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

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:


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.


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


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


Spicy raviolli at Vapiano


Combination laksa and fried rice at Laksa King
Photo-15-05-2016,-7-06-47-PM13177601_501120653430733_8397249302837451068_nSalt and pepper tofu, egg net at Longrain

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!



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!

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!