The World of ARDNEKS

April 29, 2016 2016年4月29日

 

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ARDNEKS is the pseudonym of Kendra Ahimsa, a Jakarta-based artist whose psychedelic visual style recreates a curious world of bright bold colors, pop culture, intergalactic deities, and dreamy tropicália. Originally a designer by training, Kendra likes to mix his love of typography, musical subcultures, and Japanese comics with some subtle spiritual themes and the lush colors of tropical Indonesia.


ARDNEKS dalah nama samaran dari Kendra Ahimsa, artis yang berbasis di Jakarta yang gaya psychedelic merayakan dunia yang aneh tentang warna-warna cerah, budaya pop, dewa intergalaksi, dan tropicalia impian. Seorang desainer dengan pelatihan, Kendra mencampur cintanya akan tipografi, subkultur musik, dan komik Jepang dengan warna panas dan spiritualitas berdasarkan Indonesia yang tropis.

Kendra’s studio overlooks a quiet, suburban neighborhood in the sprawling city of Jakarta, where traffic and daily life have been known to be notoriously dangerous. He confesses that he can sometimes just hole up in his studio, put on some music, and draw all day, going wherever the music takes him. This kind of concentration and level of obsessive focus is what has allowed him to spend years painstakingly perfecting his color palette. Using a rare type of colored pencil, which he has been collecting, Kendra colors his images with a particular and highly specific shade of red. The methodic use of color is a distinctive hallmark of his work.


Studio Kendra menghadap lingkungan yang tenang, di pinggiran kota luas Jakarta, di mana lalu lintas dan kehidupan sehari-hari bisa terkenal mengancam. Sebagai seorang seniman, dia bisa mendekam di studio, memasang musik, dan menggambar sepanjang hari, di mana pun musik membawanya. Konsentrasi dan fokus obsesif semacam ini adalah apa yang memungkinkan dia susah payah menghabiskan bertahun-tahun menyempurnakan palet warna nya. Dia menggunakan warna merah tertentu yang berasal dari warna pensil langka yang ia kumpulkan. Sepanjang karya ini, penggunaan warna Kendra jelas merupakan ciri khas.

Music is a prominent aspect of Kendra’s life, and not only is he an accomplished artist, he spearheads one of Jakarta’s most vibrant communities where musicians and visual artists collaborate and perform together. STUDIORAMA sessions is a monthly event that brings audiovisual artists together in freeform sessions, and showcases some of the most promising and unknown acts in Indonesia today. The sense of community, strong turnout, and camaraderie has been an integral part of his work, Kendra says. Although many local artists might end up choosing to move away, the quality work of his fellow artists that remain in Jakarta is one of his main source of inspiration, and also what keeps him motivated to continue working in the city.


Sifat musik mencolok dalam kehidupan Kendra, dan tidak hanya dia seorang seniman ulung, dia ujung tombak salah satu komunitas paling bersemangat Jakarta di mana musisi dan seniman visual yang berkolaborasi dan tampil bersama. Sesi STUDIORAMA dalah acara bulanan yang membawa artis audiovisual bersama dalam sesi bentuk yang unik yang menampilkan beberapa tindakan yang paling menjanjikan dan tidak dikenal di Indonesia saat ini. Rasa komunitas, jumlah pemilih yang kuat, dan kekerabatan merupakan bagian integral dari pekerjaannya, kata Kendra. Banyak yang memilih untuk pergi atau ke luar negeri, tetapi inspirasi dan kualitas tinggi dari sesama seniman di Jakarta merupakan bagian utuh yang membuat dia bekerja di sana.

Under the ARDNEKS moniker, Kendra produces album artwork, band posters, film posters, t-shirts, and digital art for himself and likeminded collaborators. As a self-professed connoisseur of all things trivial, Kendra’s artwork is loaded with minute details. Iconic rock musicians, Japanese typography, Martian landscapes, religious figures, flora and fauna all come together in a fantastical balancing act of organic, handdrawn pop clutter and precise, almost geometric design.


Sebagai ARDNEKS, Kendra menghasilkan karya seni album, poster band, poster film, kaos, dan seni digital untuk dirinya sendiri dan kolaborator pemikiran serupa. Sebagai seorang ahli diri mengaku dari semua hal-hal sepele, karya seni Kendra adalah sarat dengan rincian kecil. Ikon musik, karakter Jepang, tanah Mars, flora, fauna dan tokoh agama dicampur bersama-sama dalam satu keseimbangan fantastis antara kekacauan pop organik dan tepat, desain geometris.

Website: ardneks.com
Facebook: ~/ardneks
Instagram: @ardneks
Soundcloud: ~/ardneks


Websiteardneks.com
Facebook~/ardneks 
Instagram@ardneks
Soundcloud~/ardneks

Contributor, Videographer & Photographer: Jia Li
Additional Images Courtesy of ARDNEKS


Kontributor, Videographer & Fotografer: Jia Li
Gambar Tambahan Courtesy of ARDNEKS

ROARINGWILD

April 28, 2016 2016年4月28日

Shenzhen is a modern day behemoth of a city; its rapid expansion over the years has transformed what was previously a quiet fishing village into the Silicon Valley of China and a mega-metropolis. Despite the developmental strides of the entire city, the streetwear and fashion scene hasn’t quite caught up – especially when compared to the likes of New York and London. ROARINGWILD is an independent Shenzhen-based streetwear brand not complacent in the quiet state of the scene. Instead, they have aspirations of becoming the vanguard of Chinese youth culture, not only for Shenzhen – but for China as a whole.


深圳这个现代庞然巨城,短短数载,就从一个小渔村发展为中国的硅谷,成为一座国际大都会。然而与纽约和伦敦的街服和时尚环境相比,深圳在这方面并未赶上其城市的步伐。ROARINGWILD是深圳的独立街服品牌,他们不满于现状,渴望成为不仅是深圳,更是整个中国青年文化的先锋者。

Through ROARINGWILD, the founders wish to encourage young people to chase after their dreams and fearlessly express themselves, rather than conforming to the expectations of society. In a way, the brand’s attitude pays homage to the American countercultures of the 1970s and 1980s that set up the foundation for modern day streetwear. Holding the belief that streetwear is more related to lifestyle than fashion, the founders of ROARINGWILD create what they consider to be hip and relevant to their own lives, as opposed to creating with the current trends and appeasing as many consumers as possible. It’s this same mentality that puts further emphasis on their brand ethos and instills a sense of authenticity into their designs. Neocha recently talked to BG, the creative director and head fashion designer of ROARINGWILD, about their brand’s identity and the current state of streetwear in China.


通过ROARINGWILD,创立人想鼓励年轻人敢于追逐梦想和表现自己—而不是屈从于社会为谋生而生活,为物质而生存。在某种程度上,他们是在向美国70和80年代青少年中盛行的反主流文化致敬,这种反主流文化正是促成了现代街服的诞生。秉持着街服更是一种生活方式和时尚的信念,与按照当下流行创作、尽可能多地取悦消费者的做法相反,他们的想法是创造与自己生活圈相关的街头潮牌服饰。这些设计理念都在他们的街头风格品牌中得到体现。最近,Neocha与饼干,ROARINGWILD的创意总监和首席设计师,谈了关于他们的品牌和中国街服的现状。

Neocha: How did the brand start? Who are the minds behind this project? What inspired the idea of starting a streetwear brand in Shenzhen of all places?

BGROARINGWILD was founded by the six of us during college. It was me, CY, MIMI, QIAO, PPC, and REIKA. All six of us grew up in Shenzhen and went to the same university, and that’s how we all got together. At the time, it felt like there weren’t any interesting independent brands in the city; combine that with the fact that the six of us were quite interested in streetwear culture. These two things led to us creating the brand. In the beginning, we were just having fun with it, making small accessories that people liked. Our early days are actually quite similar to the DIY ethics many other streetwear brands were founded on. We kept refining the brand and we somehow ended up where we are today.


Neocha:这个品牌是如何开始的?谁是创始人?是什么激发你们在深圳做起一个街服品牌?

