Collector Kevin Poon on the Intersection of Art and Culture, Launching His Streetwear Brand, and More

Collector Kevin Poon on the Intersection of Art and Culture, Launching His Streetwear Brand, and More

Kevin Poon is a Hong Kong–based art collector and entrepreneur who cofounded the streetwear brand CLOT in 2003 alongside his childhood best friend, Edison Chen. The duo felt the need to fill a cultural void that was ongoing in their hometown. “There was not much going on in Hong Kong in respects of music and culture,” Poon told Brooke Jaffe for “ARTnews Live,” our ongoing IGTV series of interviews with a range of creatives. “We wanted to create something we felt was part of our DNA.” What started as a streetwear brand producing T-shirts is now a multi-label store selling coveted items from clothing and accessories to even furniture. The brand also boasts a multitude of collaboration with other conglomerates, such as Polaroid and more famously Nike.

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A true cultural jack-of-all-trades, Poon believes it is important to note that all aspects of our culture, in particular fashion and art, are merging together. “I was in love with basketball, sports culture, then art and fashion, then food and beverage and lifestyle,” he said. “I think it’s all converging into one nowadays.” After launching his brand and retail store, Poon went on to expand his empire. He recently launched a new café, Elephant Grounds Coffee, and has opened experimental pop-up shows that meld art and fashion. “Art is crossing boundaries–it’s in fashion and in music,” Poon explained. “It’s very interesting to keep the culture moving forward and try new things.” His latest pop-up, titled WOAW! (World of Amazing Wonders), displayed different objects he and his team found fascinating: gadgets, books, magazines, art editions, and so on.

More recently, he curated some art exhibitions with artists Cristina Banban and Charlie Roberts. “The reaction was overwhelming, people were really interested in the works,” Poon said. “It gave me confidence to show more artists and art shows. It’s kind of been a learning experience to just be able to show stuff that you like and people are receptive of it, and I’m starting to curate more of those and hopefully can show what I like to people in our region.”

“I think maybe technology and art is becoming really fascinating,” he continued, adding that the intersection of art and technology is fundamental to his work. He said he believes that all aspects of culture are merging into one, with technology being the newest place to see this overlap. Instagram, for instance, “is a great place to learn about new artists and archives,” he said, noting that he uses an app called AcuteArt to download artists’ work and share it with friends.

Poon started collecting art some 15 years ago, and his holdings include artists like KAWS, Jonas Woods, George Condo, Eddie Martinez, Alex Israel, Sterling Ruby, and more. But he added, that he’s still learning about art all the time.

Published at Fri, 20 Nov 2020 20:09:25 +0000