Posts tagged with "Shanghai"

AIWAYS previews intelligent AI cockpit tech at CES Asia 2019

  • AIWAYS gives show visitors first opportunity to experience new AI and AR technology
  • Shanghai-based company previews ‘Intelligent Care System’ of all-electric AIWAYS U5 SUV, set to go on sale in 2020

AIWAYS, the Shanghai-based personal mobility provider, is previewing its new intelligent cockpit technology at CES Asia 2019. Committed to creating a new travel lifestyle that exceeds drivers’ expectations, AIWAYS is giving show visitors the first opportunity to experience its innovative approach to connectivity, including industry-first artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR) features.

These new smart technologies will be presented to consumers as part of the AIWAYS holistic ‘Intelligent Care System’ connectivity package, set to be an integral part of the all-electric U5 SUV when it goes on sale in selected markets in 2020. The system has been developed to offer U5 occupants a personal, friendly and intelligent cockpit environment.

Mr Cai Jianjun, AIWAYS Executive Vice-President of Sales and Service, said: “Our mission at AIWAYS is to provide intelligent systems that make driving easier and more enjoyable for motorists. We believe technology should be warm and inviting, and the Intelligent Care System has been designed to create a ‘home away from home’ for occupants while travelling. We look forward to sharing our ideas with CES visitors and giving them the opportunity to experience these exciting new technologies first hand.”

A leading feature of the Intelligent Care System is the ‘AI Virtual Assistant’. This driver-support technology uses AI algorithms to create an anthropomorphic in-car assistant based on a human appearance defined by the user, replacing faceless computer images. Enhancing the familial atmosphere, new voice synthesis technology allows users to give their virtual assistant a personalized voice, mimicking that of themselves, a friend, or loved-one, making the inside of the car feel like home.

Underpinning this ‘intelligent mobile companion’ proposition is a ‘Multimodal Active Interaction System’. Like the AI Virtual Assistant, this also uses AI algorithms to learn driver preferences, habits and gestures, allowing the car to intuitively understand and proactively attend to their needs. The ‘Driver Monitoring System’ observes driver behavior and provides warnings in certain situations to improve safety, including looking out for instances of driver fatigue and distraction. The monitoring system can also scan the vehicle after locking and alert drivers through the complementary AIWAYS app if they have left personal belongings inside.

A first for in-car augmented reality technology, an innovative ‘AR User Manual’ takes the complexities of a conventional printed vehicle manual off the page and into more engaging scenario-based episodic animations. This is designed to help drivers use and understand their vehicle more efficiently and effectively.

Keeping children entertained on the road while creating cherished memories is a challenge for any parent. The ‘AR Story Platform’ enables occupants to keep a visual record of memories from journeys, with the ability to create 3D picture books through AR technology at the end of a drive. The interactive picture book encourages children to develop their own stories and record time spent travelling, creating an engaging, multi-sensory experience for the whole family to enjoy.

Throughout CES Asia 2019, AIWAYS will enable visitors to experience Intelligent Care System technologies for themselves through a series of interactive displays. Show attendees should visit the AIWAYS exhibition area (Hall N5, Booth 5382) to find out more.

CES Asia 2019 takes place 11-13 June at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC).

THE QUAIL × MONTEREY CAR WEEK

The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering Returns to World-Renowned Monterey Car Week on August 24, 2018

Photo courtesy of Rolex

The luxury-lifestyle event will host seven press conferences throughout the day from premier automotive manufacturers and sponsors including Polestar, Karma Automotive, Gunther Werks, Lamborghini, Rolls-Royce, Bugatti and Hennessey Performance 

WHAT: More than 200 of the collector car world’s finest and rarest motorcars will decorate the rolling grasses of Quail Lodge & Golf Club, as The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering returns to Monterey Car Week on Friday, August 24.  Now in its 16th year, the luxury-lifestyle event will feature six international culinary pavilions, fine wines and a family-friendly atmosphere, along with an array of special classes including “70 Years of the Iconic Porsche 356,” “The Alois Ruf Reunion,” “The Great Lancias” and “50th Anniversary of the Lamborghini Espada & Islero.”

