Who is behind Young Blood Initiative? To restart our ‘A-Z series’, we begin with the team working backstage that make things happen, setting out with Candy Choi, our founder. Surely we are all a bit curious about this person: what gives her the inspiration to create our artist communities and platform? Her A-Z below could perhaps offer us some clues:
A for… Marina Abramović – the godmother of performance art; adventure
B for… The Banquet by Feng Xiaogang
One of my favourite movies loosely based on Hamlet by Shakespeare. Visually stunning, with a beautiful soundtrack by Tan Dun
C for… Céleste Boursier-Mougenot. His installation “Les Oiseaux de Céleste” at Barbican Centre, London
“Les Oiseaux de Céleste” was an unforgettable sound installation with 40 birds – zebra finches – and electric guitars installed in the space. The soundscape was created while the zebra finches went about their daily activities in the space. A very special experience.
D for… Dragon. ‘Candy is a cute lady from Hong Kong with the power of a dragon inside’
– was the way I was introduced by a friend of mine.
E for… Evolve
F for… Florence
An open-air museum by itself, the abundance of art, history, craftsmanship and beauty in Florence is incredible.
G for… George Gershwin, Gainsbourg – Charlotte and Serge Gainsbourg.
Listening to and swinging with Gershwin’s compositions in the wind band was some of the best moments in my high school years. Rhapsody in Blue!
I am a fan of both Charlotte and Serge Gainsbourg. The style and the contemporary/ alternative take of French Chanson of Charlotte, and the signature French music by Serge Gainsbourg.
H for… Heatherwick – Thomas Heatherwick
An inspiration. It might be an overstatement by some designer that Thomas Heatherwick is ‘the Leonardo da Vinci of our times’, but the ideas, structures, architectures he created inspired many (including me). Beautiful movements are always present in his works which are very often otherwise static (e.g. the Rolling Bridge in Paddington, London). His most known works are probably the Olympic cauldron and the Seed Cathedral at the World Exhibition in Shanghai which formed from 60,000 transparent fibre optic rods, each 7.5 metres long and each encasing one or more seeds at its tip. The seeds are from the seed bank from Kew Gardens which aims to collect the seeds of 25% of the world’s plant species by 2020.
The Seed Cathedral. Photo by Carsten Ullrich
Inside the seed Cathedral. Photo by Daniele Mattioli
I for… Issey Miyaki
A visionary fashion designers who is always years ahead of the general fashion developments.
J for… Jeffrey at De Nieuwe Anita
Jeffrey’s cinema is one of the best things of Amsterdam for me. Jeffrey Babcock’s movie screenings are always inspiring, mind-opening. Every time he chooses a film to screen for the evening (old and new, American, European, Asian cinema, etc) and he always shows a related short film beforehand. He is a film enthusiast and he knows the background of all the films he screens by heart. He will tell you everything: the director, the actor, the historical and social background about the movie. It’s a lot more than a normal cinema-going experience.
K for… Kombucha
L for… Lick. ‘Things you want to lick’
It’s an expression my beloved tutor Chantelle Morton used to describe things she really liked.
M for… Museum of Everything
Always enjoyed the experience of visiting the Museum of Everything, whether it was in a house in Chalk Farm in London, Kunsthal in Rotterdam or ‘The Gallery of Everything’. One of a kind.
N for… Nicolas Ghesquiere
One of my favourite fashion designers. His period at Balenciaga, those structural, futuristic silhouettes he created then were mind-blowing.
O for… Obrist – Hans Ulrich-Obrist
P for… Pascal Pinon – recently playing on my Spotify
Q for… Quinary
My most loved cocktail bar. They create concepts with molecular cocktails and they play with touch, smell, taste and visual presentation. In fact, they are also one of the 50 best bars in the world.
R for… Ryuichi Sakamoto
His film scores, his band Yellow Magic Orchestra, his piano pieces, electronic works have all been my cup of tea since I was a teen. A living legend! I have yet to get a chance to watch it, the documentary about him looks so intimate and beautiful:
S for… The Spaniard’s Inn
A 500-year old pub on Hampstead Heath I used work and live in back in the days when I was a London student. Literary giants Dickens, Byrons, Keats used to frequent there. It was an experience to live and work in such an old place with so much history.
T for… Tate Modern
A forward-thinking contemporary art museum that I really love. The new Tate building is such an incredible space for different kinds of art, their Tate Lates are popular happenings of the city with the DJs at NTS Radio, their live exhibition Ten Days Six Nights features an impressive lineup of live art every year, they have tap takeover events for beer lovers, they also have their own coffee beans. All in all, it ticks many boxes as a 21-century contemporary art museum.
U for… Underground. The London Underground.
V for… Victoria & Albert Museum
Another museum that offers boundless inspirations, especially for designers. I spent so much time there during the years in uni. The V&A has an impressive collection of sculptures, paintings, decorative arts, fashion and so on. There are so many inspiring objects there that you feel like it’s never-ending, you can sketch there all day. Not to mention the breath-taking Renaissance Gallery that resembles Florence, the Lates and the absolutely amazing museum shop. Visiting the V&A is always a good idea.
W for… Wong Kar-Wai
A Hong Kong-export that I can be proud of. Wong Kar-Wai is my director of choice and “In the Mood for Love”, a film of his that I can watch again and again to admire the stunning visuals and ambience.
X for… Experiment
Y for… Yoga. Yayoi Kusama
Daily yoga practices keep me sane! Ashtanga, Vinyasa or Yin depending on my energy level and what my body needs that day;
I love Yayoi Kusama!
Z for… Zest for life
To find out more about Candy, visit her website here.