When you think of Stellenbosch, you normally think of majestic wine farms, sokkie and Maties. You definitely don’t really think of Graffiti. The same applies to South Korea, except replace wine farms with rice fields and sokkie with karaoke. The common denominator to both locations is a graffiti writer called Stok, we’ve known him for a couple of years now. A guy that drove an hour to town weekly to paint a four letter name in a spot covered with filth. Nothing has changed for this writer since he relocated to South Korea. He is one of the most dedicated writers we have ever met that literally shits style. We asked him a couple of questions and supplied us with some exclusive pictures of pieces he executed in South Korea.
Yo! How’s it going bro. Please introduce yourself and how long have you been doing grafitti?
All good, man. I write Stok. (pronounce it however you want to) Well the first time I actually painted outside my mom’s garage was in the end of 2006. I would say I only really started in 2007.
You from Stellenbosch. Was it harder to get involved with graffiti. How did you go about it in the beginning?
Yeah, well graf was pretty non existent in Stellies. Except for like TGB who had like 2 year run I think. I knew the names in the scene, but other than that I didn’t know shit. I used to just take as many pics as I could whenever I went to town with my folks. Haha, I remember seeing a interview with Shelflife on that Hip Hop show on MK. So I dropped by and bought some shit and started doing my thing. Soon after I saw some Crabs tags going up in Stellies. So the next time I went to Shelflife I asked a certain someone if he knew who Crabs was. He said he’ll give him my nr the next time he saw him. So yeah, eventually met Crabs and he introduced me to what he knew of the scene and blah blah blah. you know how it goes from there. Met peeps, through some other peeps and so on.
You recently relocated to South Korea, where are you located and how is the scene up there?
Well once again, I live outside of where it’s happening. The graf that is, Luckily the public transport here is next level and fucken cheap. Seoul is pretty much the place where it’s at. Something like 25 million people live there. It’s fuckin massive. But compared to how many people live in Seoul, the scene is very small. It’s also still very young. It’s different in the sense that there’s pretty much no highway or trackside bombing. Trains are also spotless both inside and outside. Recently people have been painting tracksides and shit, but it’s nothing like in Cape Town. It’s more about tags, throwies and stickers. Pretty much the opposite of Cape Town in that sense I rate.
What do you miss the most about Cape Town regarding graffiti?
I miss the ghetto vibe Cape Town has. That shit is just non existent over here. Also miss painting with the homies I normally painted with.
You probally met many Korean writers, please let us know who your 3 favourite Korean writers (please supply links) ?
Many Korean writers… no. Here’s some links to some guys holding it down over here.
I heard the scene is pretty raw up there, how hard is it to get paint?
Haha, when I first got here getting paint was a mission. Every paint shop stocks pretty much the same range of colours of the local brands. The same colours, and only a few of them actually cover halfway descent. Forget about reds, oranges and yellows. Word gets around of what shops maybe have some other colours in a box somewhere, so then you’ll go check it out to see if you find anything special. Caps are also something that is a bit on the scarce side. These caps pretty much don’t block. So guys would pretty much use the same 5 caps or whatever over and over. But some peeps are now buying shit over the internet. Also a few months ago an art store started to stock Montana Gold. R70 a can tho compared to the local paint that works out at about R14 a can. And once again the colours are limited.
What is South Koreas stance on graffiti?
Ummmmmm. I dont know…
Would you ever consider a colaboration with Thvggery?
What music do you currently have on rotation?
At the moment I’m getting my Metal vibes on with some other random shit.
Does it Offend You Yeah – Don’t say we did’t Warn You, All Shall Perish – Hate, Malice, Revenge (kak funny I know) Of Montreal – Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer ( the random shit I was talking about) Mudvayne – LD50 en ‘n bietjie Jack Parow on the side. No, I’m only lying. Obviously I’m lying, I paint… DnB, Rap and Hip Hop it is then.
If your front teeth fell out, would you leave them straight up cape flats swag or get grills?
Grill dude, what the fuck do I need a passion gap for!? And don’t answer that question.
Do you ever plan on returning?
Yeah man, no doubt. Maybe even sooner than later. So let that ‘homie’s not even in the country’ shit slip your mind. But at the moment man, don’t wanna go back to the SSDD vibe I had going.