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.

Jean Paul Gaultier for Target

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There hasn’t been much promotion going on around Melbourne but I do want to point out the awesome 20th annual event of Virgin Australia’s Melbourne Fashion Festival. The event took place  from  March 7th to the 13th and it was one hell of a week filled with elite  runways, seminars and workshops for aspiring fashion designers and fashion enthusiasts around Melbourne, particularly myself. Thanks to Creative Victoria, I was extremely fortunate this year to book a  seat  at my first runway show, and it couldn’t get any better knowing  it was Jean Paul Gaultier’s show for Target.

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Whenever someone asks you to define “Haute Couture” you should tell them to google Jean Paul Gaultier. His designs are a  vehicle for driving haute couture to the highest limits, without Gaultier there are no couture shows that are comparable to his. If you love architecture and fashion then he’s your guy – most of his prominent works blur the lines between these two fields of practice. His crazy outlook on the world, over-exaggerated costume ideas and success had previously landed him a role as a creative director in Hermes for over 7 years. After Hermes, Gaultier’s  name kept surpassing the list of best designers in the world,  an exhibition was even held in Montreal to celebrate his prodigious  career. You may have also noticed his exhibition at the NGV last year, The Fashion World of Gaultier. I’m disappointed I didn’t get a chance to go but my friend who went did learn that his first runway shows featured men wearing skirts. Hah how cute!

It came to my surprise earlier this year  to hear Gaultier doing  a collaboration with Target Australia to create an affordable range of clothing as part of the ‘designers for Target’ movement. Seeing a designer who’s so used to doing  cutting-edge designs and now creating a simpler range is a pretty challenging move.  Last time there was Roberto Cavalli which seemed to be a success. After seeing the runway I thought Gaultier  executed the Target range quite well, I spotted a bit of Gaultier with the trademark corset and cone bra designs sewn onto  some of the garments. I didn’t get to take many photos but  when I did, they were mostly blurry and unusable for this post. I should’ve brought my DSLR! Here’s a quick look of JPG’s notable playful aesthetics:

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Madonna with Gaultier’s cone corset

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JPG Haute Couture 2014

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Fall 2009

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Fall 2008

spring 2014

Ai Weiwei x Andy Warhol

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If you’re down in Melbourne and trying to find something to do this summer, I recommend seeing  the Andy Warhol x Ai Weiwei  exhibition. Even if art isn’t your thing, it’s still a joyous experience that will leave a lasting impression when you exit the doors…or maybe I’m a little bit too biased because I love Warhol but seriously, most of my friends went here last month and seemed to have enjoyed it (as evident in their Facebook and Instagram photos) and so did my Mom!

To be honest I had no clue what the exhibition was about. I thought it might’ve been a series of commissioned paintings that Weiwei and Warhol did together. It actually was not. The exhibition features Warhol’s iconic works taken directly from the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh mirrored with Weiwei’s 21st century works – it’s a contrast between American culture and Chinese culture, with both artists drawing major inspiration from another artist, Marcel Duchamp.

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What surprised me was that Ai Weiwei never met Warhol despite both being in New York at the same time in the 80s. Both are nearly the same age, only that Warhol was an established artist and Weiwei wasn’t. The first English book Weiwei read was “The Philosophy of Andy Warhol” which pretty much influenced  Weiwei in his artistic ventures.  What I got out of this gallery was that both lived two very different yet similar lives. Throughout the exhibition you’ll see the parallels between Beijing and New York City, both cities having such a large impact in their lives – Warhol was fascinated with Mainland China and visited Beijing whilst Weiwei was born in Beijing and lived in New York for 10 years.

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A triptych featuring Ai Weiwei made in knock-off Lego blocks. Probably over 1,000 used for each panel?

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These flying golden alpacas and red twitter birds is Weiwei’s 21st century interpretation of  Warhol’s Silver Cloud installation from 1966. This interactive installation was hilarious!

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The ‘Letgo room’. Weiwei’s commissioned piece for the NGV is a room featuring portraits and quotes of Australian human rights campaigners, again made entirely in fake Lego blocks.

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The exhibition had a great mix of interactivity, loud evocative art coming in various forms and mediums such as photography, screen prints, sculptures, film and video. It ends in April so there’s still plenty of time to head over.

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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