Tie One



In partnership with MQUE we will be giving away a free "TIE ONE" Sticker Pack on  3/17/22. Pay for shipping & handling and we will mail you the pack. Click Here To Order

Jonathan See Lim AKA Tie One (June 19th, 1979 – March 17, 1998), was a graffiti artist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He was well known in the graffiti community for his raw style of graffiti art and the large amount of work he produced. Lim was born in the Philippines to ethnic-Chinese parents. During his early childhood, his family moved to California. As a youth, Lim expressed an interest in art.
He was shot and killed at age 18 on a fire escape outside a Tenderloin apartment at 120 Taylor St., having been taken for a burglar by an armed resident. The resident was not indicted for the killing. In its aftermath, friends of Lim planned a 100-foot memorial mural to him in Mission Dolores Park. The death of Tie One and the subsequent lack of any prosecution in connection with it had a profound and lasting effect on San Francisco's graffiti community.

Tie studied the art he observed on the streets of San Jose, San Francisco and Stockton, California, meeting up with DVS, Meta4, Teez, and the JOA, ATA and SA crews including Minds, Mazon, Kase and the Lords from Modesto, and Reds Crew in San Jose. He rode a Greyhound bus to Los Angeles, getting out and bombing at every stop, and then attending the LA Graffiti show that included art by Twist, Man One and other mixed media work that influenced him. At the show, he met Spie from terror media created, Cokes from Oakland, and Dream, Gyro, and others from the Los Angeles area, whom he admired for work he had seen on the streets and on rail cars in Oakland and Emeryville rail yards. Tie also made a Greyhound graffiti pilgrimage to New York in the same wise.

He frequently returned to San Francisco in a VW Squareback on "bombing runs", sometimes painting all night. In 1998, he was influenced by Barry McGee and MQ. The volume of his work and the circumstances of his death have contributed to his own influence.

On March 18th, 1998, Tie One was shot on the fire escape of a residential building in the San Francisco Tenderloin, and died on the street below; a grand jury returned no charges against the shooter, who said that he shot in self-defense as Lim grabbed at his gun. A 41 year old woman in a parking lot below told police she heard Lim yell, "Wait man, hold on!" The resident disputed this account. His bicycle was on the street below. He was carrying a bag containing a spray can.
Looking back it is a shame that the court and publicists have justified this murder. They said that the man thought Jonathan was breaking in and used that as an excuse to take a life; when we all know who the aggressor was in the situation. That the murderer was a military Vet who had flashbacks to Vietnam. TIE was making art. His shooter was trigger happy and waiting for an excuse to use it. They say those were different times. If anything it makes us reflect. Lets use this story to come together and push for change on how we treat one another. All we know is TIE will remain a legend, and we will continue to celebrate is legacy.