This year’s event will also be highlighted by a program of unveils and debuts from revered international manufacturers throughout the day. The schedule is as follows:

 9:00 AM: Polestar

 9:30 AM: Karma Automotive

10:15 AM: Gunther Werks

10:30 AM: Lamborghini

10:45 AM: Rolls-Royce

11:20 AM: Bugatti

12:10 PM: Hennessey Performance

WHERE: Quail Lodge & Golf Club, 8000 Valley Greens Drive, Carmel, California 93923

WHEN: Friday, August 24, 2018

8:00 am – 10:00 am (media preview hours)

10:00 am – 4:00 pm

About The Peninsula Signature Events

The Peninsula Signature Events is organized by The Peninsula Hotels, dedicated to creating world-class bespoke events at its properties in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo, Beijing, New York, Chicago, Beverly Hills, Bangkok, Manila, and Paris – future openings, Yangon and London. Quail Lodge & Golf Club is home to the following Peninsula Signature Events: The Quail Ride, The Quail Motorcycle Gathering, The Quail Rally and The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering. http://signatureevents.peninsula.com.

The Quail × A Motorsports Gathering

The premier automotive event will welcome four featured classes — “The Great Lancias,” “50th Anniversary of the Espada & Islero,” “70 Years of the Iconic Porsche 356” and “The Alois Ruf Reunion” — during its Monterey Car Week Event held at Quail Lodge & Golf Club on August 24, 2018

Today, The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering has officially announced four featured classes for its 16th-anniversary celebration on Friday, August 24, 2018. Recognizing Italian heritage and German innovation, the special selection will include “The Great Lancias,” “50th Anniversary of the Espada & Islero,” “70 Years of the Iconic Porsche 356” and “The Alois Ruf Reunion.”

“The Great Lancias” class will be highlighted by notable models that exemplify the Italian manufacturer’s strong rally heritage. Key vehicles will include a 1974 Stratos HF Group IV, a 1955 Aurelia B24S and a 1988 Delta Intergrale 8V.

Meanwhile, the “50th Anniversary of the Espada & Islero” class will pay tribute to two of Lamborghini’s most timeless V12-powered touring cars: the low-production Islero GT and the 2+2 Espada that became one of Sant’Agata’s best-selling models. Half a century after both models debuted at the Geneva Motor Show, 21 of these iconic vehicles will be on display.

The Quail will also celebrate German automotive history and legacy through the special “70 Years of the Iconic Porsche 356” class. The display will include noteworthy examples of the marque’s first production sports cars such as a 1951 356 Pre-A Split Window, a 1958 356 A Speedster, a 1965 356 C Coupe and other seminal vehicles from the legendary marque.

“The Alois Ruf Reunion” will focus on German innovation through a selection of sports cars from the legendary Pfaffenhausen manufacturer and tuner. Included in the class will be the 1988 CTR “Yellowbird” #001, freshly restored by RUF themselves. The car will be presented alongside the new 710 horsepower CTR, making its North American debut. Along with the old and new CTR, several other prominent RUF vehicles will grace the event — from the CTR2 to the RCT and many more.

“To amp up the anticipation surrounding The Quail, we are featuring four new classes for car enthusiasts from around the world to enjoy,” said Gordon McCall, Director of Motorsports for The Peninsula Signature Events. “Guests of the show will be delighted to see a remarkable selection of cars that represent the Italian and German perspectives of automotive excellence.”

Keeping with tradition, these featured classes will complement the familiar roster of pre- and post-war classes as they line the prestigious greens of Quail Lodge & Golf Club.

