If you’ve ever been to Amsterdam, you’ll know there something a very creative spirit in the air… and it’s not just the wafts of perfumed smoke from the cafes, although that undoubtedly contributes to it. Rather, it’s the fact that everywhere you turn, there’s evidence of an artist that has left their mark on any surface possible — with, or without the council’s permission.
Zenk One is a street artist who is leaving a tremendous impression on the city, from paintings on walls to interiors to stencil-cut gateways. WIT Industries teamed up with Zenk One and Dutch marque Koga on a project which sums up the simultaneously dark and vibrant nature of Amsterdam.
Olaf Wit fills us in: “WIT Industries is a label from Amsterdam, The Netherlands, for products and activities within performance cycling. It was founded by me, Olaf Wit and I work as a bicycle industrial design engineer. I have worked on bicycles like the Koga Kimera track bike for the Beijing Olympics (gold for Marianne Vos).”
“Currently, my producing label WIT Industries is mostly known for the foldable rear fender Fendor-Bendor, and a solid and high quality fixed gear wheel set. Also me and a small team of bicycle enthusiasts build “Upcycledbicycles”: giving road bikes a new life as single speed city bicycles. We are currently building a series of 5 bikes for a chic Amsterdam hotel, Café Moderne (yes, it really IS a hotel, not a café…).”
“WIT Industries works from a 100% solar powered incubator building Xpositron in Amsterdam together with architects, designers, photographers, craftsmen, artists and even a music studio. I very much enjoy collaborating with passionate people from different disciplines. This, and this rich creative environment of Amsterdam and the incubator inspired me to the idea of letting artists use a WIT Industries wheelset as a canvas for their art.”
“Koga bicycles, also from The Netherlands, was willing to deliver a special all black version of their Senko track frame, functioning as a high performance frame (in the other sense) for the art. The same frameset is used by the Dutch track team for six days races.”
“Zenk One, graffiti artist and illustrator, was the first one to make a wheelset with good success. His art was an extension of mural he made for the Huis voor Beeldcultuur in Breda.”
Check out more from the WIT Industries art series on their website and flickr. The portfolio of Zenk One is also worth a look, for the visual dimension he is adding to the city of Amsterdam. Big thanks to Maarten van Houten (also from the incubator Xpositron) for the photography.