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Name: Sang A 1m-Propp Nationality: Korean Profession: Handbag Designer Place of Residence: NYC, Tribeca
Who is Sang A.? SANG A is a future-classic woman. She is the woman who has a sense of whimsy and fun, is forward thinking, and embraces innovation and edge.
Describe your style for someone who has never seen your brand before. SANG A is innovative, fun, rebellious luxury.
You were a successful dancer/singer in South Korea. What made you move to NYC and start an accessories label? I was in NYC on a business trip and decided to study here. My studies led me to accessories eventually after trying many different fields including culinary arts and styling.
Do you have specific inspirations/muse? Currently my inspirations have been from vintage, playful & elegant streetstyle, as well as modern architecture.
Advice and tips you would give to emerging artists? I would encourage them to use every opportunity effectively and create their dreams. Immediate action and instinct is key.
Most exciting moment in your fashion career? Being inducted as a member of the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) last year was a huge honor that has been, the highlight of my fashion career so far
Upcoming projects/events? I am just launching my new project: SANG A + Daren Newman Artist Collaboration. This is a collaboration between the hand-pen artist Daren Newman and myself to create a running landscape using my FLASH clutch as the canvas. Our theme was based on sky and celestial elements.
List five random facts about yourself. I love my little girl, Olivia. My favorite donut is from Dough in Bed Stuy Brooklyn, NY I love polka-dots and stripes ... everywhere. Driving makes me relax and think (even in traffic) I can't wait until I am 65 years old.
Volume is ... Designing accessories is all about volume. I literally must sculpt my bags in 3-D form as I sketch them to create the final product I want. The volume I always want to achieve has body and substance to stand alone without stiffness or rigidity.
www.sanga.com All photos courtesy of Sang A
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Describe your work for someone who has never saw it before. Most ofthe critics and reviewers said" In terms of a genre Manami N's music, it's very difficult to explain", and I like that. If you too easily pidgeonhole a thing it has a label on which will influence peoples expections in a certain direction. I like to surprise the audience and I like to surprise myself! Basically all my music comes from my experiences and my inner state of mind. The music and the lyrics are more or less all about me.
Who is Manami-N? Manami N is an experimental musician from Japan, living in Berlin. She has a laptop, two cats and a kimono. She likes the German band, Kraftwerk, and thinks Sir Simon Rattle is a genius. I think all her music is about herself, but the rest you have to find out yourself on her new album "Kill Wasabi".
When and what made you decide you wanted to become an artist and how did it all happen? I was born and lived in the countryside of Japan, but after graduating I had to move to Tokyo for a job and this changed my life enormously. As for music, I think the first important moment was when I listened to John Coltrane's "My favourite things". I felt as if my entire body was like "big ears" and I realized we don't listen to music only with our ears but with our whole body. I had experience to join an amateur band when I was at university but then I got interested in doing music seriously. I just thought that "I can do it!" .There was no particular reason, it was just that I was young and wanted to tryout things!
I don't strictly follow compositional rules. When I compose a song or track, I use a very unorthodox mix of elements nd styles. Some elements seem to come from Jazz,some are from european classic, others are from Japanese c1assic,or even some noise and field recording elements. Of course, my own voice is an integral element binding together what seems disparate. I always write my own lyrics. I try to combine things in an unusual waY,like a story teller, who gives the narration a twist, when it is least expected. One song for instrance,is about my childhood, it is 20 minutes long consisting of four parts. For me, it's more like a collage of sounds, melodies, noises, even Buddhist prayers, nothing you would listen to when you do the dishwashing or ironing. On the other hand, when you expect academic experimental stuff, you will be surprised too, you will find pop and traditional melodies in it. It's a bit like riding a rollercoaster blindfolded! And since I am in Berlin I am more and more interested in the possibilities ofthe actual stage performance as an electronic musician. What is the performative situation like on the stage playing various roles,changing costumes, acting? Much too often, performances with laptop musicians look like a relaxed evening in an internet cafe ...guys behind a computer staring at the screen. I did like this before,but now I finished such style.
How did you start ?
Describe the process you use for creating a song.
Well,like I said before,1 just thought "I can do it" but I didn't know "How?"and "what?". Actually I had the skills to play some instruments: trombone, trumpet, saxophone and bass guiter. But at that time I had a full-time job in Tokyo and had to work all day. I knew I didn't have enough time to do everything. By chance someone introduced me to a voice trainer. Then I started to train my voice professionally. Next step was, that I tried to play with some bands in Tokyo. But it was really stressful for me because I felt often the band guys expected me to be just a"lovely singer"as a front person. I always had a big conflict in my mind,if it's really what I want to do. Later, I developed composing music on my computer and I thought it was what I wanted to do. I was more free and independent then! I can say, a lot of things happened always "by chance". Moving to Tokyo and meeting my voice trainer was like that. Composing music with the computer was also by chance,at that moment I had no idea about this world but one guy from my ex-band gave me his old computer with "Performer"(old Music Sequencer) and then I started!
