ON THE ROAD – Graffiti in Vagrancy

1 On The Road China

A new documentary, supported by Converse, follows 3 Chinese graffiti artists as they travel from Kummig in Southwest China all the way to Tibet for 50 days straight. Along their 1,200 mile journey, WHYYY, NAN, and SINIC (AKA the IDT Crew) leave a trail of beautiful spray painted murals on various surfaces, tending to choose areas that are unwanted or abandoned. Many people try to stop them, telling them it doesn’t look pretty. Some think they just want to scribble, but their art is more than that. They have injected their own feelings and ideas into the graffiti culture, much like the poets in generations past have painted their poems for all to see.

The graffiti of the IDT Crew is a combination of calligraphy, people, animals, and designs, never sticking to one theme. They claim:

“If you form a style, will you stick to it? The style is only a label for others. If people recognize your style, your works become boring. You will always be limited to your style.”

Before the team puts their creative stamp on a city, they get to know it intimately, relying on the kindness of people for accommodations or camping on the side of the road with prayer flags surrounding their tents, then they try to represent the city as best as they can in each piece. As they pass the places that they had only seen in postcards before, they realize that the greatest work is nature. Finally the project that had been in their heads for years came to fruition as they completed their final piece in the religious city of Lhasa, Tibet.

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