Home / Artists / Demais



Demais, a French artist living in Hong Kong, has been perfecting the art of graffiti for more than 30 years with an intact passion.

Demais is inexhaustible on letters, shapes and colors, and on this universe of vandal graffiti that he experienced for the first time a long time ago.It was his younger brother who introduced him to graffiti on the walls of the surrounding sports parks, and the adrenaline felt since then, the smell of the spray cans, the sounds of the capes, the frantic running in the night, were determining elements in the anchoring of this passion within his body and mind. Demais is impregnated with graffiti: from Montpellier where he participated with his crew ODM (On Défonce Montpellier) to Asia where he works with 5D and other local and international artists, he lives graffiti at the forefront.

Find Demais on:

Read more

What are the next walls, the next decoration projects for restaurants and other spaces, new collaborations with friends passing through, local artists?

There’s a graffiti artist gathering in Shanghai or Dalian in China, he instantly inquires about the availability of bombs. There is a wall available in the far end of Hong Kong, it will be for this weekend. Check the walls in Hong Kong regularly, there’s a good chance you’ll find his work there.

It’s always interesting to follow an artist in action. Meticulous, neat, Demais likes to perfect his letters harmoniously, despite the pressure of time ! You have to see him handle sprays, caps, Poscas, to grasp the skillfulness of his art. The gestures are precise, the renderings as previously imagined in his head and scribbled on the numerous paper proofs for hours on end to always reinvent his blaze.

What are the reasons for this rigor and the desire to always do well that characterizes his work? His education and his career, no doubt, but above all his love of letters, their shapes, sometimes voluptuous, sometimes jerky, sometimes torn…

The cheerful way in which he speaks of the letters testifies to this particular affection for this art, which is itself singular because it is constantly renewed.

Meet with Demais

 How do you define yourself? Why so?

I consider myself a Graffiti artist. I belong to this movement that was born in the working class and underprivileged areas of the American suburbs and I follow its codes and rules.  I like to consider that our movement is something apart from the artistic field and different from street art.

Is it art? Are we artists? I don’t know and I don’t ask myself the question. For me, it’s essentially a passion.

To the question are we artists? I would answer that we are more artistic delinquents (ahah).

What’s your story? What are the reasons that pushed you to paint?

The reasons that pushed me to paint? I think the suburbs have a lot to do with it, not because it justifies everything, but because it’s a special place in the city, especially when you’re young.

I would say that there was a combination of circumstances that pushed me to graffiti, a kind of alignment of the planets that plunged me into the world of spray paint; my mother who decided to move to the suburbs of La Paillade in Montpellier, my 16th year with parental control becoming less heavy, my love for art and drawing but a rejection of traditional painting, my brother who has already been tagging for a year with a friend of his and the window of my room overlooking a basketball court whose walls are covered with graffiti.

My story? It’s a story that spans almost 30 years already and it’s still going on. It began in Montpellier at the beginning of the 90’s, continued in Nîmes, then went east to Dôle and then Besançon, made a small detour through Switzerland before settling in Hong Kong for 15 years.

It’s a journey made of encounters and friendships, my first crew, the MCT with Kiko and my brother Zea, then the 100GN with Code, the Aste, Alone and Dekor brothers (now Defo), the LCF with Astik, Nast, Hant (now Rezo), the meeting with Sade (Heat) and the ODM, the EST crew with Desh, Bou Bou, Paner, Acier, then the FC which became CF with Tenko, Decap, Pute (actual Fake), the big family of C4 with Sonik, Dech, Smole and Oyster and many others, the FHK with Orsek, Shoes, Jams, Amson, Asmo and finally the 5D with Miot, Storm, Hazid, Zeno, CEO, Asset, Fokus and Toner.


I should also talk about people like Maks, Redy, Mozes, Jwoa, Raiko, Pung, Sency and especially Ryck who became my friends throughout this journey.

I started out as Obsek, which became Hobsek over time. In the beginning I mostly did “personas” in the middle of my friends’ pieces, more rarely “letterings”. Later I alternated more or less long periods where I only did lettering, with periods where I went back to the characters. With time and the fact of painting 6 letters, I got tired of the name I had given myself and I finally decided that (De)But would be my new name. So, for the last ten years or so, I’ve been devoting myself to this new “blaze”. I still paint characters but almost exclusively for commissioned projects.

I have always been careful with graffiti so that I have nothing to regret and can fully assume what I do. There have been quiet periods and more intense periods, now there are family responsibilities and work, there is age and fatigue, but I never stopped and 30 years later my passion for graffiti is still there.

I have always been careful with graffiti so that I have nothing to regret and can fully assume what I do. There have been quiet periods and more intense periods, now there are family responsibilities and work, there is age and fatigue, but I never stopped and 30 years later my passion for graffiti is still there.

 What’s your favorite “playground”?

The city, vacant lots, railway sidings, industrial wasteland, roofs, trains, any visible surface in the urban space.

What equipment and techniques do you use?

Mainly spray paint with a great predilection for metallic colours such as chrome or gold. I prefer style to colour. I look for strong and striking contrasts that ensure greater legibility. I am very demanding about the appearance of my lines, which I want to be fine, clean, spontaneous and without overlap, lines that I most often execute with a needle point.

What’s the most important project you’ve worked on? Why is that?

We were on a road trip to Barcelona with a bunch of friends. On the second day, while we were walking around the city, we came across a jam organised by Ogre we knew. He immediately invited us and I found myself doing a character next to Dare on a small wall where we were just the two of us. The weather was nice, the sound was good, we laughed a lot, I fixed a character that I found not too bad despite the pressure and he of course sent an incredible lettering. It was magical. Sigi was the reference for many of us and despite his talent and notoriety he was always approachable, humble and incredibly kind.

Shortly afterwards we received the sad news of his death…

Who are the main artists who inspired you in the beginning?

A lot of graffiti artists related to the characters, the great classics like Mode 2, Number 6 and Popay and especially Toast whose style and ideas were far above the rest.

For the letters, I first underwent the Parisian influence of painters like Bando (unavoidable) Extaz (current Vision), Hoctez, Nacio, Honet and others. Later the FMK with Diego Supe and Gorey and finally Sonik who had a great importance and influence on my style.

What are the main artists that you are thrilled about today?

I’d say guys like Most, Heis, Funco (ex Satur), Rage, Moner, and Shire are among the ones that thrill me the most. Of course there are many others. There’s Ryck with whom I paint, whose continual renewal and great spontaneity I admire. There is also my friend Bao who pushes me to try new colours and even manages to make me paint with a brush.

 In your opinion, does urban art have an impact on people’s lives?

Taken as a whole (Tag, flop, Pieces), I think graffiti disturbs. It disturbs because it appears like that, usually anonymously without anyone being asked for anything. Graffiti is enigmatic, it doesn’t respect much, it’s there everywhere, omnipresent, it imposes itself on everyone like a visual aggression.

As far as street art goes, that’s a different story.

Do you think your work questions society? In what way?

I won’t have that pretension.

The Drip’in concept is to bring urban art into the home. Our emblematic object is a white train, which we leave freely in the hands of the artists. Why did you choose to collaborate on this “Cover It Project”?

The project is interesting and fun because of the impressive size of the train, and I wasn’t going to leave the Street Artists alone to take over a symbol that doesn’t belong to them. They can’t understand these people the adrenaline you feel when you start to approach the train, the feeling of transgression when the paint starts to cover the train, the heart beating faster, then the pleasure you feel when you’re walking along the contours and finally the calm when it’s all over and you’ve finally arrived home.

Exclusive objects by Demais

This site is registered on wpml.org as a development site.