Zenith

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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! 

June update

Sometimes it’s easier to sum everything up in one big post…then create smaller ones based on the big post down the track. Warning: It’s a long post.

To sum things up I’ve put together a list:

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1. Last September it was announced my artworks are going to be part of a publication of inspiring artists in Asia plus a potential exhibition was going to be held based on it. The exhibition officially happened last week with guest speaker and artist SAKIROO hosting the opening in Taiwan. There were many attendees (sad I couldn’t make it) but it was a delight to be updated with emails of photos and videos showcasing the event. I’ll make a post about this as soon as I can!

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In the mean time please check out SAKIROO’s works. He  lives in Seoul, has exhibited  in 10 countries and has his own Wikipedia page (yep, you can’t get more legit than that). Finally, he  is a true inspiration who’s made a successful living out of his love for art and design.

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2. Lately Roth Management and I have been working on launching online campaigns for Malala Coffee. It’s still in its early stages but you can check out our kickstarter campaign here.  To get a clearer vision of what the coffee’s about and how we got on board, I also made a post about the brand months ago.  Malala Coffee was in concept development last year and only this year has the brand been refined. Again, I will make a post about this in the coming weeks.

Photo-17-05-2016,-11-46-58-PM3.  I’ve temporarily moved into the city for work purposes! The city isn’t a foreign place to me. I enjoy the city buzz and the imperfections that come with it ie: distant sound of police sirens, loud people yapping their night away. Something about these background noises bring a vivid memory of Manhattan – my favorite place  on earth outside of home.

Photo-30-05-2016,-2-12-18-PM Photo-20-05-2016,-5-53-09-PMI’ve found some awesome food places around the city, even a quick take out from the food mall downstairs is so tasty. One of them is  Donburi & BBQ – they do the best spicy pork dish and they have great lunch specials with a mini buffet. I live upstairs so going downstairs for food proves to be the biggest convenience. There’s also a sushi burger joint next door which chris surprised me with dinner one day. Tastiest bento box I’ve had!

Photo-1-06-2016,-6-20-03-PMThere are also some places I’d like to throw under the spotlight. Here we go… (excuse the mess)Photo-24-05-2016,-6-32-06-PMSliced beef, pad thai, calamari and thai iced tea at Fomo Thai
Photo-31-05-2016,-6-51-54-PMCold noodles, takoyaki, Sapporo beer and Ox tongue at Shimbashi Soba and Sake bar

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Mini tofu, barley water and the sweet pork buns at the the crowded Tim Ho Wan

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Spicy raviolli at Vapiano

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Combination laksa and fried rice at Laksa King
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One thing I get excited about is the idea of a small gym and a rooftop tennis court in the apartment complex. The only person in the building who uses the tennis court is me and my roommate. Together, we have 9 years of combined tennis experience so thankfully we’re not that bad on the court – at least the ball doesn’t go over the fence and land on someone’s head downstairs!

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It’s a nice experience being in exposed to a different environment in contrast to the suburbs and living with a bubbly roommate is an added bonus to this city lifestyle.

4. I got invited back to see the 2016 Top Arts Exhibition  so I’ll be sure to catch that before it all ends. It was also a slight reminder for me to  return to my artworks and work on more creative goodies for this second half of the year. I haven’t drawn since the end of February and it already feels weird to delay my drawings for this long!

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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