“There is quite a lot happening,” says Tim Yip of his days, not long after the opening of his first solo exhibition in Hong Kong, ‘Tim Yip: Blue – Art, Costumes and Memory.’
On show at the Hong Kong Design Institute (HKDI) Gallery until 31 March 2019, ‘Blue’ brings to life Yip’s creative career over the past three decades. A visual artist, art director and costume designer, perhaps best known for his Academy Award- and BAFTA Award-winning work for the film ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’, among other work for theatre and even the Olympics, Yip is a creative force who seems to need little pause for his life’s work.
“I’ve been busy with a variety of projects – I am preparing for an exhibition, called ‘Tim Yip: Mirror’ for Today Art Museum Beijing, which starts in April next year. I am also preparing a book and making a movie,” he says.
With an imagination plunging depths that few of us find access to, let alone churn out something magical from, Yip’s creative inspirations is something of a treasure chest worth mining. Click through the gallery below for more.
Which costume piece are you most proud of designing, and why?
It’s hard to say because I am always changing my direction, and all of my costumes are my process. When I finish a costume, it is forever a part of me; they coexist to present different periods of time within my process, so I like every one of them. If I have to pick from the 'Blue – Art, Costume and Memory' exhibition, I am most proud of 'Spinning Top'. For this I merged different times, spaces and cultures, and tried to make something beyond post-modern. I tried to find a new language for costume-making, not just for wearing or daily use, or representing a person or fulfilling a drama’s dramatic needs.
What’s your favourite material or medium at the moment?
Paper is always good. At any given time, I just need to have the right paper and a pencil. I like pencils because they can control emotions, and portray them really freely and simply regardless of material. A sketch is the beginning of everything. Pencil and paper are enough for me.
What’s one tool you can’t work without?
A pencil and a camera. They have been important to the journey of my art development ever since I was a child. I loved drawing and used to imagine a lot of creatures that didn't exist. Then, when I was in secondary school, I started taking photos. Portrait photography influenced me the most because it captured human emotions. The other was street photography. I was attracted to many things on the street, and captured those I felt a connection to with my shutter. I have accumulated a lot of work from there.
Favourite travel destination?
I always want to travel to somewhere different and interesting. The most interesting thing to me is the energy of a place - if the energy is pure, or strong. We can see this in people and the environment; we can feel it. Japan is a really good place and so is Europe. I also want to visit Mexico.
(Image: Motoyu Ishiya)
Do you have any more dream projects on your bucket list, and if so, what is it?
I want to make something related to the future. Whenever I’m doing an exhibition, writing a book or a movie, all of these things point to a timeless future. I think this is something I want to do – change things that already exist. It’s interesting to see how time moves when we are creating something new.
For more creative inspiration from leading creatives in the city visit our Moodboard of the Month section.
Photos: Courtesy of Tim Yip