Graffiti artist wins national honour

Graffiti artist wins national honour
Graffiti artist Mohammed Zulkarnaen Othman, also known as Zero.

It's an art form usually associated with vandalism.

But Mr Mohammed Zulkarnaen Othman, 34, yesterday became the first graffiti artist here to receive a national honour - the Young Artist Award.

Awarded by the National Arts Council (NAC), it is Singapore's highest recognition for young arts practitioners.

The full-time urban artist, also known as Zero, received the award from the Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, Mr Lawrence Wong.

Said Zero: "There is still a lot of discussion on the status of graffiti and there isn't a clear definition to describe what it means even till this day. I am just glad that I get a chance to represent the graffiti and street art community."

Zero has an honours degree in fine arts from the Lasalle College of the Arts and has been on the local graffiti art scene for over a decade.

"It is in every city in this world and it is for the public, for the environment,"

said Zero, who said he loves street art because it is "raw and real".

When he started out, he would dig through dumpsters for items like photo frames, crates, oil barrels and even lights from construction sites to create art.

Over the years, he has spray-painted murals and walls at the skate parks next to the Somerset MRT station.

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