KAWS: Where the End Starts Shanghai Exhibition

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By far the most favorite exhibition of mine is this one.

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There was a time last year my Mom came home with a few KAWS T-shirts from Uniqlo and I was wondering how on earth could she possibly know who KAWS is. I questioned my Mom and her response was, “what’s a KAWS? I just got these shirts because the designs are so cute and on sale.”

“Mami, oh my god. KAWS is awesome, your shirts are awesome, you’re awesome for buying them. Oh my gosh. Can’t. Stop. Smiling. I need to go to Uniqlo. Now.” I couldn’t help but repeat how much I worship KAWS’ works in front of my Mom.

Fast forward to this year, KAWS announced his next major exhibition in Shanghai and I was telling my Mom how much I wanted to go. The idea of going to Shanghai was always floating in my mind but nah, I thought it’d be ridiculous to go all the way for an exhibition. Then Dad brought up how he wanted to visit China for a holiday and has been getting emails about special deals. I thought, why not. Let’s just go.

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Brian Donnelly, known as KAWS, started as a graffiti artist and has been long regarded as a pop artist and designer. He’s collaborated with some of my favorite brands, especially with Medicom toys who produce Bearbricks. His sculptures can be as small as 10cm and as tall as 10 meters high. In contrast to his sculptures, the shape of his canvas paintings mimic the silhouette of popular culture characters such as Snoopy and the rest of the Peanuts gang. His acrylic paintings are mesmerizing to look at because of how clean his painting style is – they all look like printed canvases once you see it in person. At times I didn’t believe they were paintings. Solid blocks of color are evenly applied to properly communicate the 2D subjects in his work. KAWS uses cartoons as subjects because of his inspiration going to Japan early in his life. Cartoons are universally understood, unlike regular politics. Cartoons communicate better and are always embraced by people.

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Thanks to the owner of Yuz Museum, Budi Tek, for bringing this exhibition to life and creating such a wonderful space for it. Being able to walk around the art, seeing it clearly up-close and from afar gave it a sense of structure and intimacy. Looking at the Companion sculptures across the space, there’s heaps of those “awww” moments, especially when you first walk in and peer up at the giant Clean Slate sculpture. I hope a KAWS exhibition will happen in Melbourne sometime soon. If there’s a KAWS exhibition or installation nearby, you better go check it out.

When cats and dogs fight…

…it gets messy in real life and most of us prefer to keep it tidy, literally. The team at BubbleTea Entertainment put together a friendly game that turns the messiness into a clean 2D brawl between two of the world’s most loved pets.

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Furry Trooper  is free to download on the app store and is only playable on iOS devices.

I initially did BubbleTea Ent’s branding when they launched just over a year ago and I remember getting carried away drawing up too many 8bit bubble tea cup concepts to the point I had a hard time narrowing it down just to one cup design. It was at this point where I found 2D game design becoming more of a hobby. One of the guys from BubbleTea Entertainment  drew inspiration from anime and all those kawaii cartoons which seamlessly  tied  into my style of design and interests. I then got involved in the design process of Furry Trooper ever since its development in October 2016.  After lots of meetings, workshopping and countless renaming of files, the game is finally up and everyone in the team really played their part in making it happen.

 

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View more  in my design gallery.

December update

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Happy December people. Here’s a Soju (Korean beer) Christmas tree to kick off this festive month. Actually, I saw this the beginning of November so my festivities had already started. We all can’t believe it’s already December, everyone around me including myself can’t stop saying “S*** it’s December already?!” Guys, stop it, you’re making me panic for no reason! I swear the busier things get the faster time goes. If I could slow down time, I really would. It’s one way to define my brief hiatus from blogging in November and overall, a mere absence this second half of 2016. Without getting too detailed, here are a few photos and words that almost concisely captures my life these past few months. Not all that entertaining but read on if you insist.

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1. I mentioned my work with Malala Coffee and it is currently supporting the Coffee Exchange regime. While this is all in the pursuit of social change, it’s leaning more towards the business aspect of coffee. Coffee Exchange is an online market place  directly connecting farmers to cafes, restaurants and other companies in hospitality.

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2. I’ve finally got my hands on these Pantone swatches. This thing saves your life when it comes to printing on all sorts of materials. I’ve managed to survive without one all these freelancing years but it wasn’t until I was at Jin & Co. when this grabbed my attention on a branding project. Of course, I was introduced to it at uni but we had the handy Adobe Illustrator digital  colorbook  swatch to rely on – not always great given that colors on screen are never accurate. My main purpose for making a move on this is not for freelancing, but for fashion.

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3. I’ve been featured in my 3rd publication for the year, STELL magazine. You’ll find my interview and alongside a portrait of G-Dragon staring into your soul in the Dusk & Dawn  Issue VII.

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4.  Around September this year I was introduced to the idea of an upcoming bite-sized game. Scheduled for release early next year we hope it’ll be as much fun to play as it was building this along the way.

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5.  One of my highlights this year was working closely with the state and federal governments. I was then connected to these awesome bunch of people from the City of Melbourne as my clients for freelancing. Campaign work is all about hustle – I’ve never met a group of people who I had conversations with at 2am on a weekend to ensure the production of work is perfect. Even staying up all night laughing non-stop was part of the unforgettable memory. True story, I only ever share those moments with my boyfriend but it looks like my relationships with clients are just as romantic.Big shoutout to the Lord Mayor Robert Doyle, Cr Kevin Louey, Cr Tessa Sullivan,  Craig Bosworth, Da, Cherry and Patricia for being patient and bringing out the best in me under pressure. I’m no stranger to late night design work – I once got home at 4am from work and went back at 9am the same day. Luckily that was still when I was living in the city!

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6.  This morning I played badminton. Revisiting tennis and badminton this year is only a sign that I need to work on my fitness. One thing  I love to do is to keep a healthy body and maintain healthy habits. That said, I’m definitely not your gym buddy but I can definitely commit to being your tennis, ping pong or badminton buddy. I play the NBA on the Playstation so I can be your buddy for that too.

photo-28-10-16-8-11-28-pmFinally a shot I took straight after I filled my petrol at Costco. No I didn’t walk out of my car to get this, but I did grind to a halt at the exit before turning onto the road. Can’t ignore the gradient #DecemberVibes.

A right-brainer by day and occasional blogger by night, you've landed on a place where I live and breathe all things art, design, culture and fashion. You'll find me documenting my life in the creative field, endless travels with friends and family and a bit of food.

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