BGROARINGWILD起初是由我们六个人 (昵称: CY、饼干、MIMI、阿乔、高鹏、妹子) 在大学期间创立。我们六个,都是从小在深圳长大,也在同一所大学里读书,于是就自然走到了一起。我们做这样一个街服品牌,是因为觉得身边缺乏有意思的原创品牌。抱着我们自身对街头文化的共同热爱,就做了这样的一件事情。最开始的时候,我们就是很纯粹地一起玩,做一些大家喜欢的小东西。和所有的街服品牌一样,从做许多DIY的事开始,不知不觉做到了现在。

NeochaHow would you say the urban environment of Shenzhen plays into your design? How does the cityscape influence your brand?

BG: The brand and its products is meant to serve us, so a lot of the designs will be based on our personal needs and how the city influences us. Shenzhen is located in a subtropical region, so most our products won’t be for the outdoors. You also won’t find too many jackets and raincoats that are commonly seen with European brands. Shenzhen is a young city, but it subtly and constantly exerts an influence on the direction of our brand. It’s difficult to compare it to other Chinese cities with a long history (such as Beijing, Xi’an, and so on). Many people consider Shenzhen to be a barren “cultural desert”, with only a few decades of history behind it, but in a place like this is where an oasis is most needed.


Neocha深圳的都市氛围对你们的设计有什么影响吗?城市景观有对你们品牌产生影响吗?

BG会的。毕竟,这个品牌首先还是服务于我们自己的,所以,很多设计会基于我们的需求。深圳地处亚热带地区,因此,我们的产品中不会出现很多户外的东西,也不会像一些欧洲品牌那样,出现许多像外套、雨衣类的产品等等。深圳作为一个很年轻的城市,对我们的品牌一直以来都有着潜移默化的影响。深圳只有区区几十年历史的地方,相比国内一些拥有长远历史的城市,如北京、西安等,这里相当于文化沙漠。但正是因为她是这样的一个地方,所以才需要一片绿洲。

NeochaHow does China as a whole influence your brand and design?

BGAll the founders are Chinese, and we all hold a reverence for our culture. Naturally, the brand and designs will be inspired by China. Personally, I’m quite interested in Chinese characters and Chinese philosophies – this is reflected in our brand’s concepts. We don’t want ROARINGWILD only to represent us or the city. We look forward to the day when our brand can be a strong representative for China and become a well-known brand amongst the other amazing international streetwear brands out there. We want it to be up there with Stussy, Supreme, Vans, Palace, RIPNDIP, White Mountaineering, Neighborhood, Undercover, Stone Island and so on. Some of those brands are as young as our own brand, but they still exude their own style.


Neocha中国作为一个整体如何影响您的品牌和设计?

BG首先,我们团队本身就都是中国人,也都十分喜欢中国文化,自然,整个品牌和设计也都基于中国这样一个大环境。我自己本身很喜欢汉字的文化以及中国文化哲学类的东西,这在整个品牌的理念中都会有所体现。我们同时也希望 ROARINGWILD 不仅能代表我们抑或是深圳,也想有朝一日他能代表中国,在街头文化的领域向全世界发声。就像一些优秀的国外品牌如Supreme、Stussy、Vans、Palace、RIPNDIP、White Mountaineering、Undercover、Neighborhood等等,他们当中也会有一些像我们的品牌一样年轻,但都散发着自己的魅力。

Neocha: How would you describe the streetwear scene in Shenzhen? How does it match up to the likes of cities such as Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, or Tokyo? How does it match up to other international cities like New York and London?

BGThe streetwear culture in Shenzhen is a bit behid in comparison with these other cities. Not many people know what they want out of life, what they want to wear, and even less people have their views on lifestyle. Most people just follow the fads, they wear whatever’s trending. It’s not like Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, or other metropolises in the region where people are more confident. For example, I feel in places like Tokyo, young people are even more confident and able to express themselves more freely. Most people in Shenzhen care too much about what other people think, and in doing so have neglected themselves. I think everyone should live their own life, instead of worrying too much about what other people think.


Neocha深圳的街服是什么样的,跟其他城市有什么不同吗?如上海、北京、香港、东京?或者纽约和伦敦这样的国际大都市?

BG深圳的街头文化,相对还是比较匮乏。很少人有人知道自己真正想要怎样的生活,想要穿什么,也很少有人会对自己的生活态度有自我的想法。更多的还是跟随潮流,最近流行穿什么就穿什么,而不像上海、北京、香港这样的其他国内城市一样,大家更有自信。我觉得像东京这样的城市里的年轻人更勇于表达自我,感觉深圳大部分人还是更在乎别人的眼光,而忽略了自己。我觉得每个人都应该为自己而活,而不是为别人的眼光而活。

NeochaWhat kind of challenges have you encountered getting your brand up and running?

BGWe really came from the streets. We were just normal kids with an interest in streetwear and nothing more. We didn’t create this brand in the same way that a well-developed company would have. So in the beginning, we failed to factor in a lot of things – such as resources, finances, manpower, and technique. We were a team but we had no one to depend on besides ourselves. We’ve developed into a mature company now, but there will always be more challenges to overcome.


Neocha: 建立这个品牌的过程有遇过哪些难关?

BG我们是真正的来自于街头,最初是以一群爱好者的身份慢慢做起来,而不是一个成熟公司的形式去创立这个品牌。因此最初,在很多方面,如资源、资金、人脉和技术都不能很好地顾及,可以说是一个完全自给自足的团队。直到现在,虽然我们已经发展成为一个相对成熟的公司,仍然还会有需要克服的难关。

Neocha: Do you feel like the streetwear scene has changed since ROARINGWILD started? Do you feel like more Chinese youth are becoming more interested?

BGIn the first year that ROARINGWILD was established, many more independent brands and streetwear brands began popping up. Of course, this was already somewhat happening before, but with the development of the internet and Chinese people becoming more open to things like these, more and more brands are able to thrive. The interconnectivity of the web allowed streetwear to be more accessible to the youth, so more people are beginning to accept it. To some extent, I would say it’s becoming more and more mainstream. More people are also beginning to be exposed to the lifestyle behind the streetwear. This is a great sign. A lot of young people are living lives that go against societal expectations and are thinking more independently now. They’re not living just to live anymore.


Neocha自ROARINGWILD成立到现在,你觉得街服场景发生了什么变化?你是否觉得现在有更多中国年轻人对街服更感兴趣了吗?

BG的确从ROARINGWILD创立开始,就有许多原创品牌、街头品牌出现。在这之前当然也一直有,但随着整个中国社会和网络的发展,现在的品牌更容易在这片土壤上生存下去。网络的信息化也让街服更容易被年轻人接触到,慢慢地,就有更多人去接受它,一定程度上它变得更大众了。但大家也会开始去思考这样一种生活方式,这是一个很好的现象。很多年轻人也活得越来越多样化,有许多对于自己的思考,而不只是为了生活而生活。

Website: roaringwild.net
Taobao
ROARINGWILD
Facebook~/ROARINGWILDOFFICIAL
Instagram: @ROARINGWILD
Weibo: ~/ROARINGWILD


网站roaringwild.net
淘宝
ROARINGWILD
脸书: ~/ROARINGWILDOFFICIAL
Instagram: @ROARINGWILD
微博: ~/ROARINGWILD

Contributor: David Yen
Photographer: Qiao Chen

 

Images Courtesy of ROARINGWILD


供稿人: David Yen
摄影师: Qiao Chen

 

图片由ROARINGWILD提供

The Water Splashing Festival

April 27, 2016 2016年4月27日

Far southwest in China’s Yunnan province lies the city of Jinghong, the capital of the Xishuangbanna autonomous prefecture. Bordering Myanmar and Laos, the area is known for its Dai ethnic culture, Buddhist temples, and tropical climate. Every year, the city celebrates Dai New Year according to the Dai calendar. Usually, it takes place in April as a three-day celebration that brings thousands of people to Jinghong to take part in the riotous festivities.


西双版纳自治州首府景洪市位于中国西南边陲云南省。该区毗邻缅甸和老挝,以独特傣族文化、佛教寺庙风情以及热带气候景观闻名于世。景洪市每年都会以泰历时间为标准,通常是四月间的某三天,举行仪式庆祝傣族新年。成千上万的人慕名前来景洪市,参加这场狂欢庆祝活动。

The Water Splashing Festival happens during the hottest days of the year in the region, making it a perfect time to douse strangers and friends with buckets of water. The celebration also happens further downstream the Mekong river in Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, and Myanmar. In Yunnan, the festival is carnival-like, bringing dragon boats, lanterns, barbecue stalls, and tourists to the banks of the river.


