Hidden amongst the trails is the Gallery, home the Blank Boy Exhibit, an arts initiative that travelled throughout North America from 2015-2017. The Gallery also houses the tuck shop, a unique shopping experience where you can purchase a piece of Collabo Camp to take home, and other products to accompany you during your time at Camp.
BLANK BOY CANVAS
We are a collective that facilitates collaborative projects and exhibits. Our mission is to sustain an infrastructure that enables artists to develop and explore new opportunities within a creative context.
As advocates of youth art initiatives, our goal is to establish the connection between professional artists and young talent. Creative collaborations stimulate fresh dialogue and experience for both artist and viewer; we provide the platform.
Blank Boy Canvas is a collaborative project with North American artists and Hong Kong’s creative & cultural godfather Danny Yung using his caricature ‘Tian Tian’.
ORIGINAL TIAN TIAN COMICS by Danny Yung
Conceptualized by creating little boy caricatures and drawing comics in the 1950s as a primary school student in Hong Kong. As Danny Yung explains, “In those years, the phrase ‘tian tian xiang shang’—everyday looking up—was written on the wall of every primary school in China…the slogan was written in huge characters stretching over the entire front wall, and it appeared quite threatening to the schoolchildren.”
After 33 years of continuous development, caricature drawings and conceptual comics, Danny had created a thematic, minimalistic form of a boy, standing in the simple posture of a bystander. In 2007, Danny held a comic exhibition in Shanghai entitled “Tian Tian Xiang Shang,” developing the form of the boy with his finger pointing up, his head and eyes looking to the sky—shedding the impression of the little boy as simply an onlooker or bystander. Danny called this little boy “Tian Tian.” He has gone from conceptual comics to a three dimensional canvas.
BLANK BOY CANVAS EXHIBIT
Blank Boy Canvas is a collaboration that challenges the process.
The 50 cm three-dimensional canvas has been given to selected artists to freely express, create or alter the subject while exploring the theme of infinite possibilities. This collaboration has been on exhibit designed to stimulate conversation about creative reasoning and the individual approach to creative execution.
MUERTITOS DE HAMBRE • EL TAQUERO BLANK BOY
Trying to explain Mexico without mentioning our deep relationship with gastronomy or death is near impossible. The daily routine in the city and the country revolves around food; holidays and festivities are complete with some sort of meal. During the traditional “Día de Muertos” one of the most vital parts of the altar is to place food that was loved by the deceased. There is no way around it, we want to enjoy food even if we are “gone”.
JOHN SHOOK • Big Boy
BIGBOY represents our metaphoric “layers of existence” that were forgotten. A blueprint of past lives through the many depths and reflect upon how we all start as innocent beings with a clean slate and how the child, when growing up, remains within. Losing touch with just being, creating, and loving, we become distant from our inner child until he or she is just a memory. We exist on this fragile blue planet with the moon hive high in the sky keeping watch. De-engineered technology and World Wars go hand and hand. Humans have “advanced” and will continue to “advance” faster and faster, blindly flying full speed at whatever comes ahead as we ride the wave of those who figured it out for us. This is the perfect time to find ourselves or to become a stranger to ourselves. If the Human ego can be diluted, the light will shine awakening our third eye. Self realization is realizing that all living things are connected.
ANDREW “RCADE” KIDDER • Sad Clown
When I was young my father painted a picture of a sad clown, today this picture hangs on my wall. When I first saw the Blank Boy sculpture, I imagined him as a sad clown that sees a brighter day ahead. I used enamel oil with high gloss to highlight a bright and optimistic future, despite the clowns expression, giving the overall
feeling of playfulness.
ELISABETH WEINSTOCK • Darby
Darby comes from a good family, or so it looked on the outside. Inside is a creative, passionate, and poetic boy that is drawn to the underdog and anti establishment on all fronts. As a result, he does what he wants, is driven by love and courage, music, art and honour. He will thrash forward avoiding trends and trying to fit in where he doesn’t, aligning with those that share similar beliefs, experiences, and likes. Darby has been called a Punk in the past, but the reality is, he’s creating his own path in life and taking no prisoners.
CHRIS DYER • Oscar
He is a dragonic warrior yet innocent and playful with open-hearted vibes, and with an open bottom ready to take a dump whenever he’s in the mood. A galactic child that I held in my arms for two weeks, as practice for some future child of my own, thus the name I already have set up for my future son, awaiting on the other side
of the physical plane.
BRYAN ESPIRITU • I Need You
A child’s basic needs includes affection, a sense of safety, and unconditional love. Without the guidance, positive examples and active presence of nurturing parental figures, children lose their innocence rapidly, are forced to take an adult indifference early, and ultimately never grow up as a result of never having lived through the proper growth stages of life. They need you.
They need us.
ARTY & CHIKLE • TORABOY
Tora Boy is a cute, innocent yet playful tiger who likes to travel and make new friends whenever he has the chance to.
LOVEBOT • Love/Fear
Fear causes darkness,
love creates light.