In addition to the world-class selection of vehicles, The Quail will offer an array of culinary pavilions, award-winning wines and spirits and a Fireside Chat Series in the elegant yet family- and pet-friendly environment. Guests will also be invited to attend the Bonhams Quail Lodge Auction taking place concurrently on the Quail Lodge Farm Field.

The event is sold out; however, if an individual has missed the opportunity to purchase tickets, they may submit a waitlist request online. Other options for admission include The QuailHelicopter Ticket and The QuailCharitable Patron Ticket, which are still available for purchase. For more information about these ticket options, please click here. To learn more about the event, please visit the event website and follow the action on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

About The Peninsula Signature Events

The Peninsula Signature Events is organized by The Peninsula Hotels, dedicated to creating world-class bespoke events at its properties in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo, Beijing, New York, Chicago, Beverly Hills, Bangkok, Manila and Paris – future openings, Yangon and London. Quail Lodge & Golf Club is home to the following Peninsula Signature Events: The Quail Ride, The Quail Motorcycle Gathering, The Quail Rally and The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering. http://signatureevents.peninsula.com.

1936 BUGATTI × BEST OF THE BEST AWARD

1936 BUGATTI TYPE 57SC COUPÉ ATLANTIC

WINS THIRD ANNUAL THE PENINSULA CLASSICS BEST OF THE BEST AWARD

A rare and beautiful 1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic was named the winner of the prestigious The Peninsula Classics Best of the Best Award  today at The Peninsula Paris hotel.

Now in its third year, The Peninsula Classics Best of the Best Award brought together eight of the world’s finest classic cars—the best of show winners from the top international concours—to compete for the title of the most exceptional motor car in the world. The Bugatti is co-owned by the Mullin Automotive Museum, and Rob and Melani Walton, located in California, USA, and was named “Best of Show Concours d’Etat” at the 2017 Chantilly Arts & Elegance.

Speaking of the award’s legacy, The Hon. Sir Michael Kadoorie, Chairman of The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, Limited and co-founder of the award said, “My great hope is that we not only succeed in thrilling long-term car enthusiasts, but that this award will also ignite a new-found passion for those just discovering the world of motoring.”

Powered by a supercharged engine and considered by many to be the first supercar ever made, the winning Bugatti is one of four Type 57 Atlantic models ever produced, with only three in the world remaining. The vehicle was designed at the height of the art deco movement by Jean Bugatti, Ettore Bugatti’s son. Jean based the car on his other design, the 1935 Aérolithe concept car, which was famously riveted externally, for fear of the magnesium-alloy body parts catching fire. Jean kept this signature riveted seam on the all-aluminium body of the Atlantic.

“The Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic is the crown jewel of the automotive circuit,” said Bugatti Head of Tradition Julius Kruta. “This car was Jean Bugatti’s masterpiece with its beautiful and breath-taking lines, plus its unmatched performance for the time. Today, it remains the ultimate expression of the Bugatti legacy: unparalleled power and beautiful design.”

This model, chassis number 57374, was the first Type 57 Atlantic produced and is the only surviving “Aéro Coupé,” a designation given to the first two cars that were mechanically very similar to the Aérolithe. The car was delivered new in 1936 to Britain’s Nathaniel Mayer Victor Rothschild, third Baron Rothschild, and has since passed through few owners in its 82-year history. The car has been displayed internationally, and most recently, was on display at the Los Angeles-based Petersen Automotive Museum for the “Art of Bugatti” exhibit.

“The Atlantic represents the pinnacle of everything I adore about French automotive styling and is widely described as the Mona Lisa of the automobile collector world,” said Peter Mullin, Founder and CEO of the Mullin Automotive Museum. “From its signature curves to its aviation-inspired rivets, to the Jean Bugatti designed sleek all-aluminium body, the car is truly a remarkable piece of art. I’m very honoured to have shared it with the world amongst other worthy ‘Best of the Best’ contenders.”

