Jirayu Koo on working with international brands

Thai artist Jirayu Koo and her fresh take on the Chinese market
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Thailand has many good illustrators, and one of the most famous is Jirayu Koo. With her background in graphic design, Jirayu created her signature style which mixing vibrant colors with simple graphic and geometrical lines. Her approach has attracted many international brands, including publications like The New York Times, The Guardian and Wallpaper* and products like Moleskine, Beams Tokyo, Uniqlo to Apple Music. Recently, she just had a chance to introduce her works to the China market for the first time, and she shared this new experience with Kooper. 

This project actually came from your previous project with Apple Music. Can you tell us more?
“For Apple Music, I created the visuals for new singles. They sent me the songs to listen, then I catched the main ideas, or the moods and tones and created from that. It was more than creating visuals to describe the lyrics. You have to have imagination. So the works left room for interpretation.”

“I think because of this ‘room’ or ‘space’, together with the colors and simple shapes, the Singapore headquarters bought some of my prints and framed them in their boardroom. Some executives from other countries bought them too. One year after that, the executives of Apple Music from Shanghai headquarters went for a meeting in Singapore and saw my works. They asked for my contact to buy more works to put them in their office. Now I am waiting to see who else will fly to Singapore or Shanghai (laugh).”

Can you tell us more about this Silkaholic project you did with IFS Chongqing?
“Silkaholic is a collaboration between me and IFS, a luxury department store in Chongqing, China. They wanted to do a scarf campaign for International Mother’s Day and China’s Day of Love which occurred in the same period of time. Apart from a launch event and party, Silkaholic also featured a showcase of my works. I really like it. It was my first time working and showcasing my work in China.”
How do you see Chinese consumers’ behaviors on design products?
“For me it was hard to tell for this time since I didn’t meet the buyers directly. It was more like working with a corporate client with a clear briefing. But from what I observed and talked with my Chinese friends, I can say that Chinese consumers have high purchasing power. Still, they like to follow trends. Each city has its own purchasing mentality.”

There was a fan that went to meet you at the event?
“That was a surprise! The staff informed me before that someone would like to meet me at the event. As far as I knew, social media channels are blocked in China, so I was so shocked that I have some fans in China. He came over and gave me something he had made for me! That was when I realized that young Chinese people are interested more in art. Despite all restrictions, if they see more, they will be more into it. I think their interest in design could shake the world’s art and design industries.”

Can you share more about the projects you are working on?
“I’m preparing for wall painting project and in-room installations for a 40-room boutique hotel. I’m also doing packaging design for a Thai chocolate brand. There will be a collaboration with a fashion brand. At the end of the year, I will take over a space and make it an artist’s apartment. ”

“Putting art aside, I have facebook and instagram accounts WeAreKinKin that I do with my husband. It’s about food, travel and lifestyle that we want to share with those who are interested. It’s fun, because we have stories to tell.”




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