In Melbourne, street fashion is growing faster than ever. Bomber and puffer jackets have dominated clothing racks in retailers and oversized sweaters paired with tights and sneakers have been the go-to winter outfit for many youngsters. Celebrities collaborating with designers such as Jeremy Scott and Raf Simons and of course the likes of my favorite girl band 2NE1 are endorsers of  this street style.

With this kind of influence, it’s no question why we’ve seen the birth of Giuseppe Zanotti in David Jones and Raf Simmons with Adidas in selected boutique sneaker shops. New retail stores like Sneakerboy   and  Republic Boutique  are the few street fashion hubs across  Melbourne and Sydney.

A store selling luxury street fashion does not yet exist in this city….until July 9th that is. Zenith is a new shop situated in the heart of the Melbourne CBD. It’s a condensed version of Collins St all under the one roof and I had the privilege of  getting  my first look at the opening.

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It’s a small space and from what I’ve observed, most of the items they stock are sweaters, t-shirts, bags and bag charms. I also wouldn’t have been able to find this gem if it wasn’t for my dear friend, June Chen, who was working with the Zenith team to create a  series of hand sculptures for a wall installation. June is a fellow artist who I connected with from a uni friend and  although I love street clothing, I was mainly at the opening  to see her work. The street clothing is of course a bonus!

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I thought the hands looked very realistic and were executed perfectly. They are moulds taken from real hands! She told me her  models had to sit in a chair for half an hour, in order for the hands to set before they could get taken off. It goes to show you how much patience and energy any sculpture requires. The worst thing is knowing that there’s a high possibility of breaking them as they are incredibly  fragile especially after they’ve dried, they’re prone to cracking if not moistened enough. From my past  experiences creating sculptures in my art classes and external projects, every  sculpture I ever made had cracks and annoying fingerprints. Only with the right skills, tools and bucket loads of patience will you have the ability  to deliver at a high standard. 

Whether you’re into funky luxurious streetwear or an art or interior design enthusiast, Zenith is always open for you to see. Go have a look and don’t touch the hands! 

2016 Outstanding Illustration Artists in Asia

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At this rate I could spam my website with all that’s happened in the Asia Art and Design exhibition but I’ve probably done enough of that across my social media channels. The Asia Art and Design platform hosted their exhibition this year along with a publication showcasing 40 selected artists from the Asia Pacific region. Last September I was announced to be in the lineup to represent Australia and was also proud to hear that some of my artist friends were on board as well, Croter Hung from Taipei, Miloza Ma from Hong Kong and Evan Raditya Pratomo from Indonesia.

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Held in the  Kaohsiung Exhibition Center, the AAD exhibition promotes a diverse body of artists, each having their own unique style made with different materials. Each piece had their own lightbox.

I wasn’t able to attend the exhibition but I did manage to get my hands on a copy of the official AAD book (thanks for mailing a huge book!). The beautiful cover art is taken from Evan’s illustration “Filled Her Lungs”. The design makes the book feel special from the moment you hold it. The idea of using a transparent cover to create the illusion of depth is an instant eye-catcher and Evan’s graphic amplifies that effect.

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In one of my recent posts I mentioned SAKIROO being the guest speaker of the event. His work has received international recognition and his A-list clientele is living proof of how memorable his work is. A South Korean-born character designer and illustrator, he took to the stage to share his inspiration and his vibrant portfolio with the much-captivated audience. It is bold artists like SAKIROO who are the fabric of this modern creative era.

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It’s worth taking a careful look at his work. www.sakiroo.com is the cure to your creative block if you ever come across one.

StArtUp: Top Arts 2016

Photo-6-06-2016,-12-47-45-PM-(2)Being invited back to see the Top Arts exhibition certainly made me feel nostalgic. Top Arts is one of those things that you just don’t take for granted, and I’m sure these students don’t. I remember the media demanding that I clear my schedule for one week to book in a guest speech, radio and newspaper interviews with photoshoots on top of that. Once your work is positioned in a public gallery, you can expect to get pampered by the media whether it’s good or bad – that my friends, is not an experience you get everyday. It certainly is daunting yet still a highlight that never ceases to amaze me. Photo-6-06-2016,-12-48-44-PMPhoto-6-06-2016,-12-50-03-PM Photo-6-06-2016,-12-53-22-PMPhoto-6-06-2016,-12-49-49-PMThe  StArtUp: Top Arts 2016 exhibition delves into the creative minds and thinking processes behind rising talents throughout Victoria. Young people tend to have the wildest ideas and applying their creative practices enables them to transform their ideas into a reality, hence the name “StArt Up”. Creative Victoria is a proud supporter of these events, events that justify a good sense of  creative thinking and encouraging younger generations to be ambitious. I am proud to be part of an organization that builds on this note. Thanks to them, I’m back here today to witness  the upcoming  generation of today.

The exhibition is situated in a dynamic contemporary art space at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia at Federation Square. Back in Top Arts 2012, there was no “StArtUp” added to the brand. As our current Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says, science and innovation is key to building better jobs and growth for the world, and by encouraging more startups and businesses under his plan, it’s only right that Top Arts rebrand themselves to “StArt Up: Top Arts” . This builds on a well-earned reputation for being one of the liveliest and most visited exhibitions in the Arts and culture calendar.
Photo-6-06-2016,-12-54-29-PM Photo-6-06-2016,-12-51-20-PMOne jump the exhibition made is viewing folios on iPads. In previous years viewers get an opportunity to look at the real folios in a special room dedicated to “folio viewing” where all folios are laid out on long tables, and under strict rules we’d have to wear gloves to avoid leaving fingerprints on the folio sheets. Now there’s no worry about that. These iPads get cleaned every 2 mins by the security – perhaps it’s not a bad idea if we still kept the gloves when looking at the  iPads? One issue I had was that the digital folios didn’t have great user interface, in other words, it was tricky swiping from one page to the next and the images aren’t clear on a 9 inch screen. Then again, compiling 50 pages worth of developmental work into a digital folio is quite a job to do. Everything about the new branding of Top Arts is more compact and unorthodox. The layout is wide and narrow with a blend of light and dark lighting. I enjoy visiting these galleries every year and look forward to the next.

Good luck to the next batch of year 12s who are aiming for Top Arts – I strongly comment you for that. EVOP032105

A right-brainer by day and occasional blogger by night, you've landed on a place where I document life in the creative field and endless travels with friends and family

Design had evolved naturally, as a passion and a lifestyle beginning at an early age when I made trips back to the motherland, Indonesia, I experienced the surroundings and the lifestyle that was vastly different from what I was used to. I found myself passing by villages where children made their own toys with whatever was left around them; scrap metal, bits of cloth, banana leaves, and even cigarette butts. Despite this, the children were happy and proud with anything they created.

This image struck me and forever inspires me to contribute my skills to places that need it the most. Design helps me make decisions, while art helps me take risks. Both areas reward me with opportunities to create something impactful and everlasting!