Electric Bubble decided to pull together a project on a subject of memories and experiences that inspire. An Australian Painter currently based in Seoul, South Korea. John Kaye is an internationally recognised artist who blurs the line between studio and street art. Specialising in large scale murals, paintings and illustrations, John’s work draw from his experiences with love, life, death and freedom.  John was first introduced to the world of graffiti as a kid, witnessing colourful glimpses of throw-ups on passing trains. Even though he didn’t know what he was seeing at the time, this is something that has stayed with him and inspired his ever-growing passion for his art. John creates paintings in response to his experiences. Over the span of three weeks, John travels through the Special Region of Yogyakarta. John Kaye has been painting for 15 years.

“It was a gradual process, The more I learn and the more I paint the more it becomes part of me. For me personally, art began as a way to escape reality, until eventually, it became something to believe in.” The story for ‘Signs of Life’ follows John as he makes a spontaneous decision to break away from the comfortable studio environment and travel into Yogyakarta, Indonesia. He packs light with no schedule other than the return flight. John had a hope to experience a new place with the only intention to push his craft.

John spends each day searching for a perfect spot to paint. Most walls were hidden from the main roads, away from the people’s direct view, his process is very personal and he enjoys the idea of someone stumbling across the piece like a treasure. After a few days of exploring and painting John met a local, Sugi who lived in a small farming village with not more than twenty houses. She invited him to paint the wall that faced the only street in the village. John spent most of the day working on it and after he joined her family for a home cook Indonesian meal. Over lunch, Sugi told John about their culture and the religious beliefs that connect them very closely with the Mount Merapi volcano. It is believed when the volcano erupts it is because of something the people have done, something bad that the gods aren’t happy with.

Whilst John was enjoying lunch, all of the kids in the village came to observe this large colourful piece of art that is now a centre point in the street. Having seen their reactions was a great moment for John. This comes back to why these adventures are so important to him. Another example of this was driving home on his motorbike when some kids invited John up onto their rooftop. On the roof, the kids showed John their pet pigeons which they trained to fly threw hoops. This image had such an impact on John he replicated this image on a canvas painting that reflected his feeling and memories of this adventure to Indonesia.