Last year we got over to China a couple of times for some factory visits and the ‘Meeting Of Styles’ event in Hunan Province. We have mad love for China; the people are as nice as they come, the food is dope and the landscapes can change from the urban concrete sprawl to subtropical jungles on just a short drive. Most of all, we love linking with the writers in China; Graffiti truly is a global visual language that knows no barriers – style can’t be lost in translation or misinterpreted.
In the summer of 2016, we tore through the United States at breakneck speed. From Chicago, to San Diego, and back again in just a few days, walls were sprayed, Lak cans were emptied, blackbooks were sketched in, and sleep was lost. With such a hectic schedule, there was no time for beers, no time for loosing passports, no time for dope Cuban sandwiches, no time for juice, no time for tamales, no time for disco beats, and certainly no time for fun.
Ewok, Kems, Mast, and Vizie came along for the ride. Pose, Trav, Omens, Persue, Brisk, Deow, and Zoueh joined us at points along the way as we bounced like a pinball through Chicago, Los Angeles, Westminster, and San Diego (plus a little ‘accidental’ side step into Tijuana). That was just the first half of the trip.
Vision Quest is the first instalment of an ongoing collaborative video series by American graffiti writer KEMS (@allchrome) and Los Angeles based photographer Kingston (@kingstonphoto). The series documents the search and activation of wasted spaces.
In the search for abandoned spots to explore and paint, KEMS discovered abandoned lines of trains out in the desert. Loading up with a stack of Lak Chrome spray paint and a large a-frame ladder, he trekked through the arid landscape to find a discontinued double-decker passenger train – potentially from the 60s or 70s. While the dates are uncertain, in tracing the history of the cars, they were used to convey people from Mexico to San Diego – at one point, this model was used in Chicago.
These adventures brought back the sense of discovery that graffiti originally gave him. In reflection, KEMS says that it seems people were at these locations one day and gone the next. Leaving him to question – “why did people abandon this place?”
Photos from these lurks will be featured in an upcoming zine and accompanied by a special edition Reload by Ironlak spray can. More details to be announced.
In a peculiar meeting of friendship and styles, our all chrome aficionado, Kems, welcomed a visit from Parisian good-guy Gomer in April. He arrived as Boston’s winter was going the way of the groundhog, the locals hoping it wouldn’t see its shadow and curse them with another six weeks of winter. Rather than stay to find out, the duo loaded up an unassuming rently with Lak, and clocked miles on the dash for an extended week long USA-only spraycation. After being turned away from the Canadian border, Kems and Gomer travelled 2000 miles, touching up abandos and local spots in random towns through-out New England and New York. Nine days, a helluvalotta Lak and good times. Enjoy.
Video made by Selina Miles about the Ono’u festival in Tahiti 2015, check it out!