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Czech artists aim to put their writing on the wall

STREET art and graffiti came to Expo last night with the opening of "Metropolis," an exhibition of the work of six Czech artists at the Czech Pavilion.

The young artists, known as Cryptic 257, Point, Masker, Pasta, Torn and Skarf, will spray their designs on a wall outside the pavilion next Tuesday from 3pm to 7pm. They will leave the wall there to allow their work to fade away naturally, just as it would on the streets.

"People always think of words like anarchy, chaos or underground when talking about graffiti and street art, but that's not the true meaning of it," said Cryptic 257, his face hidden behind a mask. "It's only a way to express one's identity and ideas. The simplest graffiti is just to draw a name. We may be anti-commercials or anti-skyscrapers, but the works here today represent our visions of a city."

"Metropolis" aims to echo the Expo theme of "Better City, Better Life" and the Czech Pavilion's "Fruits of Civilization." The exhibition consists of five installations and video art and transforms the space into a surreal and colorful city.

The work of Cryptic 257 starts the journey into the city. It is a vending machine of all a graffiti artist would need - masks and spray paints in various colors. The artist's imagined city is equipped with such vending machines so that graffiti artists need never worry about running out of materials with which to practice their art.

Other works include a Tim Burton-inspired candy shop by Pasta, a futuristic video montage by Skarf, models of high-rises with graffiti by Tron, a model of tower blocks with pink lights by Point and another miniature tower block with surreal residents by Masker.

All visitors will get free stickers and badges based on the exhibited works.

The artists are also holding a different exhibition at Source on Xinle Road from June 5 to 24.


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