In the world where streetwear bubble is about to burst–according to Highsnobiety, Habitual, Axis Group Asia, and Division Communications brushed aside the skepticism and throwing their first event with a soaring optimism, ‘Culture Cartel Con 2018‘. The optimistic vision could be sensed through the confident claim of the event, ‘Asia’s First All-encompassing Street Culture Convention’.
Before we get into that, they brought several twists to demonstrate that the event wouldn’t be just another sneakers and streetwear bazaar. These were art, toys collection, music, and the rooted tattoo artistry. In demand figurines such as Kaws and BE@ARBRICK were displayed by private collectors and sellers, but it quite staggered us on how the Singaporean tattoo community is very strongly bonafide, as shown by the event. 53 renowned Asia-based tattoo artists and parlors participated in the event such as Augustine Nezumi, Gakkin, Griede of The Standard Tattoo Co., Kelvin Monster of Singapore Electric, Maxine of Iron Fist Tattoo, Samuel of Gods and Monsters, and our very own Bold and Bright Tattoo Parlor from Bali.
Speaking of Indonesian tenants, there were some notable tenants and artists who participated, including Ageless Galaxy in the fashion section, Three Buns in the food and beverages corner, and artists Muklay, Tuyuloveme, Olderplus and Stereoflow. The event might be taken place in Singapore, but creative personalities from neighboring countries; the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia came to show their support.
In total 140 tenants ranging from international brands, Singaporean brands, tattoo parlors & artists, resellers, and food & beverages brands participated in Culture Cartel 2018 and it attracted 14.000 fashionable visitors over the course of the three-day event.
The Culture Cartel fashion was another aspect to highlight, as it was significantly stand out. Their eyes for great fashion sense and confidence were more apparent and vibrant. Combined with the striking tattoos, the fashion was something that couldn’t be missed.
Technology also had its portion during the event, particularly the Tilt Brush by Google that make it possible to draw graffiti using virtual reality devices. The first VR Graffiti Battle in Asia was also commended to demonstrate the technological advancement in the street art scene.
Similar to what we do here, the #LocalPride movement in Singapore is also going well and strong. The Singaporeans we met during the event enthusiastically promoted their local brands and it was seen through the multiple Singaporean brands at the event such as SBTG, Hutan Tropical, Dystra Apparel, Lisa Von Tang, and Amos Ananda.
Several talk shows were organized with topics revolved around the main aspects that shaped Culture Cartel; streetwear fashion (Streetwear Today), toys market (The Toy Market Today), music (Music Today), and social media (How Social Media Changed the Creative World).
Heading out to the art and music department, several street artists showcased their artistic visionaries, including the legendary graffiti artist STASH and Joshua Vides, the man behind the doodled Mercedes Benz A-Class displayed during the event. Musical performances from local artists were also conducted with performers headlining; Masia, Aldrin, Senja, and KiDG.
Now the moment of truth, if it was an all-encompassing street culture convention. The highlighting of fashion, music, art, toys, and most significantly tattoo were much appreciated. Back here, the stigma of tattoo has started to dissolve, however, the inclusion and validation of tattoo culture in the Indonesian street culture hasn’t reached the level of exposure and acceptance that Culture Cartel demonstrated. It did the claim justice to some extent.
One side note that can be implemented for next year is the education of the origin of street culture. The phrases ‘street culture’, ‘streetwear’, or anything with the word ‘street’ on it are pretty much saturated these days. A lot of people are familiar with street culture for the fashion, art, music, and other creative branches of it. A deeper, historically-referenced, and more essential literacy and exhibition of the origin of street culture will do the ‘all-encompassing’ title even more justice.