I suppose I had several reasons for traveling to Hong Kong , outside of the obvious desire to visit this beautiful city. Its something I wanted to do since the very first time I watched ‘Ghost In The Shell’. After I competed my last show (w/ Eddie Colla and Hugh Leeman) at 111 Minna Gallery last February, I decided to take a break from art. After several years of pursuing art relentlessly, taking on every odd job I could to pay for my supplies/travels, while pursuing one project after another…I was officially spent. I told myself that I was going to take a a solid year off to get a better bearing on myself and what I wanted to do with my life. I thought of pursuing another career or moving to another city. All I knew for certain was the artistic drive I had felt over the years was all dried up.
I decided to spend most of my time pursuing work and saving money. I ended up finding work in a couple of galleries, bars, and working as a carpenters assistant. Finally I was starting to save money and not spend it all on art. Unfortunately, when I wasn’t working, without art, I had no idea what to do with myself. I was bored and agitated constantly. I took up watching shows on Netflix (mainly Breaking Bad) and reading. There’s was loads of books I wanted to read over the years, so now was the perfect time to catch up. Still, with all that, life without creating art is pretty meaningless for me. So after six moths of this…it was Hong Kong time!
I woke up one morning depressed as hell, so I went online and bought a three week ticket. I planned it a couple months in advance so I could do the necessary prep work. Originally I planned to just go there for vacation and sort my head out. However, soon after purchasing my ticket the urge to get started on art again crept back in. I spent the next two months putting together a new body of work to put up in HK, establishing connections and saving more money. I suppose my ‘purpose’ returned and it felt really good.
Thanks to my buddies ‘Advanced Mammal’ and Spencer Keeton Cunningham I had a host of contacts to take me around and show me the ropes over in HK. Upon arrival, I found the art scene over there to be very helpful, supportive and optimistic. I hit my first walls in the city with Caratoes and MASA. Soon after I met other artists who were equally as helpful. I bombed the old abandoned Hong Kong International airport with locals; Barlo and 4GET. Oddly enough, this was the only time during my trip in which I was approached by the police, they appeared to be more concerned with our safety than the fact that we were trespassing in order to do graffiti. Later on, 4GET and I ended up doing a collaboration mural together in the New Territories (Yuenlong). He was also of great assistance in getting me several legal walls (interior and exterior) in that area. I found people in that area to be very curious and open to what we were doing. I recommend any street/grafitti artsts traveling to HK to venture into the the New Territories, you will be well received.
I suppose ‘friendly’ is a great way to explain the atmosphere I encountered. For half of my trip I didn’t even pay for lodging. I met Jason who runs Hong Kong Wall(s). He’s a one man operation that gets artists legal walls in high profile areas throughout the city. We had spent sometime getting to know each other before he offered me his amazing two bedroom apartment in the Sheung Wan district to crash for a few nights while he stayed with his girlfriend nearby. The same hospitality can be said for Ross Dixon Turpin, co-owner of Star Crossed Tattoo in HK. I came across him while I was wheat pasting one night in his neighborhood. I ended up crashing at his place for the duration of my trip, and even got the chance to do a legal piece at his business. I’d like to give a special thanks to all the people and fellow artists I met over there who helped me out tremendously: Caratoes, MASA, Jason from HK Walls, Ross Dixon Turpin, Star Crossed Tattoo, OBSRV, ELLET, Anais and Perry, Barlo, 4GET and Kevlar Mihovich (Kevlar).
The entire trip was an amazing experience for me. The city itself is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before. Its ‘urban’ on a whole different level. Its streets are filled with people everywhere, exceeding that of any American city. Hong Kong’s Mong Kok, located in Yau Tsim Mong District, on the western part of Kowloon Peninsula is reported to contain the densest population on the planet. I have very limited experience in Asia, so this whole thing was an eye opening experience for me. The cultures, the dense populations, architecture, everything was so different from what I am used to. I suppose that’s the reason I went there, and why I will be visiting there again (in short time).
Meet D Young V
D Young V is a San Francisco based artist operating out of the Tenderloin. Much of his work revolves around the idea of a highly technological post – apocalyptic society. The world being portrayed is ever changing as the artist changes with every new experience.