Urban Missives 荒郊野“鸦”

July 19, 2022 2022年7月19日

Along the side of a typically wide throughway on the outskirts of Bangkok, a burst of pastel pink glows from within a field of shoulder-high green grass. It’s a nearly-demolished, single-story building with two gaping holes in its front wall that resemble a pair of wild eyes. Smoke from a smoldering pile of grass clippings at its entry keeps the mosquitos at bay for now. This is where Dropfib has chosen to paint his latest piece of guerrilla art. Inside one of the bare rooms, the Thai street artist is busy at work painting his signature character, a portly figure with twig arms and legs and a missing neck. The character stands on his tippy toes, reaching up high to paint a message in Thai for any passerby who might happen to spot him. 

在曼谷郊区的宽阔路边,穿过齐肩高的青草丛,隐约可见几抹柔淡的粉色墙壁。一处破败的单层建筑立现眼前,墙上的两个大洞,张开令人可怖的双眼。旁边一堆草屑正在燃烧,暂时驱赶荒郊蚊虫的肆虐。泰国街头艺术家 Dropfib 正在这荒废的房间里创作他标志性的人物 —— 一个大腹便便、四肢瘦长的角色,他踮起脚尖,手指腾空做出喷漆的姿势,为所有可能无意间过路的人,留下醒目的讯息。

Dropfib has been making street art since 2015, consistently plugging away with the same motif, mainly only switching up his colors and the written message with each piece. The 25-year-old artist grew up in Ubon Ratchathani, a city in the northeast region of Isan, and first had the idea to paint in the streets at the young age of 14. “We used to come to Bangkok every summer, and I’d always look for street art as we passed through,” he says.

Dropfib 从 2015 年开始创作街头艺术,但这些年过去,却始终围绕相同的主题创作,最多也只会改变颜色和作品文字。这位 25 岁的艺术家在泰北伊桑地区的乌汶市长大,14 岁时就萌生了在街头作画的想法,他说:“我们以前每年夏天都会来曼谷,每次来的时候,我都会特意去留意当地有趣的街头艺术。”

Although Dropfib loves character-driven street art, he had the idea to incorporate text into his work early on—or more specifically, he wanted to depict one of his characters spray painting the wall. Nobody else was doing it in Thailand, so he figured it was an opportunity. Artists like Barry Mcgee, also known as Twist, alongside collaborator Amaze, had already done similar work in the US, and Brazilian twins Os Gemeos had also been painting their own idea with the same theme. But Dropfib wanted to paint something specifically for Thai people.

Dropfib 喜欢围绕角色来进行创作,但很早以前,他便希望尝试在作品中加入更多文字元素。他的角色往往做出涂鸦创作的姿势。在美国,Barry Mcgee(又名 Twist)及其合作艺术家 Amaze 有过类似的作品;巴西双胞胎艺术家组合 Os Gemeos 也一直按照相同的形式绘画。但在泰国,还没有类似的作品出现,他觉得这是一个机会。

The messages Dropfib writes cover everything from politics to love, anything that might speak to the locals that they’re intended for. When dealing with political messages he obscures the meaning by keeping his message plausibly vague to avoid getting in trouble. In a rare English-language painting, a character drawn in the likeness of a virus paints “COVID ALL CITY,” a sardonic take on how graffiti writers will brag about getting up in every part of a city. Occasionally he’ll paint quick throwies or simple pieces as well. “Mostly I just want to make people smile. Make people happy,” he says. And it seems to be working, considering that his Facebook page has nearly 50,000 followers.

Dropfib 作品的文字信息涵盖了政治、爱情等方方面面,与当地生活文化息息相关。在进行政治类文字的创作时,为了避免麻烦,他会刻意含糊其词。在他的一幅罕有的英文作品中,他用新冠病毒的造型对角色加以修饰,并写下文字“COVID ALL CITY”,以讽刺某些涂鸦艺术家吹嘘自己占领了城市每一个角落的言论。Dropfib 偶尔也会创作一些快速、简易的作品,“很多时候,我只是想让人们会心一笑”。如今,他的 Facebook 页面有近 50,000 名粉丝,在圈内获得了许多其他涂鸦艺术家的认可与支持。

Dropfib mostly seeks out abandoned places to paint, spaces where no one will stop him or bother him. Especially walls that no one else has painted yet. But these types of places are not without their own troubles. One time he was painting and a groundskeeper stopped him and contacted the building’s owner to find out how to deal with the situation. Luckily, the owner enjoyed Dropfib’s artwork, and he was allowed to finish his painting. Another time, a drug dealer came up and tapped him on the shoulder asking, “When will you be done? I need to work and can’t until you leave.” He was allowed to quickly finish that one up as well.

废墟,是 Dropfib 经常光顾的地方。在这里,他不会被人打扰,有很多尚未被其他涂鸦艺术家创作过的墙壁。但意外也时有发生,有一次他被场地管理员拦住,并联系大楼主人说要严肃处理。幸运的是,大楼主人很喜欢 Dropfib 的作品,也同意让他继续完成他的涂鸦。还有一次,甚至毒贩找上门来,他上前拍了拍他的肩膀,问道:“你什么时候画完?我要工作,你不走的话,我没办法开工。”最后对方催促他赶紧画完了那幅作品。

While Dropfib is happy to busy himself with raw walls like these, he’s also open to working on large-scale, commissioned pieces when chances arise. In fact, he’s now working for a department store in Bangkok as a full-time mural painter. Despite finding ways to profit from his passion, he’s not overly concerned with chasing after money: “I’m not thinking much about the future right now,” he says. “I’m just finding my way and living in the present. I’m living in the moment.”

在荒地之外,Dropfib 也乐于接受客户委托的大幅作品。他目前还在一家曼谷百货公司担任全职壁画师。尽管兴趣变成了职业,但钱并不是他最关心的事情,他说:“我对未来没有太多想法。我只是在走自己的路,专注于此时此刻,活在当下。”

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Instagram: @dropfib
Facebook: ~/dropfib


Contributor: Mike Steyels
Photographer: Kanrapee Chokpaiboon
Chinese Translation: Olivia Li
Additional Images Courtesy of Dropfib

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Instagram: @dropfib
Facebook: ~/dropfib


供稿人: Mike Steyels
摄影师: Kanrapee Chokpaiboon
英译中: Olivia Li
附加图片由 Dropfib 提供

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