Unless you’re a street artist yourself, you’ve probably never seen graffiti art in action in broad daylight. It’s illegal, after all. But here’s your chance: Singapore designer collective Keepers has offered local graffiti artist Ceno2 (below) its exterior wall (nearly 20 metres wide!) as a canvas for his latest creation, Beauty Beneath the Surface, and he’ll be working on it daily (from 10.30am until late) from now until August 6.
Graffiti art hasn’t had much of a chance here in Singapore, where graffiti artists are considered, well, vandals. But Ceno2 has found a way to make his work legit, transforming walls and spaces by commission rather than by whim or opportunity – you’ll find his work at Hotel Clover The Arts (above), Amoy Street Food Centre (Samsui Lady, below) and 778 North Bridge Road (below), among others. The Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) graduate also works with schools to encourage kids to experiment with graffiti. (The fact that he managed to convince any institution to let him do this is a triumph in itself, if you ask me.)
Carolyn Kan, founder of Keepers, feels that it’s about time locals found out about Ceno2, whose work has been well received abroad but is still quite unknown here in Singapore. “I have watched him work and he’s a real master of his craft,” she says, adding that the Keepers mission has always been about getting people to appreciate local art and artisans. “Graffiti has been given a bad name… I hope that when people see Ceno2 create his inspiring art freehand, they’ll broaden their definition of art.”
So the next time you’re on Orchard Road, head down to Keepers (Orchard Green, opposite The Heeren) and watch art happen. (And who knows when you’ll get another chance to watch a graffiti artist in action here in Singapore?)