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5 places to see the Orange Blowfish's street art in Shanghai

Get out and about to find Siu-hung Tang's works around town

With the sun set to be (periodically) shining over the next few weeks, now is the perfect time to get out and discover some of the exciting street art Shanghai has to offer. Italian artist Millo embarked on his project in Shanghai recently, following in the footsteps of Seth 'Globepainter' Malland, and now Shanghai-based, Nottingham-born artist Siu-Hung Tang – aka The Orange Blowfish – has been busy throwing up new works around town.


Brightening up the city walls since 2011, Tang recently celebrated the opening of his first solo exhibition The Red Pill at the Magda Danysz Gallery. But while that exhibition may have finished, you can still find plenty of his work dotting walls around town - in particular, his Rabbit Holes series.


Tang explains that Rabbit Holes came about through a desire to transport the buildings on which they’re painted to a safe place. ‘Shanghai is a city that is constantly changing, buildings are being torn up to make way for new developments, and its original residents are left with very little. Rabbit Holes began as a way to leave the local people with a lasting memory of their homes, before they were kicked out and moved on.’


In his own words, Tang describes his street art as ‘fast and dirty’, with his colourful, psychedelic pieces covering ‘ideal canvases’ of three storey buildings, and often being completed in less than a couple of hours. He views these personal works as a cathartic rebellion against the formalities of traditional ink painting, yet is enthusiastically inspired by his life-long admiration for Chinese calligraphy. ‘Calligraphy artists elicit complete control within their work, in the way they hold the brush, and in the way each stroke is so purposeful and organised. However, the real calligraphy masters are able to do this in a way in which it doesn’t look at all limited. Although my work is organic and relaxed, the lines are organised within their fluidity.’


Inspired by his childhood love for Alice in Wonderland, and later student years watching The Matrix on repeat, Tang sees Rabbit Holes as taking the narrative one step further, in a hyper-modern re-telling of a story of ultimate escapism. ‘I love to see people stood directly in front of the rabbit holes staring in to them, as though they could fall straight into them and disappear into an unknown land.’


Due to the nature of his work, much of Tang’s art is regularly demolished, but the following locations have large scale, and, for the time being, fairly long-standing pieces to discover.


5 works to find around town


1. Cool Docks

orange blowfish cool docks


One of Tang’s earlier street art pieces still remains on the main wall at the docks along the South Bund waterfront, beside the Cool Docks and the Wharf 1846 complex, where you'll also find a number of newer rabbit holes.


2. Wangjiamatou Lu

orange blowfish rabbit hole


Along with the Cool Docks, this might be a good place to start; the art on this road is hard to miss. Take exit 2 from Xiaonanmen metro station (on Line 9) and turn right down Wangjiamatou Lu between the old houses and building site to see the rabbit holes.


3. Moganshan Lu

orange blowfish Siuperman


Found part way down the infamous graffiti wall out of the M50 art district, this is a small piece Tang says he ‘threw up’ while waiting for the paint on a larger collaboration to dry.


4. Donghu Lu, near Huaihai Zhong Lu

neon


A rabbit hole can be found on the shutters of Bonobo, close to this intersection, so get there early in the morning or late at night in order to catch a glimpse of it - or go during business hours to discover The Orange Blowfish's works inside the restaurant (pictured above).


5. Anfu Lu

ecoshop


Catch another of Tang’s signature designs on Ecoshop at 271 Anfu Lu, just across from the Shanghai Dramatic Art Centre.

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