Global Model Village: The Tiniest Street Art in the World Global Model Village: The Tiniest Street Art in the World

Global Model Village: The Tiniest Street Art in the World

by Yasha Wallin

October 6, 2012

As part of his ongoing series "The Little People Project," British artist Slinkachu embraces the little guy, with intricate, witty and microscopic street installations. Since 2006, he's been placing miniature people, crafted out of modified train set figures, all over the world. He leaves his little people in random nooks and crannies within the urban sprawl for unsuspecting pedestrians to stumble upon.
Slinkachu's projects started simply as street interventions, but soon he incorporated photography to document his imaginative scenes before they're abandoned to the elements. Each set up has a narrative, often highlighted in the works' titles like "Balancing Act," "Skyscraping," (above) and "Branded" (below). 
Slinkachu's interventions aren't always meant to be found though. He often hides a work in the hopes that if someone stumbles upon it, they will be pulled out of their own little bubbles of talking on the phone, or not paying attention to the world around them. He says he aims to "encourage city dwellers to be more aware of their surroundings." 

Because Slinkachu's tiny sets are often engulfed by vast expanses of urban sprawl, they can evoke feelings of loneliness and anonymity, but humor is just as important to the artist. He calls upon a broader range of emotions that arise from living in a metropolis: the love, sadness, despair, and hope that are invariably felt living amongst, and on top of, each other.
In "The Food Chain," placed in China, his figures work laboriously and thanklessly in rice fields, planting food for the world while they go unnoticed. In Cape Town, where there is a high level of HIV/AIDS, with little access to medicine, he has installed a mother and child wearing retroviral pills on their heads. A percentage of the proceeds from the photographs he sells from this latter project go towards the organization Baphumelele, which helps local children infected with HIV/AIDS.

To celebrate six years of bringing his plastic people to life in over 50 cities, Slinkachu's exhibition "Global Model Village" will be on view at Andipa Gallery in London through October 27, and at Broome Street Gallery in New York until October 7. His book of the same name will also come out this month.
What have you seen in your own urban environment that has been completely unexpected?
Photos courtesy of Andipa Gallery
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Global Model Village: The Tiniest Street Art in the World