Of the amazing artists featured in Art to Ware, the first that we will be highlighting on the blog is Christine Jiwon Ra, a well-traveled, fashion-loving member of the team and designer who recently graduated from Parsons School of Design in NY. She has spent her life traveling and developing her appreciation for fashion from cultures around the world including South Korea, London, Tokyo, and more.
She spoke of her pieces found in Art to Ware saying, “I want to encourage more careful and meaningful relationships between garments and their consumer with my pieces designed to be treasured for life.” Along with Christine’s art found in the pop-up shop, she will be partnering with Nuuly to create a one-of-a-kind reworked collection for Art to Ware launching on June 3rd. Read below to learn more about Christine and make sure you check out her Art to Ware collection on arttoware.com or stop into the pop-up shop.
CC: Tell me a bit about yourself. What do you do? Where are you from? Etc.
CJR: My name is Jiwon Ra, but I go by Christine. I’m a South Korean artist with a degree in Fashion Design and Fine Art from Parsons School of Design in NY. I was born in Seoul and raised in London, Hong Kong, and Tokyo.
CC: You have traveled so much! Tell me a bit about what that has been like and what is your favorite place you’ve been to and why?
CJR: You’re absolutely right, I’ve traveled and moved quite a lot throughout my life. Despite many seeing me as a passerby, I feel a deep connection to each place I’ve lived in, and hold so many different memories tied to each home. So people always ask me this exact question when I tell them this, but I can’t ever select one favorite place because each city I’ve lived in has impacted me in so many different and profound ways.
CC: How has that traveling influenced your designs?
CJR: I believe almost everyone, including myself, lives in their own bubble. Relocating from country to country every five years ever since I was a child has helped me pop a few of my own bubbles. The sociological diversities and cultural heterogeneities I’ve been able to observe in my ever-changing environment now heavily inspire my art and design work. That’s what my most recent project, ‘Memory, Relocation and Life in Motion’, is all about. You can read about it in a lot more detail here.
CC: Tell me about the pieces that you have in the store. What inspired you to create these pieces? Give me a little sneak peek into the Nuuly collection you will be launching in June.
CJR: My multimedia work can be seen all throughout Art To Ware, from the colorful paintings on the walls, the wire cube sculptures by the window, patchwork/textile art on the tables, and ceramic jewelry/plates on the shelves. Additionally, my Nuuly store exclusive collab is dropping in two weeks. This collection was created with a focus on using pre and post-consumer 'less than ground zero' textile waste destined to be thrown away. Through incorporating artisanal hand dyeing techniques, each item has been designed to have transcendental value in my customer’s wardrobe. I want to encourage more careful and meaningful relationships between garments and their consumer with my pieces designed to be treasured for life.