Graffiti artist's explosive style a smash for Tumi suitcases

PUBLISHED : Monday, 14 March, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 14 March, 2011, 12:00am

New York graffiti artist John 'Crash' Matos is all about painting off the wall. He's famously taken his spray cans to electric guitars for Eric Clapton and John Mayer, and now he's even tagging travel accessories. In his first collaboration with luggage brand Tumi, he's put his explosive, street-style mark on a limited edition of their suitcases.

While personal obligations caused Crash to cancel his trip to Hong Kong, he did personally autograph eight pieces from the collection for the Hong Kong product launch party held at Madhouse art space in Kau U Fong, Central, on Thursday. Party guests were greeted with the sight of a banged-up Mazda convertible 'parked' at the entrance of the gallery, with Tumi suitcases piled in the interior, like the scene of a tragically hip accident. 'We wanted to play up the connection with Crash's tag name,' said Elaine Ho, Tumi's brand manager.

'We found this little convertible at the scrapyard, but it wasn't mangled enough, so we had the guys working there mess it up some more for us.

'Looks pretty convincing, right?'

One of the lucky VIPs to receive an autographed suitcase at the event was rising heartthrob actor Aarif Lee Chee-ting (pictured right with guest of honour Janice Man, fashion model and actress). Lee is currently working on his second album and travelling often to the mainland for other projects.

Lee says he's a light packer. 'After a certain misadventure involving lugging my luggage around Germany, I decided to only pack what I need,' he said.

'However, a portable hi-fi system is a must.'