Ali Hazri

ALI HAZRI WENNSTROM  1979, SINGAPORE ( SINGAPOUR ) Arriving in Paris in 2012, Ali Hazri Wennstrom is a chef. Coming from a poor background, he grew up in the overcrowded Bedok district of Singapore. The family lives five in one room; the little boy was only 10 years old when he was forced to work as a newspaper delivery boy or cleaning boy. This difficult start to life and his association with neighborhood gangs regularly led him to a “boys home” (a reformatory for boys). Dropping out of school at 12, the teenager draws solid reasons to avoid prison from the practice of BMX, skateboarding, and the energy of the musical trends that punctuate his alternative lifestyle. Silent, fierce and determined by nature, he has been practicing drawing in secret since 2003; he is fascinated by the art of tattooing. In 2020, in Paris, he left the restaurant that employed him and approached pyrography on a skateboard for the first time. His design diverts subjects dear to Nusantara, a historical name designating the foundational regions of his family culture (in Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia and Singapore, the term is generally used to designate the Malay archipelago or the Malay kingdom which includes these countries ). Within his installation which includes eleven engraved skateboard decks, the artist recounts his social openness to the world, his street experiences and the acquisition of his self-taught knowledge. His life experiences are mythologized, subjectivized: the observer is thus invited to project his fantasies onto them and to question his own reality.