“I second Peter’s thoughts – the other seven nominees were simply stunning, which makes winning the award feel even more special,” said Rob Walton, co-owner of the winning car. “What this award does is allow us to take a step back and admire the quality and beauty of the greatest classic cars in existence today. For an automotive fan like myself, it’s a joy.”

The founders of The Peninsula Classics Best of the Best Award are each known as some of the world’s foremost motoring experts, and were brought together by their shared passion for fine motor vehicles, impeccable restorations, as well as the preservation of tradition and heritage.

The Hon. Sir Michael Kadoorie, together with award co-founders Christian Philippsen, William E. “Chip” Connor and Bruce Meyer, created the award that debuted in 2016. The gentleman each cite a passion for automotive excellence as the inspiration behind the creation of The Peninsula Classics Best of the Best Award.

According to Bruce Meyer, “For the third year, the ultimate standard for judging The Peninsula Classics Best of the Best Award was that of uncompromised quality and design. Of course, this made the selection process most challenging for the esteemed group of panellists.” He continued: “In the end, the 1936 Bugatti Type 57 SC Coupé Atlantic emerged victorious, with its exceptional, bespoke design making it a marvellous combination of art and technology.”

Previously presented during Monterey Car Week, the award moved to Paris this year to be presented during the world-famous Rétromobile event. The Bugatti was presented at an exclusive reveal party in The Peninsula Paris’ subterranean garage, following a private dinner.

The winning vehicle was selected after being reviewed by 24 automotive experts, designers and notable celebrities within the motoring world. Learn more about each judge, in addition to the seven other nominees by clicking here.

The Peninsula Hotels, owned and operated by The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, Limited, is proud to sponsor The Peninsula Classics Best of the Best Award, a natural extension of the group’s passion and appreciation for luxury, travel and the motoring lifestyle. With 10 hotels in global gateway cities throughout Asia, USA and Europe, The Peninsula Hotels celebrate glamour in travel, and aims to showcase the ultimate in sophistication, innovation and design. Known for its timelessly elegant hotels, discreet integration of technology and functionality, and extensive fleet of luxury transport, the group aims to bring its heritage and expertise to celebrate the very best in the world of motoring.

For more information, please visit http://peninsula.com/bestofthebest.

DANYSZ GALLERY

Shanghai | Gallery

Alain Delorme

Exhibition Murmuration

January 26 to March 16, 2018

Born in 1979, Alain Delorme lives and works in Paris, France. Graduated from the Gobelins’s school, he then pursued a master’s degree in photography at the University of Paris VIII. The photographic work of Alain Delorme is particularly concerned with depicting the phenomena of normalization and standardization conveyed by our consumer society. The artist delivers photographs in graphic and colorful worlds oscillating between realism and fiction.

A distant rustle, puffs of air : a swarm forms and rises in the breeze, drawing elegant arabesques in a sky full of shimmering reflections of light. At first, the works of Alain Delorme capture the magic of the first fleeting beauty of a flock of birds, a Murmuration. However, this initial charm soon vanishes when the viewer takes a closer look, notices the clever deception, and discovers what is really behind the graceful flocks, the sometimes aquatic, sometimes calligraphic shapes : thousands of plastic bags, meticulously arranged by the artist, their massive presence threatening to asphyxiate the horizon. This work is located at the crossroads between various visual cultures and diverse artistic heritage, primarily cinematic : Murmuration seems like an improbable blend of the sight of the plastic bag which in American Beauty (1999) swirls around almost hypnotically, and the vision of The Birds in Hitchcock’s great classic from 1963. Both play with the reversal of perspective: the Master of Fear builds his plot on the inexplicable aggression of actually harmless animals, while the scene captured by the amateur filmmaker seems to unveil the beauty and delicacy of an otherwise ungainly object.

More generally, Delorme’s digital creations echo land art installations – presenting natural spaces that have been physically transformed in order to question their fate and vulnerability. In this work, Alain Delorme revisits accumulation, a recurrent theme of the new realists also leveraged in Delorme’s previous series – using absurdity to bring attention to the excesses of modern society.

