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Q&A with street artist Ceno2

I started to like graffiti when I saw my dad painting a Mickey Mouse mural in my room. -My Paper
Karen Lim

Fri, Jun 07, 2013
My Paper

Local graffiti artist Mohammad Azlan Ramlan aka Ceno2.

The 27-year-old artist, whose real name is Mohammad Azlan Ramlan, was recently chosen to help create a work of art for celebrity chef Jamie Oliver's upcoming restaurant at VivoCity, which will open in the next few months.

The graduate from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, who also teaches at art colleges here, was among 100 artists selected to work on the permanent graffiti piece along one of the restaurant's large feature walls.

My Paper speaks to him about street art and creative-arts company Artkhalytis.

How did you get into graffiti?

I started to like graffiti when I saw my dad painting a Mickey Mouse mural in my room.

When did you form Artkhalytis and how many people are there in the company?

I formed Artkhalytis about four years ago and there are four people in the company.

There is a rising trend of corporations commissioning street artists to do a piece for them. Do you feel that there is more exposure now than in the past?

Exposure to me is when everyone understands the art behind graffiti.

Yes, they commissioned street artists, but do all of them understand it? Or, perhaps, is it because they think graffiti is an affordable form of art? I'm not sure.

What influences you?

I'm usually influenced by the people around me.

Everyone is special in their own way, be it good or bad.

How much can a street artist charge for a piece of work?

Well, how much they want to charge is up to them, there are no limits on that.

But I'm pretty sure you have to pay more for a good piece of graffiti, and people can tell the difference.

What made you want to participate in Oliver's search for an artist for his restaurant here?

A lot of my friends and clients gave me their support, encouraging me to join the competition.

I was not even aware of it, because I was too busy painting!

Do you know what you're going to paint yet?

Yeah, I have a picture in my head. But I have to draw it out, because I don't know how to explain it in words, only through visuals.

How long does it usually take you to paint on a large wall?

It all depends on the mood... If everything is good, then I will get the work of art done faster than you could imagine.

How different is it to teach graffiti as opposed to normal art?

Teaching graffiti is totally different from teaching normal art.

But the kids who I have taught seem to love graffiti more.

"Sticker Lady" Samantha Lo has put the spotlight on graffiti. Has the attention been good or bad for this art form here?

I will let the public decide for itself.

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