The “Happy Story” of Tim Marsh – french street artist in Hong Kong
Tim Marsh, a French artist travelling the world, tells us here his Happy Story, a collaboration with the Hong Kong artist Bao during a voyage of discovery in this mythical city of South-East Asia.
You are a street artist. You have worked on a similar positive experience. We would like to share your story.
Arrival in Hong Kong for a street art getaway
16 hours, one stopover, and 27 sore muscles after boarding, we finally arrive in Hong Kong.
A train ride, and Baptiste, owner of the Delicatessen, picks us up to take us to Wan Chai, a trendy district of Hong Kong Island where we organized an exhibition, the reason for our arrival in this futuristic city.
And exactly as I imagined, the first steps in this city are a slap in the face. We had landed straight into Ghost in the shell. Endless buildings, colours, giant screens everywhere in height: if you come to see the city – by that I mean the Megalopolis, the real one – you won’t be disappointed. Another striking detail is the richness that this city breathes. Prestigious signs in every shop window, and luxury cars everywhere in the streets. People are there to make Hong Kong dollars and show them off.
Baptiste takes us to the Stallery, a small gallery created by Ernest, also an artist, in a slightly quieter street. Here, no bling bling, but a small street much more popular, strewn with 2 temples, between car repair shops… I like it.
First mural of Tim Marsh at Wanchai
Before I came, Baptiste had struggled to find a few walls to paint in the neighbourhood, and the first one to dare to let us paint was the gallery neighbour, Wendy.
Once the exhibition is set up, I start preparing the wall. Years of posters stuck on the wall had inlaid them, and this step turns out to be much more complicated than expected.
Raclette: nothing to do. Sandpaper: failure.
It was when he saw me struggling that a little old man who had a sort of little shop opposite the wall brought me a sanding machine. Of course, he didn’t speak a word of English, and I spoke even less Chinese. An exchange in mime begins, we both laugh, and a discussion without a word takes place. The shop of this little being was in fact full of things that he picked up, retyped and resold. Amazing.
Having not really thought about what to paint yet, and as a good fan of DBZ (dragon ball z, for the uncultured, Japanese manga inspired by an old Chinese legend), I think that making a traditional Chinese dragon, with a Shenron’s head (the dragon in DBZ) could be fun. I expose the idea to Baptiste, he is hot. Then to Wendy, the owner of the wall, and her eyes start to shine.
She obviously has no knowledge of Dragon Ball, but explains me that the image of a dragon would bring them luck, and a lot of cool stuff.
The choice was made.
The street artist and the inhabitants of the neighbourhood
And there, for two days, the inhabitants of the neighbourhood started to bring us water, soft drinks, then food, money (!), to talk to us, to talk to each other… the magic had worked. Strangers had not only been totally accepted in the daily life of the residents, but the fact of bringing colours to their walls too. But above all, neighbours who had never spoken to each other before got to know each other, thanks to a few spray-paints. And that was a sweet moment.p>
It’s time to get back to work, for an afternoon of painting and discussions with the neighbours, curious, and now totally open to the fact that we are repainting their neighbourhood.
Last street artwork in Hong Kong
There are 2 days left in Hong Kong, full of organised meals, but with some free time. There are still bombs, enough to make a small room. A few hours ahead of us, it’s gone.
At the end of the afternoon, the last play is finished. It’s time for us to dismantle the exhibition, go deliver the pieces, and prepare our bags for our next adventure: the Philippines. But that’s another story…
A huge thank you to Baptiste de l’Épicerie Fine and his parents, to Ernie de la Stallery, to Wendy, Ricky, Christina, and their family, to the Blue House, to Tatiana for her support and patience, and to all those we forget for this incredible human adventure !
DRIP’IN is committed to the “happiest” stories.”
DRIP’IN is committed to publishing the “Happy Story” of each artist, the 3 most positive stories being determined by their number of favourites.
The winner will receive a free steel lithograph free of charge of his work, and the 2 following winners will receive a free museum-quality giclée print of their work.