JR has been a name I discovered via Instagram a year or two ago. He is more than a photographer – one that is pushing the boundary and giving “meanings” to lighten up a lot of individuals.
The”Photograffeur” (part graffiti artist, part photographer) and “urban activist” is known for his blown up prints of gigantic faces in black and white, stuck on walls or funky places like on top of buildings. It was amazing meeting him in person in Hong Kong at his “A Survey” exhibition opening at The Pulse last week.
Here you see the power of the camera. He’s not even holding a gun but it feels like one.
There, JR himself was giving us a guided tour. The difficulties, the hostile situation, media pressure, political condition, and the helpful local villagers were explained to us behind each and every piece of work.
This is an amazing project “Women are Heroes” in Kibera Slum in Kenya, where he made photography and art useful and expressive. The women on one hand are celebrated through the work, and instead of printing the gigantic faces on canvas, the team made them with waterproof vinyl material which villagers can use to make their roofs become rainproof.
“I am a Man” might mean different things on different context. This mural was done on the prison wall in The States. Thoughts?
This photo was chosen by Ali, who went to Afghanistan few years ago to Marseille on a boat, like many other people trying to cross the border everyday. Most of the people with him died as the boat flipped and he feel special to be alive. He even went and helped pasting the mural up with the team. That explains why this mural was done upside down.
There are lots and lots of interesting stories behind each piece. I feel like I’m a grandma if I type them all here. You should definitely go and check them out!
It was a truly inspiring exhibition and I felt empowered to be an anonymous person to work on meaningful projects. I might start with my bag designs… with a meaning that relates to nature more than before (the GRASSY collection stands out pretty well but somehow people got it wrong haha).
HIGHLY Recommend a visit! It is open to public and free of charge, in conjunction with HOCA Foundation. Oh, and do watch the short film at the end of the room – I almost cried as it was sooo touching as he gave a proud moment to quite a few old people by doing his art and interacting with them.
JR: A SURVEY EXHIBITION
15 March – 12 April 2015
The Ocean, 3/f, The Pulse, 28 Beach Road, Repulse Bay, HK
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