NELSON “DEDOS” GARCIA • Infinite Potencial!
Infinite Potencial! is a reflection of how I observe the gift given to all humanity, as long as we don’t stifle ourselves and inhibit its truest nature; which is allowing the soul to express to itself through its vessel.
ALLISTER LEE • Inspector Black Cat
Inspired by the ever-changing Shanghai skyline, Inspector Black Cat represents the historic comic book themed circus-like children rides gradually removed from the old Shanghai, replaced with shiny new developments and western ideologies.
JEFF BLACKBURN • Put Your Hood Up
This piece is an exploration of a figure I initially drew as a sticker design. When the opportunity came to create a figure with Blank Boy, this ‘Put Your Hood Up’ concept seemed the only option to me. I wanted to examine the surface contrast of fur and bone, and see if it was possible to bring this character into the third dimension using only paint.
BUCHSBAUM • Gilbert
Gilbert, though he looks quite dead, he is not. Well, neither is he alive. He is dead alive. He represents our inner child, killed, buried and forgotten once adulthood comes knocking at our door along with the responsibilities that accompany it. But worry not, because Gilbert remembers you. It doesn’t matter how hard you are “adulting” or how deep you bury him, Gilbert always finds a way out of oblivion to remind us we were him. Do you remember when you were Gilbert? How you played, how you would dream, and how everything was magical, new and wonderful, before you had to grow up…Do you?
JESSICA VOLPE • Henry Arthur
Submerged to his forehead in water, a pessimist sees sinking. But an optimist sees the moment before coming to the surface, spit from the sea like a cork. Which view will persist and decide is determined by what lies beneath the surface. This narrative sides firmly with optimism, candy-coated to the point of near-complete dismantlement of all possible threat. Lions and sharks look on, but the ability to look up is the essence of the optimist. And of Tian Tian.
JAMES “SOY” GARDNER • Big Take Over
This piece is astro boy-meets-skate-punk. It is jeans and t-shirt wrapped in a counter cultural sensibilities. The image on the shirt pays homage to the 1982 record cover by Bad Brains, evoking the harder than hard riffs and messages born out of American Hardcore movement especially through the lens of Rastafarian ideology. This piece is about fusion, a visual mash up of influences, a voice from West Indian diaspora, of youth and the imagery associated with it. It is a face of the faceless; it is taking a blank (boy) canvas and expressing self, making a visual statement.
CJ HUNGERMAN • Blank Boy Buzzer
The blank boy was created utilizing my personal icons and psychedelic colour patterns. This design was inspired by my friend and colleague Hebru Brantley …it is an homage to his Fly Boy murals one can see in Chicago, throughout, United States and internationally.
Space is the Place.
ELICSER ELLIOTT • Weezy F. Baby
The traditional spirit of folk creative work in Hong Kong is rooted in bold experimentations, open and limitless interactions, collaborations and dialogues…And owing to this rebellious vitality, folk art gradually crystallizes into the unique vernacular wisdom. ELICSER crystallizes this Eastern spirit of folk art as Western hip hop icon WEEZY F. BABY.
Weezy Vernacular Wisdom
F is for fly. F is for fresh. F is for flow. F is for fame, fortune and fashion. F is not for failing. F is for finish line. F is for phenomenal. F is for forget it, figure it out yourself. F is for inFINITE possibilities.
ELICSER x WEEZY x TIAN TIAN
MAYA312 • Kite Flier
Flying a kite is a freeing feeling. Through an object, you connect with the elements of earth, defy gravity, and play with freedom while still being in control with the thinnest piece of string connecting the kite to reality. I played with this theme by wrapping string around the by, embodying him in a place between freedom and reality. The added cape gives an element of possibility that he too could take flight!
TALWST • Negus with World on His Finger
I am currently engaged with my Infinity series of miniature dioramas in reclaimed ring boxes. An exploration across cultures and time periods, through these works I aim to draw attention to absent or misinterpreted narratives, suggest the non-linear complexities of history, and explore relationships between cultures. I have engaged with various topics through sub-series in my works, including inserting marginalized narratives into art history and popular culture and drawing parallels between moments of unrest in global history. Of particular interest to me is the location and exploration of the black experience in Canada which is multifarious and
ripe for investigation.
GARY WINTLE • Carnal Virtue
When a hand becomes a fist, is it still a hand? When does objective reality end and conceptual reality begin? Good and evil we see as opposite ends of a spectrum, but what drives these thoughts? Reality or ego? Culture and time itself blur these lines and reveal a deeper truth within.
EMILY MAY ROSE • Nature/Nurture
I like thinking of the figure as an abstract canvas rather than an actual figure, and portraying on that the idea of childhood innocence. In doing so, I used a forest in a rain storm as a metaphor for growth and potential as it exists in children, who require nurturing in the same way the forest requires rainfall. With proper care, they thrive.
JON TODD • Ghost Totem
In this piece titled Ghost Totem, Todd continues to explore themes of life and death. The totem skin pattern was inspired by a series of outsider collages. This intricately composed pattern was created by re-purposing, cutting and splicing old paintings and drawings and assembling them into an expressive abstract collage.