每年的泼水节也是这里最炎热之际。沿着湄公河流域,包括其流经的老挝、泰国、越南和缅甸,人们都为之热情庆贺。在云南,这场嘉年华般的节日盛会上,龙舟游划,灯笼高挂,露天美食摊位应有尽有,两岸游人比肩接踵。

As with Thais, Laotians, and the Shan in Myanmar, the Dai people also practice Buddhism. High-ranking monks perform water rituals such as blessings in the temples and bathing Buddha with holy water. On the last day of the festival, monks bless the water from the Mekong river and bring it from the river banks to the city’s biggest public square, where thousands of people eagerly await the cue to start splashing.


与泰国人、老挝人和缅甸掸族人一样,傣族人信奉佛教。节庆上,位份高的僧侣会进行各种与水相关的仪式,比如寺庙祈福或以圣水“浴佛”。在节日最后一天,僧侣们在湄公河取水为之祈福,并带到市中最大的公共广场上,成千上万的人聚集于此,等待着泼水节的开始。

Traditionally, water splashing symbolizes good fortune, and getting splashed-on is meant to bring good luck. For one day, the main square in Jinghong transforms into possibly the biggest water fight in the world, with records of up to 100,000 people attending. The participants are armed with buckets, squirt guns, hoses, and water balloons. Even the local police and security personnels are fair game for a splashing during the festival.


在传说中,泼水是好运的象征,被水泼到更是代表了好运连连。在这一天,景洪市的主要广场已然变成了可能是全球最大的打水仗阵地。据数据统计,约有十万人到场参与其中。泼水节上,人们各拿装备:有的用桶,有的用喷水枪,有的用水管,还有的用水气球,见人就泼,即使是当地警察和维纪部队也不免俗。

Water is regarded by the Dai as a symbol of religious purification and goodwill. Washing away the year’s past dirt and sorrows, it helps to bring in prosperity and luck. In Yunnan, it’s a mark of the distinctive culture of the Dai minority in the region. Whether you’re old or young, male or female, tourist or local – all inhibitions can be tossed aside for a day of water-soaked debauchery.


在傣族文化中,水被视为一种宗教净化和善意的象征。水能洗过去一年的尘土和悲伤,有望带来富足和幸运。这是独属于云南傣族文化的人文风情。这一天,无论性别,不分老少,不管地域,所有禁忌都通通抛诸脑后,尽兴玩一场泼水节!

Website: yunnanexplorer.com

 

Contributor & Photographer: Jia Li


网站yunnanexplorer.com

 

供稿人与摄影师: Jia Li

WILD$TYLE & YoungQueenz

April 26, 2016 2016年4月26日

Meet WILD$TYLE, an independent label that has aspirations of becoming the main defining force of the hip-hop scene in Hong Kong. Their name comes from the 1983 American movie Wild Style, which is one of the most influential hip-hop films of all time. First established in 2011, WILD$TYLE has held the same unwavering mindset of creating the “purest and dopest hip-hop” to this very day. Since then, they have collaborated across the globe, working with talented artists in Japan, Taiwan, and even France.


WILD$TYLE,中文亦為撒野作風,是個獨立音樂廠牌,擁有著定義香港嘻哈界的遠大抱負。他們的名字來自1983年美國電影《Wild Style》,一部有史以來最有影響力的街舞電影之一。 WILD$TYLE作為一個嘻哈團體,最初成立於2011年,一直堅守著製作“最純最酷嘻哈”的堅定心態至今。從建立之日起,他們已和來自全球各地的卓越藝術家們合作過,包括日本、台灣,甚至法國。

Listen to select tracks from YoungQueenz’s last album THE TUESDAY  below.

YoungQueenz – DEEP ft. Matt-Force
YoungQueenz – What a Life ft. GrymeMan
YoungQueenz – THE TUESDAY


以下曲目来自YoungQueenz的过往专辑《異常火曜日》,欢迎试听。

YoungQueenz – DEEP ft. Matt-Force
YoungQueenz – What a Life ft. GrymeMan
YoungQueenz – 異常火曜日

WILD$TYLE is different from the typical hip-hop crew, where members often adapt a similar style and rap around related themes. “We’re not a crew – every artist has their own style. We try to promote every one of them individually.” WILD$TYLE’s roster consists of numerous producers and rappers, and each artist taps into their own stylistic niche. The core rappers are: MicLi, who’s known for his weed-fueled rap; Matt-Force, who has a mellow boom bap style; Triple G, known for his hipster rap; and Grymeman, who both produces and raps in his signature 90s style. And then of course, there’s YoungQueenz – the man behind it all.


典型的嘻哈crew中,通常成員間會形成相似風格和相關主題的說唱。 WILD$TYLE則與此不同。 “我們不是一個crew,每個人都有著有自己的風格。推出這些藝術家的時候都是以獨立個體的形式運行。”WILD$TYLE有著各種製作人和說唱歌手,每個都有自己的風格定位。核心說唱歌手有:MicLi,葉子主題說唱;Triple G,hipster說唱;Matt-Force,溫柔爆發的BAP風;Grymeman,90年代風格的製作和說唱;當然,還有YoungQueenz——這一切幕後的男人。

Rapper extraordinaire YoungQueenz is the founder, creative director, and overall mastermind behind WILD$TYLE. Inspired by the lyricism and energy of local rap legend LMF, he started to pen his own lyrics as a teenager. He admits that ever since he started rapping, he felt that this was going to be his life’s destined path. YoungQueenz is able to find artistic inspiration in many things, like the city vibes of Hong Kong, the violence of Takeshi Kitano’s films, and his mentality of having a “huge ego but with super low self-esteem”. Bringing together all of his influences and inspirations, he recently released “Kiko Mizuhara”, the first single off of his upcoming Otaku Mobb mixtape.


創始人兼出色說唱歌手的YoungQueenz,是WILD$TYLE背後的創意總監和總策劃。受當地說唱傳奇LMF的抒情和精神啟發,他十幾歲時便開始書寫自己的歌詞。他坦言,自從開始rap,他就一直覺得這一切是天生注定。香港都市的氛圍、北野武電影的暴力、自卑背後的自負,YoungQueenz似乎能夠從一切事物中找到一種美感。融合了接受的所有影響和啟發,他最近發布了“水原希子”——即將到來的《禦宅MOBB》混音專輯中的第一彈。

 

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This latest YoungQueenz track is a bizarre combination of different things, like drugs, anime, video games, and anti-social tendencies, that he manages to make work. The music video switches locations from the neon-lit streets of Hong Kong, to an old school arcade with flickering screens, to fluorescent-lit hallways lined with anime posters. YoungQueenz delivers a frenzied visceral flow of words, in a smooth mix of Cantonese and English, over a trap beat crafted by Floyd Cheung, a producer and also one of the original members of WILD$TYLE. YoungQueenz’s lyrics sometimes mention drugs like DMT and PCP – and other times, he mentions his otaku-related interests, by name-dropping anime protagonists and Japanese video games. “This world is evil, you know – but for me, otaku love is pure and real.” YoungQueenz cohesively glues these unlikely themes together with a chorus that echoes his endless infatuation with famous Japanese model Kiko Mizuhara.


YoungQueenz的最新曲目,由藥物、動漫、電動遊戲和反社會傾向構成,成就一個奇異卻又奏效的混合體。香港霓虹燈閃閃的街道間、屏幕忽閃的老派電玩遊樂場,以及貼滿動漫海報、熒光燈爍爍的走廊,這首曲子的MV就是拍攝於這些場景之間。伴著WILD$TYLE製作人和原始成員之一Floyd Cheung創作的trap節拍,YoungQueenz以粵語和英語帶來了發自肺腑的狂亂爆發。他的歌詞在各種題材間切換——有從不同的藥物,如DMT和PCP; 而他的御宅相關愛好,也通過在作品裡甩出動漫主角和日本電動遊戲的名字等以融合進去。 “世界很邪惡,但宅男的愛情純粹又真實。”YoungQueenz設法把這些看似不可思議的主題膠合在一起,副歌裡迴盪著他對日本著名模特水原希子無盡的迷戀。

YoungQueenz is still keeping an eye out for new producers to work with. “I need more beats. I feel like I am trapped and can’t maximize my vision, concept and ability because of this,” he said. “I don’t want to rap over non-exclusive beats. It’s personal. I need originality, and to work with a producer who’s feeling my mind so I can make better music and show my big picture to the audience.” Besides the upcoming Otaku Mobb mixtape, he also hinted at another album and a couple more trap EPs coming in the near future.


