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K11 MUSEA’s new exhibition “City As Studio” presents the evolution of graffiti and street art

Curated by Jeffrey Deitch, the new show celebrates the spirit of street art and traces the evolution of a worldwide movement.

As part of the third annual K11 Art Karnival, K11 MUSEA is organising a new exhibition titled “City As Studio”, showcasing the history of graffiti and street art through over 100 works by more than 30 artists. Curated by the “Champion of Graffiti and Street Art” Jeffrey Deitch, the exhibition includes masterpieces by Jean-Michel Basquiat, CRASH, Fab 5 Freddy, OSGEMEOS, Keith Haring, Lady Pink, Lee Quiñones and more.

Keith Haring, “Untitled”

From its emergence in the subway yards and parking lots of 1970s New York, graffiti and street art have become a global phenomenon. “City As Studio” traces the movement back to its roots, starting from innovators like Fab 5 Freddy, FUTURA and Jean-Michel Basquiat, who were part of the downtown art scene in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The exhibition then spotlights artists such as Barry McGee, Mister Cartoon and OSGEMEOS, who created groundbreaking styles in San Francisco, East Los Angeles and São Paulo respectively. Lastly, “City As Studio” documents the rise of a younger generation of street artists, including KAWS and AIKO.

Highlights include Valentine (1984) by Basquiat, The Bomb (1983) by CRASH and Untitled (1983), a three-metre-long spray painting by Keith Haring. Part of KAWS’ personal collection, El Diablo (1985) by FUTURA exemplifies the influence of street artists working today, and likewise, Keith Haring (Red) (2010) and Basquiat (Red) (2010) by Shepard Fairey demonstrate how early practitioners of the genre continue to inspire younger artists. Meanwhile, AIKO and Lady Pink explore how female artists contributed to a genre traditionally dominated by men.


Also showcased is a series of photographs by Gusmano Cesaretti, Henry Chalfant and Martha Cooper that capture the urban impact of street artists in the 1970s and 80s.

To accompany the exhibition, K11 Art Foundation is presenting a diverse range of events, including talks, screenings, audio guides, docent-led tours and an education corner with online learning resources and an interactive graffiti tagging activity.

Tickets for the “City As Studio” are HK$100 for the general public, while concession tickets for children under the age of 12, senior citizens over 65 and students with a valid school ID are available for HK$50. Those who purchase tickets on or before 12 March will have access to early bird prices.

“City As Studio” runs from 20 March to 14 May at Kunsthalle, 6/F, K11 Art & Cultural Centre, K11 MUSEA, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong.

(Lead and featured images courtesy of K11 MUSEA and respective artists)

K11 MUSEA’s new exhibition “City As Studio” presents the evolution of graffiti and street art

Charmaine Ng


Charmaine enjoys eating steamed broccoli and knocking back cups of spearmint tea, all in the name of health. Covering art, beauty and music :)


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