PAOLA DELFIN • CABEZA DE CELULOIDE
The creation of this little guy was inspired by my childhood. It is always great to have a new blank canvas in your hands, lending many opportunities to create anything you want. But for this particular situation, I decided to do something different than the work which characterize my style. I thought about my childhood and immediately remembered the toys my mom used to have when she was a kid. She had them at my house and I played a lot with them. I remember this one that “could speak” in particular, and decided to create one of my own, so it is a great memory which has also a nostalgic side with all this memories.
WYSPER • @1%
@1% represents how youth today have grown alongside technological advancements that have seen devices like the smart phone evolve into part of their identity. I was inspired by kids coming to visit my studio and the first thing they will ask me is if they can plug in their devices because they are at 1%. Coming from a graffiti background, my peers identity was shrouded in mystery as elusive urban legends. It is a contrast to today where youth comment, document and express their lives through a shared unfiltered network. What happens if they find themselves cut off from their device, what does it mean for their identity? Through my work on Blank Boy Canvas, I explore the relationship youth have with their devices and how it shapes them. Will the opportunities and success of our youth be based on how apt or inapt they are with technology?
PERU143 • Golden Boy
Next to water, gold is one of the world’s most precious elements. It is a material that has consistently mesmerized and intrigued generations of people from every corner of the world for thousands of years. Ancient civilizations often casted images of their Gods in gold for worship.
By painting Tian Tian gold I have transformed a modern day, plastic toy, in the image of a child, into a godlike idol to be revered. Children are this world’s greatest resource. Their fresh perspective, honesty and optimism should be more precious to us than any other element in this world. They are beacons of hope and a great source of wisdom. Priding myself in having a youthful spirit and being playful at heart I hope this work will not only awaken the viewer’s childlike curiosity and wonderment, but will also encourage the viewer to consider the critical role that young people play in our world and our society.
SEBASTIAN EISMANN • Moon Child
‘Moon Child’ is the story of a boy reaching from the darkness of the nocturnal earth to the bright shine of the moon.
It is about loneliness and companionship – As the moon goes along with the earth, its light goes along with the boy and illuminates his way in wise guidance. And on his adventurous journey through life, time and space the young boy gets to be one with the moon – living in a world of constant change and transition.
But no matter how desperate and hopeless his situation may be at any time, he always finds his way out of the dark and into the light. The piece itself shows the situation from the boy’s point of view. As he follows the light to get out of a dark cave and catches a glimpse of the moon sparkling above the sea.
KYLE ANGELINE • Dei-Dei
As humans, we have the ability to wear different ‘skins’, in order to face different situations. Dei-Dei wears the head of a Water Dragon, to represent fluidity and courage. The Koi fish swim around his torso towards each other, to meet in an eternal dance around his center. Known for their beauty and strength, they represent prosperity and longevity. There are chakras along Dei-Dei for balance, fullness and openness. Each energetic center maintains harmony with all other energies throughout the universe. Paradeyes (Paradise – Eyes) is depicted on the back of Dei-Dei’s thighs. We create the reality that surrounds us, as well as the world we live in, and much of that is determined by the way we choose to see the world. May we maintain a world of abundance – with clean air and fresh water. Dei-Dei’s arm, pointing up, contains the mysteries of our entire solar system. Always looking up, with curiosity and high aspirations, Dei-Dei will continue to shoot for the stars. A staircase leads from his heart to his throat. There, an open entrance to a sacred temple reminds us that communication is divine.
DOUG BROWN • Sirius
The question: “What is our place in the universe” might just be genetically encoded in our species. All known cultures across all of time have attempted to answer that question. Today we ask the same question, but with fewer words: “Are we alone?”
Together we search the universe for answers.
JUSTIN PAPE • An Offering
In 2014 I spent 6 months living in China and visiting Hong Kong once a month. While there I fell in love with the small alters seen outside storefronts and homes burning joss incense and providing offering for those who have passed on to another world. This Blank Boy features a shrine with items I found while in China and is painted with a red crowned crane, a symbol of immortality.
JANICE COLBERT • I LOVE YOU
Hard-edge painting of geometric quilt-designs on birch panel has been my signature for a decade. At this juncture I was thrilled with the opportunity to try something unfamiliar: painting on a three-dimensional form. From the start, I visualized Tian Tian in a Tumbling-Block patterned shirt and jeans with a Grandmother’s-Flower motif. Initially I struggled with the process until I learned how to work with acrylics on plastic. Six weeks of artistic growth replaced the uncertainty. My parting present—the friendship bracelet—reveals my affection for Tian Tian. Its message is a fundamental affirmation that all children should hear every day.
ARTCHILD • Youth
We are shaped by the experiences of our past memories, more specifically, our youth. I paint without an execution plan, free-form, free-spirit, free-thought and open to the world of infinite possibilities. This is an expression of youthful curiosity and uncalculated playfulness.