YoungQueenz仍期許和更多的製作人合作。 “我需要更多的beats。現在的我覺得像被困住,我的視像、理念、能力也因此不能最大化,”他說, “我不想用非專屬的beats來說唱。這是很個人的,我需要獨創性,需要一個可以理解我想法的製作人合作,這樣我可以做出更好的音樂,給觀眾展示我的宏圖。”除了即將推出的《禦宅MOBB》混音專輯,他也暗示了在不久的將來,還有另一張專輯,以及一些Trap EP。

Bandcamp: ~/WildstyleRecords
YouTube
~/WildstyleRec
Facebook~/WildstyleRecords
Instagram: ~/WildstyleRecords
Weibo
撒野作風WILDSTYLE_RECORDS

 

Contributor: Banny Wang
Photographer: Jia Li


Bandcamp: ~/WildstyleRecords
YouTube
~/WildstyleRec
臉書~/WildstyleRecords
Instagram~/WildstyleRecords
微博撒野作風WILDSTYLE_RECORDS

 

供稿人: Banny Wang
摄影师: Jia Li

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The Balletcats

April 25, 2016 2016年4月25日

 

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The Balletcats is masterminded by Jordan Marzuki and Fatriana Zukhra, a Jakarta-based couple of self-proclaimed “felinists” – whose whimsical, absurd collection of products celebrates cat lovers and pop culture. The couple met in college and started experimenting with creating “irrational fashion.” Unexpectedly popular, they continued refining The Balletcats brand, making it more focused and broadly appealing. With their peculiar mix of humor and craft, The Balletcats make an ever-evolving line of deranged, fantastic products. We spoke to Jordan recently to learn more about his brand.


The Balletcats是由Jordan Marzuki 和Fatriana Zukhra一手策划而来。这对夫妇来自雅加达并自称“喵权主义者”,他们用古怪荒诞的的收藏品去颂扬爱猫人和波普文化。二人相识于大学,并就此开始“非理性时尚”的实验创作。结果出乎意料的大获好评,他们继续完善The Balletcats这个品牌,使之更加有针对性并有更广泛的吸引力。带着他们的幽默和手工技巧的特异结合,The Balletcats不断演变成为一个疯狂且惊艳的产品系列。我们最近与Jordan进行了对话,以进一步了解他的品牌。

Neocha: Could you tell us a little bit about your background and who you are? How did you come to start a fashion brand? Did you study or do anything related prior?

Jordan: I’m a graphic designer, and I graduated from The Basel School of Design with a major in typography and visual communication, so it’s still relevant. It all started when I was starting to feel irritated with my work. That was when I started experimenting with Fatriana Zukhra, the co-founder of The Balletcats. We were creating clothes with “irrational illustration” that I was already drawing in my free time. We tried to sell them and it received unexpectedly good responses – that’s when we decided to take this seriously.


Neocha: 可以先说说你是谁,你的背景是什么吗?你是怎么想要建立一个时尚品牌的?你先前有学过或者做过相关的东西吗?
Jordan: 我是一个平面设计师,毕业于巴塞尔设计学校的字体设计和视觉传达专业,因此它们之间还是有些联系的。这一切源于我对自己的工作开始产生了一种厌恶感。那时,我与The Balletcats的联合创始人Fatriana Zukhra玩起实验创作。我们使用我在空闲时间里完成的插画,创作了一组“非理性插画”的服装。我们尝试着售卖这些衣服,结果出乎意料的大受好评,那时开始我们决定认真地去做这个事。

Neocha: Where does the name The Balletcats come from? What inspired creating a brand for “felinists”?

Jordan: I’ve loved cats since my childhood. I think that they’re cool and mysterious creatures. If cats were humans, they would probably be the most confusing people you’d ever meet. Besides that, they have very beautiful features and shapes that could be represented in unlimited possibilities. That was mainly the reason that we wanted to stick to the theme of felines. I chose The Balletcats as the project name – it’s not from the Spandau Ballet, but came from my cat that had this unusual ballet pose whenever he was asleep.


Neocha: The Balletcats这个品牌的名字来源?启发你们为“喵权主义者”们创立一个品牌的是什么?
Jordan: 我从小就非常喜欢猫。我认为它是一种又酷又神秘的生物。如果猫是人类,它们可能会是你遇到过的最难以捉摸的人。除此之外,它们拥有非常漂亮的外型,有着可以无限发扬光大的可能性。这就是我们坚持以猫科动物为主题的原因。我为这个项目所选的名字,The Balletcats,并非自于Spandau Ballet这个乐队,而是来自我的猫,因为它在睡觉的时候总会摆出各种奇特的芭蕾造型。

Neocha: What are some of your obsessions, influences, or recurring themes?

Jordan: My inspirations come from my unearthly imagination. It’s really hard to specify what it is, but I think the biggest part of my work is influenced by my childhood. I remember one time when I was about eight years old, and I was participating in a junior drawing competition. Most of the kids there were only drawing pictures of the beach, mountains, or other kinds of beautiful things – I drew a gruesome scene of war. I can’t really explain what happened to my brain that time, but it feels like this unexplainable mentality shift seems to still happen to me to this very day.


Neocha: 你痴迷的东西,你的灵感和反复出现的主题分别是什么?
Jordan: 我的灵感来源于我奇怪的想象力。虽然这真的很难去具体地去说,但是我想我作品有很大一部分是受我童年的影响。我记得有一次,大概是8岁时,我参加了一个少年绘画比赛。大部分的孩子只会画一些沙滩、山或者其他各种美好的东西,我却画了一副恐怖的战争场景。我真的很难说清楚当时是怎么想的,但是今时今日,我仍然有着这种难以解释的心态。

Neocha: What has been the reception like so far? Where does your label sit within the world, or within the Indonesian arts and fashion community?

Jordan: It feels funny when people have already accepted your work. I mean, now they just accept whatever I do. For example, my work contains high levels of satirical content, which are deliberately used to provoke people. But, it seems like my audience will never get offended – instead they see my work as a normal, politically correct piece. I also try not to mention fashion on my label, because I’m not a fashion designer and I don’t want to limit my audience based on that.


Neocha: 你们的品牌得到的反响如何?在世界上,或者在印度尼西亚艺术和时尚圈中,你们的品牌定位在哪里?
Jordan: 当人们已经接受了你的作品,这种感觉有点意思。我是说,现在不管我做什么,他们都能接受。举个例子,比如我的作品里包含了大量的讽刺性内容,这些内容是有意用来刺激人们的。但是,似乎我的受众从来不会觉得被冒犯,反而会觉得我的作品是正常的、政治正确的。在自己的品牌中,我也试着不去提及时尚,因为我不是一个服装设计师,并且我不想将我的受众限制在某个范围。

Neocha: The Balletcats seems more than just about a line of products. What are some of the things you create, and what are some areas you’d like to explore in the future?

Jordan: Exactly. The Balletcats was the medium I used to fulfill my illustration wonderland. But right now, I’m focusing on the graphic design side – which is mostly related to works I want to publish. I’m about to release my experimental children’s book, which will premiere at the 2016 Singapore Art Book Fair – it’s called Into the Unknown, and I plan on creating a newspaper in the future.


Neocha: The Balletcats似乎并不仅限于一个产品系列。你的创作都有哪些,未来还希望探索那些领域的东西呢?
Jordan: 的确如此。The Balletcats过去不过是我用来承载自己插画的一种载体。但是此刻,我正在专注于平面设计方面,这也是和我想要出版的东西最为相关的。我将要发行自己的实验儿童绘本《Into the Unknown》,它将会参加2016年新加坡艺术书展,我也计划未来做一份报纸。

Websitetheballetcats.com
Facebook~/theballetcatspage
Instagram@theballetcats

 

Contributor: Jia Li


网站theballetcats.com
脸书~/theballetcatspage
Instagram@theballetcats

 

供稿人: Jia Li

Beijing in Bloom

April 22, 2016 2016年4月22日

FLORETTE, also known by ji su hua in Chinese, is a small flower shop hidden away in Beijing, China. It’s not an exaggeration to describe it as being hidden – in order to get there you have to first enter a courtyard in Baiziwan, make your way past a rock climbing activity center, and keep walking until you see a large chimney on the left. FLORETTE is located at the side of this chimney. It’s a small cottage with a red roof that sits independently by itself. Extending from the building and through the courtyard is a path consisting of red bricks that leads visitors into FLORETTE. Nowadays, most of FLORETTE’s business is done online; this physical location is primarily a private workspace for the owner and is only open to the general public over the weekends.