In the past the procedure was mostly that I would use loopings of different samples and wait until something happened. But for the last 5 years I start with a clearer idea for a melody or phrase. Then I try to develop this and elaborate on it. Inspiration comes often when I am just walking on the street, or sometimes get influences by films or books, not so much from music actually! The actual compositional work on my computer will take about one to two weeks.
What is a day in the life of Manami-N like? My day starts normally when I take care of my cats! They are very sweet, followed me over to Germany from Japan.Soon I will have my portable shinto-shrine in my appartment.Then I will give my gods fresh water and rice every morning! It's good to start for a day... Later I would skype with my friend Kenji in Japan. He is also musician and I collaborate with him as a band "Kamomellia". He would tell me about the latest gossip in Japan's music scene. Then I would do some shopping at the Asia market, have a look what they have to offer. I really miss Japans food in Germany, especially some strange fish stuff you would never ever get here, unfortunately! Sometimes I visit my boyfriend's art gallery for helping him with some computer problems... he is helpless with this ... truly old school and low tech! Later we cook together or go to a concert or an exhibition opening or... 1stay in my room, just burn some incense lying on my bed with my two cats and try to think of nothing.
Who would you be without Manami-N's project? Difficult to imagine... being Manami N is my life.But I might be a nun ... my grand father was Bonze and I am getting interested in this world more and more.
What is the most important lesson you have learned? To keep a certain sense of relaxed stoicism in my life, things we cannot change should not occupy our minds too much, in Japan we say"Shikataga nai desu" we have to accept certain things.
What's your ultimate goal? Die peacefully...we will die anyway and I just pray I could die without pain.
What bands/ singers are you currently listening to? It may sound strange for a musician to say so, but I don't listen much to music right now, or if so I would rather go to a classical concert hall like the Philharmonie in Berlin and listen to Stravinsky. I do more reading recently especially old Japanese masters works like Akutagawa, Dazai, Mishima,etc...
What are your up coming projects/ exhibitions/plans? The most important thing right now is to focus on the promotion of my album "Kill Wasabi" And upcoming shows will be at international occacions. We'll see ... please check our website!
What does the word Volume mean for Manami-N? I have think of two pieces of mine. One I did with a German composer, Mark Badur, whose father is a very well known painter and this music is dedicated to him. Heya no naka, the "empty room". Volume is both- space and sound. And the other piece is kawaita sabaku, the desert. Two spaces- inner space and outer space and how the sound relates to it, in kawaita sabaku I use the heartbeat as an element, the very basic rhythm of our body which is alone in the desert. "Volume" connects these two existent elements. www.manami-n.com Photos courtesy of Manami N.
of possibilities the STRON EST my vision inspiration based on MICHAEL KAMPE
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TYLER ROSE is the design director at one ofthemost talked about and newest fashion houses that we have seen gOingdolWl the NYnmways, PARBAL GURUNG. Just a two year old brand, Prabal Gunmg is anything butsmall, having dressed America s FiIst Lady Michelle Obama, actressDemi Moore and Oprnh WmJieyjustto nameafew. Find out what this yozmg, New Y01Ker just can't live without Ten essentials we should include in our lives.
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DIRECTO What fashion brand do you work for currently and how did you get to where you are now? I'm the design director at Prabal Gurung. We met working together at Bill Blass and he just can't get enough ofme, J guess. But in all seriousness, we make a great team and our kind of chemistry is truly rare.
When and what inspired you to become a fashion designer? J literally came out of the womb sketching women and how J wanted to see them dress. J have other interests such as photography but I was always very focused on
How would you describe your personal style? Tom of Finland cartoon meets vintage prep with a bit of punk thrown in for old time's sake.
Volume is... Volume describes things that are confident, from loud music playing at a club to a voluminous Prabal Gurung cocktail dress!
Photos courtesy of Prabal Gurung and Tyler Rose
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Where does your passion for Design come from?
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My passion for design is visceral, it is born straight from my guts, probably embedded in my DNA, and got somehow extracted by a personal history that has exposed me to art, philosophy and architecture early on in my life. I have grown up surrounded by the fascinating smell and sound of old wood, paper, erasers and pencils in the architecture studio of my father, in a small court in Gallarate, out of Milano. My grandfather and my father himself have passed all their life painting, with all kind of techniques and my house as a kid has been always filled with their art and experimentations. I still remember the smell of the wood burned by the pyrograph (a device to draw by burning the wood with a incandescent pen) and my attempt to create my own art, together with my brother, with that same technique. This background, blended with a spontaneous love for philosophy, beauty, invention, and art, has been the driver for my initial choice of studying design. But I have to admit that the level of awareness about what really design meant was very low, it has been a lucky intuition, and I had the possibility to really discover the charm of this fantastic discipline just day by day, year by year, after I started.
