There is a place here in my university where I usually frequent when I want to have a quiet time with my cup of coffee. Parked bicycles, large windows, chirping birds, rustling leaves and cold bricks are my company. But the other day, I heard loud music and chattering from that corner. There was a band playing rock music, bottles of beer, and people gathered around artists while on the act of sharing their art.
Narrow alleys and hidden street corners around Canberra usually display colorful graffiti. This art explosion is also evident in my university and the activity during that day at one of my favorite places on campus is a breath of fresh air from all my writing and reading.
I remember writing a post about sculptures installed around my university. I feel bad that I wasn’t able to follow that up but I will. And from now on, I will also share graffiti I see around Canberra.
Many consider this form of art as vandalism. I consider it as a medium of expression. The difference is that it is oftentimes expressed on public spaces. I remember the case of a Singaporean street artist arrested for spray painting words on roads and attaching stickers on pedestrian press buttons. There was a mixed response from the public saying that it was a harsh punishment for an art expression and some arguing that public properties should be protected from this practice. But the graffiti artists I saw in my university were creating their art in broad daylight (in contrast to more commonly perceived gangsters secretly spray painting on walls in the dark away from the sight of officers). I realized that if artists and governments collaborate and agree on the extent and boundaries of street art, then there will be fewer cases of artists being fined/jailed for sharing to the world the world only they can create.