FLORETTE,中文名为几束花,是隐藏在北京城内的一个小花店。说隐藏实不为过,进入百子湾的一个大院子后,走过攀岩馆,路过足球馆,直到看到左侧的大烟囱,FLORETTE就在烟囱的旁边。这是一个红顶独栋小屋,红砖道从小屋一直铺到院子外。事实上,FLORETTE的花主要以线上销售为主,于是这个花店平日里主要用于主人私人工作室的办公,周末才对外开放。

The founder Taiwan-born Isabelle Sun and her husband Tim Kwan both come from architectural backgrounds. The two first discovered this cottage by pure chance, and fell in love with it at first sight. Originally used to manufacture miscellaneous car parts, it was later abandoned and neglected. But this cottage had open spaces all around it, there was a large tree and chimney, and the house was built in a perfectly rectangular shape – even the windows are similarly shaped. For these two, the house seemed like it almost came straight out of a fairy tale, especially the simple and minimal facade. After renovations, the 9×9 meter square space was divided into three sections: a flower arrangement area, display aisles, as well as a space for miscellaneous work and flower refrigeration. The height of the building is another reason the coupled loved this location, and so situated right above the refrigeration area is the couple’s private second floor workspace. 


创立人Isabelle Sun来自台湾,与其先生Tim Kwan均为建筑出身。最初发现这间小屋时纯属误闯,却也一见钟情。这里原为汽车零件生产厂房,被废置后破烂不堪,可房子前后都有空地,旁边有大树和烟囱,整个房子方方正正,对称的窗,一如童年画的房子,简简单单。经过两位设计师的一番改造,这个9x9m的方正空间,如今被划为三等份: 花的制作区,过道,剩下的为密集功能区以及鲜花冷藏室。这间旧厂房的高挑高也是这对夫妻喜欢这里的原因,所以在功能区的上方设置有二楼,被用作他们的私人工作区。

Isabelle and her husband grew up in New Zealand. Both of their mothers were stay-at-home moms, and similarly, spent a lot of time gardening behind their houses. Having been influenced by this, Isabelle began viewing plants and flowers as an essential part of her life. After moving out on her own, she would adopt the habit of buying plants. “That way, I would have fresh flowers in my house every week,” she said. After moving to Beijing – a place known for its dry climate, tall buildings, and hectic city life, the lifestyle she was accustomed to became difficult to maintain. Flower shops aren’t common in Beijing and the variety of flowers available are limited, so Isabelle decided to open up her own flower shop.


Isabelle与先生均成长于新西兰,双方母亲也均为家庭主妇,一天中有很多时间是花费在自家大院中剪花修草。Isabelle耳濡目染,也将花花草草视为生活中自然必要的一部分。开始独立居住后,她便开始养成买花的习惯,“接下来一个礼拜家里就都有鲜花了,”她说。直至移居到北京,一座矗立高楼大厦,到处都干燥无比又繁忙的北方城市,她的这一习惯开始受到了挑战。这里的鲜花店并不频见,花的种类也略为匮乏。于是,她便索性开启自己的花店。

In FLORETTE, besides the conventional flowers one can find at most flower shops, Isabelle has a collection of seasonal flowers from around the globe. At times, she even carries wildflowers from Beijing that locals tend to overlook; other times, she will have rarer flowers like the betel flower. Customers can purchase freshly cut flowers and creatively arrange it themselves, but their prearranged signature bouquets are also available. “You don’t just leave flowers there after you buy them. You need to go home, open them, and release them from the packaging the moment you get home – then pick a suitable vase, prune the flowers, and arrange them. Anything with a life force is ever-changing; so after a few days, they will require additional pruning, and the arrangement will need readjusting. Different seasons will bear different flowers, when you put them in your home, you can feel the changing of the seasons and become more attuned to the flow of time.” Through FLORETTE, Isabelle hopes to generate more interaction between people and nature.


FLORETTE,除了常规鲜花,Isabelle也从世界各地搜罗特别的当季鲜花。有时候,有北京当地不被人注意的小草花;有时候,也会有你完全想不到的槟榔花。你可以在这里挑选已经设计好的精选花束,也可以直接选购新鲜切花,自己发挥创意。“买了花并不是就放着了,而是一到家就需要动手把它们从包装中解放出来。挑选容器,修剪花枝,搭配摆置。有生命的东西是会变化的。所以过个几天,它们需要再次修剪,调整摆放。每个季节都有不一样的花,把它们放在家里,感受大自然的变化,感受时间的流逝。”Isabelle希望,她能通过FLORETTE将这种人和自然的互动以及感受分享给更多人。

“At this market, known as the Woodstock of Eating, over 80% of our customers had never purchased flowers before. They didn’t know what to do with it after they bring it home, I was pretty shocked. Being located in Beijing’s Sanlitun, this event was attended by all of the hippest people in the area, but most people had next to no knowledge about flowers,” Isabelle was surprised about having to explain very basic things as she was selling the flowers, but she was also very welcoming to these first-timers. “In a way, I felt a sense of accomplishment. In other places, I operate strictly like a business and don’t run into these kinds of issues. Here, we are guiding the people who don’t understand, and this creates more interaction between us and the customers. Although it was unexpected, it felt immensely rewarding.”


然而,“在伍德吃托克市集上,我们80%的顾客之前从来没买过花,拿回家里不知道怎么办。我当时蛮惊讶,在北京,在三里屯,这个活动都是最hip的人来参加,但似乎大家对这个概念都非常弱。”Isabelle很意外地注意到,她不得不一边卖鲜花,一边为人讲解这方面的基本常识以及这种生活方式。所以,每位客人的初次尝试都让她备受鼓舞。“某一方面,这让我很有成就感。在别的地方只是单纯的business,不会有这种情况。在这边,我们为不理解的人指导,所以就有更多的互动。这是特别大的意外收获。”她高兴地说道。

Coming from a background of interior design and architecture, complementing space and colors is second nature to her. And as a creative herself, Isabelle is closely knit with the entire creative community. So besides only selling flowers, Isabelle also hosts FLORETTE’s Living Room, a salon that takes place in the shop. The second floor private workspace in FLORETTE transforms into a homely living room, and Isabelle invites various individuals to come in and share their lifestyle philosophies, anything flower-related or aesthetics-related. Besides that, there will often be workshops that people can participate in, which allows them to exercise their creativity in a hands-on manner. Isabelle doesn’t want people to only take photographs of beautiful things, but she also wants them to learn to cherish and appreciate these things. She hopes that these events can be inspirational for their daily lives.


对于作为空间建筑设计师的她来说,空间比例色彩上的搭配都是信手拈来的事。作为创意人,Isabelle和整个创意社区也保持着紧密的联系。除了贩售鲜花,在这里还有“FLORETTE的客厅”,这是FLORETTE发起并组织的聚会沙龙。每每此时,FLORETTE会从工作室变成闲适的客厅,邀请生活家们来分享与花、与美,或与生活本身相关的事物。此外,还有各类创意活动让参与者得以亲自动手发挥创意。Isabelle,她希望大家不只是给美好的东西拍照了事,她希望通过这些活动给人们带来更多的生活灵感。

As of now, FLORETTE has already been endorsed by Kinfolk, amongst a few other publications, and praised by people who see the importance in quality of life. It’s no surprise, as this shop is a great place to experience the colors and fragrances of nature amidst the urban cityscape of Beijing. The next time you’re in the area, be sure to swing by and buy a flower or two.


