Thai Street Artist Alex Face visits London and uses art to warn about the future

Some artists can’t resist the lure of a wall when visiting London. The same is true for Bangkok based artist Alex Face, visiting the country to exhibit at the Moniker Art Fair at the Truman Brewery. Alongside fellow Thai artist Bon and the UK’s Mau Mau, Alex has added a few pieces to the popular spot on Hanbury Street. A stones throw away from the art fairs which have been drawing art lovers to the area, the artists decided to take the air and add their mark.

Speaking to Alex in between drawings it becomes clear that here is an artist with a social conscience. His current signature drawing is that of a baby, at first glance cute but all the time worrying about the future of the world. The baby idea was inspired by the birth of his daughter. “The first time I saw her she looked angry or worried” he told me. It made him why she looked like that, causing him to reflect on the life she had ahead. “I thought are you not happy to be my daughter? Are you not happy to be in the world?” Questions that had not struck Alex before, he was now asking of himself.

Alex paints a shutter on Hanbury Street

Alex paints a shutter on Hanbury Street

Alex Face's signature style, a baby with three eyes

Alex Face’s signature style, a baby with three eyes

Ultimately this world changing personal event had caused Alex to consider the future and in particular to take stock of the changes happening in his own country, the country in which she would grow up. “I got the idea that maybe I should paint something to warn the people about what the future could be” he told me. Disturbed by the amount of development in a short space of time Alex grew up on a farm in Thailand but now… “there are factories, factories everywhere, in only 20 years time… Bam!!! Factories” Alex is concerned that the world is changing too fast.

It is against this backdrop of rapid development that Alex’s daughter will grow. “Before with the farm they grew rice, but now they build cars, factories from Japan and Korea and so no one grows rice anymore” says Alex. He is worred for his country, “the population is growing, it will grow and grow and then the food will be gone because we are not growing food anymore. I think it will be a problem” he told me.

Alex Face drawing late into the night on Hanbury Street

Alex Face drawing late into the night on Hanbury Street

Alex Face and Bon from Thailand by their wall on Hanbury Street

Alex Face and Bon from Thailand by their wall on Hanbury Street

So for now Alex’s baby is worried about the future, pensively waiting to see what grown up life is like and wondering how the world will be. He draws the baby with a third eye. Alex is spiritual “I believe in the spirit, that is how I grew up, I feel the spirit” he says. The third eye in his drawings represents another dimension “its something that we can feel but can’t see with two eyes so I add the third eye which can see what we can’t”. The third eye can see the future, the third eye knows what will happen but the baby only has two eyes and so can only worry about what is to come.

It’s quite a deep story when on first glance Alex’s baby’s are simply cute “the first time people see the baby they say ‘oh how cute’ but if you look, the baby’s not happy. The baby is worrying about the future…”

Alex's baby next to a sly fox from Mau Mau

Alex’s baby next to a sly fox from Mau Mau

Bon adds some finishing touches to his work

Bon adds some finishing touches to his work

Work from Alex and Bon

Work from Alex and Bon

Adding some finishing touches to the wall

Adding some finishing touches to the wall

Painting a shutter a little further down the street

Painting a shutter a little further down the street

Bon also has a distinctive style and often collaborates with Alex

Bon also has a distinctive style and often collaborates with Alex

Looking up Hanbury Street towards the Brewery

Looking up Hanbury Street towards the Brewery

Hanbury Street with works from La Pandilla, Alex Face, Mau Mau and Bon

Hanbury Street with works from La Pandilla, Alex Face, Mau Mau and Bon

Alex and Bon returned to London after a brief trip to Devon after the art fair and decided to take the time to paint the famous spot on Pedley Street.

The three eyed baby on Pedley Street

The three eyed baby on Pedley Street

Bon painted a woman with a fox mask

Bon painted a woman with a fox mask

Alex in action, painting the wall

Alex in action, painting the wall

Close up of Bon's work

Close up of Bon’s work

The whole wall

The whole wall

Alex Face was interviewed by Inspiring City on Saturday 19th October. Alongside fellow Thai artist Bon he was visiting the country to exhibit at the Moniker Art Fair. They returned to the capital after a brief trip to Devon in order to paint the Pedley Street wall on Sunday 28th October 2013.

For more Inspiring City articles relating to the weekend art inspired by the art fairs try:

A weekend like no other on Brick Lane as the ‘Moniker’ and ‘The Other’ art fairs take over the Truman Brewery.
American Muralist Beau Stanton paints Pedley Street
Greek Artist Ser uses art to lampoon and satirise the Greek Debt Crisis