Some call Graffiti vandalism others call it avant-guard or street art. Whatever your personal opinion, it’s hard to deny that this art form can be provocative, entertaining, and beautiful if seen with an open mind.
Our son became interested in graffiti when the Art teacher at his school used it in one of their lessons. He came home and showed us how he’d written his name as a graffiti tag. We sat down together and looked up videos of graffiti artists on YouTube. We talked about the correlation between different types of art and design that use lettering… graffiti tagging, typography, calligraphy, and illuminated manuscript.
Of course, not all graffiti art is tagging, but that’s what he was into, so that was what we learned about and discussed. Eventually, we found that everywhere we went he’d be on the look-out for graffiti and he’d happily point it out to us. As we travel around, we come across many great examples of graffiti and much of it is extremely well done.
Recently, we’ve been visiting George Town, Penang and it is known as a vibrant showcase for street art. In fact, it’s one of the prime tourist attractions of the city. Without a doubt, that is one of the top reasons that we chose to visit George Town.
Shortly after we’d arrived in George Town we discovered that there was a graffiti exhibit at the Hin Bus Depot Art Centre, not far from our vacation rental. It was the last day of the exhibit, so we decided to go.
We were very fortunate that one of the artists was present during our visit, Kenji Chai. We were even more fortunate when he took the time to come over, introduce himself, explain some of his work, and chat for a while. We particularly appreciated the time he took to speak to our son and offer him encouragement and advice.
Kenji Chai is not only talented, but he’s also a commercially successful artist. If you follow his Facebook page you’ll find that he’s always on the move from one commissioned piece to another. His works include the use of cute and vibrant characters that combine elements of pop culture and a positive mental attitude. Plus, he’s just a really nice guy.