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Blu Art Xinja – Hidden Brisbane

As I was looking out of my office window, I noticed a curl of blue smoke coming out of one of the small chimneys across the road at Central Station. It piqued my interest as I thought it unlikely that in these rules driven, workplace health and safety times that the building would have any working fireplaces. Walking over to the station revealed that the smoke was in fact a piece of street art. I had to know more.

smoke curls from a chimnet - art placed by blu art xinja

A quick internet search for ‘blue street art Brisbane’ gave me the answer. In fact, the search engine actually asked: do you mean ‘blu street art Brisbane’? I had stumbled upon the world of Blu Art Xinja, a street artist who installs artwork under cover of night.

blue birds placed on the walls of a laneway by blu art xinja

Typically, the art installations are small sculptural pieces that are placed in out of the way locations. They may be hidden in a laneway or under a bridge as well as in more breathtaking locations such as the parapets of buildings or on top of security cameras. The art is whimsical and meant to amuse. Created in Blu Art Xinja’s workshop, the pieces are cut from hardboard and painted and sealed with his or her signature acrylic Blu™. I can’t tell you much more about Blu Art Xinja for, as is the way of the Ninja, s/he is covert and secretive.

a blue dragon sits in a tree - placed there by blu art xinja

the eye of horus on a tugboat at the maritime museum in brisbane - placed by the blu art xinja

You can find Blu Art Xinja’s pieces all across Brisbane, and even further afield in Melbourne and NZ. The installations are affixed with the greatest of care to ensure that heritage buildings or objects aren’t damaged. Sometimes they are removed by the owners of buildings or fall pray to development and very occasionally, the weather plays a part. Blu has become a bit of an underground art celebrity and, like Banksy, the artwork has suffered as a result. People selfishly remove (steal) pieces affixed to more accessible location rather than leaving them for all to enjoy. Sometimes Blu Art Xinja replaces these, only to have them stolen again. Occasionally, Blu makes up some extra pieces to sell. They can be bought at very modest prices so that you too can have an official piece of Blu.

blu art ninja pieces in inner brisbane

High above the Mall | Damaged at the Conservatorium

blu art xinja tree near the river

Visit Blu Art Xinja’s Facebook page so you can learn more about where pieces are located and then take yourself on a walking tour of Brisbane to spot them.

Blu Art Xinja of Facebook

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6 comments… add one
  • Francesca September 28, 2016, 7:58 am

    Wow, I’ll be on the lookout in Melbourne. And visit the facebook page too. Thanks Fiona.

    • Fiona Ryan September 28, 2016, 9:25 am

      He has quite a few pieces in the laneways and goes regularly to tidy and add more. There is an album on his page where you can see where they are.

  • Tandy I Lavender and Lime September 28, 2016, 1:55 pm

    Is this done with the permission of the local council?

    • Fiona Ryan September 28, 2016, 4:14 pm

      Absolutely not. That’s why it’s done under cover of night. He is very, very careful not to damage buildings and would never place a piece on a heritage building. Not all buildings are government owned and some parts of government and private owners welcome it. Others do not.

  • Sherry from sherryspickings September 28, 2016, 7:56 pm

    I just love his(?) work. Funny how I had never heard nor seen of him till very recently and now I see it everywhere. Would love to buy one of his pieces but he is elusive. You are lucky to have one. 🙂

    • Fiona Ryan September 29, 2016, 9:03 am

      I wasn’t sure it was a he as it could well be a she but close scrutiny of Xinja’s photos and some references by people who obviously know Xinja makes me think h.e is a he. If you are keen on a piece, message Xinja and ask if there are any pieces for sale. There often are

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