Graffiti artist to visit Korea

RHIANNON MCCONNELL
Last updated 12:50 05/10/2012
Pauly Clyne

Popular attraction: Pauly Clyne's work often draws big crowds.

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Wellington graffiti artist Pauly Clyne is taking his art to Korea in November.

Clyne, 27, toured Korea in 2009.

"When I painted there last time we drew big crowds, crowds of hundreds," he said.

On the plane coming home he felt he should return to Korea to help children, using his art.

"I have a unique opportunity because of what I do and my story."

A recent church conference persuaded him that the time was right to go back to Korea.

"Sometimes you've got to step out of your own comfort zone to help other people."

The purpose of his one-month trip is to help Korean youth feel someone is there for them.

"Every kid deserves an opportunity. It doesn't matter what country you're from, every kid deserves to be a kid."

Originally from Christchurch, Clyne was part of the gang scene when he was growing up and he started doing graffiti when he was 12.

"I couldn't dance, I couldn't afford to be a DJ, I wasn't smart enough to be a rapper . . . I was pretty good at drawing so thought I would do graffiti." After losing his girlfriend to suicide he left the gang scene. Another graffiti artist took him on a commission job.

"They committed to getting me on the straight and narrow. I stopped painting illegally, stopped doing drugs, stopped drinking alcohol and stopped smoking cigarettes," Clyne said.

In Wellington, he teaches graffiti workshops and is involved with youth work.

"I don't paint illegally."

Graffiti could be used as a unique tool for reaching young people, Clyne said.

"When you can be seen in their eyes as being on their level they instantly start to open."

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- The Wellingtonian

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