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sinic choy | Day in the Lyfe Graffiti Magazine's Online Blog
Day in the Lyfe Graffiti Magazine’s Online Blog Updated daily with graffiti, street art and original photography from around the world.

Tag: sinic choy

Interview by Matthew J (@IamJamesMatthew)

1) We’ll start this interview by having you introduce yourself to the readers. So tell me, who is Sinic? Where are you from? What crews do you represent? What credentials do you have in relation to graffiti?
Well, hello everybody. I write ‘SINIC’, I’m from Hong Kong and although I was born there and studied there, I am 100% Chinese. I rep for IDT crew which is based in South China & the KB crew which is based in Hong Kong . Me and my bro Stan (Xeme) are running an event named, “Wall Lords”, every year, which is the biggest graffiti battle in all of Asia.
I work as an organizer for a couple project related to graffiti and street art culture in China. Recently, I started with a new company named, “Kolour” that distributes spray cans ONLY to customers in Asia. Having a company that caters to the Asian consumers is important for as the scene grows, so must the ability for writers to get quality supplies. We meet that need.
People can go to our website: www.kolour-paint.com, and we have a facebook account as well, just search in ‘kolourpaint’.
2) Despite the graffiti being relatively new to Asia, many prominent writers and crews – including yourself- have emerged on the scene and are proudly representing the Continent. Tell me about your first encounter with graffiti and what inspired you to get involved within the culture? Who were some of your favorite writers, back in the day? What does the art mean to you?
Back in Y2K when I was just a teenager, who loved to draw, Street style ,culture was becoming a big hit in Hong Kong all of a sudden. I don’t know the particular reason why I’m so into street culture; it’s probably related to my childhood, growing up in a neighborhood that resembled a ghetto. I always loved Hip Hop and I knew of graffiti via Hip Hop culture. Of course, those colorful letters (typography) attracted me, as well.
I started to paint in wild style but was totally shocked after Neck (CNS) visited Hong Kong. After seeing that work, I was hooked 100%.
I remember that Seak, Daim, Totem, Shok1 were my favorite writers, back then.
To me, graffiti is not a game nor is something you do just to get a rep – it’s a big outdoor canvas to show people what comes from your mind.

3) You recently went on a trip to Tibet. What was this trip about and what was the overall experience like? What did you learn?
Yes, me and my other crew mates from IDT travelled for 50 days from Kunming to Tibet and left our marks on different interesting surfaces along the way. The whole trip took 1930km to complete. That journey, pardon my English, was so fucking beautiful!! From crossing desert valleys to climbing highly elevated mountains, we experienced the original lifestyle of the Tibetans. We saw how Tibetans have sacrificed their lives for their faith and also how the government has not changed its policies – denying true religious freedom and civil liberties to the Tibetans. For people outside of the region, it sounds very strange, I know, but it is really happening!!

4) Earlier in the year, both you and Xeme put together a calligraphy exhibit in Portland Street – in Thailand’s red light district. What was your inspiration and motivation for the exhibit and how was the show received by both art and the Portland Street locals?
Xeme and I are very good friends. We both share the same hobby (graff) and we work together and hang out all the time. Every time we’d walk through Portland Street, the most famous red light district in Hong Kong, we were fascinated by the neon light sign plus the funny messages, so we decided to use it as our visual theme for the exhibition.
That exhibition showed a different face of Hong Kong; a part of its the unique culture which is shouldn’t be limited to things such as Bruce Lee or sailing ships alone. The gallery that we exhibited is located on a exclusive residential district. The local people were very curious and a bit freaked out, because our decorations were so authentic that the gallery looked like a real house of prostitution. *hahaha*

5) Any chance of your guys doing another such exhibit in future?

Oh we love to, but I think we will show another interesting side about Hong Kong with our calligraphy next time. As I mentioned before, Hong Kong has a unique culture and we want to show all of it, not just the traditional imagery.

