Artist Spotlight: Mojoko Shares His Inspiration, Influences And Favourite Galleries

Singapore-based artist, Steve Lawler aka Mojoko launches 10 new works in an exhibition at SPRMRKT from 10 March to 10 May

Mystery Island feat. MOJOKOWhat’s the story behind the conceptualisation of Mystery Island?
The idea of “Mystery Island” came about form travelling around Asia. The constant conflicting emotions of nature versus man-made. One minute you can be enjoying a beautiful sunset on the beach, and the next minute, bombarded with advertising or overcrowded shopping malls. This duality interests me, a culture slowly being eroded by western influences yet still retains much of its tradition and heritage. The old and the new sit side by side, in a place moving so quickly it forgets to look back sometimes.

Mystery Island feat. MOJOKO
Why did you choose to do silkscreen prints and how long does each piece take to create?
I chose to silkscreen the works onto Ceramic to make them feel like authentic Antiques. Using the materials and techniques hundreds of years old, but to tell a new story, one of earth’s demise & pollution. The colour scheme is derived the traditional Blue & White Chinese porcelain. Each piece takes about 2 weeks to create, but even longer if you factor in looking for the frames. In this show all the antique frames were sourced first, and they dictated the size and format of the artworks.Mystery Island feat. MOJOKOHave you always wanted to be an artist? What inspired you?
I have always been interested in Art, not that I necessarily wanted to be an artist. I did go to Art School, but I was also attracted by Graphic Design. It seemed to be more modern and exciting. It’s only over the years when my experimental work in graphics and interactive media was recognised by the Art world, did I began to change my own view of what I did. Taking on less client driven work and pursuing my own personal work. Things that inspire me are certainly themes from modern culture, being critical of the world and its behaviours, topics like the environment and trash culture recur often in my work.

Mystery Island feat. MOJOKO

You were born in Iran, lived in Hong Kong and studied in Italy. How has living in these countries influenced your art?
Being born and raised in various countries has taught me to rely heavily on Visual Communication because of Language Barriers. Images transcend words, and are a great way of conveying messages and ideas. Visiting new cities and cultures gives you exposure to a whole new vernacular to be inspired by, things like typography, packing, architecture and customs. But on a more basic level, it teaches you to be humble and learn from new places.

Mystery Island feat. MOJOKOWhat are some of your favourite galleries in the Asian region?
I prefer the more down to earth galleries which show street art, graphic works and feel quite punk. Their openings are more like parties with great atmosphere. I would say places like GOJA and Soy Sauce Factory in Bangkok. Above Second in Hong Kong, Ace House in Jogjakarta and I have to say Kult Gallery in Singapore.

 

Mystery Island will run from 10 March to 10 May 2016 at SPRMRKT, 2 McCallum Street, Singapore 069043.

By: Debby Kwong

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