Far north in the New Territories of Hong Kong, near the border of Shenzhen, sits an overgrown and abandoned school. Although they don’t teach kids math or science there anymore, places like these can be spots for graffiti writers to experiment and learn. Local artist Panter 13 is no stranger to these sessions, and empty walls like these are convenient spots to flex his art. He specializes in complicated tags, large-scale handstyles that he changes up frequently. You can always expect different structures and new flourishes when he picks up a can. These days, Panter is more widely known for his blackwork tattoos. But the connection between his tags and his crisp, angular calligraphy ink is easily noticeable.
香港新界以北，靠近深圳边界处有一所杂草丛生的废弃学校，如今却成为涂鸦艺术家实验和学习的理想场地，当地艺术家 Panter 13 便是这里的常客。废墟的空墙正是他挥洒艺术创意的绝佳之地。他擅长创作复杂的签名式（Tag）涂鸦和大型 handstyle （handstyle 是涂鸦文化随着字体发展衍生的一种签名涂鸦形式），并且时常变换创新，呈现出不同的结构和细节。目前 Panter 的风格以黑线绣（blackwork）纹身而为人熟识。而他的签名式涂鸦则以利落著称，可以看到与水墨书法艺术之间有着显而易见的联系。
Panter cut his teeth getting up around town under the cover of night. Pull-down gates and empty street corners were his earliest canvases. The Hong Kong-born-and-raised artist started writing in 2010. Last year, he expanded his handstyles to include tattoo art and they’ve taken on a new life of their own. “Bombing got my adrenaline up,” he says. “It was a way to express myself; something everyone needs. I just kept doing it, meeting new writers and learning about the culture. Eventually, it led me to calligraphy and tattoos. I’m still writing words, it’s just on skin now. It’s a very similar skill.”
夜幕下的城市，Panter 驾轻就熟地穿梭于街道。那些铁闸门和空荡的街角都是他早期创作的领地。这位香港艺术家早在 2010 年便开始创作涂鸦。去年，他将自己的 handstyle 创作延续到纹身，带来出别具一格的视觉体验。他说：“就像每个人都需要一个属于自己的窗口，街头涂鸦创作能让我感到刺激，这是我表达自己的一种方式。我不停创作，不断结交新的涂鸦艺术家，去学习和了解更多关于这种文化。后来又渐渐延伸到书法和纹身。纹身不过是在皮肤上创作，但技巧是类似的，这些都属于文字创作范畴。”
His tattoo and tag styles are closely related, but they’ve grown in new directions. Working with clients and on skin requires new skill sets and the tools present different advantages and challenges. “Spray paint on walls and tattoo guns on human flesh are both mediums for me to write and draw with,” he says. “But they both require totally different techniques. They’re so similar and yet so different.”
With graffiti, Panter chose to focus more deeply on tags and monochrome palettes instead of expanding into wildstyle pieces, bright color schemes, or characters. He frequently switches up the structure of his letters, fluctuating from skinny and sharp lines to fat and messy flares. One tag might splatter all over, standing several feet tall with squared off corners. Another could loop and swirl with a sense of understated elegance.
涂鸦时，Panter 主要倾向于创作黑白色调的签名式涂鸦，而并非野性涂鸦风格（Wildstyle Graffiti）。他很少运用鲜艳的配色或字体，而是善于变换字体的结构，让文字在干练、利落、粗旷的线条之间流转。有的创作甚至可达几米高，带着方正的边缘和轮廓；有的作品则起伏回旋，别具某种低调的优雅个性。
A lot of Panter’s tattoo work is in Chinese, but when it comes to graffiti he prefers English. His tag is “Panther” without the “H,” with the 13—a number he finds to be particularly auspicious—added for luck. Graffiti’s roots are in English so it’s a natural starting point for writers. He also wanted to connect with more writers, and the scene overwhelmingly revolves around English, despite a small subsection of Chinese language graffiti. Don’t be surprised to see his tags in Chinese sometime in the future, however.
Panter’s style is partly a continuation of what he learned from bombing, something where speed is central. “When you’re painting out in the street, you have to paint quickly,” he reasons. “So I just kept focusing on tags.” But it’s also an aesthetic he prefers. “I like simple and concise things.”
Panter 的很多纹身作品都是以中文为主，涂鸦时，反倒更喜欢用英语创作。关于他的名字 Panter，是英文“Panther”（豹子）少写字母 “H”，并加以数字 “13” 而得来。涂鸦艺术最早起源于英文创作，对于涂鸦艺术家而言是自然的入手点。而圈内创作中文涂鸦的毕竟是少数，绝大多数人都是用英语创作。
受街头涂鸦（Graffti Bombing）的影响，Panter 的创作一向快速。他解释说：“对我来说，街上创作，一定要够快。签名式涂鸦是再合适不过的选择，我也一直专注于此。”不过这或许也与他的审美喜好有关，“也可能我一直比较喜欢简单和简洁的事物。”
As a writer, Panter prefers highly visible spots, places a lot of people will pass by and notice. But low-key spots offer their own benefits, like the ability to spend some extra time and capture the whole scene in a photo or video for the rest of the world to appreciate. He frequently explores sewer systems and forgotten buildings in search of attractive walls with their own aesthetic quality.
He tries out new tag styles on paper, sketching them out a few times before actually painting them. But he sketches every day and draws from a general visual vernacular. “When you have a strong foundation of letters, you can easily freestyle with new effects and styles,” he says. “The spaces between your letters and the sense of your fonts become second nature.” Just because something is minimal and quick doesn’t mean it comes easily or is lacking in substance. It requires confidence to limit oneself and Panter has loads of it.
上街创作之前，他通常会事先在纸上练习草稿和新的字样，这已经成了他的日常。除此之外，还会从肢体语言中寻找灵感。他说：“只有在扎实的字母创作基础之后，才能更自由地发挥。对于字母之间的间隔和字体风格，你都可以处理得游刃有余。” 虽说这些简单、干练的作品风格通常在很短的时间内完成，却并不意味着缺少内涵、或是创作上的简单；相反，在创作时，你往往需要有足够的自信来自我约束，显然，Panter 对他的创作抱有极大的自信。