The annual Singapore Street Festival (SSF) is back in full swing again from now to 2 July 2017 and it continues to celebrate the young talents in Asia. Although it was spelled as ‘Unchartered’, the theme of the festival this year is not about granting authority or rights.
What the organisers had in mind was ‘Uncharted‘— traversing into territory that has yet to be explored.
Gamers, hold that thought, this isn’t about the adventure-filled video game franchise by Naughty Dog. This festival is equally as exciting though, for it is a platform for budding young talents to showcase their diverse skills and crafts.
Collaboration is at the forefront of the works for this year as street artists take on collaborative opportunities when creating their art.
Check out the harmony and balance in these pieces where the artists stepped into the ‘uncharted’, out of their comfort zones as they tried to mesh different styles together in order to create one coherent masterpiece.
I attended the opening festival of SSF and was lucky enough to be one of the first to admire the works of art in the SSF Street Art Showcase. I even got the chance to interview two artists to find out more about their work!
Muhammad Masuri Bin Mazlan and Trisan Lim go by the monikers Masuri Kuerhorst (@masurikuerhorst) and Trys in the art realm. They are classmates in LASELLE College of the Arts and this is their first time participating in SSF.
Masuri is a sculptor who does 3D art work and he is constantly creating art with form, space and colour. On the other hand, Trys focuses on paintings. Both artists really stepped out of their comfort zones as 2D work is very restrictive to Masuri and this is the first time Trys tried his hand at illustrations with the figures of a man and woman passing through a portal.
When it comes to collaborative artwork, the artists learnt the importance of flexibility as well as to give and take. Laughing, Masuri confessed to being a perfectionist who often thinks the work is incomplete even after Trys is content with it.
Their graffiti art is more than just pretty to look at. The colour scheme is geometric and has an organic flow to it. The pair combined the characteristics of spray paint and wall paint, creating a contrast that gives depth to their work.
The pair painted for three days at Bugis Junction Outdoor. The weather was the greatest challenge because they had to endure the sweltering afternoon heat as they worked on their piece from noon to evening.
Both artists feel a sense of pride when they watch people taking photographs with their art but Masuri is most flattered when he receives compliments from children because they are known for their frankness. He also thought it was sweet of the elderly to watch them work when their spray painting piqued their interest.
Speaking about art in today’s digital age, both artists think that Yayoi Kusama’s exhibition, ‘Life Is The Heart Of A Rainbow’, is the perfect example of how artwork becomes the background. Art becomes self-defeating when that happens.
The pair think that people ought to put their phones down when viewing art because you cannot capture light and physicality of art through 2D social media. A good chunk of the publicity of Yayoi Kusama’s artwork is through social media though, and Trys acknowledges the fact that marketing is ubiquitous and practical. “If you can’t beat them, join them,” he said.
When asked if they would continue to dabble in street art, both artists said it is difficult since there are limited places for them to practise and hone their craft. Graffiti is often labeled as vandalism in Singapore.
When asked if they felt resentful that Singaporean street artists receive validation for their craft only during such events, they replied that they do not feel the frustration as they are still amateurs and are not as attached to street art as the veterans are.
On a lighter note, both artists stressed that having fun is ultimately the most important aspect of the festival and they have achieved just that. Head down to Bugis Junction Outdoor to catch a glimpse of their work in person!
Dates: Now till 2 July 2017
Prices: Admission is Free
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