By choosing such a common and universal artifact, the commentary takes on a global relevance. The context of the images is only hinted at, without explicit geographic positioning. The outline of our proud industrial societies, factory chimneys and power lines stand out as shadows playing against a sky that is bathed in a twilight that seems to announce the end of an era. Because the plastic bag poses a truly universal threat : it invades urban surroundings, litters natural habitats, paves seabed, and takes over deserts.

Through this “trompe l’oeil”, Alain Delorme steps away from any militant position, favoring the process of gradual awareness. He cuts out, assembles and arranges the elements of both a fictional and probable reality into one image that projects the sunsets of our tomorrow.

Practical informations

January 26 to March 16, 2018

Danysz Gallery

256 Beijing East Road x Jiangxi Road – Shanghai

Singapore | Curatorial

Exhibition Art From The Streets

at ArtScience Museum

Exhibition since January 13 to June 3, 2018

ArtScience Museum – The world’s most iconic street artists present provocative works for the first time in Southeast Asia. From 13 January 2018, the galleries of ArtScience Museum will be invaded by some of the world’s top street artists in one of the boldest exhibitions to be shown at the museum in years. Art from the Streets traces 40 years of Street Art, from its countercultural beginnings to its extraordinary rise as a major phenomenon in contemporary art.

The show features the world’s best known street artists including Banksy, Shepard Fairey (aka Obey), Futura, Invader, JR, Blek le Rat, Swoon and Vhils among others .

Curated by Street Art expert and gallerist Magda Danysz, Art from the Streets reflects the evolution of street art, charting the diverse artistic techniques employed by artists through the decades and showing how technology has created new expressive avenues for artists.

One of the highlights of Art from the Streets will be a series of live paintings and installations created on – site by iconic names from the field. Nearly a dozen artists, including upcoming new street art sensation, Felipe Pantone from Spain, have been invited to take over the galleries of the museum, creating new art works especially for the show. Illustrating the vitality of and diversity of the movement, the show also includes large – scale mural paintings, installations, videos, prints, archival material, drawings and sketches.

As well as bringing some of the leading international names in Street Art to Singapore for the first time, Art from the Streets also shines a spotlight on urban art in South east Asia. The show includes major new works by local and regional artists, including Speak Cryptic (Singapore), Yok & Sheryo (Singapore) and Eko Nugroho ( Indonesia ) .

“ArtScience Museum is thrilled to be presenting some of the biggest names in Street Art in this daring and provocative new show. What started out as acts of rebellion on the streets of US cities in the 1970s, has since expanded into a major international cultural movement. Art from the Streets shows how street art has evolved beyond the early days of graffiti and tagging, and is now recognised as one of the most important artistic genres of the 21st century. Our visitors will see how artists have restyled the look and feel of cities around the world, through captivating, thought – provoking works that range from small interventions, to massive murals. This is an exhibition that celebrates the energy and dynamism of the streets, by encouraging some of the most exciting artists in the field to transform our galleries into living urban artworks,” said Honor Harger, Executive Director of ArtScience Museum, Marina Bay Sands.

“Street Art is one of the most important art movements to have emerged in the 21st century. This exhibition celebrates the vitality of a movement many of us can witness as part of our everyday experience. It is very important at this stage to mark the 40 year history of the movement and recognize Street Art as a coherent and valuable art movement,” added Magda Danysz, a curator and writer based in Paris and Shanghai. Having witnessed the rise of graffiti and urban art from its beginnings, Magda Danysz became an expert in the movement, writing books about the history of Street Art, curating major institutional group shows and over 50 solo shows with artists including Shepard Fairey (aka Obey), Invader, JR and Vhils.

