Our lifestyle is one patchwork of fashion trends, centred around the most random of elements, like a colour, a shape, or even a living creature – that steers the wonderful, emotive world of fashion. And when there’s a collision of art and fashion, that’s when it gets more interesting.
In a showcase of the interconnectedness between local art and fashion, local luxury fashion brand Bonia engaged in a partnership with Kakiseni, a non-profit arts platform, to highlight the potentials of fashion-art collaborations through two Malaysian artists, Long Thien Shih and Monica Lee.
In pursuit of another side of Bonia’s brand identity, the two artists dipped their toes into the world of fashion, and emerged with three poignant pieces. Thien Shih, a painter with over 50 years’ experience, created works around the theme of life, while Monica, a master of fine pencil art, presented the elegant side of Bonia with the theme ‘majestic beauty.’
Intrigued by their experience, we spoke to the artists about exploring and bridging the gap between both creative outlets.
On understanding their own artistic personality
Monica (M): I have an obsession with details and texture and perfectionist by nature. Every single detail is drawn neatly and precisely into my work.
Thien Shih (TS): As a child, I was good with making and creating things. It remains a continuous learning process for me as a fun-loving artist who cares about humanity.
Overcoming the challenges in bridging art and fashion
(M): At the beginning, I worried on how to incorporate fashion into my wildlife drawing. But after a better understanding of the Bonia brand and the free hand given to create, it turned out a fun project.
(TS): Art and fashion are always cross breeding ideas in the world we live. Since the ‘60s, fashion was appropriating images from art, and vice versa. Creatively, there is room for both domains to mutate.
Developing ideas for their art pieces
(M): I wanted to create drawings of animal that represents the Bonia's brand. The idea behind the first piece, “Majestic Beauty,” represents the elegant and majestic jaguar. The second piece “The Playful Bunch” showcases the and carefree side of BONIA through the ring-tailed lemur.
(TS): l thought along the line of ecology, an issue close to my heart. Although my works are very different from all my previous works, they still maintain my trademark contemporary style through the theme Life and Water, with visual cues of life elements.
The key message of their collaboration
(M): Pencils are an amazing but sadly underrated medium in Malaysia. This was a great opportunity to shed some light on what can be achieve with a humble pencil.
(TS): To initiate creative collaborations between artists and convince more companies and artists to work together for mutual benefits in the long run.