如今的FLORETTE,除了受到诸如Kinfolk以及其他各类媒体的青睐,也受到热爱生活人们的厚爱。如果你也在北京,不妨到FLORETTE感受一下创意,也给自己买几束花,一起享受花的色彩和芬芳,体会自然的美好。

Address:
No. 5 Baiziwan Road, Shimen Village
Chaoyang District, Beijing
People’s Republic of China

Phone:
0086-4008 356937

Website: florette.com.cn
Weibo: FLORETTE-几束花
WeChat: FLORETTE_FLORIST

 

Contributors: Banny Wang, Eric Zhang
Photographer: Banny Wang


地址:
中国
北京朝阳区
百子湾路石门村5号院

电话:
0086-4008 356937

网站: florette.com.cn
微博FLORETTE-几束花
微信
: FLORETTE几束花

 

供稿人: Banny Wang, Eric Zhang
摄影师: Banny Wang

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A Shanghai Skate Brand

April 21, 2016 2016年4月21日

 

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City Hermit is a local homegrown Chinese skate brand and the brainchild of illustrators Curious Boy and Yong Yu. The two were originally from Nanchang and Jinhua respectively, but later met in Shanghai and connected over their mutual interest in skateboarding.


City Hermit是来自于中国本土的滑板品牌,它是插画师Curious Boy和于新勇的合创品牌。分别来自南昌和金华的二人,在上海相遇,并因为对滑板的共同兴趣而相识相交。

The story took a profound twist when this creative duo then decided to take their passion for riding and turn it into a fully fledged skateboard brand, and thus City Hermit was born. The illustration style that is applied to the skateboard decks takes on the elements of graffiti and street art. Most of the artwork also includes depictions of the artists themselves, presented either through self-portraits or fictitious characters.


随后,当这创意二人组决定将他们玩滑板的激情,转换成City Hermit这样一个成熟的滑板品牌时,故事就这么发生了一次意义深远的大转折。滑板上的插画风格融合了涂鸦和街头艺术的元素。多数作品,或通过自画像,或通过虚构角色,仍描绘了艺术家们自身。

In the early 80s, skateboarding in China was a very rare sight and the subculture surrounding the sport was nonexistent. Shanghai has played an influential role in the burgeoning subculture of skateboarding in China. It is home to the “Godfather” of skateboarding in China, Jeff Han (aka Han Minjie). Han developed the first skate shop in Shanghai, founded Gift skateboards, co-founded Fly Streetwear and also runs a professional skate team. Alongside him are artists and creators like Curious Boy who are helping to develop art and illustration within the growing subculture of skateboarding in China.


80年代早期的中国,滑板运动极为罕见,该运动的周边亚文化更是荡然无存。在中国滑板亚文化的兴起过程中,上海扮演了举足轻重的角色。这里有中国的滑板“教父”—Jeff Han  (亦为韩敏捷)。他在上海开了第一家滑板商店,创办了滑板品牌Gift,联合创办了Fly Streetwear,并且运营着一支专业的滑板团队。与他比肩前行的,是Curious Boy这样的艺术家和创作者们,他们帮助推动插画和艺术在日渐壮大的中国滑板亚文化的发展。

City Hermit is pushing the boundaries when it comes to the amalgamation of illustration and the underdeveloped skate culture in Shanghai and China. Every one of their decks has a fresh, one-of-a-kind design, and it is these illustrations that are the driving force behind the brand. The skateboard decks are designed and made in Zhejiang. These skateboards are available for purchase online.


City Hermit正在极力推进插画和上海乃至中国范围内这个发展中的滑板文化的融合。他们每个人的滑板上都有着清新、独一无二的设计,也正是这些插画成为了品牌背后的驱动力。这些滑板设计、生产于浙江,在线上进行销售。

Websitecuriousboy.me

 

Contributor & Videographer: Mireille Paul
Photographers: Mireille Paul, Cathy Ye


网站curiousboy.me

 

供稿人与摄像师: Mireille Paul
摄影师: Mireille Paul, Cathy Ye

The Reincarnation of Wang Lili

April 20, 2016 2016年4月20日

 

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When Shanghai Fashion Week rolls around every year, one of the most eye-catching characters in front of the scrum is Wang Lili, a freelance street fashion photographer with an unlikely past. Born to a poor farming family in the Henan countryside, Wang had little opportunity to interact with the fashion world.


每年的上海时装周,在熙熙攘攘、争奇斗艳的人群之中,最惹人瞩目的人物之一便是王丽丽,一位街头时尚摄影师。她有着看似不可能的过去。生于河南省乡下的贫苦农民家庭,她过去几乎没有与时尚世界接触的机会。

As a young woman, Wang moved from Henan to Shenzhen to work in factories like many other young migrants. She started at the bottom, working shifts as a security guard or operating sewing machines, working 12 hours per day almost every day of the month without breaks.


作为一名年轻女性,王丽丽从河南前往深圳工作,就像许多其他年轻外来务工者一样。她从最底层做起,当过轮班的保安人员,操作过缝纫机,每天工作12个小时,一整月几乎每天如此,不见停歇。

Any spare time she had, Wang devoted to writing novels about migrant worker life for the young factory women around her. She published many of these online and gained some recognition as a migrant novelist. Restless and tired of this label, she moved to Shanghai to explore new paths.


王丽丽的所有闲暇时间,都被她用于为身边年轻女厂工创作有关民工生活的小说。她把这些小说中的许多作品发表在网络上,并以农民工小说家渐为人所知。不满于这个标签,她搬至了上海,探索新的发展之路。

Photography was an accidental discovery. Wang says, “I have never had any arts education. I think artists aren’t educated – they are born that way. I didn’t know how to use cameras before. After going to a lot of events, friends would ask me to take pictures of them with their cameras. I didn’t really know how to use a camera before that. They would set it up for me and I would press the button. That was how I started learning.”


摄影这事纯属偶然。 王丽丽说: “我从未接受过任何艺术教育,我认为艺术家不是教育出来的,他们生来如此。我之前并不知道怎样使用照相机。在参加许多活动之后,朋友们会让我用他们的照相机为他们拍照。在那之前,我还不知道怎样使用照相机。他们会为我设置好,然后我再按快门。我就是这样开始学习摄影的。”

Wang constantly browses online street photography blogs like The Sartorialist and Tommy Ton, taking cues and studying from them. Style is intuitive, she says, not everyone can pull it off. “My own style is my nature. I’m a writer, so my origins are different. I believe in yin and yang, so I dress according to that. I think a lot of what I wear is not clothing, it’s art.”


王丽丽不断地浏览诸如The Sartorialist和Tommy Ton这样的街头摄影博客,从中学习并获得启发。风格是凭直觉获得的,她说,不是每个人都能自如掌控和驾驭的。 “我自己的风格就是我的天性。我是一个作家,因此我的来源是不同的。我相信阴阳,也依此穿衣。我想我穿的很多东西,它并不是衣服,它是艺术。”

Wang can be found at major fashion events in Shanghai, picking unconventional people out of the crowd with her very unique eye and approach. Apart from street style fashion photography, Wang also focuses on other themes such as migrant children, public laundry, intimates hung out to dry, and scenes of old Shanghai.


王丽丽穿梭于上海各个大型时尚活动中,用她极为独特的眼光和方法去捕捉人群中的非同寻常者。除了街头风格的摄影之外,她也探索着其他主题,如农民工子女、老上海、当街洗衣晾裤挂贴身衣物。

Website: wanglilinovels.com
Weibo: @wanglilinovels

 

Contributor, Videographer & Photographer: Jia Li


网站wanglilinovels.com
微博
@wanglilinovels

 

供稿人,图片摄影师与视频摄影师:Jia Li

Designs by Nhu Duong

April 19, 2016 2016年4月19日

Nhu Duong is a Swedish Vietnamese fashion designer whose work blends sparse minimalism with traditional Asian craftsmanship. Her style is an intriguing mix of futuristic lo-fi with primarily androgynous forms, but at the same time, feminine characteristics are subtly highlighted in all the details. The daughter of a kung fu master and a tailoress, Nhu was born in Ho Chi Minh City and later immigrated to Sweden at the age of seven. After studying fashion in Florence and Stockholm, Nhu went on to work at Acne Studios. She has debuted her work at fashion week and won numerous emerging talent awards. Neocha recently spoke to Nhu as she prepared for her new Spring/Summer 2016 collection.


