strangefruits art & design portal
Tomy Choi & Ling Man Kei
(tomyccc & 3k)
age: 24
country: Hong Kong
exposed: August 2006
webdesignhosted by sylconia
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mugshot Tomy Choi & Ling Man Kei
Please introduce yourself and tell us something about yourself and your background.
tomyccc: I was born in Hong Kong. When I was a high-school student, I learnt different knowledge of computer and technology. Then, as a design student and a freelance web designer, I was mostly interested in flash-based web design and I was particularly impressed by and At the moment, I’m studying media art at the university and my interests are widened including image processing with coding and various forms of interactive system apart from web-based media.

I met 3k when we were studying design at the same college. At first, I was impressed by his illustration and animation. It was enjoyable to share our ideas with each others and started to make our personal work together. Recently, through we work mostly individually; we work with our personal projects for a period of time and so was launched so that we share our work over the Internet.

3k: 3K, my signature named me, so as my works. I create images which create my images. I’m a 24-year-old boy who mainly work in fine art field. I studied in School of Creative Media in City University of Hong Kong, a place for studying fine art with new media. I spend my time creating conceptual art with images and text, drawing automatically and collaging them with cut and paste. Simple and experimental drawings help projecting the moment of a thinking mind.

What makes a good website / illustration in your eyes?
tomyccc: I think unique ideas, dynamic and simple interface designs are the essential elements for a good website where the users are able to share with each other and take part in the website.

3k: Good Illustration allows me to learn something, such as the details of the artist, the background of the creation, the processes of the production, the concept of the innovation, and the techniques of the illustration…etc.
Good website is all about the exploration of new possible navigations. A good navigation delivers information easily. A strange navigation somehow just like DaDa poems. Apart from the conceptual stuff, online business deals with concrete environment too. Good script grammar gives more effective connection between servers and browsers. Websites emphasized more on the relationship between authors and spectators. This is certainly not a ‘master and slave’ relationship, like most of the websites nowadays. Anyway, I think good websites should somehow address this point in different perspectives.

Could you tell us something about your work process? How do you start? How long do you work on it? What mediums do you work in and which one do you enjoy the most?
tomyccc: In general, I try to come up with a concept and search for relevant ideas by reading books and visiting websites. I’m used to sharing my rough idea with my friends and ask for their opinion and feeling towards it. Then I’ll figure out how different techniques or technologies can help execute my idea well. The amount of time to be spent on it depends on the kind of the work. I want to create something fun. I hope that what I created encourages interaction between people and objects. Interactive system development, interface design and coding are usually involved in my creation. Meta-fishpond developed from my previous work of FishTank is the one I enjoy the most. Since it was a new challenge for me, apart from focusing on interface design and coding in digital environment, I had to consider different things for the installation in order to encourage people to take part in it.

3k: I draw as quickly as possible in order to capture the ideas in my mind. To show the beholder in my mind is the start. Drawing is like writing dairy to me, it records little interests and events.
Drawing never ends, especially with the aid of computer, it enriches the layers of the details just like updating a website. I paste small elements or characters to produce new impacts visually. I enjoy the process of mixing essences, mainly by hands. Digital art gives a convincing platform for recreating anything, which I enjoy the most.

To what extend do you allow clients to influence your work?
tomyccc: Commercial work only.

3k: Estimating the taste of the clients is a must for designers; Trusting the designer is needed from the clients. Everything can be discussed between the two sides. Clients who are willing to work and negotiate with their designers help generate new sparks. If I am working in an imbalance situation, I would either work for money or ask them to find another partner. Communication of designing business should be focused more on the works but not the PR skills.

What key feature are you missing in the application you most work with?
tomyccc: A window box of Actionscript in Flash

3k: Copy and Paste, Brush in Photoshop

In what way do you use the Internet? What role does the computer play in your work?
tomyccc: Explore and Share.
Computer acts as a tool which is similar to the ink in a painting. It plays an essential role in my work.

3k: I spend most of my time online entertaining myself. Internet is a playground to me. I am happy to be connected with friends and showing my works to new faces. I use computer for about 15 hours a day, it becomes a ‘cage’ to me, just like the schools in my past. Living in cage is always good if you finally learn how to break through it.

Computer or Ink?
tomyccc: Computer.
3k: Computer is an epic theatre. Ink is our unconscious.

Concept or Intuition?
tomyccc: Have fun or encourage people to play in an innovative way.

3k: Intuition comes first. We do researches and summarize studies in order to name it a concept. This is like asking me which comes first, chicken or egg, my answer will always be chicken since real egg needs two chickens to produce. An unfertilized egg is only emptiness.

The thin line between art & design is sometimes hard to define. Do you consider you work to be art or design? Why?
tomyccc: It is not easy to define. But I define my work to be:
Design – The work with functions and objectives for clients to serve their needs.
Art - The unique client is me. That is very personal. It’s something that I produced to explore, execute and express my ideas.

3k: Design is for clients; whereas Art is for myself. Design is a branch of the tree of art, a specific system about contributing different groups of art elements. Design is constructive; Art is not only one way. Design comes from constructivism and the constructive hopes after FWW I. But the fact is before FFW I, design concept is already discovered from different ages of art. Modernism abstracted the system so call design.
Art for me is the essence of ego. I think there’s not clear cut between the two because we learn and express ourselves with systems. Design is more like working with a group of wants. Designers are expressing not only themselves but a theme or topic. Therefore, I consider my work as art. Every time I draw something is the vision of me. This is not created for anyone else.

If you had an unlimited budget and all the time you needed. What would you do?
tomyccc: Set up a studio allowing me to produce my personal works only, To further study or research on new media art, To enjoy my life with my family and friends.

3k: I never dream about this. If it comes true, then I will spend a lot on delicacies.

What inspires you?
tomyccc: Ideas are anywhere and anything that surrounds my daily life, especially from friendships, workshops and exhibitions.

3k: Girls inspire me. Learning the perception of opposite sex helps me understand our identities. In other words, try figure out and imagine how others behold is the key, not just girls, but all the systems in the universe.

How do to you keep your knowledge up to date? Do you spread your knowledge at universities, conferences or workshops and so on?
tomyccc: From reading books and web blogs, attending workshops, conferences and exhibitions. I share my knowledge in my personal website.

3k: Reading books is the most effective way to do researches. Researches is step one, update is the second. I read books to enrich the background knowledge, then I try to talk with the relative persons. Communicate and discuss online is very convenience, but it is not the only way. I think research methods differ depending on the topic you want to know.
Joining conferences, workshops, and exhibitions locally also allow me keep abreast of my knowledge of art. Sadly, I haven’t held any talks and discussions. Besides I just only talk about contemporary art with my friends. In addition, when I was a teacher of a video and painting class, I focused on the concept of how to create art rather then techniques. I also brought up to date art information to the students as most of them believe painting is the only way to fine art.

Who is your favorite artist/designer? Why?
tomyccc: John Maeda, Yugo Nakamura.
Both of them are good at visual and technology. They contribute a lot towards the evolution of “Humanist Technology”.

3k: Marcel Duchamp. He knows the destruction of art. I’m sure he would be a hacker if he is still alive.

Which project or website would you like to have made, or make?
tomyccc: A project that allows artwork:
not to be crafted in ateliers.
not to be produced in analog environments.
to be produced by people without education in art academies.
not to be displayed in major venues for exhibitions like art galleries, museums.

3k: I would like to work in a search engine project, so that I can do a mind search of myself anytime easily.

Final words?
tomyccc: Explore and Share.

3k: Thanks for reading and asking questions. Welcome to chat with me online, my msn is ?>