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Experience is not what happens to you. It is what you do with what happens to you. (Aldous Huxley)

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06

May
2012

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In

By Cathy

Billy Chan

On 06, May 2012 | No Comments | In | By Cathy

When I was young, I was the brat that would get into mischief all the time. But frankly, I believe, I was actually quite innocent, and fortunately people usually did recognise me as a fairly bright kid.

In the year 2001 when I was 11 years old, as an intermediate school student in New Zealand, every kid would obviously need to get education. However, it was also very normal for every kid to have some hobby, just as a way to bring out their true inner self.

In that time, making art was something that I really felt proud about, probably because I didn’t have anything else which I could do well. Art was the only platform for me to show off my abilities to other people.

Later on that year, I was introduced to graffiti by a friend, and soon enough graffiti was like a new friend to me, it was simply too addictive. From learning how to draw basic graffiti letterings, to going out at night and vandalizing on walls and public areas was just a small step. It was all just like a great game.

Yet, at some point it all got quite out of hand: after I graffitied the whole school with my name, I nearly got kicked out. After all graffiti was regarded as vandalism, and as such was illegal.

Graffiti back then was for me an alternative way of communication. As years have gone by, my definition of graffiti began changing, away from the adolescent marking of territories and vandalism for the sake of the adrenaline rush, to a more conceptual and determined approach. After my return to Hong Kong, I studied Art and Design at different institutions, and have throughout sought for ways to apply graffiti in graphic designs and installations.

I don’t think I’m there yet, but I am looking forward to my further quest for an adequate integration of graffiti in the broader range of the established Visual Arts.

 

Mr. Chan graduated from the MVA (Experience Design) in summer 2013.