Capism Your investment is my playground

March 28, 2015

Transition this! interview/review in Myanmar Times

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , — cap @ 12:36 pm

Interview/review for my second solo show “Transition this!” at Pansodan Gallery published in Myanmar Times 12th March 2015



Swedish artist Caspar Johansson arrived in Yangon in 2007 as the protests, which became known as the Saffron Revolution, began to gather momentum.

Of his knowledge of the country at the time, he says he had “no idea. None. Military, Aung San Suu Kyi. That was about it.”

Focusing full-time on his art, Caspar quickly fell in to step with the Yangon scene, making friends through the gallery circuit as well as at the street level. “It’s not like Sweden – everyone knows everyone here,” he said. “I saw tagging, some street art – I was impressed that it existed at all.”

In 2012 Caspar, who produces work under the moniker CAP, returned to his native Sweden. Two years on, he’s back with his second solo show at Pansodan Gallery.

The body of work encompasses his time in Myanmar, almost all of which is informed by photographs he took to document his years here.

“I don’t take photographs for any real reason. I like documenting things, and so I go back through my library and see how images can intersect with an idea I’ve had,” he said.

The show features his stamp-based work, as well as block prints, which look at the haphazard tangles of electrical wire that can be seen on any given Yangon street.

A poster image of a police officer, entitled “The Change”, is taken from a shot he took during US President Obama’s 2012 visit to the city. Upon reviewing his photos he noticed that there was something about the way the policeman was standing, so he removed the stamp-rendered policeman from his context and cast him onto a dance floor. His works are spiked with a dark humour and loaded with political commentary.

“It’s human rights abuses and injustices I try to look at,” he said.  One of his works renders in stamps a Baywatch poster for the “Bay of Bengal: Last resort hotel” – which packs a punch for anyone who understands the context.

Indeed, there is a subtlety to CAP’s art which he admits is intentional. “In terms of getting a message across, it’s not about being explicit. There are ways of saying things without saying them.

By Kayleigh Long 

January 9, 2015

Studio Duelling Banjos in the front

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — cap @ 12:34 pm

Photos from the studio on the frontpage of the local newspaper TTela. The article is about grants and funds from various institutions up for grabs. The article was published in TTela on 7th of december 2014. As for now the article is only published in the printed version.

TTELA front


TTELA inside

Spread p.6

November 8, 2014

Assistant Grant article (only printed version)

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , — cap @ 11:42 am

A covering story based on the previous post about my assistant grant was published in the printed version of TTela. Congratulation to Manongu, really happy for you!


November 6, 2014

Assistant grant in TTela

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — cap @ 7:40 pm

Woke up this morning and found myself in the paper. A brief notice about me and a cultural association called Manongu being assigned artistic grants from the Swedish Arts Grants Committee. Here is a direct link to the article or read below


Foto: Carin Jacobsson


Det blev jackpot för Lilla Edet när Västra Götalandsregionen delade ut internationellt resestipendium. Manongu kulturförening från Västerlanda får 30 000 kronor för att fördjupa sitt samarbete med Sukumaland i Tanzania.

Casper Johansson, bildkonstnär boende på Ström, tilldelas konstnärsnämndens ettåriga stipendium på 100 000 kronor.

Båda har varit med i mentorprogrammet InQbator i Lilla Edet för kulturarbetare.

Pasi Hakopuro

November 10, 2013

“Mark my Words” in The Kathmandu Post

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , — cap @ 6:10 pm

Some more words about my exhibition “Mark my Words” published in The Kathmandu Post on the 21st October 2013. Thanks for the support.


Printed version


Stories of everyday struggles in a rapidly changing society are soon to come to the fore in an explosion of innovative visual art, courtesy of Casper Johansson aka Cap, at the Image Ark Gallery in Patan starting October 27. Cap, an artist from Sweden, will be presenting his distinctive and thought-provoking artworks under the title Mark my words, which will comprise illustrated conversations wherein images words and symbols coalesce in new and unexpected ways, and where, as the curators describe, the ‘perception of the image’ will come in deliberate conflict with the message.

Cap, who has a background in graffiti, had been living and working in Myanmar since 2007 until this year, and in that time, had had the chance to observe the country’s transformation in various spheres. His work therefore documents and comments on contemporary life in Myanmar, through a range of colours, shapes and styles rooted in graffiti. “Contradictions, pronounced colouring and sharp outlines; using the urban landscape as a point of departure I want my art to stir up questions with the audience,” the artist states on his website.

It is this very visual debate, “a sphere between private and public, assumed truth and the untold, processed and encapsulated in the magnetism of art”, that Mark my words will aim to put forth for viewers in Nepal.


