«Line» by Alex Face

Interview about his project «Line»

Name of the Street Art piece that has modified the urban space: Line

Location : Yala/Thailand

Year :

1- If you had to choose a Street Art piece that you created, as a transformation of the urban space, which one would you choose? How does this Street Art piece denote urban space metamorphosis?

I think my favorite example would be my project in Yala province located in the south of Thailand, due to the fact that it is one of the three border provinces that are classified as conflict-affected area. In the span of twenty years Yala has faced shootings, bombings, and other disruptions which made the city had less and less community’s activity every year. When I had my project there I could see that my artwork could make a little change in the atmosphere and get people out of their homes to hang out, participate in conversations and so on.

Alex Face – «Line» – https://www.instagram.com/alexfacebkk/– Yala, Thailand

2- Why did you make this Street Art piece in this urban space? Was it the town hall or the property owner who authorized or asked you to create it? Can we consider this work as illegal/vandalism or legal, what is your criteria?

This project came to be with the help of local business people and the area’s municipal official with the hopes of improving the traveling industry. Of course, I would have to ask for approval from the owner of the space first which I personally think isn’t bad as long as I’m not forced into doing something against my wishes.

3- What is the message you want to communicate through this Street Art piece? Is it related to the urban space where you did it?

With this piece I’m trying to communicate my feelings about the city in that time. I felt that people should have a chance to live their lives without fear. By deciding to paint my character as a child embracing a Guerni pita bird, I wanted to convey peace for all, so thats basically the message behind my work.

4- How was this work integrated into the urban space? What was the interaction that the inhabitants of this city had with your project? Did they participate in its creation?

The artwork transformed an old and rotting wall into a place where art could be seen and celebrated, and the people welcomed it. You could see their excitement from the way they lined up to take pictures while I was in the process of painting throughout the day. After it was finished there were people coming out with clothes, food, and refreshments to sell, and the people hung around till late at night. It was like they could finally come out and just forget about the problems in their lives and have fun for a second.

Alex Face – «Line» – https://www.instagram.com/alexfacebkk/– Yala, Thailand

5- Do you think it is important that the local people participate during the production of your work and that they become artists modifying the urban space or do you prefer to carry out your projects alone without anyone seeing you?

I think, I could do both. The way people in the community participated with me and my art during the working process had created the feeling of ownership to the community. And sometimes I could get new idea and technique from them too.

But definitely, I still love the silence moment  in the city that I could be alone and secretly create my work with no one around. This way, I feel like I could shout anything as loud as I want to without anyone noticing how loud it is.

6- According to you, what is the criteria that determines your Street Art work modifies the urban space and why is your work considered aesthetically well done?

My objective can be separated into the following subjects

– Make sure the message is delivered to the people who come to see my work in order to open up a way to share our experiences through street art.

– Attract people to a certain space which might make an otherwise lonesome area more lively.

– Transform old and abandoned buildings into a colorful place.

For my work to be aesthetically pleasing  I think creating art that incorporates the area’s setting, history and story is a good way to do it.

7-What is the “historical future” of your work? Should we take care of it, preserve it and repaint it as if it were a museum’s piece of art? Or should it be allowed to age with the city itself?

I think street art is a short lived event that comes into the world with its statement, and eventually fades away. That might be what makes it so special, the fact that it might be here one day but gone the next. It’s a beautiful cycle and I think we should leave it like that.

8- How does your work add value to the urban space in which it is produced?

It’s hard to say, most of my work might not have a substantial effect on transforming an entire area, but from past experiences, I think what really adds value to the work is when the locals and the people in the community feel like they are a part of the artwork’s story, or something about the artwork touches them in a way they all collectively feel.

9- What were the difficulties that you encountered during the completion of your work modifying the urban space?

Of course, working in a public space means people have a variety of opinions on my work. Some appreciates my work while others might be against it, as is the natural order of the world, so artists should also do some research about the area that they are going to paint in and try to understand and sympathize with the locals in order to create a mutual understanding.

10- Why is urban art important to modify the urban space? What sort of projects are you planning to do in the future ?

To me, each city is unique both in its architecture and culture. In order for my project to be realized, I have to first have some level of understanding of the city for me to be able to incorporate and play with the city’s uniqueness. Street art’s role is to enable people to engage in conversation with the walls that line their city, town, or area. Sometimes, an average person from the suburbs like myself can feel small and alienated when visiting the big city among all of those tall concrete trees. I think my painting on abandoned buildings and tagging my name on walls that are waiting to be destroyed is something that draws people’s attention, even for a split second while also saying something to the world. It’s something that helped me feel like less of a stranger to this confusing busy metropolis.

Interview conducted by Art Bill – journalist and owner of Street Art In Action.


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