Two days in Shanghai … Meetings, meetings, meetings … And a short break to rush to the Moganshan Road district where, I have been told, street art is to be found ! A huge urban area dotted with dilapidated workshops and abandoned warehouses, the place indeed offers enough walls to keep all the local and visiting street artists buzy for a while … And among the graffiti stencils, the major contribution seems to be from Siu, aka The Orange Blowfish … So I have asked him a couple of questions :
Hello Siu, why and how did you get into stencils ?
I got into stencils because I had done screen printing before, during my school days, and found it translated well to street art. You can be quick on the street - the obvious answer - but take hours of preparation … Which is something people tend to forget ! Most important, I find stencils are an easier access art to the public at large. I think that street art should be accessible to everyone and not just to the writers who understand how to read wildstyle graffs. It should make people think but also provide humor and brighten up people’s lives. Shanghai in particular can be very stressful, with over 20 million people trying to "make it" and I want my art to give them some relief from the day to day grind. I get a real buzz when an old lady walks past and tells me she likes my work !
What are your ongoing projects ?
How is the stencil scene in China ?
I know of two or three other stencil artists in Shanghai who are semi-active around town. Street art in China is still new but with more business being done with the West comes the exploration of western cultures and arts. Street art is becoming more popular but still there is only a small group of writers and even fewer stencilers. My dream is to see the city covered with beautiful street art which would represent this amazing city and brighten up people’s lives !
Siu left the corporate world two years ago to develop his artistic platform, which comprises graffiti stencils, sculptures and other amazing and equally talented activities. More information is available at www.theorangeblowfish.com ! Also, if you happen to be in the Moganshan – Changhua area one of these days, you may get a chance to see artworks from other stencilists, including Brand Fury and Beijing-based Aniu.
Interview and pictures are copyrighted by Serge-Louis for Brigadier Plipp. Thanks to Siu for agreeing to be interviewed. My gratitude also goes to Baptiste Fallevoz for pointing me in the right direction.