What is in your opinion the social role of a Designer? Designers have a very important role and responsibility in the modern society. No matter the nature of the designer, being the star producing unique pieces with a strong symbolic character or being the strategic leader envisioning humble products for the mass market, we are always called as a community to generate hardgoods that will impact in a way or the other both the life of people and the environment they live in. In this scenario the great ethical risk is the one of producing tons of unuseful and unsustainable products polluting our world both from a visual and ecological standpoint. The mission of the designer must be the one of dreaming hardgoods that can enable meaningful experiences for people, objects that can add value to the life of each individual. That value can be practical or emotional and poetical, it doesnit really matter: that really depends on the nature of the product, of the market, of the brand, of the user. What is important is that that meaning needs to be there, embedded in the object we think and execute: if we respect this condition then we can be sure that we are producing positive value for our society, sustainable solutions that can enable real pleasure and joy in different ways. Our ultimate entitlement is indeed the one of producing happiness through meaningful experiences.
Edward Dolman [MOl of Christie's International thinks that "art means objectifying a feeling". What is design instead for you? Art is about objectifying a feeling or an emotion that somehow is relevant to the artist. Design instead is about objectifying a feeling or an emotion that while being relevant to the designer, must be meaningful and produce a specific benefit also for the user. And while that meaningful experience between the spectator and the object happens also in the art field, in the case of design that interaction is carefully thought through, analyzed, and executed in order to produce the best value possible from an emotional, practical (at user level) and financial (at company level) standpoint. The priority of the artistic process is the soul of the artist itself, while the priority of the design process is the end-user.
An unforgettable designer, whose name can't you forget. Leonardo Da Vinci. Holistic designer. The best ever. And Plato, as a theorist and an academic of design. His interpretation of love is at the very base of what I consider Design Thinking: Love for Plato was the real driver of the universe, as a process of pursuing the good by creation through both body and soul, as desire to create (and procreate), stimulated by any contact with beautiful things, both in a physical way (creation of children: birth) and in a spiritual way (art and philosophy fi the word design didnit existed yet).
An Italian living in the USA... what's the best of your country you would like to have in the States and viceversa? The best of Italy: food, fashion and quick accessibility (in a matter of few hours driving) to a never-ending variety of natural and artistic landscapes, cultures and traditions. I miss the Cultural and Natural Density of my beloved Italy. I do not miss at all instead the bureaucracy and the red tape of the country. I don't miss the eternal fights between political parties that the most of the times are unproductive and not intended to generate value for the population, but just for the party itself, projecting a very poor image of our land and our people outside of Italy.
3M=lnnovation. After Sandpaper and the PostIt, what will the new cult object/ challenge for the future of this new Millennium be? 3M produces products for the end-users, that range from Post-iUE notes, ScotchA: tape, Scotchbriteo sponges, Littmano Stethoscopes all the way to microprojectors, water filtration devices, accessories for the kitchen and bathroom organization, safety eyewear and shoes or sandpaper. And then it manufactures many technologies that are embedded in products commercialized by others, from cars, to airplanes, boats, cell phones and other tech gadgets (including I-phone, I-pad and I-pod), washing machines, clothing. But out of the 75,000 products we have in our portfolio one of the 3M technologies that most fascinates me as a designer nowadays belongs to the consumer electronics world. The 3M Patterned Transparent Conductor, is a technology that can enable any 3D surface to become a touchscreen controllable by each finger of your hands and able to communicate with a software in the device or in remote. Imagine a phone where the touchscreen surface is not just the screen itself, but any square cm of the object, including the back plastic cover, its corners, its round shapes. And you are not limited to just a 2 fingers interaction, but you can use independently all your fingers. Or you can interact with your friends on the same screen. The possibilities are endless, the technology is available at 3M now, and we are working as designers to envision a variety of concepts of application. We presented it at CES in Vegas last January.
Where do you see yourself in five years? Wherever there is achallenge. Wherever there is the opportunity of having adream to accomplish, avision to build, and a plan to execute. Together. Wherever I can find excitement and engagement. In wherever geographical and spiritual space Ican wake up every day and looking at the mirror think: I am happy!
What does the word "VOLUME" mean to you? Volume is about the third dimension. It could be related to space, to sound, to mass, but no matter what it is always athree dimensional metric. From this standpoint, Volume is also about the very essence of product design, adiscipline that forces you to think always in three dimensions. In this perspective actually the word assume a very interesting symbolic meaning: to think in the Volume is against thinking linear, it is about thinking in three dimension and this kind of thinking can lead you to any kind of direction, and creative loop, and unexpected encounters. It can be about unusual connections of dots. Ultimately agreat starting point for invention. Magic!Volume viscerally reminds me also of something potentially dynamic: it can grow or decrease, it is elastic, it is flexible, it is not static. The volume of aliquid, the volume of music, the volume of your thinking. And it reminds me of something heavy, probably because of the sound of the word itself, probably because of my personal experience. Actually this is for sure just my very personal interpretation as the word by itself could be equally related to lightness as well as to heaviness. But finally donit blame me for this. We designers like so much to give personal and poetical interpretations of the world, we like to look at things with the distorted filters of atotally personal lens that gives us the opportunity to see details that other donit see right away, and we like to translate those visions in articrafts and theories of any kind, to be shared with our peers. Don't we? So, be patient, accept our partial and poetical interpretations, and let us dream.
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DAY, MARCH 21, 2011
ISSUE | A Post Modern Overview