The exhibition will

continue at Image Ark until October 29

Kathmandu post

Online version

“Mark my Words” in Himalayan Times

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , — cap @ 5:58 pm

Here are some sweet words about my exhibition “Mark my words” at Image Ark gallery published in The Himalayan Times. Thank you very much for the support and for showing interest in my art. The complete article can be found here or read it below.  The exhibition is open until 29th of November 2013, Enjoy!

Himalayan times


KATHMANDU: When writers put together words, readers gain knowledge while understanding the writer’s perspective. Nevertheless, playing with words and creating painting out of the words surpass the ordinary thinking of creating art. Working with words on a sheet of paper using the basic technique of stencil, Casper Johansson aka Cap from Sweden has outshone himself as an artist.

And the evidence is his exhibition ‘Mark My Words’ at Image Ark Gallery, Kulimha Tole, Patan that began on October 27. Here, you can witness portraits of children, young people, Bay of Bengal and more, mainly in black-and-white or in colours like blue, yellow, and red.

A quick look at those works will give you an impression that they are all portraits. But as you observe them, you will start noticing words like ‘food’, ‘freedom’, ‘screen’, ‘escape’ and more which together bring out the ‘whole picture’ of these portraits.

Cap explains, “I love words. Words and language for me is power. If you can control them, it means you can gain knowledge and power. As an artist, I can’t write as writing doesn’t work for me. Still I love words. So, I use them in my paintings to make images out of words.”

In one of his works ‘Shipped Away’, Cap has painted an image of a young boy lying calmly on a bamboo raft where a packet of cigarette and a spray can are scattered. It is the portrait of local graffiti artist, who despite having a desire create artwork, has less chances of expressing himself due to political and economical situation around him.

Another is a series of paintings that narrates story of how the Internet is being used in Burma. He has used interesting metaphors like pirate, ship, wires, rat and more that are preventing people from accessing the Internet and information.

His artworks have contradictions — the portraits look clam and resilient but the message that he is conveying is revolutionary. The messages urge people to fight for their rights, which symbolises struggle. Some of the experiences required to create such works were gathered during his six years’ stay in Burma.

The exhibition is on till November 29.


The newspaper also published a picture of my new triptic piece titled “Undisciplined tribe”, 2013, Ink on paper, 3 x 56 x 76 cm


July 27, 2013

Article in Göteborgs Fria Tidning

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , — cap @ 11:57 am


I forgot to upload this article about my previous exhibition “A thousand word says more than a picture” at Urban Artroom that opened on the 8th of June this year. The article was written by Helena Krantz and was publish in Göteborgs Fria Tidning on the same days as the opening of the show (online on the 10th of June). The article was part of a ongoing series of articles called “Kulturarbetaren” (culture workers) and I was very happy with the text. We had a quite long discussion down at the harbour in Göteborg. Unfortunately the article is only in Swedish but I guess you already know the shortcuts to translate the article. Enjoy the reading and do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about the exhibition or my work.

Göteborgs Fria Tidning is a independent non-profit newspaper owned by the people working for the newspaper. Its focus mainly on issues such as; environment, justice, animal rights, democracy, equality, feminism, peace, globally and locally.

Support them! we need an alternative voice to this gray landscape of news we are daily feed with

I am now in discussion with some very sweet people about a very interesting project that hopefully will take place in a few month. Very exciting and I will of course share it with you if we come to an agreement.


”Det tog lång tid innan jag vågade kalla mig för konstnär”

KulturnyheterHans konst är bokstavligt talat gjord med små medel. Med hjälp av alfabetsstämplar, foton och en avancerad stencilteknik berättar Casper Johanssons tavlor historier. GFT:s serie Kulturarbetaren går vidare med en konstnär som efter flera år i Burma är aktuell med sin första utställning i Sverige.
Publicerad: Måndag 10 juni 2013 | 10:45


I dag är det vernissage för Casper Johanssons utställning Tusen ord säger mer än en bild, hans första i Sverige sedan hemkomsten från Burma i januari och det är en engagerad konstnär GFT träffar vid Röda Sten.

– Tavlorna har en berättelse, säger han. Det finns en pacifistisk tanke och man kan nog säga att de har ett budskap men jag vill inte trycka ner något i halsen på folk, besökarna får bilda en egen uppfattning. Förhoppningsvis föder tavlorna tankar.

Han har arbetat fram en egen och mycket speciell teknik som gör hans tavlor unika. Motiven framställs genom stämplade bokstäver som genom olika många lager ger en bild. Hur han kom på metoden kan han inte svara på, men han ser det som ett dubbelt sätt att föra fram en historia.

