Reach is a Taiwan-based, multifaceted artist who plays many different creative roles; he’s not only an illustrator, but is also a creative director and photographer. He began his artistic journey in 1995 with graffiti and experimented with a variety of techniques, starting from tagging, to bubble letters, to wildstyle, and eventually 3D pieces. Over the years, Reach worked tirelessly to refine his artwork, looking to create a distinctive style of his very own. His perseverance has led him to become the established artist that he is today, and many consider him to have pioneered Taiwan’s graffiti and street art movement. One of his most famous characters is Pink Bear, a cartoon bear with lighting bolts for eyes. To create it, he used pink, one of his favorite colors, and black-and-white spray paint, which he considers to be an essential item to carry on a day-to-day basis. Not long after, he created the Blue Cat character and his famous cat’s claws, both of which have become iconic elements in his work. In 2009, he created Reach Boy, a character that not only represents himself, but is also a vessel for him to present his worldly views.
來自台灣的Reach目前是位具有多重身份的藝術家，畫家、藝術總監、攝影師。從1995年開始塗鴉，從Tag, Bubble Letter開始，到Wild Style以及3D，Reach一路不斷摸索前進，找尋真正屬於自己的風格，現在的他已經成為了台灣塗鴉先鋒之一。多年下來，他用最愛的粉紅和必備的黑白噴漆，創造出了具有閃電眼睛的Pink Bear，以及隨後的Blue Cat包括衍生出來的貓爪等經典形像以及圖形。今次，他以2009年基於“塗鴉人”特徵創作出的Reach Boy為角色，是為了通過這一個代表著自己的形象表達自己看到的世界。
Reach’s journey to becoming an artist wasn’t all smooth sailing. After making the decision to pursue street art full time in 2005, he faced many financial hardships. In 1999, after becoming the leader of SoulSkool, a Kaohsiung graffiti crew, he had to come to terms with many difficult decisions. Seeing the challenges he’s faced as valuable experiences, the mental fortitude that came with having dealt with these hardships have contributed to his career as an artist. Looking back on his past, he says, “Making a career out of being an artist will be different for everybody. Every artist will have to walk their own path. Identifying fact from fiction is important, but having a clear conscience is the most important. My only advice is for them to be patient.”
從一開始到現在，他在這條創作道路上也並非一帆風順。 2005年決心做職業街頭藝術的他，也曾經歷過一段經濟困難時期。然而1999年起已擔任高雄塗鴉團 (SoulSkool) 團長的他，已經面對、處理很多現實面的事情，並將這種經驗和心理準備帶到隨後新的職業決定中。今天的他回望那段時光，表示，“從事藝術創作，每個人都有不同的方式跟不同的道路要走，問心無愧最重要，看清事實很重要。唯一能夠建議的，就是’be patient’” 。
When street artists start gaining a following and receiving attention from the media as well as from other artists, they’ll often start receiving opportunities to create paid commercial work. Reach’s success today followed this familiar route that other street artists have gone down. The balancing act between creating art and commercial work is a delicate one, and Reach isn’t afraid to speak out about artists having financial needs. He emphasizes that no matter what a person’s viewpoint on the differences between artwork and commercial work might be, as long as the creator stays devoted to his own creative process and beliefs, then these two types of creations are only different in how they’re presented and the artistic quality of the creations will not be affected.
From being the head of Taiwan’s first graffiti crew to becoming the well-known artist that he is today, he has already had his fair share of solo exhibitions. Reach not only watched Taiwan’s graffiti scene mature and develop, but was an active and integral part of its growth. “In my opinion, I believe that Taiwanese graffiti is becoming more ‘professional’ so to speak. The entire environment and related industries are as well.” Having observed all the progress made over the years, he also sees many seasoned artists still committed to their art and continuing to improve upon their craft. But a lack of new artists entering the scene has left a void that’s yet to be filled, which is similar to the problem many traditional crafts are facing today. Reach believes the biggest problem “is the lack of industries supporting the craft, and a lack of a more nurturing environment for these artists.” He says, “So, many artists like me must look for opportunities abroad instead”
從台灣第一個塗鴉團團長到業已開辦過多個個展，Reach目睹並親歷了台灣塗鴉的發展。 “從我自己的角度上來看，我認為台灣塗鴉正走向’專業’ 的階段，環境與相關產業也是。”他看到了積極一面的發展，但是同時也注意到在老成員越來越堅持也越做越好的同時，這個圈子因為頗乏新鮮血液的注入而造成斷層，有點類似傳統技藝所面臨的人才問題。在他眼裡，目前最大的問題是“大環境與相關產業的支持度來說是有，但不夠高，不夠支持我們少數人為生，因此我們必須往海外找尋機會。”
Earlier this year, between April and June, Reach held a new exhibition under the theme of “Drink Hard!” The new exhibition featured illustrations, neon lights, and installation works as tall as 150cm that were created using fibre-reinforced plastic. Other collaborative merchandise that were available for purchase at the exhibition included water glasses, coffee mugs, coasters, and pins (which were available via toy dispensers). The exhibit is a showcase of Reach’s signature artworks, which he describes as being about “presenting my feelings and the world as I see it through humorous exaggerations”. This exhibition explored the importance of respecting the environment. His message was that we must first change ourselves, and only through doing so will we begin to affect other people, and in turn, influence the world at large.
今年4月到6月，Reach以“Drink Hard!”為主題進行了他的新一個覽。展出的形式有畫作、霓虹燈與高達150公分的大型 FRP 創作，還有些週邊商品的合作，如：水杯、琺瑯杯、杯墊，徽章 ( 透過扭蛋機方式呈現，達到互動效果 )。秉承著他一貫的創作態度「用幽默誇張的態度，來表達我所看見的世界和感受！」，此次展覽的目的是藉由他的視野，訴求對環境的重視，讓大家知道改變能即刻從自我開始，進而去影響更多身邊的人、生活、甚至是地球。
Having also recently participated in Kaohsiung’s Pier-2 Art Center’s “Art Around” project and a joint exhibition at Galerie Matthew Namour in Canada, Reach says he has no plans of slowing down, nor does he feel discouraged from the lack of mainstream support. He only has plans of improving and making even better art, and hopes to establish Taiwan as a creative force to be reckoned with, on an international level. Even more importantly, he wants to inspire and motivate this generation of young creators to be more fearless and courageous in their means of self-expression.