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Wai Ming Lung: “I like having this double hat of creative director and artist”

After a first life in advertising and digital communication within agencies such as BBDO, B2L or Ogilvy One, Wai Ming Lung now has his own creative studio while also devoting himself to an artistic activity. Intramuros Group entrusted him with the overhaul of the graphic identity of the magazines. Meet.

Portrait de Wai Ming Lung © Charly Ho

Before being asked for the Intramuros graphic charter, what was your perception of the title?

For me, it was truly a design magazine that spoke to both professionals and discerning hobbyists. I was also a reader myself since one of my first wishes, when I was in art school, was to be a furniture designer. I am very interested in this type of subject and I was able to consult the various publications of the title.

How did you build your reflection on the creation of the new identity of Intramuros magazine?

To design this identity, I based myself on the major trends and above all I immersed myself in the universe of the magazine. I always work trying to put myself in the reader’s shoes, and I had fun trying to find out, first of all, what I wanted it to be. The important thing is obviously to speak to your audience, but it is also to project it somewhere. As a creative, I always look for empty spaces or spaces of expansion, territories to conquer.

What were your biases?

I expressed it as a reader of 2021. I didn’t want it to be monolithic, only intended for specialists. I tried to make a composite proposal, which in my opinion reflects the spirit of the time well, with a very distinct aspect around typography.
I didn’t want it to be very classic, even if it could have been because Intramuros has remained “classic” for me, a “must” in this area.

Based on this observation, what did you want to express through this new logo, both in its intentions and in its treatment?

It was necessary to highlight the power of the title, not to be shy, but more open, more daring, more explorer. I have the impression that there was a great wave of design and interior decoration in the 2000s and that communication around these subjects remained “stuck” at that time.

The 2010s are a much more fragmented period. I transcribed it with this slightly customized, slightly personalized, very affirmative and resolutely modern stick typeface. And which can be extremely versatile.

Charte graphique d'Intramuros.

In addition to your job as an artistic director, you have recently embarked on an artistic activity.

Yes, I returned to plastic creation very recently, and currently my paintings are very inspired by brutalist architecture: raw concrete, 20th century supremacist art with a return to essential forms such as the round, the triangle. , the square, the parallelepiped and the primary colors. These are beautiful universes with very absolutist images: we make a clean sweep of a form that, sometimes, can be considered aggressive to recreate something new. We’re in the midst of deconstruction, revolution, reconstruction right now, and that’s why revolutionary semantics interests me. Knowing that “revolution” as a contemporary philosopher said, it is also a return to square one.

Why this “back to basics”?

I did the Decorative Arts in Paris. Then, I lived my life as a creative “mercenary” (laughs) in an agency and I created for others: I put myself at the service of brands and advertising.
Today, at the dawn of my 50th birthday, I want to create for myself. This return to square one, this form of revolution in my approach, is consistent with what I was able to do with Intramuros, that is to say to return to the base with a deliberately very restricted vocabulary: black, monochrome, but still figurative so that it has an immediate meaning.

This homecoming is SHDW BXNG (editor’s note: Shadow Boxing), your series inspired by the world of boxing. How did you approach her?

I started with a series of about twenty pieces in the form of paintings, drawings, or by working on existing objects, such as punching bags or boxing gloves.
Most of the pieces are black on black. Leather objects are engraved directly with a scalpel. So, it is only the lights that give depth. I therefore unintentionally created a 100% analog collection, which can only be viewed “in real life”. Like in boxing, it was a physical confrontation that I felt was necessary. I needed to come back to matter, to materials, to touch. Even if it doesn’t happen, I encourage people to approach and touch the works.
This approach is also kept on the 2nd series on which I am working, for a presentation at the start of the school year.

Success, Excess & Redemption (2020)
Boxing gloves (8 ounces) cut with a scalpel and mounted on a block of plexiglass (40 x 20 cm)
Rocky Balboa, Apollo Creed, Clubber Lang and Ivan Drago

Because you are planning a new exhibition?

That’s it. I was lucky that the David Cha gallery was interested in me and signed me out of confinement for a first exhibition. I also had the chance not to do a collective exhibition, not to exhibit in places that in my opinion degrade the artist more than they value him. My goal is really to have a much larger body of work. I currently have about twenty pieces, but I would need 50, 70 or even 100 quite quickly if I want to become interesting for the market. Because despite everything, having reached professional maturity, I no longer have the luxury of playing the naive and believing that everyone is waiting for me.

Emilie Men