– Ofta börjar det med något jag reagerar på, något som inte är bra och då tar jag en bild utifrån det. Sedan manipulerar jag fotot i datorn och utifrån det stämplar jag med bokstavsstämplar tills det blir rätt motiv. Och bokstäverna bildar ord eller meningar jag vill få fram med bilden.

Han tycker att det faktum att det finns konkreta ord i själva bilden kan bidra till en speciell styrka.

– Jag är dålig på att skriva men bokstäver är vackra och ord kan bli väldigt starka, säger han.

Efter uppväxten i Vänersborg hamnade han i Göteborg och att vi träffas vid Röda Sten är ingen tillfällighet. Casper Johansson känner sig hemma mellan graffitiväggen och vattnet, den krokiga vägen till heltidskonstnär har gått via både graffiti och livet som sjöman.

– Det tog tid innan jag vågade kalla mig konstnär, innan jag fattade själv att det faktiskt var det jag var, berättar han.

Det var Burma som gjorde det. Och FN:s villkor för utlandsanställda som ger även deras medföljande makar en viss inkomst. När Casper Johanssons fru fick ett FN-jobb i Burma följde han med och plötsligt hade han ett gyllene tillfälle att på heltid satsa på något han bara har haft som fritidsintresse tidigare. Han berättar att det även i Burma började med graffiti, något som ledde till fler kontakter i konstvärlden.

Hans första utställning ägde rum i ett garage och hölls hemlig på grund av Burmas stränga censur. Ingen kritik mot landets styre eller något olämpligt i övrigt fick visas. I så fall tvingade censurkommittén bort de verken. Att anordna en ”svartutställning” medförde således en del risker och hade kunnat leda till utvisning eftersom hans motiv kunde ses som kontroversiella och kritiska.

– Det är klart att jag var rädd! Jag var ju medveten om situationen med en censurkommitté som kan dyka upp när som helst.

Den stränga censuren har sedermera släppt en aning och det har blivit allt friare för konstnärer.

– Men fritt är det ju ändå inte, myndigheterna har någon sorts koll. Vid min senaste utställning tog jag och min samarbetspartner bort några bilder med vapen som vi visste skulle kunna ställa till problem.

Trots orättvisor i landet och restriktioner för konstutövare håller han Burma varmt om hjärtat. Det har gett honom inte bara vänner för livet utan även ett ökat politiskt intresse som har följt med i hans konst.

– Mitt sociala medvetande och engagemang har växt, säger han. Jag visste inte mycket om Burma när jag kom dit men lärde mig väldigt mycket. Nu känner jag en vilja och ett behov av att sprida den kunskapen. Det finns enorma orättvisor som bör belysas, men också människor som är otroligt öppna och varma. Kulturscenen till exempel är jättespännande och graffitirörelsen växer ständigt. Hur många utanför landet vet det?

Han säger att han har lovat både sig själv och burmesiska vänner att berätta om landet. Konsten är hans verktyg.

– Även om konstverket föds i något som inte är bra, kan ju resultatet bli fint.


June 1, 2013

Local media scoop – From Burma to Banjoland

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — cap @ 9:44 pm

Today the local newspaper TTela published a short article about me and the upcoming exhibition “A thousand word says more than a picture” at Urban Artroom on 8th of June. 5 years in Myanmar/Burma compressed from a 1 hour interview. It must have been confusing for the journalist listening to me talking about painting techniques, Burmese graffiti, inspiration, conflicts, aid work, politics and everyday life in the golden land. But I am really happy that they are showing interest in my work. I am also happy that they published a photo of the painting “In darkness I shine”. A portray of my good friend Ku kue, the queen of style and member of Yangon finest graffiti crew Yangon Street Art (YSA). Scroll down to see the painting or better up join me for the opening of the show on the 8th of June and see the painting in real time. Welcome!

Link to the article (in swedish) here



“Casper Johansson jobbar med bildkonst. Tekniken har han provat sig fram till med utgångspunkt i stenciler, som han klipper schabloner ur och skapar en bild med hjälp av små bokstavsstämplar. Bokstäverna bildar ord.

Han jobbar med träsnitt, men använder gummiblock istället för trä. På handgjort burmesiskt papper trycker han motiven.

Förstorade frimärken ser vid en hastig blick ut som flygpostmärken från USA och Ryssland bland annat. Men de har fått ett helt annat budskap som handlar om krigsföring.

Upprördhet inspirerar

Casper Johansson förklarar:

– Det finns en historia bakom varje bild jag gör. Inspiration får jag oftast när jag är upprörd över något. Det blir en slags självbearbetning. Och alla mina bilder har ett budskap.

