We meet Singapore graffiti artist, Clogtwo, to talk about his upcoming solo exhibition and book, “Machine Mouth” and the milestones in his career. Video inside: Quick Questions with Clogtwo.
By Kim Hana
Photos by Marc Tan
We meet Clogtwo for this interview at his studio at the Aliwal Arts Centre, an artist enclave in the heritage-rich Kampong Glam district. The studio is in creative chaos as he prepares for his first solo exhibition titled Machine Mouth (3-5 May 2013) at the Phunk Studio Space.
Machine Mouth will showcase 100 pieces of original artwork by Clogtwo. It will also be the launchpad of his book that documents the evolution of his art over a career spanning five years (commemorative art figure included).
Like many others who choose to walk the creative path in Singapore, Clogtwo has split personalities. By night, he is Clogtwo, a graffiti artist, or “visual anarchist” as he calls himself; by day, he is Eman, video editor at an in-house design company.
It’s hard work but he keeps at it because he’s always wanted to be an artist. He said, “I’ve been doodling and sketching since I was in kindergarten.”
By the time he was a teenager, Clogtwo had developed a rebellious streak. Back in secondary school, he and some friends stole cans of spray paint from the Design and Technology studio and let out all their pent up creative expression in a canal.
Clogtwo has mellowed over the years but he holds on firmly to his creative freedom. He said, “Graf is the freedom of expression and I can do what I want. There is no brief or book that states that this or that is wrong.”
Setting aside the time – even if in the dead of night – also gives Clogtwo room for introspection. His recent works have unmistakeable mecha characteristics about them – his critique of our attachment to technology and our gadgets.
Introspection has worked well for Clogtwo. His most memorable painting, The Asunder, inspired by a chapter in the Quran about Judgment Day, has gone on from a private gallery to the Singapore Art Museum.
His solo exhibition, Machine Mouth, is the result of yet more observation and introspection on his part. It will showcase works that explore the Singapore lifestyle – our struggle for material success, among other things.
He said, “It is a showcase for Singaporeans. We have so many complaints but no one wants to say it in public. My art will represent the questions, the struggles, the voices.”
Quick Questions with Clogtwo
Don’t miss Machine Mouth – The Book and Art of Clogtwo, 3-5 May 2013, at Phunk Studio Space. 188 Tanjong Katong Road, Singapore 436990
Wear Clogtwo, visit dblstd.com