Practical informations

since January 13 to June 3, 2018

Art Science Museum

6 Bayfront Ave – Singapore

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Alain Delorme Presents Exhibition Murmuration

The photographic work of Alain Delorme is particularly concerned with depicting the phenomena of normalization and standardization conveyed by our consumer society. The artist delivers photographs in graphic and colorful worlds oscillating between realism and fiction.
A distant rustle, puffs of air : a swarm forms and rises in the breeze, drawing elegant arabesques in a sky full of shimmering reflections of light. At first, the works of Alain Delorme capture the magic of the first fleeting beauty of a flock of birds, a Murmuration. However, this initial charm soon vanishes when the viewer takes a closer look, notices the clever deception, and discovers what is really behind the graceful flocks, the sometimes aquatic, sometimes calligraphic shapes : thousands of plastic bags, meticulously arranged by the artist, their massive presence threatening to asphyxiate the horizon. This work is located at the crossroads between various visual cultures and diverse artistic heritage, primarily cinematic : Murmuration seems like an improbable blend of the sight of the plastic bag which inAmerican Beauty (1999) swirls around almost hypnotically, and the vision of The Birds in Hitchcock’s great classic from 1963. Both play with the reversal of perspective: the Master of Fear builds his plot on the inexplicable aggression of actually harmless animals, while the scene captured by the amateur filmmaker seems to unveil the beauty and delicacy of an otherwise ungainly object.
This exhibit will take place January 26 to March 16, 2018 at
Danysz Gallery 256 Beijing East Road x Jiangxi Road – Shanghai.

Bella Hadid Wears Zvelle!

Bella Hadid was photographed wearing Zvelle in New York City last night. The model stepped out in a statement plaid coat paired with Zvelle’s Anais Knee Boots in Black ($715), the same boots that Adriana Lima recently wore in Shanghai, China.

Adriana Lima photo courtesy of Instagram.

SUPERPOZE

Paris | Gallery

SUPERPOZE

Exhibition For We The Living (art and music)


For We The Living is imaginary and aesthetic narrative about the upcoming end of the world. Before even launching his musical album, SUPERPOZE, who is known as a singer, musician and music producer, has built a protean and immersive work. This record, and all that surrounds it, comes as a unique experiment – taking root in a fictional archeology work where he gathered plenty of elements, archives, objects, that are now made into an artwork. An installation made of 8 videos, accompanied by a libretto (imagined by the Television art group) surrounds the core of the installation: a piano. The instrument is displayed in the center as an invitation for other musician to come a play live the electronic music tracks of the album in their own way. What is striking is that electronic tunes are made without the usual musical score. SUPERPOZE hence decided to give a posteriori to his music a score. His aim by doing such is double. Firstly, the artist is questioning the process, the archeology and conservation of electronic music. Secondly, it allows others to come and play his music, like it was done with old tunes that anyone could take over and play again and again. This unusual process reveals the composer’s path. People are used to see SUPERPOZE as a musician, with his soft and mystic piano tunes mixed with more raw and edgy electronic sounds. With For We The Living exhibition the artist offers a more tangible and real experience to his music. The show also demonstrates how much comes into the process of a record: from the melodies to the concert, the videos, the libretto, etc. Here the music becomes a more physical experience, even though we live the music in a digital era. Making a bridge between the contemporary art scene and this young music sensation, the exhibition offers a different insight into SUPERPOZE’s world. So many elements cross paths turning it into an unprecedented sensitive experience.

 

Practical Informations

October 14, to november 25

Danysz Gallery

78 rue Amelot, Paris – France

Free access

Superpoze – Analog © DR

Superpoze – Analog © DR


Superpoze – Analog © DR


Danysz Gallery

78 rue Amelot, Paris – France

256 Beijing East Road x Jiangxi Road, Shanghai – Chine

Founded by Magda Danysz, the gallery – Paris, Shanghai, London – is at the heart of the vibrant contemporary art scene.

