NoK - Wall 3Italian artist Barlo is now in China where he recently finished this new an allegoric mural at the Hong Kong Institute of Education in Hong Kong.
“Nature of Knowledge” is a 3.5×90 m mural and was conceived after the student association Nomads HK contacted him to see if he could paint a mural that could express their political view about the current situation of the education system in Hong Kong.
According to Barlo, the wall “aims to oppose to a system where knowledge is just a mix of notions that students learn exclusively to pass exams under a social pressure I have never witnessed before. Considering that this institute is responsible of forming the next generation of teachers, the work aims to remind students that education is something deeper. It should be based on a genuine curiosity and a desire for knowledge and encourage them to embark a personal journey to reach self-awareness and develop a critical mind.”
The story is told through 7 different scenes from past to present, from Chinese mythology to the Umbrella Revolution, and connected by a jungle-like landscape inspired by the surroundings of the campus.

The seven specific scenes are:

1. “The discovery of fire” symbolizing knowledge

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2. “The Yan Emperor” referring to the traditional figure of the flame emperor as sage teaching to the other monkeys2 NoK - Wall 2 3 NoK - Wall 2 detail


3. “Knowledge leads to Revolution” where the main character is obviously based on the myth of the Monkey King and the yellow flag is a reference to the Umbrella Movement

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4. “In between” which focuses on those that don’t take any side in the protest and are often caught in between the circumstances

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5. “Repression” where you can see the obvious reaction of any establishment to any sort of protest

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6. “Resolution” or personal revolution. Because what a protest awakens in each of us is a social consciousness and a genuine desire for knowledge that need to be nourished. Like a fire to be kept alive within our soul


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7. “Knowledge is the only way to keep your predators away”

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Thanks to Barlo for images ( © William Wan ) and info


Author: Fran

Founder and editor of Urbanite. Street Art lover who after the finishing her MA thesis on the muralist movement in the 1920-50s, developed a fascination for street art and graffiti that eventually led to collaborations with different art blogs, including the creation of this one.