Walls Of Fame: Street Artist TraseOne Has Sold His Soul To Spray Cans
STORY: Sim Ding En
07 May 2021
You never know the impact of arts and crafts on a young child and how it might unleash a talent that might have otherwise never manifested.
For Sufian Hamri, it all started when his late mum taught him to draw by tracing over pictures - hence the moniker "TraseOne" (or TR853-1) he chose for himself as a tribute to her when he began doing street art in 1999.
Regarded as one of the leading pioneers of the local street art movement, TraseOne started off by just scrawling his name on the streets. His approach has since evolved into a process where he creates a more intellectual dialogue with his art that contains subliminal messages.
TraseOne was also granted the inaugural Goh Chok Tong Youth Promise Award in 2005 to expand his knowledge in art, and graduated with an Honour’s Degree in 2007.
You might have seen this piece at Baghdad Street. Entitled “Bejeweled: An Homage To Kampong Intan”, the mural was commissioned by the National Heritage Board for the Singapore Heritage Festival 2019.
According to TraseOne's Instagram caption, it was "one of the most challenging projects from logistics to 36-hour timeline".
Aptly entitled "Alive", this vibrant work along Clive Street depicts a traditional Indian dancer mid-dance, and is located at the confluence of different cultures and human activity in Little India.
"Most of the colours are free flowing. I don't compose much," says the 40-year-old, who is part of the street collective RSCLS (pronounced "rascals"). "I love the spontaneity and the freedom to just go with the flow."
Indeed, some might find the rules and regulations in Singapore too stifling for creativity, but Trase considers that a stepping stone instead - a way to push boundaries while playing within the rules.
"Seeing your art rejuvenating the streets, giving life to the white, silent walls - it's rewarding," he says.
Remember to check out all our mural-related content in our "Walls Of Fame" series.