Everything You Ever Wanted Is Right Here. 2012
Today we speak to Dawn Ng to find out what she thinks and her new work which has never failed to be imaginative and playful.
Yanda: What do you do first when you get up in the morning?
Dawn: Brush my teeth.
What daily routines you cannot do without?
Funny enough, none.
What’s your definition of happiness?
What are the things that keep you sane?
I actively avoid them. I think the things that make you sane have a way of making you dull.
How do you deal with expectation and hope then?
Whose – mine or other people’s? I’m completely devoted to the former and to be honest I can’t care less about the latter.
How has knowing to appreciate art and design affect the way you live?
It makes me a keen observer.
How has working for others and yourself shaped you so far?
Working for others trains me to listen, working for myself trains me to shut it all off.
Do you think working without restrictions or working for yourself can be the hardest thing to do?
It takes discipline.
Your work has shown a different medium each time. How do you keep educating yourself?
By being relentlessly curious.
Any heroes? What do you admire about them?
They are all mad-hatters. I love madness in people. It is the only true liberating and empowering force in this world.
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The Famous One from Lucas, 2011
On the 18th of October 2011, Third Floor-Hermès celebrated the opening of Christine Ay Tjoe latest site specific installation, The Famous One From Lucas # 1. We speak to the artist, whose work has always intrigued and delighted us.
One of the few female artists in Indonesia, Christine Ay Tjoe’s artistic explorations has ranged from paintings and drawings, to print-making and sculptures, to even photography and installations. A much loved art figure in her community, she has exhibited internationally and is respected in the art world beyond her own regional shores. Her appeal lies not just within her vast bodies of works, but within her own personality as an artist. Known to be reserved and introverted, a quiet emotional depth can be observed within each of her artworks— a constant dialogue of struggle and exploration that truly connects with its viewers.
By her meticulous hands, the art space of Hermes’ iconic Liat Towers location was transformed into a cocoon shaped environment. Soft fabric sculptures made out of goose-feathers and tulle fabrics wrapped around the walls as visitors were led into a haunting space of discovery. Stirring and intriguing, Ay Tjoe’s installation left a lingering scent of hope and entrapment, and many questions to the deeper thoughts of the artist. We were lucky enough to find out more.
Who are you and what interests you / your work?
Christine Ay Tjoe: I’m an artist based in Bandung and Yogyakarta Indonesia. I’m interested in the universal human experience and explore these conceptual dialogues in my artwork.
Was an art ‘career’ something you stumbled upon, or something you’ve always wanted to do?
I had always been creatively inclined even as a child, for me to pursue art had always been natural.
You started your artistic journey drawing and painting— more graphic art. You’ve since moved on to textile and sculptures. How did that come about?
My creations are either triggered and/or shaped by my conceptual investigations of my physical and metaphysical environments. As an artist, one also searches for the best way to present these concepts therefore I use different materials (textiles, paint, charcoal, etching, installation) and methods (drawing, painting, sculpture) which results in interesting, unconventional work such as my recent installation, “The Famous One from Lucas #1” at Third-Floor Hermès.
Symmetrical Sanctuary. 2010
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Today we (ALLBOYSCLUB) will be talking to Felix Ng, art director and founder of design by silnt and Anonymous about who he is, what he does, what he thinks and what he will be doing.
ALLBOYSCLUB: Hello Felix, how was last night?
Felix: Terrible. I slept at 4am.
ALLBOYSCLUB: Do you think that might have created an impact on what you do today?
Felix: Yeah, it did. I like working in the morning. Really early, like 5am. I get most of my work done between 5 – 11am, and I spend the rest of the day on our projects under Anonymous. so sleeping late the night before means I wake up later the next day, which kinda pushes the entire day’s schedule back.
ALLBOYSCLUB: Now tell us. Who are you?
Felix: I’m just like any average person you would see on the streets. I’m 28 years old, 1.8m tall, weigh about 70 kilos and long-sighted. I wanted to be a writer (journalist specifically) when i was younger, but accidentally stumbled into a career in design.
Felix: It’s a long story.
Gist of it > kicked out of school, got called back into school, school gave me design work to do so I would stop working while studying, didn’t know anything about design but had to learn, graduated, got a commission to design a music video, had to register a business account in order to get paid, fortunately got more work after that project, and it’s been 6 years.
ALLBOYSCLUB: How do you think it will be like if you have done the total opposite of what you are doing today?
Felix: It would have been great. I’d probably have completed much more if I had slept earlier and woke earlier.
ALLBOYSCLUB: Isn’t that what most working in the creative industry experience? Never having enough time for anything.
