CAMPAIGN | Ben Liu × Dolce & Gabbana - Supper
Time for supper! Come and EAT!
I always miss these "order" of my mom.
As I leave far away from my parents now, it's hard to hear that everyday.
Then I had this dream :
A supper cooked by Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce.
In their cozy place in Italy. With my loved Pouppy :)
What I was doing? Instagraming before eating.
Would you like to join us?
Dress code: Dolce & Gabbana F/W 2013!
Wish you all a warm Thanksgiving!
See more making-of images,
please follow my Instagram: @BendaBenLiu
Interview by Marcus Kan (Draw A Dot)
Ben Liu is one of the illustrators who has continued to wow me with his works in this year. If you are a big fan of Andy Warhol’s pop art, then you are going to love Ben’s works because they contain a new breed of pop art DNA. They are fun, and constantly reflect the pop culture that we live in right now. Today, it’s my honor to bring you into Ben Liu’s illustration world.
Hi Ben, thanks for letting me to feature on Swide this week. I know you are very busy with a lot of projects lately, so I am very thankful that you can take some time to answer my questions! So, what is it that draws you to fashion illustration?
Both cartoons and fashion fascinate me. When I was 10 years old, I began to publish my illustrations and comic stories in newspapers and magazines. Even then my works were mostly about style and clothing. I studied in animation and multimedia yet I also dreamed about becoming a fashion designer, so without any real planning, fashion and illustration just naturally married in my creations.
That’s quite fascinating and I am glad now you are a fashion illustrator. Your works constantly remind me of pop art, but in your own words, will you be able to describe your illustration style?
I'd rather let the audiences feel the emotions in my illustrations than trying to explain them, because everyone has his/her own interpretation.
You can tell from my works that Andy Warhol has a big influence on me. Yet pop art is just one of my favourites among other different kinds of art and cultures. When I create my illustrations, I add warmth and parody, also a bit melancholy and nostalgia. In you own opinions, how do you feel about my works?
When I look at your works, I always find them to be very colourful, fun and playful. Of course, they also remind me of the anime back in the 80s! I know you are originally from China before moving to Canada. How does your cultural background influence your works?
China has been a rich resource for many artists all over the world. I feel lucky and privileged being nourished directly by its traditional values and philosophies. I also cherish the fact that I can appreciate the beauty of China from far away, which also gives me multiple perspectives in my creations.
I can see that your works are somehow influenced by the Chinese culture as I see elements in many of them. So, where do you usually get your inspirations from? Since your works are closely related to pop culture, do you always listen to pop songs when you work?
My works mainly reflect my daily life and the temperament of society. That means even things that could be very banal in most people’s eyes can become my inspirations.
I like old melancholy French and Italian songs. I’m interested in different kinds of music, but I listen to Teresa Teng almost everyday. Her legendary life and multi-lingual songs confirm me: wherever life goes, art follows.
Teresa is definitely one of the biggest music legendary icons in Asian music history ever and I am surprised her songs inspire you. One of your signature elements is the panda and I think it must be related to your cultural background. So other than panda, what other animals do you like?
During my early hard studies in Canada, this panda image appeared in my mind on a heavy snowstorm night and lighted up my lonely moments. His name is BENDA, a big fan of cosplay, fashion and arts. He transforms into stylish celebrities and questions fashion and art; he wants to work for peace & love in the world. With time, we become inseparable friends.
Aside from Panda, I do have a weakness with fluffy animals: sheep, dogs and penguins…
I have no idea why, but seems like all Asians love penguins (including me). One day, I just have to do some research on this! So, if you could have dinner with a celebrity, dead or alive, who would that be? Why?
I would probably choose 2 icons: Karl Lagerfeld and Andy Warhol. What would it be like hanging out with two personalities who always love to put on sunglasses during dinner? Hopefully we won’t only have Campbell’s soup and Diet Coke for the meal.
I am pretty sure meat would be served at dinner so you would not have the liquid diet. Now let’s get back to your works. Out of all the projects you have done so far, which one do you consider as your big break? Why?
I recently began a new illustration column with Journal Métro. I sketch passengers from different cultures and with different styles in the Montreal subway. I’m very happy to have this column, as I always believe that art comes from people and should be back to them.
That’s interesting and I can’t wait to see more in the near future. Last but not least, which celebrity do you want to illustrate in the F/W 2014 Dolce & Gabbana collection? Why?
Mr. Domenico Dolce & Stefano Gabbana.
I had some cinematographic dreams recently and Mr. Dolce and Mr. Gabbana were both in them. I have done a special illustration for this article so you can get inside my world and experience what I have seen in my dream.