Posted Sep 26th 2008 by

Lead image

An interview with
KUANTHwords by , September 2008

Everyone makes mistakes. Every artist, designer, every human being does. We all do, but according to Kuanth, mistakes are a good thing, and I have to agree with him completely. “…perfection is boring, and mistakes can be beautiful…” they keep things interesting, unpredictable, exciting. So please enjoy the following interview, it is probably full of mistakes by me: but hopefully still fun, with a human touch and insightful into the ideas from Kuanth…

Hey Kuanth, welcome to “Thundeeeeeeer Chuuuuuuunky” !!!! How are you today? Doing anything interesting?

HELLO! I am feeling a little blue today, knowing that my idol – Nagi Noda has just passed away. What sad news!:~~~~(

For those who don’t know you, please tell us a bit about yourself in 3 easy-to-follow steps.

• I am Kuanth the daydreamer, occasionally graphic and products designer, and an illustrator.
• I have a son named Noody (woof!).
• I am very into things that are dark and mysterious.

Doodle 1
Doodle 2

Doodles

I first saw your work, the ‚Äòtheme park’ model last year in the Tiger Translate ‚ÄòMerge’ project. Can you tell us about this project, and what it was like to fly over to New York for this event, working with other great artists, like Surface to Air, Stephen Lau, Jing, etc:? Was this your first time in New York?

Oh yes, that was my first time in New York. Loved it. It has so much energy and so much going on in every corner in the city. It was such an honor to have met with so many talented people in the creative industry there, it has also broadened my horizons. It reminds me that there are numerous possibilities out there.

A few months back, in May 2008, Tiger Translate set up another project ‚ÄòMuseum on the streets’ in Singapore. You had an installation set up, in that Chinese paper-cutting style again, which people can interact and play with. How did it turn out?

The Tiger Translate ‘Museum on the streets’ was such a great idea as it brings art to the public, having close interaction with the audiences was simply amazing. As the theme was Energy, my concept behind it was about the co-creation of life and energy in my futurepolis comes from constructive interaction and integration with nature. So, the audiences can inject their ‘energy’ and creativity by stamping and drawing on the mural as part of the installation. Most of all, having FUN doing it!

Tiger Street Museum

Tiger Street Museum

You worked in the publishing industry and then in advertising for quite a few years. Which project do you think kicked off your freelance career, and got you noticed? Was this the extra push you needed to pursue your freelancing fulltime?

Em… I think Tiger Translate ‘Merge’ in New York has given me a very good opportunity. I have definitely gained more exposure. And all these exposures tend to open more doors for me in my career path.

I know you don’t like to be pigeonholed into a specific style or area of expertise, creating work across a variety of mediums, each one with its unique style and appeal. Which project has been your favourite ‚Äòso far’? Has there been any jobs that you wished you didn’t do?

This is really a hard question for me, but for now, it has to be the work that I did for www.hintmag.com, and not to mention my own project – Mistake by kuanth, because I have all the freedom to explore and experiment with anything I like. It is also an outlet for ideas branching from unusual places where anything goes ‚Äì from decorative display to haute tableware, from dolls to fashion accessories. It doesn’t conform, alienate or judge. I think perfection is boring, and mistakes can be beautiful. You can visit kuanth.blogspot.com for more!

For the jobs I wished that I didn’t do, this is even a tougher question. hahaha… I must say, what has been done is done.

Mistake

Mistake

What other styles or areas would you like to experiment with next?

I would like to see myself doing more non-commercial jobs, to develop and grow my own brand, and perhaps to set up a shop selling the things I like, It could be furniture, antique, fashion, products, or my own design or drawing, and food invented by me!

Who/What has influenced your work, during your childhood, and now? And is there anyone you would really love to work with in the future?

I was a very quiet kid during my childhood, I remember drawing or inventing a lot of stories in any paper I got in hand. Maybe simply because I didn’t have many childhood friends before going to primary school. But my elder sister whom studied fine art really influenced me a lot when choosing a creative related career as my profession. For now, I guess it’s basically anything and everything surrounding me that gives me inspirations.

Who would I love to work with in the future?? I’m quite open to this, but I’m particularly interested in fashion and product design at the moment. Or something I have never tried before. OK, I can name a few here, Nagi Noda (sadly she just left us), Jamie Hayon, Victor&Rolf, Alexander McQueen, Hussein Chalayan, Miucca Prada, Bless, MM Paris, Non-format, ID, Surface, Dazed & Confused, So-En, French Vogue, French L’officiel… and the lists go on.

65-90685476, If any of you see me here, please give me a call, anytime! :P

You have collaborated quite a few times with your partner, illustrator Sokkuan, (who we will also be featuring later) on projects for Heineken, Nokia, Motorola, etc: how did you guys meet?

Sokkuan is my secret lover, mistress. hehehehe… Sokkuan is my best friend, soul mate and working partner, we know each other since we were 16. Technically we were secondary schoolmates, and we also went to the same art colleague.

What are the best and worst things about working with each other?

I think the best thing about working with each other is that we can always share the same goal and ideas in work. And we trust each other so much. Other than that, we also like bitching together. Haha!

About worst thing with each other… I will email to you privately.:P

See you in the dark

See you in the dark

I am extremely fond of your darker illustration style, as seen in some of your newer work, and the ‚ÄòLe monde est a nous ‚Äì The World is Ours’ exhibition (Kuanth + Sokkuan) in 2007. Can you tell us a little about this style, and the exhibition?

‚ÄòLe monde est a nous ‚Äì The World is Ours’ exhibition featured total of 12 artists. Sokkuan and I were scheduled as the 2nd pair. As we both are always fascinated by things that are unusual, quirky with a good sense of humor, and darkness is a very powerful medium which lets our imagination roam without boundaries. So that’s how we came out with the theme of ‘See You In The Dark’.

See you in the dark

See you in the dark

Ok, now lets talk about your son, your lovely dog Noody. Has Noody influenced any of your work or maybe even destroyed one of your creations by accident?

Noody teaches me how to appreciate every single little thing such as an apple and being always curious in life.

Noody

Noody

What music is usually playing when you are hard at work?

Anything from itune radio.

If you weren’t an artist/designer, what other profession do you think you would like to try? I know you love food, so a chef maybe?

Seriously I don’t know what can I be if I’m not in the creative line. Chef sounds too stressful, can I be a porn star?

And if you were a food, what kind of food would you use to describe yourself?

I want to be the sinful caramel that goes well with any desserts.

Have you come across any inspirational or useful art/design websites that you would love to share with our Thunder Chunky audience?

I think www.issuu.com is cool as you can publish your own magazine/portfolio online.

Finally, what’s the one thing that everyone should do today?

Breath.

There is just too much information on Kuanth, online, he has around 5 blogs, and has been featured/interviewed many times. Hopefully this will add to your knowledge of this amazing Asian artist: please view the following sites to learn more… http://www.kuanth.com/ and http://kuanth.blogspot.com/.

POSTED BY Stephen

Share on Pinterest
There are no images.
(One Comment) - click to comment/read
  • […] I recently interviewed Singapore illustrators “Kuanth” […]

  • Featured book

    Jimmy Corrigan

    Media Temple

    TC Contributors

    Here we are... all the people who make TC tick! Browse all the articles we've written, or find out more.