Low? In love? Lazy? On high? Studio Concrete’s exclusive range of tees poses the ultimate question to describe your state of mind: how do you feel 1-10?
Established by Korean entertainment superstar turned creative director Yoo Ah-In, Studio Concrete is an artist collective that comprises of artists, illustrators and designers looking to push the boundaries of the industry with their independent art projects.
Studio Concrete’s range of cult must-have tees and sweaters will be displayed alongside an exhibition featuring resident Studio Concrete artist Kwon Chul Hwa’s works created exclusively for Lane Crawford. As Yoo’s right-hand man and one of the creative minds behind the ‘1-10’ series’ concept, we speak to Kwon about working with one of Korea’s hottest stars and how he feels from 1-10.
Tell us about how Studio Concrete came about and what it stands for.
We like the infinite possibility that the word “Studio” represents. We incorporated the word “Concrete” into our minds from the beginning simply because we liked the sound of it. We later learned that both the words contain the meaning of “substantial/based on facts/definite”, that connected to us all so we made it our company name. Studio Concrete leans towards the concrete and functional art and creative process to reflect people’s needs.
How did the collective come about?
One night in October 2014, a group of us, Yoo Ah-In, Cha Hae Young, Kim Jae Hoon and myself were sitting around the dinner table at Ah-In’s house talking. It was then that Ah-In came up with this idea: “Why don’t we start something together that’s fun, a business that we as friends can all be involved in that is meaningful and profitable?”
We’re all best friends and instantly fell in love with this idea. We then brainstormed concepts and discussed who we are catering our ideas to and how does it pertain to art? From that night, we worked on our idea for the next several months until we figured out our concept and actual studio space to house all of our ideas.
What is your working process like with Yoo Ah-In?
Yoo Ah-In took the role of being the founder in our company. He brought us all together while being a great artist himself. He is still very passionate about all of our projects and brings fun, outstanding ideas to our team. For example, "Series 1 to 10," contained so many great ideas that Ah-In was personally involved in.
So how did the idea of the ‘1-10’ series come about?
I was visiting my friend Vivianne in New York and I noticed that she would ask her boyfriend every day, “How do you feel, 1 to 10?”
I thought that it was a simple and direct question that you can ask anyone. I also found their question to be so romantic because it easily led to a conversation about their emotions from day to day. I wanted to share this concept with everyone so that we’re able to ask the question ourselves.
What are your inspiration and influences when it comes to your personal art and creative style?
My art and creative style stems from my feelings and emotions in the very moment. The nostalgic childhood memories I have while being asleep. I get much of my inspiration from the conversations I have with people, and also directly from the person I am talking with. I tend to trust my initial instinct. Yeah, it could be dangerous at times, but I enjoy starting without a sketch.
For Lane Crawford, I sketched on the back sheet of the T-shirts, from 1 to 10, with the number 1 being miserable to 10 being high. I wanted to be honest to the feelings that I express on each numbers.
What do you want people to feel when they see your art?
I’m OK with the “what the hell is this?” type of aggressive reactions you may often get from people. To be honest, I want people to at least acknowledge my work for a few seconds to feel what I felt altogether in that piece. We should be able to see something to feel something.
Discover Studio Concrete in store at Lane Crawford ifc mall, Canton Road and Times Square.