If you have ever wandered through the streets of Hong Kong, it is highly likely that you may have stumbled upon one of the characters by local creative team Graphic Airlines (G.A.L). Championing “the aesthetics of ugly” through their distinctive style, TAT and VI – the collaborative duo behind G.A.L – are represented on urban façades by chubby-cheeked figures with vacant stares and strangely deformed creatures. Plastered on every imaginable vacant surface, they are almost impossible to miss.
What undoubtedly makes their work so appealing is the manner in which it adds a contemporary artistic layer to Hong Kong’s city palimpsest. As G.A.L often present their work in dilapidated and forgotten alleyways and nooks in the city, it creates an evocative tension between old and new culture that exemplifies the richness of the Hong Kong’s urban fabric. A far cry from the homogeneous, streamlined, minimalist aesthetics so often associated with modern Asian cities, observing G.A.L’s work provides an insight into how local creatives engage with their city and play a small role in its transformation.
Not content to create merely within the realms of street art, their work can also be see on tee shirts and accessories, the walls of galleries and, most recently, post-it notes. G.A.L’s next venture is the group exhibition Post-It Show, which will be on at the Atticus Gallery in Barcelona from 5 May to 31 May 2011.