K11 MUSEA Street Art: Inside the Studio with Parents Parents
The four members of Hong Kong street art collective Parents Parents outside their studio: (from left to right) Jimson, Ling Ysoo, Wong Tin Yau, Chris
One side of the studio hangs paintings made by their friends, while various materials and found objects, including a shopping trolley, can be seen strewn around. To the left, a crate with bananas painted on it is what’s left of a previous artwork. Parents Parents tell us as the artwork was not sold at the time of the exhibition and they also didn’t want to discard it, they collectively decided to bring it back to the studio where it’s been kept ever since.
Tucked away on the shelf, these dolls were hand sewn by Ling. Below, the artists generated a QR code for one of their projects. Curious, we took it to the test and proved the QR code does indeed still work to connect to their Facebook page.
Neatly stacked shelves lined with rows of spray paint cans in various shades. Spray paint is one of the primary mediums used by Parents Parents in their murals and commission projects.
Even without words, just looking around at the various little paraphernalia, keepsakes, toys and gadgets collected over time gives incredible insight into the inspirations and interests of the members of Parents Parents.
Copies of two zines they produced for a local zine exhibition. With only about 30 of each ever produced, these remain as some of the last existing copies. When asked why they chose to make a zine, we are simply told “because it’s fun!”
Old bookshelf with various magazines, booklets, catalogues and handouts they have collected or found over the years.
Illustration remains a large part of their creative practice. Ink and marker is often used in the initial sketch ups alongside computer graphic work.
Although seemingly messy, on closer inspection you can see the order in the chaos of their many tools and gadgets. Everything in the studio has a home.
Following the launch of K11 MUSEA last week, Hong Kong street art collective Parents Parents welcomed us to their studio to see the inspiration behind their new commission piece, TOYS. What we discovered was a delightful world of paraphernalia, countless cans of spray paint and a cozy creative hub bursting at the seams with energy.
TEXT: CoBo Editorial Force
IMAGES: Kirsten Wang and Denise Tsui for CoBo Social
It was after work on a Tuesday night that we made our way to one of the many indiscriminate industrial buildings found in Kwun Tong. It’s not unusual for artists, designers and architects to have their studios in this area, where rent is comparatively cheaper per square foot and the larger spaces offered by industrial buildings can be suitably repurposed. With nothing more than a black sign on the door labeled “Parents Parents”, one would not even know what was behind the door.
As we were ushered in with a warm welcome, the artists were still quickly finishing their dinner; sushi from a nearby takeaway. Everyone had just finished his or her day jobs. It’s in these late hours that the magic happens and the creative juices flow.
Jimsoon, Ling, Chris and Tin Yau met during their years in design school; nearly 15 years ago. The desire and need for a creative outlet to draw and make things outside of their day jobs became the driving force that led to them officially establish Parents Parents in 2012. While initially much of what they collectively produced was in the realm of product design, they progressively abandoned this for illustration and street art.
For their commission work in K11 MUSEA, the artists were given a thematic brief of the idea of a “Kidult.” Asked to interpret this, Parents Parents decided to focus on recalling the feeling of playing with toys. As they further explain to us, the state of mind of constantly feeling like a beginner is the mentality that they believe a kidult would adopt.
Showing us around the studio, we quickly came to see just where the playfulness of their work arose. It’s their hangout, their creative space, and so much more.