Nhu Duong là một nhà thiết kế thời trang người Thụy Điển gốc Việt với phong cách kết hợp chủ nghĩa tối giản và nghệ thuật truyền thống châu Á. Phong cách của cô là một sự hài hòa say đắm giữa âm thanh của tương lai cùng những chi tiết nữ tính và lưỡng tính. Là con gái của một thầy dạy võ và cô thợ may, Nhu sinh ra ở Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh và di cư đến Thụy Điển khi mới 7 tuổi. Sau khi học thời trang ở Florence và Stockholm, Nhu đã đi làm ở Acne Studios. Cô đã ra mắt ở tuần thời trang và giành được nhiều giải thưởng cho tài năng mới nổi cho các sản phẩm của mình. Chúng tôi đã có dịp nói chuyện với Nhu khi cô chuẩn bị cho mùa Spring/Summer 2016.

Neocha: You have a unique background being Vietnamese, Swedish, the daughter of a kung fu master and a tailoress. Did all of these factors come together to form the backdrop to your work? What do you think you would be doing if you were not a fashion designer?

Nhu: When you move to a new country as a child – as I emigrated from Vietnam to Sweden, you naturally try your best to adjust to new surroundings and to a certain degree reinvent yourself. Fashion can be a very direct expression of that, taking things you know from one cultural context and putting them in another. I wanted to be a fashion designer and started playing with clothing from an early age – for me, it was a form of role playing. I think that both the performative and the bodily aspect of my dad has been an influence to me, as well as the craft and improvised approach of making clothes that my mother goes with. If I didn’t choose this path, maybe I would have become an actress.


Neocha: Chị có một nền tảng khá độc đáo là người Việt, đồng thời cũng là người Thụy Điển, con của một thầy dạy võ và một cô thợ máy… liệu tất cả những yếu tố này có kết hợp với nhau để tạo nên nền tảng cho những tác phẩm của chị hay không? Chị sẽ làm gì nếu không phải là một nhà thiết kế thời trang?

Nhu: Nếu bạn từng di cư đến một đất nước mới khi còn là một đứa trẻ – như tôi đã di cư từ Việt Nam đến Thụy Điển – hiển nhiên bạn sẽ luôn cố gắng để thích ứng với môi trường mới và đến một chừng mực nào đó, sáng tạo nên một con người mới của bạn. Thời trang có thể là một sự diễn đạt rõ ràng nhất về điều này, đưa những thứ mà bạn có thể biết từ một ngữ cảnh văn hóa và đặt nó vào một không gian khác. Tôi đã luôn muốn được làm một nhà thiết kế thời trang và thích chơi với quần áo từ sớm, bởi đối với tôi nó là một dạng của trò chơi đóng vai. Tôi nghĩ rằng cả hai khía cạnh biểu hiện và cơ thể của Bố, cũng như nghệ thuật và những cách may quần áo sáng tạo của Mẹ đã có ảnh hưởng đến phong cách của tôi. Nếu tôi không chọn con đường này, có thể tôi đã trở thành một diễn viên.

Neocha: What are your influences in fashion? How should one feel when wearing your clothes?

Nhu: On the one hand, I often directly experiment with clothes and materials on myself. In this regard, styling becomes an important part of my process. The ability to change garments by mixing and matching them is intriguing. On the other hand, I get a lot of inspiration from my friends around me – especially the ones who do not work directly in fashion, such as artists and musicians. I like to look at how other people actually wear my clothes and integrate them into their own wardrobe. I am interested exactly in this transformative power of fashion.


Neocha: Ai là người đã có ảnh hưởng đến chị trong lĩnh vực thời trang? Một người sẽ có cảm giác thế nào khi mặc quần áo của chị?

Nhu: Một mặt, tôi thường tự mình thử nghiệm với quần áo và vật liệu. Xét về khía cạnh này, tạo mẫu phong cách đã trở thành một phần quan trọng trong quá trình của tôi, thay đổi trang phục theo cách phối đồ. Mặt khác, tôi nhận được rất nhiều cảm hứng từ những người bạn quanh mình, đặc biệt là những người không làm việc trực tiếp trong ngành thời trang như các nghệ sĩ và nhạc sĩ. Tôi thích nhìn ngắm cách mà mọi người mặc quần áo của tôi và tích hợp chúng vào tủ quần áo của họ. Nói một cách chính xác, tôi rất quan tâm đến sức mạnh chuyển hóa này của thời trang.

Neocha: Are there any new directions you are exploring, or what are some of your current obsessions? What do you look at or immerse yourself in for inspiration?

Nhu: The most fascinating thing about fashion is that it is positioned at the crosspoint of many cultural fields – ranging from art and music to architecture and business. I think this is where the aspect of collaboration becomes important in my work, it allows me to open up my process and question the limits of fashion. It’s rather fascinating to see how context can change the perception of your work. In my opinion, the principle of collaboration challenges or rather extends traditional notions of the fashion designer.


Neocha: Liệu chị có đang khám phá hoặc ám ảnh với một chiều hướng mới nào không? Chị thường xem hay đắm chìm vào một thứ gì để tìm cảm hứng?

Nhu: Một điểm thú vị của thời trang, là nó được đặt tại giao điểm của rất nhiều lĩnh vực văn hóa, từ nghệ thuật và âm nhạc đến kiến trúc và kinh doanh. Tôi cho rằng đây chính là điểm mà khía cạnh hợp tác trở nên quan trọng trong công việc của mình, cho phép tôi nhìn bao quát được quy trình của mình và đặt câu hỏi về giới hạn của thời trang. Việc chứng kiến cách mà ngữ cảnh có thể thay đổi nhận thức về công việc của bạn thật sự rất thú vị. Theo quan điểm của tôi, nguyên tắc hợp tác sẽ thách thức, hoặc chính xác hơn là mở rộng các quan niệm truyền thống của một nhà thiết kế thời trang.

Neocha: In this era of fast fashion, cult brands, and information at one’s fingertips via the internet, what are the challenges of being a fashion designer today? Who do you look up to?

Nhu: The internet has made fashion much more accessible. Now everybody can check fashion shows online and look through archives of imagery, which creates a heightened awareness about the history of fashion. At the same time, it was never this easy to reach a global audience and this has allowed me to experiment with different methods of producing, presenting and distributing fashion. I’m hoping to develop a sustainable model to produce fashion that’s beyond seasons and in my own pace. On one hand, I respect Rei Kawakubo for her creative approach towards branding; on the other hand, I admire Azzedine Alaïa for his timeless dedication to craft beyond season.


Neocha: Trong kỷ nguyên Internet, thời trang ăn liền và các thương hiệu được tôn thờ, các thách thức mà một nhà thiết kế thời trang phải đối mặt ngày nay là gì? Chị có thầy cô giáo hay ai đó hỗ trợ phát triển sản phẩm của mình không?

Nhu: Internet đã giúp thời trang trở nên dễ tiếp cận hơn bao giờ hết. Giờ đây, tất cả mọi người đều có thể xem các buổi trình diễn thời trang trực tuyến và tra cứu hồ sơ hình ảnh, tạo nên một cảm nhận cao hơn về lịch sử của thời trang. Cùng lúc đó, việc tiếp cận khán giả trên toàn cầu chưa bao giờ lại dễ dàng đến thế này và nó đã cho phép tôi thử nghiệm với các phương thức sản xuất, trình bày và phân phối thời trang khác nhau, hi vọng sẽ phát triển được một mô hình bền vững để sản xuất thời trang, vượt qua giới hạn các mùa và theo nhịp độ riêng của tôi. Mặt khác, tôi tôn trọng những người như Rei Kawakubo vì phương pháp tiếp cận sáng tạo của bà đối với thương hiệu; tôi cũng rất ngưỡng mộ những người như Azzedine Alaïa vì sự tận tụy không ngừng nghỉ của ông đối với nghệ thuật vượt quá giới hạn của mùa

Neocha: What has your experience as an Asian female designer in the fashion world been like? What advice would you give to young designers fresh out of school today?

Nhu: My background influences me personally. You may even recognize different cultural influences in my work. However, this is not really something I really think about or try to thematize. I think it is more important to reinvent yourself, to break away from classical stereotypes of gender and race as my own points of reference are actually way more complex and fragmented. I think one should question one’s own motives for creating fashion in the first place, and in doing so, foster a critical dialogue on the role of fashion and its history.


Neocha: Trải nghiệm của chị với tư cách là một nữ thiết kế gốc châu Á trong thế giới thời trang? Chị có lời khuyên nào cho các nhà thiết kế trẻ mới tốt nghiệp ngày nay?