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BOMBING SCIENCE

At Bombing Science, we wanted to get a sense of what was going on with graffiti this summer and what better way to do that than to explore where people were using the #graffiti hashtag around the world. The world is popping full of colours and artists are making their mark in an expanding list of cities. Rather than pick cities at random, we pulled Instagram data over the summer to deliver to you the Top 99 instagrammable cities for graffiti as brought to you by instagrammers from around the world. It truly is a global experience not to be missed!

Most Instagramed Cities for Graffiti


After talking about it with the team, we decided that we would try and share an observation or two from the big list. Break it down a bit so people could see some of the trends in terms of their own countries or cities. While you see the top 10 chart above, we’ve commented on the top 25 cities across North America, Europe and South America (including Mexico). The 25 cities chose are reflected in the top 99 cities chart below.

North America

In North America, we grouped US cities and Canadian cities together. There weren’t any surprises with New York City talking the top spot on the list in 2017. Followed up by Los Angeles (6), Miami (10), San Francisco (14th), Chicago (21) and sneaking into the last spot in the top 25 was Austin. In Canada, Toronto took the top spot and found itself 12th overall on the list. Followed up by Montreal (13) and no other Canadian cities in the top 25.

 
Europe

Reviewing the European cities showed us that Europe dominated the Top 25 this summer. England, Germany, Italy and Spain all had 2 cities. London took the top spot and 2nd overall on the list. Paris (3), Berlin (5), Barcelona (8), Reykjavik (9), Dusseldorf (11), Moscow (15), Madrid (16), Lisbon (17), Rome (18), Milan (19) and rounding out the European cities was Amsterdam (22).

 

South America and Mexico

Reviewing the South American Cities revealed that San Paulo (4) had top honours and was part of the top 10 cities. Next was Bogotá (7) and Rio de Janeiro (20) with Mexico City coming in (23) and Buenos Aires (24th) rounding out the list.

 

And now… the big list!


Can you find your city on the list?

Cities & Their Relationship to Graffiti

In cities around the world there are examples as to the positive impact of art and how it can be a positive influence on the wellbeing of the people that live in urban areas. What does that really mean? In exactly which ways does art have a positive influence on the wellbeing of cities? Graffiti as an emerging mainstream art form is helping to improve or revitalization depressed areas of cities that otherwise were considered dead zones, people are now traveling to cities they may not have considered traveling to in order to check out art destinations. Artists are finding new venues and outlets to express themselves and earn a living off of their work.
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“Residents, tourists, and high-end boutiques, co-exist with graffiti vandalism in a relatively symbiotic fashion.” 

– Gregory Snyder, author of Graffiti Lives on the NYC graffiti scene.

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Placemaking and the role of graffiti

Looking closer to home, this type of placemaking is having an impact across the United States and Canada. The National Endowment for the Arts has tracked some of the results through their Exploring Our Town program. What emerges out of their research is that it’s not just the big cities that are turning a corner on their use of public space. Several of those project that had a street art/graffiti element were in small and mid-size cities including projects such as Downtown Pathways in El Paso, Texas, Grant Street Global Voice in Buffalo, Revitalizating Station North in Baltimore and The Whittier Neighbourhood Mural Project in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Each one of these project had a set of anticipated impacts and each reported positive unexpected impacts. Notably these projects brought communities together, increased foot traffic and investments ranging from new restaurants, new retail and new infrastructure spending.

In Canada, there are examples of partnerships that are forming around grafitti art including Toronto’s Graffiti Alley. It has support across non-profits including the laneways project, the city of Toronto’s Heritage Department and most recently was a featured project in the creation of the world’s longest instagram photo created by Toronto photographer Justin Poulsen in collaboration with Havas Worldwide Canada. Tunnel du Rouen is a one of the largest legal walls in Montreal. It’s a dynamic entry to the list in that the artists continually evolve the work that is done both on the wall of the tunnel and nearby. In Vancouver, a by product of their mural festival, there are ongoing activities and walking tours put on in collaboration with the the Mount Pleasant Business Improvement Area with support from local city councillors. Some other cities are starting to recreate and bring back a graffiti culture that had existed in the mid-2000s such as what happened in London, Ontario. This summer – Over 20 local graffiti artists participated in a “graffiti wall jam” put on by Mitch Taylor, the owner of Leisure Surf and Social Club store. All of these efforts contribute to more people being involved in their communities and spending more money in their own cities to support local economies.

