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Wednesday, 24 April 2019 07:56 pm

Skateboarder honours fallen colleagues

NgohoMAINPAT NGOHO, American artist and professional skateboarder, was in  Wellington for the art show Eyes Wide Open last month.

The Californian was in the Capital with what he called “a celebration of skaters who have fallen [died] who have opened our eyes to the larger world of skateboarding”.

“By bringing it here and including the Kiwis along with this show has just made everything more rich,” he says. “It’s been a great education for all of us to see what’s going on in different parts of the world in skateboarding and in art.”

Pat compliments Wellington in particular, calling the city one of the tour’s best stops.

“It’s a little bit more laid back than some of the others so with that comes a bit more relaxed feel from the whole group of pros who all travel together… The locals are wonderful and accommodating,” he says.

Pat is from Los Angeles, but has been to New Zealand three times for art shows.

He says surfing and skateboarding are big parts of the culture and lifestyle in his part of the world.

“As a little surfer growing up they just came hand in hand, if you weren’t surfing you were skateboarding. It was a form of transportation, it was a form of artistic expression and in California skating was on the move.”

Art and skateboarding have always gone hand in hand for Pat as he grew up around both.

He says the biggest similarity between them is artistic expression. They both have “pools” of ideas that can be taken from and added to at any time.

NgohoUSE22Some of Pat’s artwork is painted directly onto blank skateboards which are then used for the sport.

He says this idea came from the early Dog Town artists who put art on skateboards because there were no screen-printing companies making production skateboards.

“They took it upon themselves to create their own art and over time the kids would go skate on it and wear it in and you’d have those characteristics of the skating and it really became part of the art to see that it was used for its intention.”

Pat says there were no opportunities to skate professionally when he was a kid. But he went on to win awards like the 2008 World Cup Masters Bowlriding championship title and is a member of the Santa Monica Airlines Skateboard team.

“I’m inspired by so much of skateboarding,” he says. “I go around the world and come across these kids – the way they skate and what they’re doing is so amazing it just makes you smile and reinforces what you do as a skateboarder. You just do it because you love it and because it just burns a fire within you.”

In his abstract artwork he often uses a lot of bright colours, such as reds and yellows. He says these colours show his Californian connection.

“There’s a strong palette throughout the state through its sunsets, through the architecture and just in nature, as a surfer as a skater we’re exposed to this really huge spectrum of colour and you see beautiful palette.”

Pat enjoys New Zealand art and says he likes the strong Maori themes he sees within the art here.

He also says he enjoys the positive attitude he has experienced in our country.

“New Zealand is a really beautiful place… Especially Wellington, it’s really an optimistic place it really pushes itself, in small ways like being the first fair trade capital. It’s like ‘these guys are really taking the initiative’ and it’s wonderful to see that a small town like this can have such a strong impact and have so much control over their destiny.”

Pat’s passion for art and skateboarding take up so much of his time that he has no other hobbies.

“If you just start getting into crazy hobbies like collecting cars or camera equipment, which I was at some point, it just became a little too much: You become scattered and no good to anybody.”

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is a Whitireia Journalism graduate who loves writing, computers, cooking reading and creating controversy, something she did frequently during her time at Whitireia.
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