Disruptive, compelling and inspiring – Australia’s largest showcase of urban and street art festival, Can’t Do Tomorrow is back this February 20-29 2020. Set to take Melbourne by storm, this inaugural festival is known as the most epic celebration of the best in urban art and contemporary culture across the nation.
Across 10 days, 100 street artists, musicians and collectives will transform Melbourne’s iconic multi-level warehouse, The Facility, into an artful wonderland. Can’t Do Tomorrow breaks the traditional art fair model, allowing festival-goers to purchase original artwork directly from the artists as well as limited edition pieces.
Along the artworks, the annual spectacle features an exceptionally curated music program; an array of artist-led workshops; and an extensive program of talks that delve deep into the world of street art and its inner workings from the creative within.
In conjunction with the start of his world-premiere exhibition, the prolific Chinese-Australian political artist and cartoonist Badiucao joins the star-studded list of talks program list and exhibitions.
Badiucao’s never-before-seen exhibition titled Made In Hong Kong, Banned In China paints a suffocating reality – one that Badiucao depicts through portraits of political leaders, exhibits of torture equipment and iconic Hong Kong neon to reconstruct metaphors and push visitors out of their comfort zone. Captivating and deeply powerful, the renowned artist is thrilled to finally tell his story – a story of artistic truth amongst the complex landscape of political pressure and chaos in a place close to his heart.
“At the end of 2018; seven months before the massive Hong Kong democratic movement broke out, three days before the opening of my first solo exhibition in Hong Kong, two policemen from Shanghai came to my family in China and threatened them in order to stop my show,” Badiucao recounts.
“The show was cancelled eventually due to the fear of the safety of myself, my family and everyone who helped in the show from Hong Kong. Many efforts have been taken to reopen the show in Hong Kong since, but no venue has the courage to host it due to the threat from Beijing and the critical situation in Hong Kong. So, I have decided to bring it back to Australia – my second home.”
Fearless at heart, Badiucao knows no limits – keeping his identity a secret at the start of his career and previously known by his nickname, ‘China’s Banksy.’ Set to address his motivations and aspirations as a Chinese political artist in exile, his discussion titled, The Dissident Artist will take place on Saturday 22 February with his exhibition on display throughout the week.
“Street art is one of the oldest forms of public protest and the most powerful work responds to the political and social world we live in,” expresses Can’t Do Tomorrow festival director, Zoe Paulsen.
“Can’t Do Tomorrow is a platform for urban artists to express themselves and we are thrilled to be able to provide a space for Badiucao to present his solo exhibition.”
Throughout Can’t Do Tomorrow, Aaron Rose – the internationally acclaimed artist, exhibition curator and film director who is no stranger to the contemporary art scene, will headline the talks program. Sandra Powell and Andy King join the line-up as Melbourne’s renowned art collectors with their incredible art collection by local and international urban artists including works by Banksy, Rone, Andy Warhol, Shepard Fairey and Anthony Lister.
A music line-up of live acts and DJs will run throughout the festival, providing a soundtrack to the artworks and continuing the party into the night. Opening night on Thursday 20 February showcases musical act, TEYMORI welcomes the festival with an electric performance of funk, afro, soul and percussive rhythms.
Aaron Rose, in collaboration with French mural artist, LucyLucy and illustrator Kate Pullen present an artist-led series titled, Make Something!!! Which showcases the powerful and innovative women making waves across the urban and street art scene. Looking to disrupt the male-dominated scene, these workshops provide a platform for young aspiring artists and creators to learn skills from the best self-taught names on the street.
A major collaboration with Southern Shorthaul Railroad (SSR) brings an exciting new twist for the 2020 instalment of Can’t Do Tomorrow. This festival partnership brings together Can’t Do Tomorrow’s artists to transform a 22-carriage freight train into an immersive moving outdoor gallery – one of its kind in Australia.
Paulsen adds, “Our partnership with SSR trains has enabled us to begin a new conversation between artists and train companies. This 22-carriage freight train, transformed by our presenting artists, will see the festival expand beyond the warehouse, taking these works on the move for an even bigger audience to enjoy.”
Prolific artists, Merda, Sirum 1 and Kab 101 pay homage to the rich history of train graffiti in the celebrating the street art. The train will become a permanent feature in the transport system throughout Victoria as a symbol of laying old grudges aside and appreciating the beauty of public art in motion.
“Can’t Do Tomorrow is a one of a kind summer festival which both figuratively and literally, breaks through the walls of a traditional art fair. We want to create an epic experience for our visitors and immerse them in a way of consuming, or being consumed by art.”
Can’t Do Tomorrow runs from 20-29 February 2020 with over 100 artists and exhibitions and a talks, music and workshop program – transforming Melbourne’s art scene into an urban wonderland.