Singapore, Yogyakarta, and Ho Chi Minh, searching for urban art and underground culture in Southeast Asia
When the Italian Institute of Culture in Singapore asked me to teach a workshop at LaSalle College of the Arts, I immediately asked myself how I was going to confront the argument of public art in a place I don't know much about. In reality, the time spent with the students, their enthusiasm and desire for freedom during a weeklong workshop where we created a mural on the LaSalle Campus, taught me that geographic and cultural distances in art are all relative. From this starting point, traveling in Indonesia (Yogyakarta) and Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City), getting to know the local urban art and local artists, was a push to paint in different environments.
When one travels in the Western world, often times it can seem that you aren't really expanding your horizons. The idea to take a long trip on a different continent so far away excited me because I was in need of new inspiration. What I saw was amazement and admiration for urban art and I was able to encounter growing subcultures. Part of this is because when you travel, you are more apt to indulge you senses and let yourself go with the flow of what surrounds you.
Sometimes we're forced to adapt: for instance painting with horrible local spray paints or letting go of our daily habits, like a good espresso! All this in order to discover that it's all relative - you can create some interesting effects using old spray paint meant for cars and in the end the taste of Vietnamese coffee is different but really good.
~ Alice Pasquini