Hong Kong Tourism Board - The stories behind Hong Kong’s street art

Written by Sassy Hong Kong
Featuring Szabotage,Elsa Jean de DieuCarol Mui and Rebecca T Lin 

Known for his old-school graffiti aesthetic and on-stage antics, British-born contemporary urban artist and designer Szabotage uses his street art to capture the essence of the city, fusing inspiration from both the East and West to create something uniquely “Hong Kong”. His pieces are popular as much for their bright colours and popular cultural references, as they are for Szabotage’s exploration of the relationship between urban architecture and their communities.


szabotage live painting graffiti street art mural in the city of hong kong hkwalls artist and urban contemporary pop artist

Image courtesy of Szabotage

Proving that culture isn’t a solely cosmopolitan affair, his iconic panther mural is set against the backdrop of a quiet residential village in the Hong Kong countryside.


mural street art by szabotage large scale painting by artist- graffiti inspired and a hong kong walls, hkwalls artist

Image courtesy of Szabotage


What was the inspiration behind this piece?

I first painted a large mural of a lobster on the wall of my house, as the area is called Lobster Bay. This had amazing feedback from our local community, and subsequently led to a request from my neighbours that I paint their wall. This provided the opportunity for a second large scale mural in the village, and that’s how the Village Cat came about.

What was the process of painting this mural like?

During the painting process, many of the villagers stopped to chat to me. The satisfying part about creating a mural on the street is the ability to interact with people whilst you’re painting, and getting immediate reactions and responses to your work.


lobster street art, large mural by hkwalls artist szabotage graffiti urban contemporary pop artist

Image courtesy of Szabotage

I remember an instance when a young girl came and chatted to me. She then went home and painted a picture for me. I was really chuffed that she had felt inspired. If my artwork encourages people to draw more, then that’s a huge achievement for me.

Works like the Village Cat pay homage to Hong Kong, so it means a lot when people here appreciate what I’m creating. It’s also inspiring when people outside of the Hong Kong community, with no personal connection to the piece, appreciate the artwork too.


street art in hong kong by hkwalls artist szabotage an urban contemporary mural and graffiti artist large scale painting

Image courtesy of Szabotage


What is your favourite street or neighbourhood for street art in Hong Kong?

Sai Ying Pun has to be one of my favourite spots for street art in Hong Kong. With a mix of old Hong Kong and new developments, there’s a real variety of street art styles and pieces.

A number of streets around Sai Ying Pun have been transformed into a multi-coloured canvas, with vibrant murals by both local and international artists. Galleries have also exhibited street artists, and there’s a real international feel, with famous artists leaving their mark here when passing through Hong Kong.

Sai Ying Pun is also home to many of my notorious Koi Fish tags. Some have even been added to by other artists, with one even painting cats alongside for a cheeky touch of humour.


Full article