2009; Space Invaders, National Gallery of Australia, 2010; Larger Than Life, The Substation, Melbourne, 2011; South of the Border, Lo Fi Gallery, Sydney, 2011; VCA Graduate Exhibition, Melbourne, 2011.
Fowler’s work is held in the National Gallery of Australia collection, as well as various private collections in Australia and overseas."
Head over to Collingwood this Friday night to see it all – gunna be grand.
Who: Fred Fowler What: Decorating The Apocalypse Where: Backwoods Gallery, 25 Easey St, Collingwood, Melbourne When: Show opens Friday 17th August from 6pm til 9pm, and runs until the 26th August.
Friday night we had a brief chance to get down to Backwoods Gallery in order to check out Stephen Ives show, Jet, and to get a few photos of the work.
There was no disappointment – the man is a master of transforming every day models and toys into otherworldy, complex pieces that tell unique stories. Again, we also loved his 2d work, and the sketches and drawing was fantastic.
Invurt webzine provides information on AustralAsian street, urban, illustrative, graffiti and other genre defying, nu-contemporary art to readers around the world. It specialises in events and artists who are working, displaying and visiting Australasia – particularly with a focus on exhibitions, live art and other events the artists are partaking in.