If you’ve visited Greyone recently, you’ve probably noticed the walls have been updated by calligraphy here and there. Those are not as simple as they seem to be, though. We called in the expertise of artist Chichi Monster, whose works appear all over the metro and even in some other places outside Manila, to render our vision into an art work. And, as you may have seen, Chichi didn’t disappoint.

We also asked him to take five with us and tell us about his art along with some thoughts on street wear and and life as an artist-on-the go.

 

Hi, Archie! We love your latest work for Greyone Social. How did you come up with the vision for the artworks?

Starting the Greyone Social project was easy. Not easy to do but easy because I was familiar with the people behind Greyone. I'm also familiar with the history of the brand, the space, the store, and the vision they want for it in the future.

I had to consider the history and contribution of Greyone Social to the conversation of sub-culture especially street wear and independent retail in the Philippines. It's been around for nearly a decade now. That's not easy to do with retail let alone street wear. As with most things lyrical or poetic, I thought of a metaphor that surviving in any game has rules. Greyone has the 10 Crack Commandments. After that,  Notorious B.I.G.  starts playing in my head, it's actually my favorite Biggie song so that's what I wrote. Now, the letters or symbols don't always have to be readable. I want to evoke the emotion. That song tells you to listen so you don't fuck up.

 
 

What are the challenges when working in a space similar to Greyone Social?

Finding balance. Whenever I am asked to add my works to a space I always think of the environment. In Greyone, there is a relatively good amount of visual activity. You have clothes, shoes, furniture, lights, colors, music, and people. With that in mind, I had to find a level in that atmosphere that is just right for the space.

Second is space. Because it is a store, the space is limited. I had to adjust myself and the expression so it fits the space.  I am used to working on big walls but you have to work with what you have. All in a day's work :)

 

 

What streetwear items in your closet get the most mileage? What makes them reliable for an artist like you?

A good T-shirt and beat up sneakers are the best. If you know me you'll know that most of my stuff have paint stains on them. It's just me. I don't really get too obsessive compulsive with paint stains. Whenever people cringe when they see, say red paint on a certain pair of pants, I just have a laugh. I hate it when I lose the pieces though.

What are you going to do this 2015 that's something you have never done before?

Earn a hundred million and Be more disciplined. (Laughs)