6) You are credited as being one of the founders of Invasian Magazine, the magazine which focused exclusively on the graffiti/street culture in Asia. Earlier in the year, there was a bit of restructuring within the group –  seeing some members branch out into other avenues while others stayed to focus on the Invasian website. Can you tell me a bit about what happened and what is your current relationship with the publication?

Sure, I can talk about. I was one of INVASIAN Magazine’s founders. It started with pure passion and was a ‘hobby’ while our business was growing, but eventually a branch of problems arose. The previous partner had a different vision from that of ours (Xeme and myself) so that we decide to part ways with the publication. At the end of the day, we’re still cool, we just had creative differences.
Xeme and myself have started another new magazine called, “ONCEAGAIN”, which focuses not only on graffiti, but looks at street culture, as well.

7) I know that 2012 has been a very busy year for you, but do you have planned for 2013? Anything major in the works?
As I mentioned before, Stan (Xeme) and myself recently started the magazine, “ONCEAGAIN” (1AGN) which is a free booklet designed for open minded people that are interested in traveling in exploring places around Asia. What we aim to provide is a travel guide combining different subcultures thus giving the reader a unique experience of Asia – from skate shops to art galleries, listing some of the best and most interesting places to visit that you will not find in other travel guides. We’ve felt that Asia has always been neglected in that area, so the magazine is here to help give a little push in the right direction. Check it out: www.1agn.com 
Also, in 2013, I plan to take at least one more trip, helping to promote more events in Asia.
Of course, Wall Lords – the graffiti battle for Asian- will always be my main focus. I put most of my time into helping organize, build, and promote Wall Lords. It’s a tough job but well worth it.
For those who don’t know, WALL LORDS is about: 9 major Asian Crews and writers compete over the 3 main graffiti categories at the qualifying rounds. And the best crew selected from each location will represent its country to compete with other crews from different countries at the Wall Lord Final.
8) You just explained the basic premise of WALL LORDS and how the competition-aspect is broken down. I want to know, from your point-of-view, what has made Wall Lords so successful and how has it impacted the graffiti culture Asia?
It’s a blessing that so many people support the event and are helping it to grow.  Many of the winners, in different countries, have gone on to gain much success and exposure, which is something we (the organizers) want to see; that has always been one of the outcomes we’ve wished for. Ultimately, we hope that every Asian country can and will host their own event thus building a strong graff culture of their very own. I see Wall Lords as more of a “road-paving machine”; it’s helping to empower our people and give them a new perspective in relation to art and their own self-expression. Once people start recognizing their own potential, [within graffiti], they should/could start their own “Wall Lords” style events. That is what I want to see happen.

9) We’re almost finished but before we go, is there anybody you’d like to shout-out or acknowledge? Who are some people that you’d like to mention or thank?
First, I want to thanks my family for all of their support and for not trying to stop me from do this crazy shit (they’re amazing people). I want to thank Stan (Xeme) for always standing with me and having my back. We’ve done this crazy shit together. Thanks to Jimmy from Taiwan for all the support and for trusting in our crazy shit. Thanks to my crew mate Nan, Yyy, Dal & his wife, all those Kong Boy, INVASIAN mates and Taiwan brothers Citymarx and Kolours Union. And the peoples who have helped me in the past. Finally, I want to thank the cool dude, Matthew J for this awesome interview. Big up to Bombing Science!! Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share my story.
10) Any last words?
In the end, I want to say. Now I’m an artist, event organizer and promoter/dealer. My work is always related to graffiti. I’m not rich though; sometime even broke. As a graffiti writer, it is hard to be understood within the view of traditional Asian culture but I’m very happy and feel that I am living (I’m alive). So I would like to leave the readers with this final message: DO NOT GIVE UP ON WHAT YOU REALLY LOVE; the more you give to it, the more you will get in return.
Contact info:
Sinic Choy
Director
1AGN | KB | IDT Crew | Wall Lords
Tel: + 852 9876 2146 (Hong Kong)
       + 86 135 7032 4546 (China)
+ 886 0981 367017 (Taiwan)
On Twitter: @SinicChoy