In The Press

CNN-Slums to Cities: Street Art's Pied Piper

Hong Kong (CNN) -- Another humid summer night in Hong Kong and another fly-poster is discretely pasting what looks like a photograph of an emaciated girl onto a wall on a busy side street.

But this is no ordinary fly-poster.

He is unassuming Canadian street artist Kaid Ashton, and the subject in the print is a young girl he recently photographed in the Filipino capital, Manila.

For the past seven years he's been traveling to some of the world's most dangerous slums documenting the people he meets with his camera. He then posts his work on walls around the cities he visits.

Now he's in Hong Kong, bringing his images of slum life to the busy streets of one of Asia's financial hubs. One of the world's wealthiest cities may seem an incongruous setting for Ashton's work -- but that's what he wants.

South China Morning Post
Sign of the Times:

Kaid Ashton’s aim is to leave his mark everywhere, which is why Ben Sin finds him pasting photos on Hong Kong walls.

On the side of a residential building in Kai Chiu Road in Causeway Bay, 10 storeys and some 40 metres above ground, hangs a picture of Myanmese farmers. It’s the work of Kaid Ashton, a twentysomething teacher from Canada now living in Hong Kong.

“Teacher” is a loose description, because Ashton only teaches to fund his photography and travelling, and he relocates so frequently it’s probably inaccurate for him to call Canada home at this point.

For the past few years, he’s travelled around Asia, from Manila to Myanmar, venturing into areas not covered by guidebooks, snapping portraits of strangers. He considers that the best way to get to know a city and its culture – by interacting directly with the people. 

Philippine Star

Art Without Borders 

It was one of those rainy mornings when classes and work were being suspended by the hour and river water levels were being monitored with extreme caution. For kids outside the school system, however, none of this made a difference, and so street artist Kaid Ashton and his mobile Homeschool ventured on, defying flood and traffic to reach the unreached. The day’s lesson, Homeschool’s 23rd class since the program started in January, was T-shirt painting, or “Draw Your Dreams,” and the students were children from the Aurora Boulevard tenements. Maybe it was the weather, but the conditions there seemed especially abysmal, and the volunteers have been to some depressing places where humans shouldn’t be making homes, but do so out of necessity — from garbage dumps to cemeteries to highway underpasses. “The tenements were so hardcore, we could not have the class there, so we went to the neighborhood daycare instead,” says Clara Balaguer, whose cultural start-up, The Office of Culture and Design (OCD), has been supporting Kaid from the start. The next hour was spent with the kids, decorating shirts with statements of what they want to be when they grow up.

 

CNN Travel
Artist's Mission Brightens Poor Neighbourhoods

In a slum hidden behind a corrugated wall in downtown Manila, kids play in rubble, addicts pass through a meth house, and the dozen or so families who call this place home get on with their lives -- doing laundry, making meals, playing pool and cards.

On a wall that divides the slum from a development next door is a series of photos -- profiles of people from different corners of the globe. They are the work of Kaid Ashton, a 29-year-old Canadian street artist who is making the world’s slums his canvas. 

 

RTHK Radio-Hong Kong
Kaid Ashton gives us an insight into his work as a Street Artist and raising awareness on Poverty