Felix: I think it applies with any occupation, that time is a luxury. Possibly more so, in our industry, because what we do is extremely emotional and psychological. when we have an idea, and we put ourselves into developing it (for eg: writing a novel). we are in a big way, putting ourselves out there for an audience to judge us. So we are willing to spend more time and effort into it.
ALLBOYSCLUB: Does Time play a big role when it comes to how a project is executed?
Felix: Yes. too much or too little time is equally bad.
ALLBOYSCLUB: What is Time to you?
Felix: A horizontal line between A and Z. (A being birth, Z being death)
ALLBOYSCLUB: What do you think will happen if you take Time away from being one of the factor in the process of a project?
Felix: Nothing would happen.
ALLBOYSCLUB: By “nothing would happen.” Are you referring to the disruption of the project, or the entire project even happening at all?
Felix: Imagine a project without restrictions, a blank cheque and no deadline. It sounds like something most of us would be excited about, but i think ideas happen only when there are boundaries. Without a deadline, there isn’t a motivation to develop a schedule of what when has to be completed – in order to finish the project.
ALLBOYSCLUB: Do you think Time is a factor controlled by an individual/group engaging in a certain activity or the activity engaging a certain individual/group?
Felix: Yes. In the case of a commercial transaction – the client or customer. In self-initiated projects, the deadline is set by yourself.
ALLBOYSCLUB: If there is a period in our timeline that you can transport to the present, what would it be?
Felix: The 1960 – 70s. A time when people took things seriously. They got high seriously, dressed seriously, danced seriously, made music, designed, created art, took friends seriously. (and on and on and on…) Most importantly, things were done well because people gave a shit.
ALLBOYSCLUB: How did you think the process of cultural evolution moved from then till now?
Felix: Technology. It made things faster. Gaining information, corresponding with one another, spread news, etc. What happened was we begin to expect things to be faster, and at little or no cost.
ALLBOYSCLUB: Taking Objects/Information for granted?
ALLBOYSCLUB: More = less? The diluting of The Order of Things with the progressive introduction of new Objects/Information?
Felix: Actually more is still more. Instead of more, we should focus on better. Why make another t-shirt, tote bag, magazine, blog, artwork, etc if it’s not going to be better than something that is already existing. 90% of new things created are made with the intent of ‘having a voice’. Creation is a step up from consumption, but creation for the sake of having a voice is a poor excuse.
ALLBOYSCLUB: Ok, More things made = Less meaning = More junks. Hahahaha! Isn’t that what people in the 1960s – 70s are doing? Having a voice? Trying to push and have an extension of their ego on the society then?
Felix: Yes, but the accumulation of that means we’ve produced more than we can consume, or even need to consume.
ALLBOYSCLUB: Technological advancement really changes the way we make things. It is faster and more cost efficient. But aren’t we supposed to embrace it and work within our-self to not take it for granted? From earlier, you mention Anonymous. What exactly is Anonymous about?
Felix: Anonymous makes things for people who make things. We focus on creating content for the creative industry.
ALLBOYSCLUB: What are some of these ‘things’ Anonymous been making?
Felix: A Design Film Festival 2010, which launched in Singapore and Berlin. We’ll be traveling it to kaohsiung, taipei, bangkok this year and the newly appointed world design capital, helsinki in 2011. http://www.designfilmfestival.com
Help Save Paper for Antalis paper, which gathered 12 individuals to create objects out of paper. http://lets.helpsavepaper.com
Dual City Sessions (2007 – 2009)
Collaboration between Singapore and Japan, that has featured over 50 designers and artists. The exhibitions has travelled to Berlin, Shanghai, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. http://www.dualcitysessions.com (site update soon)
ALLBOYSCLUB: Tell us about this latest project ‘Crafty’ born from Anonymous. How and why did you give life to ‘Crafty’.
Felix: After 6 years as a designer, I found myself in a situation where we were constantly making more, instead of making better things. This frustration led us to think about what exactly happened and how we might be able to play a part in changing it. In a place, where the costs of doing things become higher and higher, but the value of what we do gets lower. We have to do more just to make the same. (but not necessarily better) When we do more, we spread ourselves thinner and thinner. And the truth is, we begin to cave in. We stop fighting to do great work, because we have to spend more time, effort and energy to convince our clients (and ourselves) that this is something worth striving for.
ALLBOYSCLUB: That sounds like the natural progression for most creative agencies as far as we know. (Laugh)
Felix: It is and I am guilty of it too. In 2009, we had the most financially successful year we started. We got several accounts that were quite profitable but it was also the unhappiest year we had. So this year, we’ve been trying very hard to not go down that road again.