Nhu: Nguồn gốc của tôi đã có ảnh hưởng cá nhân đến phong cách của tôi. Bạn thậm chí còn có thể nhận thấy các ảnh hưởng văn hóa khác trong những tác phẩm của tôi, tuy nhiên đây không phải là một điều gì đó mà tôi thật sự nghĩ đến, hay cố gắng chủ đề hóa. Tôi nghĩ việc quan trọng hơn cả là hãy sáng tạo lại bản thân bạn, để thoát khỏi những quan niệm rập khuôn cổ điển về giới tính và chủng tộc, bởi các điểm tham chiếu của tôi luôn phức tạp và phân mảnh hơn thế rất nhiều. Tôi nghĩ rằng một người trước hết nên đặt câu hỏi đối với động lực học thời trang của chính họ, và qua đó phát triển một cuộc hội thoại thiết yếu về vai trò và lịch sử của thời trang.

Website: nhuduong.com

 

Contributor: Jia Li
Photographer: Marie Angeletti
Images Courtesy of Nhu Duong & Marie Angeletti


Trang mạng: nhuduong.com

 

Người gửi bài: Jia Li
Nhiếp ảnh gia: Marie Angeletti
Ảnh do Nhu Duong & Marie Angeletti cung cấp

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The Work of Kouzou Sakai

April 18, 2016 2016年4月18日

With a bachelor’s degree in animal science and biotechnology, Kouzou Sakai isn’t a typical illustrator. He didn’t take the normal route of attending a fine art school, nor did he have the luxury of having connections in the publishing or advertising field. Now based in Tokyo, Japan and working as a freelancer, Kouzou has carved out his own career path as an artist. His distinctively recognizable body of work alternates between fairly minimalistic images featuring nondescript men in suits, to intricate illustrations of delightfully imaginary worlds filled with flying vehicles and various animals. Kouzou recently talked with us about the journey that brought him to where he is today, and his approach to creating the serene atmospheric settings seen in his work.


動物科学とバイオテクノロジーの学士号を持つKouzou Sakaiは標準的なイラストレーターではない。彼は、美術学校で学ぶといった通常の経歴を辿ることも、出版や広告分野との繋がりを持つという恩恵を受けることもなかった。現在、東京を拠点にフリーランサーとして活動する彼は、アーティストとしてのキャリアを自ら切り開いたのである。一目見てそれとわかる彼の作品コレクションには、特徴のないスーツ姿の男性が登場するかなりミニマリスティックな図柄がある一方で、空飛ぶ乗り物や様々な動物がひしめく楽しげな架空の世界を描いた複雑なイラストも見られる。彼は、現在の彼を作り上げた経歴、また、その作品に存在する穏やかな空気感を生み出すためのアプローチについて答えてくれた。

Neocha: How did you first become interested with illustration?

KouzouAs a child, I loved picture books showing different flora and fauna. I used to draw so many pictures of insects, birds, animals, fish, flowers, and so on. In my teenage years, I became passionate about sports and stopped drawing for a while. I’ve always liked animals, so I entered a university where I could study something related. During that time, I had the opportunity to use an Adobe application for a bit, even though it wasn’t part of my course. This set me off on the path of taking drawing seriously. Afterwards, a lot of complicated things happened, but then I made the decision to become an illustrator after graduation.


Neocha:どのような経緯でイラストに興味を持ち始めたのですか?

Kouzou:幼い頃から動植物の図鑑が⼤好きで昆⾍、⿃、動物、⿂、花などの絵を頻繁に描いていました。 10代は、スポーツに熱中していたので絵を描くことからはしばらく離れました。そして私は⽣物が好きだったのでその分野の勉強ができる⼤学へ進学しました。授業ではありませんが、⼤学で少しAdobeのアプリケーションにふれる機会があり、それをきっかけに本格的に絵を描くように なりました。その後、複雑な事情が重なり、⼤学卒業後はイラストレーターへなりました。

Neocha: How did you make the jump from being a graduate with a degree in animal science and biotechnology to becoming a designer and illustrator? It seems like really different fields – what was the influencing factor?

Kouzou: There are several reasons why I changed my path and went into another field. One of them is that although I had originally entered university to research wild animals, I felt that transforming my interest into an actual job would be very difficult. So after graduating, I changed directions and began another kind of work that I also liked. Of course, I encountered a lot of difficulties, even after deciding to become an illustrator. Since I wasn’t a graduate coming from a fine arts university, I didn’t have any contacts in the publishing or advertising fields, and didn’t have any advice or assistance regarding my work. I guess the most difficult thing was that I didn’t have anyone to give me any advice – but with a lot of time and effort invested, I have arrived where I am today.


Neocha: 畜産学と生命工学の学位を持っているのにデザイナーと言うよりイラストレーターへ大きく転身したのはなぜですか・それは全く異なった分野のようですが、何が影響したのですか?

Kouzou異分野へ進路を変えたのはいくつか事情があります。その理由のひとつは、野⽣動物の研究のために⼤学に進んだものの、自分が興味を注いでいる分野を仕事に繋げるのは現実的にとても難しいと痛感しました。そして卒業後に進路を大きく変え、自分のもうひとつの好きことを仕事に選びました。 もちろんイラストレーターを目指してから困難が多かったです。私は美術系大学の出身ではないので、出版・広告業界にまったくコネクションを持っておらず、仕事や相談相⼿が皆無でした。 相談相⼿がいないのが⼀番つらかったかもしれません。年月を費やして少しずつ仕事いただけるようになり今に繋がっています。

NeochaHow would you describe the style of your artwork?

KouzouI have a few styles, but basically I begin by sketching my ideas out, and then later flesh them out using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. I aim to create illustrations that the largest possible number of people can find common ground with. Admittedly though, it’s a difficult task. I feel I can never stop at simply being personally satisfied with my work.


Neocha: あなたの作品/スタイルについて説明してくださいませんか?

Kouzou: いくつかスタイルがあるのですが、基本的にはアイデアスケッチを手描きで行い、その後Adobe IllustratorPhotoshopを使⽤して制作します。大変難しいことですが、できるだけ多くの人に価値を共有してもらえるような画を目指しています。自己満足で終わらないように気をつけています。

NeochaYour illustrations are peaceful, while also containing elements of beauty, stillness, and nostalgic. Where do you get your inspirations from?

KouzouI think that it is simply the result of me subconsciously remembering and storing a wide variety of information from different media around me – whether it’s from movies, novels, or something else. Some artists that I particularly respect include René François, Ghislain Magritte, and Tove Marika Jansson.


Neocha: あなたのイラストは、美しさ、静けさと郷愁の要素が含まれていると同時に、平和的であると特徴を述べられています。何から発想を得ていますか?

Kouzou: 映画、小説など、身の回りの様々なものから無意識に自分の好きな情報を断片的に記憶へ蓄積していっている結果だと思います。尊敬しているアーティストは、René François Ghislain Magritte, Tove Marika Janssonです。

NeochaDo you feel like Tokyo has an influence on your work?

Kouzou: Unfortunately, I don’t go outside very much – so I really don’t feel I am particularly influenced by Tokyo. I don’t really like crowds. Although I live in Tokyo now, I was actually raised in a small countryside town, close to the ocean and the mountains. I think that that town had more influence on me than Tokyo does.


Neocha: 現在住んでいる東京は、あなたの作品に影響を与えていますか?

Kouzou残念ながら私はほとんど出かけないので、東京からはあまり影響を受けていません。私は人混みがあまり好きではありません。現在は東京に住んでいますが、私は幼少期に海、⼭がある⽥舎街で育ちました。東京よりもその頃の影響が大きいと思います。

NeochaWhat do you intend to communicate through your art?

KouzouI honestly don’t have a very clear message. I don’t really like to explain my work. I am happy when people see my work and are able to interpret its meaning for themselves, freely.


Neocha: あなたの芸術作品を通じて何を伝えたいと思いますか?

Kouzou: 明確なメッセージはありません。作品を見た人がそれぞれにストーリーを自由に想像して愉しんでくれたら私はうれしいです。ですので、私は自分の作品を説明するのをあまり好きではありません。

Website: kouzou.org
Behance
: ~/kouzou
Facebook: ~/ksillustrations
Instagram: @kouzou_sakai_illustrations


ウェブサイトkouzou.org
Behance
: ~/kouzou
Facebook: ~/ksillustrations
Instagram: @kouzou_sakai_illustrations

Contributor: David Yen
I
mages Courtesy of Kouzou Sakai