Ashwan is a British musician and artist. He grew up in 1980s Liverpool, when hip-hop began to cross over to mainstream UK.
Although he embraced the alternative hip-hop culture of the time, it is misleading, he says, to think of his work as pure hip-hop graffiti. His paintings are derived from his exploration of artistic media and his creative instinct.
Ashwan explores the relationship between different formats and media, and between ‘energies’ like music and painting. His music and painting are extremely interconnected, becoming part of each other -- his paintings are music and vice-versa.
Ashwan makes essentially two different types of music and paintings. There are the ‘remixes’, paintings in which he uses lyrics from existing songs and creates backgrounds for them, and there are the ‘mash-ups’, where he ‘samples’ images from hip-hop culture, such as the trainer, the turntable, the spray-can nozzle and even the graffiti tag.