9/13/2022

Heesco the Mongolian King of Graffiti

Heesco, a Mongolian-Australian artist known for his murals, speaks on being born under communist Mongolia, and how he used graffiti to escape. Today, when Heesco paints with the next generation of Mongolian artists, he reminds them that dreams are greater than environment. When Mongolia’s economy collapsed overnight, Heesco’s mum moved to Poland, where he began drawing for his schoolmates to avoid being picked on for being a “foreigner”. From an early age, Heesco was drawn (no pun intended) to graffiti because it was a culture built by kids, and rooted in freedom of expression. He also loved that it cut out galleries, critics, and collectors from dictating what art is, or isn’t. Heesco shares that as a kid growing up in a rough area, he can empathize with how difficult it can be to keep dreams alive and not fall into depression. Today, he is an ambassador for ‘Lantuun Dohio’, a non-profit that crowdfunds to build services and libraries for children in Mongolia. He paints with Mongolian children, and has learned that creating on walls with them is healing and inspiring to them both.

9/13/2022

Heesco the Mongolian King of Graffiti

Heesco, a Mongolian-Australian artist known for his murals, speaks on being born under communist Mongolia, and how he used graffiti to escape. Today, when Heesco paints with the next generation of Mongolian artists, he reminds them that dreams are greater than environment. When Mongolia’s economy collapsed overnight, Heesco’s mum moved to Poland, where he began drawing for his schoolmates to avoid being picked on for being a “foreigner”. From an early age, Heesco was drawn (no pun intended) to graffiti because it was a culture built by kids, and rooted in freedom of expression. He also loved that it cut out galleries, critics, and collectors from dictating what art is, or isn’t. Heesco shares that as a kid growing up in a rough area, he can empathize with how difficult it can be to keep dreams alive and not fall into depression. Today, he is an ambassador for ‘Lantuun Dohio’, a non-profit that crowdfunds to build services and libraries for children in Mongolia. He paints with Mongolian children, and has learned that creating on walls with them is healing and inspiring to them both.

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Thai Group, The Barbarian, Inspired by Chicano Culture

Leng the Barbarian is not a gangster, he’s a big brother in a family–one where male members endure 13 seconds of violence to belong, and female members (depending on if they’re “sweet” or “strong”) must dance or drink alcohol. This initiation, Leng explains, is a challenge meant to attract like-minded people: strong, determined, perseverant. This family has house rules, including not doing cocaine and amphetamines, or anything that can “ruin their lives”. They take care of one another like a family does, sharing everything from money and food to jobs and opportunities. In 2017, Leng founded The Barbarian, a group that was aimed to be independent, creative, and loud. As a child growing up in the slums, he had experienced watching fatal overdoses on his way to school, and grew up to become a thief buying drugs. Deeply inspired by Chicano gang culture and style, and listening to Mexican rappers like Lil Rob and Mr Yosie, Leng was drawn to how gentle the culture was from how they dance to iron their clothes. Chicano, a chosen identity for Mexicans who immigrated to Los Angeles, was once a term of derision and then adopted as an expression of defiance towards white assimilation. Not only did Leng integrate Chicano gang style into The Barbarian aesthetic, he built an imported clothing business focused on Chicano streetwear. He wants people to raise children with an open mind, and learn about Chicano culture by wearing it. Leng believes it’s their recognizable style that has made The Barbarians a target for police today.

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Heesco the Mongolian King of Graffiti