Bob Motown, HIN and John Atherton have come together to produce a show of entirely new work that sees a collision of worlds from illustration, street art and fine art. As the name may suggest, Taco-Tricycle-Timbuktu presents a variety of playfully fresh works that appear quite innocent and tongue-in-cheek at first until you delve a little deeper and discover the darker undertones of each piece. We caught up with our good friend HIN at the opening of the show, here's what he had to say:
You have a show running at Stour Space in Hackney Wick at the moment, can you tell us a little bit about it?
The show is between me and 2 artists friends of mine Bob Motown and John Atherton. Both very good artist work in a different medium. We all share a playful sense of humour. We collaborated on a special edition screen print for the show as for the rest we created our own individual narrative within the space. Mine is all about animals. In the modern society, animals and humans' space are constantly overlapping and I tried to imagine how it is if animals start to pick up our behaviours, habits & even beliefs. Animals pray to God, wanting to loose weight, longing to become famous or racist animals etc.
We saw some awesome new HIN pieces in the show like your diorama’s and sculptures of squirrels stuck in beer cans. Can you explain the squirrel in the beer can for us?
The 3D pieces isn't something new for me. It's just that it's a too difficult for me to show that side of my work on the street. I always love taxidermy and the squirrel in the can share the same basic concept for the show. Animals very often feed themselves on human consumption nowadays. I've seen foxes drinking coke, pigeons eating kebab and even a drunk hedgehog. I feel that modern taxidermy should include part of that also.
Your work characteristically has very strong political connotations attached, (but often juxtaposed with child-like imagery). Were you always interested in politics growing up?
The thing is I never feel my work has a strong political connotations. I speak about things that touches me in that specific time. It could be about war or it could be about my grandmother's cat. The truth is part of our world is construct by pain, cruelty and greed. I believe the spirit of a child - the honesty, lack of judgement, the freedom and the natural creativity plus humour can help dilute that. It isn't politics I'm interested in. I'm just trying to find a balance within this oxymoron of the world we live in.
You have been known to depict controversial leaders such as Kim Jong Un, Silvio Berlusconi and Muammar Gaddafi - has this ever resulted in any trouble (or amusing emails)?
Once an Arabic couple passed by the gallery and saw the Bin Laden print. They very calmly said "This is rude, you must take it down, he is our prophet." When I heard that sentence made me feel that may be punching a hooligan in a face isn't such a scary thing.
Where do you get your inspiration for the innocent, child-like quality of your pieces?
I was forced to grow up at a very young age and there was no fun in it whatsoever. I always seeked for some sort of honesty & truth in life and I find it more often in children and I communicate much better with them. I guess I picked that up from them. Also I do have a slight biboplar personality so that helps.
|HIN Panda, on display at Stour Space|
|A street paste up by HIN|
You moved to England from Hong Kong when you were just 12 years old. What is the street art like in Hong Kong? Have you done any pieces there when you have gone back to visit?
There are only a handful of street artists in Hong Kong. Not many pieces around. Everytime when I return I'd try to make as many pieces as possible. I try to let Hong Kong people understand this form of communication. Due to Hong Kong's complicated political situation with China. I feel that this can be a very useful channel of expression in the near future.
Tell us who inspires you, who are your three favourite artists that you admire?
There are movies, music and artists that can offer you temporary energy and ideas but people that I admire would be people I'm close to. I can see how they live deal with their daily struggle. My close friend's two kids Monia and Nias inspire me very much. They are plain hilarious.
Taco-Tricycle-Timbuktu is open until the 4th of August at Stour Space in Hackney Wick.
Written by Judy Griffiths