Introducing RareKind China, the second project for my transcultural exchange platform, The Temporary. I’m not sure I ever really spoke about the The Temporary: 01 as it was the practical outcome to my PhD…and somehow got stuck in academic analysis and defragmentation. I’m sure I’ll back track to that at some stage…actually, I must!
Co-curated with Stoke-on-Trent’s finest, Andy Cooke from RareKind (amongst other truly creative things like Weather design agency, Entrepreneurs streetwear shop with the Upstairs Gallery, and more), RareKind China showcases the diverse visual identities of graffiti and street artists from China and the UK.
It has been an incredible project to organise and orchestrate between many different people, places, countries and cultures. A graffiti and street art takeover of Manchester in collaboration with the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (CFCCA) 30th birthday celebrations and Chinese New Year Mcr.
RareKind China comprises a print exhibition at the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (CFCCA) (with live window painting on the opening night), live graffiti demonstrations for Chinese New Year Mcr Celebrations, animation projects in the windows of Selfridges Department store, a street art tour (book onto this please!) and well, paint all over the city including Manchester renowned #outhousemcr spot on Stevenson Square. Check out the project map for full details, hot of the digital press this afternoon.
Find below more specific info on the project followed by a huge THANK YOU to those who sponsored and supported it all to make it happen, including to bring two artists over from Hong Kong! Also, Andy you have been great to work with, and with graphic design skills like no other! And if you ever wondered what 600 cans of spray paint looked like…
If you’re in Manchester, join us for the opening on Thursday 4 February, 7-9pm at CFCCA, where there are more events happening across the city that day and over the weekend. It going to be one day-long spray paint party that’s for sure.
Also I’m in hashtag frenzy at the moment – #rarekindchina #CFCCAat30 – use and abuse these please and get involved in the conversation!
In collaboration with Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (CFCCA), graffiti and street artists from China and the UK have been commissioned to create original works that respond to CFCCA’s 30-year anniversary and the international context of the urban art scene. The project includes an exhibition of limited edition prints at CFCCA alongside a programme of live painting projects, artist workshops and street art tours across Manchester.
Graffiti and street art is a global phenomenon, marking a moment of social action, still viewed as an underground ‘subculture’ with limited acknowledgement as a form of contemporary art. In China, graffiti artists are rare battling against the restrictions of cultural understanding and a lack of government support. Seen as cultural subversion, the practice is underground and dangerous with a limited viewing life. Presenting a collective vision and transcultural perspective, the limited edition print works on display cross boundaries of graphic design, sign writing, typography and illustration. Here, the graffiti artists are responding to elements of contemporary culture in China on an international scale, reflecting CFCCA’s artistic ambition and vision.
From China, artists explore international cultural exchanges. Rainbo (China Graffiti Girls) shares her signature graffiti character ‘Frog Girl’ and ‘Catfish’; Uncle (Afterworkshop), Akim, Mask and K real create new languages to discuss hybrid cultures and politics; Filippo Cardella depicts chaotic post-apocalyptic landscapes; Lei Lei (aka Ray) and Wong Ping present highly stylised colourful images alongside work by 球0528, Keflione, Zato, all re-imagining Chinese architecture and social life.
From the UK, artists present British graffiti culture in all its forms. Krek and 45RPM play with the relationship between image and text; Lucy McLauchlan creates abstract fusions of place and pattern; Threen celebrates the authentic, gritty side of UK graffiti culture, and Mers, James Roper and Mr Penfold show the development and evolution of personal styles ranging from illustration to geometric shapes.
Artists include: Krek, Mers, James Roper, Mr Penfold Rainbo, Uncle, Lei Lei (aka Ray), Mask, 球0528, Keflione, 45RPM, Wong Ping, Threen, Zato, Akim, K real, Filippo Cardella and Lucy McLauchlan.
Graffiti in the City
Outhouse MCR at Stevenson Square, Northern Quarter, Manchester · 1 February – 30 April 2016
Substation, Tib Street, Northern Quarter, Manchester · 1-28 February 2016
Wellington Mill, Pollard Street, Ancoats, Manchester · 14 February – 30 April 2016
Participating Artists: Krek, Mers, Rainbo, Uncle
Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art · 5 February – 3 April 2016
Participating Artists: Mers, 45RPM, Lucy McLauchlan, Rainbo, Uncle
Live Graffiti Demonstrations
Exchange Square, Manchester · 4-6 February 2016 · Daily 11am-7pm
Participating Artists: Krek, 45RPM, Rainbo, Uncle
Selfridges&Co windows, Exchange Square, Manchester · 4-7 February 2016, 4-8.30pm
Participating Artists: Lei Lei (aka Ray), Wong Ping
Street Art Tour
13 February 2016, 3-5pm
A unique city centre walking tour linking CFCCA’s 30-year history with the Northern Quarter’s rich history of public art. Booking essential: £7 including complimentary drink at Common Bar (Edge Street). To book call CFCCA on 0161 832 7271, or book online here.
RareKind China would like to thank Transnational Dialogues (Luigi Galimberti), Outhouse Mcr (Tasha Whittle and Jay Sharples), Fred Aldous (Manchester, UK), Manchester City Council, Heart of Manchester Bid, Selfridges&Co. (Manchester, UK), Part-of Gallery (Hong Kong), China Graffiti Girls (Hong Kong) and Afterworkshop (Hong Kong) for their sponsorship and support of the project, and Tang Wan, Lance Crayon and Austin Li for artist liaison and translation.