Sci-fi illustrations with characters dipped in streetwear is a bonafide subculture on Instagram, and the combination is a surefire way for artists to get fans. Standing out among that sprawling crowd takes work, and Taiwanese artist Chien-An Chou is levels above the rest.
科幻题材加上街头时尚打扮的角色，兼具这两种元素的插画成为了 Instagram 上的一种热门亚文化，也是一部分艺术家在 Instagram 上的吸粉秘诀。但是，要在众多同类型的艺术家中脱颖而出并非易事，而台湾艺术家周建安显然具备了比他人更胜一筹的本事。
In one image a bun-haired skater girl with bashed-up shins races a train, whipping up a frenetic cloud of dust around her. In another, a girl in baggy gear posts up against a cop car with a cyborg officer glancing out the window. A model in a blue tracksuit and chunky sneakers poses with a grin amidst towering red buildings and floating boom boxes. Racing uniforms, ‘90s polo shirts, souvenir jackets, high socks, and skate shoes pop up repeatedly.
在他的一张插画中，梳着发髻、腿上伤痕累累的滑板女孩正与一旁的火车赛跑，四周扬起阵阵灰尘；在另一张中，一个穿着宽松服装的女孩正靠着一辆警车，坐在里面的机器人警察探出来扫视着。还有一个身穿蓝色运动服和厚底运动鞋的女孩，在高耸的红色建筑和漂浮的立体音箱中，正笑着摆姿势。在他的插画中，赛车服、90 年代的 polo 衫、刺绣夹克、高筒袜和滑板鞋是最常见的元素。
His illustrations aren’t particularly meaningful—they’re pure aesthetics. But it’s work that oozes talent. Every movement pulsates with energy, every pose overflows with moodiness. The characters imagined by Chien-An Chou, always fashionably outfitted, inhabit a parallel-universe version of Taipei. Each vibrantly detailed frame takes three to four weeks to complete, he says, emphasizing the level of commitment behind his work.
Chou has been drawing almost his entire life. Although his parents were supportive, they worried he wouldn’t have a stable future. “Now that I have a certain level of success, their thinking towards painting has changed,” the Taiwanese artist says. He studied at an art school in Taipei and worked in advertising until two years ago, when he made the leap into full-time illustration. “Taiwan is not very friendly to artistic creation,” Chou laments. “Painting is considered a kind of hobby and not a career. I hope to change that perception.”
He’s on the right path so far. All of his characters wear intricately tailored clothes and accessories—originally just pieces he wanted to collect for his wardrobe. But now he’s gone from drawing clothes to putting his illustrations on his own streetwear band, C.A. CHOU.
Chou says that Taiwan still has a way to go in terms of fashion. He hopes that through his clothing label and artwork, he can encourage people to be more expressive and experimental with what they wear. “Few people here dress like this,” Chou says of his characters’ styles. “In the real world, everyone dresses more conservative. This style is simply a small subculture, for now. I’m looking forward to when people can become bolder and more courageous about wearing their own unique styles.”
目前来看，他选择走这条路没有错。他笔下的角色穿着样式各异、细节复杂的衣服和配饰。这些服饰都是他按照自己的喜好来画的。而现在，他更将画中设计的衣服，变成了他的个人街头潮牌 C.A. CHOU。