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The Wa is renowned as one of the world’s leaders in the field of Urban Interventions. Evolving from graffiti and street art, urban interventions are the next generation of artwork to hit public space. Using any and all of the components that make up urban and rural landscapes, these mostly spatial interventions bring art to the masses. They turn the street into a studio, laboratory, club, and gallery. Modified traffic signs, swings at bus stops, and images created out of sand or snow challenge us to rediscover our environment and interact with it in new ways. The work is an intelligent and critical commentary on the planning, use, and commercialization of public space.

The most common relationship we are likely to have with the work of The Wa is with hindsight or through hearsay. Its critical, subversive provocations resist a lengthy duration in the public arena that would afford one the opportunity to experience it first hand. The lifespan of the artworks vary in public exposure, installation and removal. Therefore, it is the temporality of his work that is crucial to its reading.

The sub-divisions in the work are not expressly representative of different lanes in The Wa’s work. Rather use these titles to allude to a post-production thematic that has evolved. Far from dictatorial, these passions entice his creative curiosity into hidden, often forbidden areas of ‘pubic’ life. Relatable, multi-lingual and often comic in execution, the work of the Wa encourages an empathetic scepticism for modes of societal control and comment. The relationship between the artist and the urban space are pertinently and inextricably linked. Some works have their own strong and clear voice; others require a little contextualisation to allow for layers of meaning to peal off and for you as viewer to enter the work.

The fluency with which The Wa adopts the visual and political landscapes of the locations of his installations is a curious and inevitable result of his creative experiences and collaborations with an extraordinary array of artists.

The originals of these works are almost all removed from their initial site, and the attempt to evoke the relational elements of their installation only serves to highlight the inadequacy of the written word. To experience The Wa’s work first hand is an endeavour of the brave, the quick and the curious.


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