ALLBOYSCLUB: Have you had any experience with a creative agency that was able to strike a balance and hold on to that integrity?
Felix: Too many to name.
ALLBOYSCLUB: So where does Crafty fit into all these?
Felix: Crafty isn’t a celebration of creativity. It’s about making things well.
ALLBOYSCLUB: Are we gonna get our hands dirty at Crafty? What can we expect to see?
Felix: I have no idea! (laughs) We’ll see.
ALLBOYSCLUB: How about locally in Singapore? Do you see anyone pushing for making better rather than making more?
Felix: Yes. The 14 speakers for the conference. There are another 20 individuals who we hope will be interested in what we’re doing with Crafty. Hopefully we’ll get to see them in the following editions.
ALLBOYSCLUB: Sounds exciting. We wonder who will make the list. Is there anything else you want to say to the people who are coming and the people who are not coming?
Felix: To those coming: Thank you for the support!
To those not coming this year: We’ll just have to work harder to convince you for future editions.
ALLBOYSCLUB: Thanks Felix.
Felix: Thanks guys.
– Brought to you by AllBoysClub
Can’t really find any information off the net and I only know they are from Spain so I sent them a couple of questions off email!
YANDA: Just some straightforward and simple questions first – What is your name and where are you from? And who/what is Txell Miras?
TXELL MIRAS: My name is Txell Miras, the same as the brand. It is a Catalan woman name and a Spanish surname. We work in Barcelona and we are two people, me, the designer, and Ivan who manages all communication, commercial and administration stuff.
Describe your current collection.
It is called “Le grand déjà vu”. It talks about the fashion seasons system from a critic point of view. It is a collection that follows my own style. In my first collections I started designing deconstructing but now I’m more in a kind of new construction. I like to play will patterns and volumes. I’m interested in experiment with shapes over the human body.
How and when did you first begin making clothing?
I came into fashion after my art studies. At the University I was really taken by figure drawing and conceptual art. In fashion I found a way to play with both. I started working for Neil Barrett in 2003 after he has been the creative director of my Milan’s school. Some months later I started my own label to develop my own ideas. Now I’m working on for Neil Barrett five days a month while I continue my own brand.
Do you have your special moment in your career so far?
My first show possibly was the most special moment I can remember.
Do you have your favourite piece? And why?
Not especially. I usually love skirts because they let you play with shapes and volumes but in my last collections I’m more in jackets and trousers. I give a lot of importance to the silhouettes and the details.
What influenced your designs? Who? Or What? How has your birthplace influence you too?
My designs are influenced by a lot of things, most of them out of fashion: movies, art, literature, music. Names as Duchamp, Dreyer, Bergman, Boltansky, Kafka, Gombrowicz, Wong Kar Wai among others. My birthplace is also important but I don’t think that I have a Spanish style.
Do you have your own philosophy?
First of all, I need creative freedom. My work is personal so I cannot think in the market.
Where and how do you get your inspirations?
Hard working. It happens normally in my studio but ideas can come to you everywhere but always after thinking very much about it.
What kind of person do you imagine wearing your clothing?
I think most of them are people who are interested in design, all kinds of design. They value the piece, not only the way it fits to them or the label. I usually say that I think that I wear minds more than bodies.
Do you wear your own clothes then?
Yes, I always wear my own clothes. I also have some jeans and basics from other brands but I usually wear my own ones.
Who would you wish to design their wardrobe for?
PJ Harvey, for example.
Any particular favourite label or fashion designer?
I admire the work of Rick Owens, Rai Kawakubo, Ann Demeulemeester, Bruno Pieters, Vivienne Westwood, Helmut Lang, Margiela…
If you are not doing fashion what will you be doing?
I don’t really know but will be something creative and personal. I also paint and draw and I’ve written two short film scripts. Now on I’ll do only one collection once a year and I will have more time to get involved in other kind of projects.
And what are your favourite possession(s) that you have now?
My books and films.
Talent or hardwork? Which do you think will make it?
Both are very important but maybe I would say hardwork because a mid talent with a lot of work can obtain very good ideas. I think that a talented person that doesn’t work can have good ideas but if he doesn’t develop them working hard they would be always mediocre ideas.
What will you do if you have a million dollar?
Buy a house, open a shop and continue working with my own rhythm.
What are your plans in two years time then? And what can we expect to see from you in the future?
Develop our shop on-line. I would like to find good showrooms in Paris and in Tokyo.
Lastly, what can make you happy?
A dinner with friends with good food and good wine. That doesn’t mean expensive.
– Interview by Yanda