Girls + Graffiti! The Partouze exhibition



Friday night I stopped by the opening of Partouze, a collaboration show between Taiwanese graffiti artist REACH, and Yasumasa Yonehara (aka Yone,) a Japanese photographer.

The exhibition is making its way around the region, with Shanghai hosting it last month, and Taipei following after Hong Kong.

Knowing little about the artists I was curious to see their work.

Arriving at the gallery space I made my first pass through the exhibition. Yone’s photos are confined to one subject: girls. If you can imagine a contemporary take on the pin-up girl, his photos are something like a Japanese equivalent.

The images were printed onto canvas and then modified or embellished by REACH’s touch. In most cases, he added patterns and small graffiti iconography, rather than letters.


To me, the photos printed on canvas appeared a bit washed-out. The vibrancy was sort of muted. In another section of the show, Yone created a mosaic of his images on Zippo lighters, which was a cool idea, but again, the resolution and colors seemed a little dull.

The two artists did a good job working together with neither overpowering the other in the works.

[photopress:Partouze_Hong_Kong_exhibit_.jpg,full,pp_image] REACH (left) and Yone (right)

The pair are also known to combine forces to create work live. The next day featured a session where REACH wrote graffiti on models, while Yone photographed them. You can see the two at work in the video below:

After a brief introduction about their work, the artists mingled in the crowd and signed books.

[photopress:Partouze_show_art_photos_Re.jpg,full,pp_image] [photopress:Yone_Reach_Partouze_Hong_ar.jpg,full,pp_image]
A new arts center?

The exhibition brought me someplace new – the Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre in Shek Kip Mei. Though I’ve walked nearby, I’ve never visited the center, or even heard of it before.


It turns out, it’s a new institution set up in 2008 to provide affordable space for artists and arts organizations. Getting there isn’t difficult. The Arts Centre is a few long, (desolate) blocks from the MTR station (Green Line).

Take exit A out of the Shek Kip Mei station and follow Woh Chai Street down the hill until you hit Pak Tin Street. From there, take a right, and the Arts Centre is just a short distance away. Be on the look-out for the building name. It’s sort of non-descript and doesn’t have the typical presence of an Arts Centre from the outside. (Since it is in fact a converted factory building!)

The show closes after June 4th. Visit the Arts Centre’s website for more information.

You can see examples of Yone and REACH’s work on their blogs.

Partouze: Yone x Reach exhibition

Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre
30 Pak Tin Street
Shek Kip Mei
Kowloon, Hong Kong



  • This is terrible. I don’t think we should encourage this kind of thing. Pretty girls plus squiggly lines doesn’t equal a significant artistic gesture.

  • Hmm, last time I checked, pretty girls plus squiggly lines accounted for nearly 50% of all art! 😉

  • So you deleted my two well phrased and thoughtful posts, but you leave this one? Golly Administrator – I expected more from you. I was trying to open up a channel for dialogue and apparently this isn’t the place for it. I am sorely disappointed.

  • Hi Wendy,

    I didn’t delete your comments, I’ve just been busy getting out another post. Go back and you’ll find them with my replies. 😉

  • Wendy: Art can be anything right? Why can’t it combined with nice looking girls? It seems that Yone is famous for his rahter raw softcore looking pictures. This kind of art is his prolly flagship, which made him famous.

  • Sorry to become the blog /curmudgienne/ but if this is the sort of thing that Hong Kong is looking for to stand in for contemporary art, we’re all doomed. “This kind of art” is a successful “flagship” because boobs sell magazines, watches, shoes, and cars.

    I like to look at baby animals. That doesn’t mean we should tear the pictures out of my puppy calendar and gaze at them in focused contemplation in a space meant for such activities.

  • Wendy,

    Some people like durian, while other people hate it, but that doesn’t mean it should be banned.

    You’re coming across as one of those people that wants to decide what art is for everyone else.

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