Following the international press coverage '100 Paper Sneakers' artwork received from HYPEBEAST, GQ and Esquire, a lot of interesting offers came around. One of them included the invitation to showcase my work at the Hive's 'Meet the Maker' event.
The Hive is a co-working space for creatives, housed in a renovated industrial warehouse in Kennedy Town, Hong Kong. I had shot the video here back in June, and now I was back exhibiting the work. I remember visiting the Hive last year as just a guest. I remember feeling relief at seeing a creative community in Hong Kong and having great admiration for everyone who got involved. I felt, and still do, that Hong Kong lacks a strong creative community that you would normally find in other cities. In some respects, the arts is much more developed in Shanghai and Beijing compared to Hong Kong.
It was the first time I had shown a selection of the work in public and it was such an interesting experience. Depending on who I met, their understanding of my work would vary. Sneaker fans were curious as to what exactly it was, since it wasn't wearable. For the commercially-minded, they were curious as to why I wasn't selling them. I mentioned that it was not a commercial project but an art piece. My hope is to one day exhibit at a major museum and sell at auction. But a few artists who visited understood immediately when I explained the concept. Hurray!
The general feedback was overwhelming positive and I got a lot of high-fives from visitors who respected me for doing a passion project and putting my artwork out there.
Another more practical benefit of the event was I discovered I needed to get a display case to protect the artwork. As they are so colourful and unusual, everyone wanted to touch them. I had just recently received the offer from Powerplay (a Monster brand energy drink) to fly to Johannesburg and exhibit my work there and create three new paper sculptures. The Hong Kong showcase was a dry-run and a good thing I did a smaller practice run before South Africa!
One of the great things about attending events like this is the opportunity to meet new people and potentially collaborate on future projects. The chance to see what other people are up to and learn about the maker scene in general is fantastic. The big trends now for maker communities are focused on more tech-based products, something I wish to incorporate in future exhibitions. Let's see!