För en svensk som möts av orättvisor och kontroll i ett land som Burma finns det mycket att reagera över. Casper Johansson känner att han har ett ansvar att berätta burmesernas historia.

– De kämpar för sina rättigheter, även om landet är öppnare nu. Jag vill försöka få ett utbyte med konstnärer i Burma. Det vore fantastiskt att skapa ett samarbete.

Just nu tycker han det känns bra att vara i Sverige, inte så långt från Vänersborg, där han växte upp.

– Jag vet att jag kommer att resa tillbaka till Burma, men jag åkte hem för jag hade fastnat i det kreativa, gick runt i cirklar. Det är en liten konstnärsmiljö jag vistades i som jag behövde komma ifrån.

Röda Korsarbetare

I landet pågår ett ständigt inbördeskrig. Det är enligt Casper Johansson ett land med många olika religioner och motsättningar dem emellan.

– När jag kom till landet 2007 var jag konstant övervakad. Första utställningen var hemlig, i ett garage med särskilt inbjudna, folk som jag kände.

Casper Johansson har även jobbat som biståndsarbetare. Efter en katastrofal storm 2008 jobbade han för Röda Korset.

– Jag hjälpte till att lasta bilar med förnödenheter. Men militären ville ha kontroll och det var mycket spänningar. Allt registrerades, men det stämde inte när man kollade vad som kom fram till nödställda.

Genom åren har det blivit många utställningar i Burma, men nu planerar Casper Johansson för den första i Sverige. På Urban Artroom i Göteborg ska han visa sin konst med början 8 juni.”

Carin Jacobsson
In Darkness I Shine 2013
In darkness I shine, ink on paper, 2013, 56 X 77 cm

October 16, 2012

Past week in pictures

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — cap @ 12:54 pm

I love stickers, especially where they can grow old. Have you seen this on? Do you know the location? (clue: It is Tuesday and I heading down to this place when I am done with the writing)

I delivered my latest painting “U.S. Airmail” the other day. It seems that it will hang next to a Vietnamese propaganda poster and “Breaking Silence” print signed yours truly! thanks for the support once again.

Public and private spaces are shrinking with time, they call it globalization I heard. Today I was working on my representation making business cards in Studio Duelling Banjos (portable version 3.0)

SmileEvilsmile is a good friend of mine. I like him for many reasons but maybe most because he keeps it simple!

I was also published in TuckMagazine with five of my paintings. The text is either written by a computer or a poet on Kitamine. This is what they said about me and my work:

Casper ‘Cap’ Johansson’s art sparkles in a world blurred by blindness. Lost in a never ending prayer of preached progress the voiceless scream in thought against a modernity choking, each of the artist’s pieces bleeding feeling; the passion of belief breathing in a repressed society.

Envious of dream the fight against continues as, in anonymity’s mask, a being bleeds from believing; androgynous to a self the cell society breeds in. Heat freezes in a timed mind as captured in light the image of today’s pensive soul is painted. The body illuminates in intensity, a burning truth through fear piercing, the artist in rich starkness showing life smothered from breathing. Purity weeps in progress painted, mourning life dead in living.

In darkness light through expression explodes. Thoughts run away from trained feelings, an everyday defiance of the mind as in the heart the head beats. To another a differing eye, an opinion caught in fixed misunderstandings as meaning tails off in despair. Johansson delights in creating a future present, the pattern of thought visible to eyes open, each alive in individual definition.

Energy defies fate as blind minds fall from a waiting sky, the artist skilfully placing the viewer in the centre of a suffocating everyday. Set amidst a faceless city representing any and everywhere breathing, nature rebels in being, bleeding colour to the heart of human grieving. In a memorised present, withering life spins against the control it dies from, society repressed in an over populated ideal as collected breath is held from a watching world.

Concealed in disbelief a generation loses sight from a mind mechanical in thought. Tied to ticking eyes the body hides from prying, a blank staring back at an overwhelming world, the artist emphasising humanity’s plight against an improvement created. Faith fights for the glint in each, an indirection sought in the self to an expressive new as, limited by design, technology burns to a soul breathing.

Fiery waves adorn a canvas dark in thought, Johansson lighting an eye’s imagination to minds expanding, the rich white of light sheltering truths; a skin to the blood of fated living. Alive in invention the illusion of believing bleeds to another day blind as coloured from soul, the artist’s heart shines through.

Seeking truth in justice Johansson’s art continues to evolve, his impression of humanity’s struggle against itself profound and piercing.

#Mugshot #lesshairthen

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