THE EYE OF THE VAGABOND - Jaemy Choong, Visual Mashuper
Jaemy Choong, is a Malaysian graphic designer, whose viral images have led him to develop his own brand of mash-up visuals. His latest project mixes the asian art of calligraphy with the western pop culture. He’s accepted to share with us his blurred vision between East and West.
How did you come up with the idea of East meets West ?
I live in Malaysia and come from a very traditional Chinese family but I was always watching Western movies and cartoons during my free time (when I was not forced by my parents to finish my homework or attend Math tuition), so naturally I always had a "East VS West" mentality on everything I did as I grew up and started studying graphic design, exploring art and meeting more people from different countries. I'm always observing and my head is always filled with comparisons between the 2 cultures. My current "East Meets West" art is a visual combination of oriental calligraphy and lino-cut printing mixed with iconic scenes in Hollywood films.
What inspires you in your art ?
Humor, weirdness.... and maybe even some form of bad-ass-ness if the idea can truly stand on its own visual attitude. I also get a lot of inspiration from films and random shit I watch on YouTube, TV shows and recently, Podcasts. Nowadays with tech and the internet, creativity is everywhere. EVERY. WHERE.
What is your favorite piece so far ?
Well it's something I've been doing for a few years now on my Instagram (www.instagram.com/jaemyc). I take pictures of people (aka friends who let me exploit them) with my Smartphone and align their pose behind a movie poster that has a similar design on it. Often times it gets super awkward and tiring but once people see the end product they understand the big picture and why they had to pose like that... It's been really fun. I've never had so many humans "follow" me on social media before. It's cool but also stresses me out quite a bit. Like, am I suddenly "obliged to post something cool today". And "what if it's not cool, will everyone hate me now?" Man, the social media struggle is real yo. It's REAL. I was even fortunate enough to be featured in a French publication early this year. (Pirates, l'art du détournement culturel by Sophie Pujas)
But I especially like it when a photo makes someone laugh or when they "get" the humor behind it. In recent months I've started chasing down cats and dogs and putting them in the spotlight. It's a whole different challenge getting the right shot from these beastly creatures but the plus side is that they don't complain as much.... Heh.
What are your upcoming projects ?
I'm working on a new mash-up poster series to be available on my ETSY store soon (www.jaemyc.etsy.com). It's going to be me going back to my instagram roots and poking fun at iconic pop culture characters again. Only this time I think i am tackling cartoon characters... look out for it! I'm also a freelance graphic designer so I've got a few corporate collaborations going on here and there.
Check out his ETSY webshop: www.jaemyc.etsy.com
His instagram: www.instagram.com/jaemyc
His facebook: www.facebook.com/jaemyc
His portfolio: www.behance.net/jaemychoong