LIFE IN THE BUBBLE

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THE LANGUAGE OF THE UNIVERSE

Monday, 19 March 2012
16 Comments

I first met Brett late one Saturday night at the Fix in Surry Hills. I recognised him from a video on youtube in which he was painting Icebergs for NYE 2010. He seemed like a cool guy, so I introduced myself. He was wearing one white glove, Michael Jackson style. I never really got to the bottom of that, but he used it to pour us glasses of champagne way past closing time, as we chatted about art and life. Since then I've become even more of a fan of his work, his diversity and productivity.

 

What’s going on in your bubble?

I am working hard at having fun.

 

Why do you paint?

Public art is good for people to experience.

It is also fun for me to create.

 

Who inspires you?

Anthony lister. Jake duncombe. Shane cross. Ninja and Yolandi

 

When did you start skating?

When everyone thought it was shit

 

What are you listening to?

“Im indestructable. Gangsta number one. The harder they come, the harder they fall. You cant stop me. You can try but you wont survive. Cause im the mutha fuckin ninja. Zef side represent. You are fucking with the best.”

-Die antwoord

 

What are you reading?

My notes for the pick up scenes of this short film I am making, ‘gunslinger and the girl’.

It’s an all green screen thing. the animation is being done by my homie Jason morice. But I act, direct, wrote and sing a song in it. Its multi dimensional. These new scenes are about the love with your girl, that will ultimately save the gunslinger. Like in a flash back-good times-remember these moments my love-montage. Love is the key. The girl is played by my friend oberon. That’s her real name by the way. Its fun doing all the costumes and acting it out. Its coming together. The last show I had (modern day cave paintings) I got dan startup (his real name too) to make these mini comics that act as a prequel to the short film. Multi mediums son!

 

How would you sum up Bondi?

 “…ONE AND ONE AND ONE IS THREE… GOT TO BE GOOD LOOKING ‘COS SHE’S SO HARD TO SEE…”

J. Lennon

 

Photographer, writer, publisher, artist, poet, filmmaker, philosopher, skater. When do you sleep? What drives you?

I have spent this whole summer on flat rock. Like literally every day.

That’s pretty awesome. Because I have swum so much. Its great to be in the water , but sometimes I feel bad or get bored that I don’t leave bondi. then I remember that this style of living is a privilege. And soon it might not be there to do. If I move or am moved, or whatever. So its about taking what opportunities you have and I have been fortunate with my work becoming more saught after and rewarded.

I mean, time for myself is so precious. I saw this prism light thing that was like the middle of a rainbow in the sky the other day. But it had no ends, and wasnt curved. So it cant have been a rainbow.

Well, I wouldn’t have seen that if I was in an office. I looked at that for like half an hour. It was epic. Ive never seen that before. Ever. look at the clouds fool!

 

Was skating the driving-force behind your earlier art, or just the vehicle that got you on your way?

SKATEBOARDINg ALLOWED ME SPACE. I WAS ON THE DOLE IN NZ GOING TO THE BEACH ALL DAY AND THEN SKATING ALL night. I HAD SOme FREE PRODUCT, so I USED TO LIVE OFF SELLING THAT, AND THEN WHEN I’D GO INTO THE DOLE OFFICE, I’D HAVE TO CHANGE INTO SOME DUNGA GEARS. Just to look povo!

ART IS A VERY NATURAL EXTENSION OF LIFE. AND HAVING LOTS OF FREE TIME I OCCUPIED IT WITH THAT, RATHER THAN TV AND MIND NUMBING SHIT, LIKE CROWDS AND THAT. I REMEMBER EVERYONE AT THE TIME, LIKE EVEN PEOPLE MY OWN AGE, WERE SAYING HOW ALL THIS SHIT WAS POINTLESS, BECAUSE YOU HAVE TO REMEMBER THERE WAS A TIME, ONLY A GENERATION AGO, WHERE SKATEBOARDiNG AND ART WAS RUBBISH.

YOU SEE IT REFLECTED IN MOVIES NOW TOO. THE GEEK IS THE COOL GUY AND THE JOCK IS THE DICK. IT’S FUNNY. BUT YEAH, PEOPLE USED TO YELL AT US AND THROW SHIT AT US WHEN WE WERE LITTLE KIDS. SKATING IN CARPARKS.

Doing kickflips or whatever.

 

How much fun was 'Ruthless' (the DVD they filmed)?

THAT WAS A SPECIFIC TIME PERIOD OF AUSTRALIAN SKATEBOARDING (2003), WHERE THE CULTURE CHANGED FROM BEING VERY UNDERGROUND TO MASS APPEAL. ONLY THE MASS VERSION WAS A BASTARDISED VERSION OF OUR true version of REALITY.

‘RUTHLESS’ WAS A VERSION/vision OF WHAT SKATEBOARDING iS ACTUALLY LIKE, AS SEEN THROUGH THE EYES OF THOSE KIDS ON THE STREETS LIVING IT. TRUE SKATEBOARDING IS A PASSION. AN ADDICTION. It will fuck you up.

 

Any injuries?

I AM AT TIMES NOT VERY GOOD WITH INTERACTING WITH CROWDS BECAUSE I LIVE IN A FANTASY WORLD OF MY OWN CREATION. PEOPLE EN MASSE CAN AFFECT THE HOLD THAT my REALITY HAS… LIKE WHEN TINKERBELL IS DYING AND THE AUDIENCE HAS TO CLAP AND BE ALL LIKE ’I BELIEVE IN FAIRIES’ SO THAT SHE LIVES. MASS MIND aFFECTS THE PARTICLES OR VIBE OF THE SPACE AROUND YOU, IF YOU WILL.

 

I love your painting, but what does it mean?

My style is future primitive.

If maths is the language of the universe, then geometry is a visual representation of that voice.

 

Your latest work shows a change in style. What's happening?

It’s becoming more futuristic, and has a simple complexity.

 

Brett Chan’s projects range from a well-documented world tour with Uprock 'putting plastic cups in fences', exhibitions at Monster Children, the Ruthless skateboard movie series, self-publishing ‘There Are So Many Ways To Live’, murals for Cate Blanchett’s Sydney Theatre Company gig, another at The Projects, a photographic exploration of Mongolia, comic books, short films and the makeover and upkeep of The Shop on Curlewis street on Bondi Road. 

Artist: Brett Chan

Words: Marsha Meredith

 

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