From Brighton to the back streets of Hong Kong, Szabotage quickly became notorius on the street art scene across the world. Painting for love or specially commissioned pieces, his notorious bold colour can be found on walls around the world.
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The giant koi
Story of the koi
Back in 2013, Szabotage found the perfect wall in Sai Ying Pun to paint. The owner of the wall requested that he paint a koi but they couldn’t agree on a design. The owner told Szabotage that he “couldn’t paint fish”! Szabotage took this feedback onboard and invested the time to perfect the koi and painted them across walls in Hong Kong.
Szabotage has taken the koi as his emblem, a symbol he has come to identify with himself. “The koi jumping out of water is jumping out of its comfort zone, from water to air. It is enjoyment, it’s invigorating. There’s a sense of jubilation and freedom in its movement.”.
The koi has important symbolic meaning in traditional Chinese culture. The fish has a powerful and energetic life force, demonstrated by its ability to swim against currents and even travel upstream.
Characteristics associated with the koi, such as courage and perseverance are reflected in Szabotage's art, with boldness, strong symbolism and a powerful colour palette.
Coming full-circle, the Koi is now sought after, with an entire wall created in dedication to ‘the fish’ on Eastern Street in Sai Ying Pun.