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The Artists Behind the Pillars

You visited Lomography Gallery Store Singapore. You saw the quirky camera characters on the pillars at the walkway. They are dancing with joy, looking at you with a smile. You thought that is part of our design plan? It was actually a spontaneous artistic approach by our local budding illustrator Hanzhi and 1G!

We are honored to have two talented illustrators Hanzhi and 1G to do a LIVE illustration during Lomography Gallery Store Opening Party! It was not an easy task for them to have more than 300 pairs of eyes looking at them while they were drawing. The result is a bold, spontaneous, funny, quirky, and lively interpretation about Lomography in Singapore!

We know that you want to know them more. Here you go, some insights about them and the illustration!

1. What is your illustration style?

Hanzhi: My works emphasize very much on intricate details with the use of the most basic elements of design, ie. lines and shapes. To me, it is always fascinating to see how the simplest elements create complex and exciting forms and hence I adopt that ideal. We always start small and build on and be stronger. With these detailed works, I often complement them with solid blocks of colours, playing with the positive and negative spaces. This illustration style evolves as I use different mediums and materials, and I’m confident that it’s open to a myriad of possibilities. Essentially, no matter what styles I choose to adopt for my illustrations, I want my illustrations to make people happy, I wish they bring smiles to people.

1G: Although Im still looking for my own distinct style to call it my own, Ive been experimenting with different styles particularly such as flat vector styles(no details) and repeated patterns. It has been almost 2 years since Ive been doing these styles on different walls. Theres still room for me to experiment, to find my own voice, because thats what a creative individual will do right? But its safe to say that my style is most on flat illustrations with wacky compositions and im comfortable with painting and illustrating repeated stuffs, for now.

2. What gives you inspiration?

Hanzhi: A quiet mind gives me inspiration. A “ready” mind for inspirations welcomes them. Hence, they often come to me when I have my cup of green tea latte, my laptop, sketchbook, and different types of pen by me in a cosy environment, for instance a cafe or even at home. I believe our minds often need time to rest and reflect upon the many things we came across everyday, taking a little time off to understand what is around us, and thus this is often the best time many ideas evolve and I’m motivated to act on them. To me, inspirations are essentially what we observe with our senses (hearing, seeing, tasting, feeling and smelling), and down to how we translate them into something.

1G: Anything and everything that i see and find interesting. You can put it in a category of " Love at First Sight" kind of thing. Music and Food included. And especially people who supports and gave encouragements to me.

3. What is Lomography to you?

Hanzhi: Lomography, to me, is a form of spirit, a spirit that embraces “imperfections”. The beautiful part of it is that, it motivates one to keep trying and the idea of “I give up!” never gets to pop-up. Where in many societies, including our own, may be intolerant with the slightest mistakes, Lomography has successfully challenged this ideal way of life in the most exciting and cheerful way. In fact, everyone is enjoying the “mistakes” they make now with Lomography cameras. I love it when a new term is given to mistakes in the Lomography context; Mistakes = Happy Accidents.

1G: A way to have fun with interesting cameras and the different concept of each camera, but most importantly the surprise of it after it is being develop.

4. What is your concept on the pillar? Is there any special message that you want to convey?

Hanzhi: There wasn’t meant to be any special messages hidden in the design. I was kind of inspired by the night I first visited the Lomography Store Singapore where I was overwhelmed by the number of cameras in the house. Everyone was excited about the Grand Opening the next day and I was given the task to illustrate the pillars. I was looking at the cameras and it felt like the cameras were characters that looked back at me. I can almost imagine a Lomography version of Night at the Museum where these cameras came alive and start to tour this new country that they are in. Hence, the design of the pillars are filled with quirky Lomography camera characters taking a tour around Singapore, doing various activities and documenting their journeys.

1G: As the lead concept was thought over by Hanzhi, my personal input was to have fun elements around it. As Lomography is a fun and free concept, hence the elements around it are meant to be just plain out fun and wacky!

5. Is this a challenging task to you?

Hanzhi: Definitely. It was more of the anxiety I have to manage, having to illustrate the pillars within a day’s notice. Design was not even fully ready during the execution, much improvisation was done. However, I was really grateful that Lomography liked my style of illustration and gave 1G and I the full authority over the ultimate design of the pillars. It was the trust that allowed this success. In fact, they only managed to see the full design after it was completed. To any designers or illustrators, I guess this is what we wish for, for any of our clients to believe in us fully, with minimal doubts.

1G: I will honestly say each and every different creative tasks im given throughout the years to be challenging. As every different tasks requires different situations, that is a challenge to me. For the task on the pillars, I have to accommodate to Hanzhi’s style of illustration, so that both Hanzhi’s pillar and mine have the same look and feel. From these challenges, I learnt something new, something which I will not take for granted.

6. What is your favourite Lomography camera and why?

Hanzhi: My favourite Lomography camera is Holga. It was a sentimental gift from a really great buddy of mine. I guess it allows the most unexpected happy accidents to occur as it is very versatile. Be it shot with a 35mm or a 120mm film, the effect blows me off. I refuse to tape the sides of my camera to allow light leaks, putting in a 35mm film getting the sprockets effect, vignetting is a “will-have”, many modifications can be done to Holga and I simply love its versatility.

1G: Throughout the 10 years since I’ve been introduced to Lomography, sad to say I only own a Holga. Sorry to disappoint you. Haha. But the best thing about having friends who knows how to be in a good clean fun, each of them do own a Lomography camera. I tried different models throughout the years and once there was a friend of mine who lent me his Colorsplash for almost a year. Even though I had so much fun with it, especially the colours, I didn’t get myself one. Sorry about that again. So to put that as my favourite Lomography camera, it is a definite yes. But Lomography has evolve so much and all the camera models are pretty badass nowadays.

7. What other project that you would like to do with Lomography, and why?

Hanzhi: I will love to do more wall murals in and around Lomography stores as I love the idea of using real paints on the walls, giving the human touch on our concrete environment as I leave my marks wherever I go. I will also love to have the honour to design the covers of any Lomography cameras. Nothing beats owning something i designed myself and knowing people around me appreciating it like I do. :)

1G: If there’s a chance that lomography has an event with huge camera models displayed as big as a van, I will love to paint and illustrate on it. It will be nice if I can decorate your store too. To add on, it will be awesome to have my designs on a lomography camera model. Haha I sounded greedy. Wait, your question is “project”, not “projects”.

8. Where can we see your work?

Hanzhi: h4nzhi.blogspot.com

1G: 1gondrong.wordpress.com

At the end of the party, Hanzhi and 1G received a La Sardina Pattern Edition from Lomography. We can’t wait to see their lomographs!

written by meerly

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