Many European cities are taking the lead, among them is Lisbon that has an official office for managing street art that has lead to the promotion of eco-tourism and walking tours. In Lisbon, the Bairro Alto area is one of the more popular places and highlighted by Bohemian Trails plus in an article by Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo aka BrooklynStreet.com. There are the free walls in the Poblenou neighbourhood in Barcelona. This is an area that was once really industrial and now and has now become revitalized and is a thriving go-to destination point in any visit to the city. Another great example is the European Cultural Capital city of Aarhus with a graffiti Facebook group of over 15,000. Others include Pigneto (Rome) and Berlin which will see the opening of the The Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art.


Let’s really just pause for a moment to consider that we now even have graffiti hotels including “The Walled Off Hotel” created by Banksy in the Palestinian West Bank city of Bethlehem, We have graffiti installations at Art Basel Miami and festivals popping up in countries that we haven’t seen before such as India. The area in Mumbai known as the Lodhi Colony was turned into India’s first public art district. The 2nd edition of St+art India will be happening between October to December 2017. All of these efforts are contributing to the rise in the percentage of art in public spaces. Adding to this, a new book on street art by Ed Bartlett and published in spring 2017 by Lonely Planet. It’s no surprise that there are some of the top livable countries in 2017 with thriving graffiti communities including Germany, Netherlands, Iceland, United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

The 2016 Street Art Festival by St+art India Foundation Video 

Festivals

Along with the cities that have the most posts for #grafitti, we also wanted to highlight the festivals that make it happen for a lot of these artists. More and more festivals are popping up around the world and each bring their own distinct take on graffiti or street art. In no particular order some of the top festivals in our mind include Upfest (Bristol), City Leaks (Cologne), The Crystal Ship (Ostend), Bloop (Ibiza) , Santurce es Ley (San Juan), Mural Project (Richmond, USA), Mural Festival and Under Pressure in Montréal, Mural Festival Vancouver, Art Basel Miami (off-events) and WonderWalls (Adelaide). They represent 1 million+ fans and 100s of graffiti artists with the top group of festivals having substantial indirect and direct financial benefits topping $5 million+ and counting.

POW! WOW! Hawaii 2017 Official Video

One that really stands out for us is the POW!WOW! Festival series coming out of Hawaii. Founded by Justin Wong and the main event being held each February with the support of the Hawaii Tourism Authority. It’s gone from a simple show to offering educational opportunities with their mural art schools, gallery exhibitions, and most recently connecting with SXSW creating murals around Austin, Texas. In the future, the festival has plans to expand to cities and countries such as Taiwan, Long Beach, Israel, Singapore, Jamaica, Washington D.C., Guam, New Zealand, Germany and more.

The next step in the rise of #graffiti in the mainstream is the fact that brand names are now associating themselves with the festivals which brings in revenue and exposure for the artists. While some of the festivals were able to report attendance or revenue results back for 2016, many of them are just putting measurements in place and simply haven’t the time nor the resources given the logistics of managing artists, suppliers, sponsors and audiences. A lot of these festivals have completed their 2017 editions and already planning for 2018.
 
Our Methodology

Our team made the decision to focus on the #graffiti hashtag and determined that Instagram would be the most appropriate social media platform given the obvious appeal to photography and visuals. Instagram as a platform now has over 700 million active users worldwide and so we took it upon ourselves to build out our own tool to collect specific data. The criteria was pretty simple – We set out to capture the hashtag info plus the geographical data during the summer of 2017.

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Recent ‘heir’ spotted – Justin Gatlin.