Casper Chan as known as Disinlok is an up-and-coming young artist in Hong Kong. Being in a competitive design industry, Casper stands out from the young talents with his stunning illustration portraits, which contain a lot more intention than just drawing. His works overlap each other with passions of fashion, illustration, graphics and photography with romanticism. After a trip to Fabrica, Casper is transforming from a design student into a multi-talented artist with a strong identity, and his ultimate goal is to be renowned on the international stage.
Could you share your background with us?
I majored in Visual Communication Design at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. After I graduated, I worked in a few graphic design studios as a designer. I’ve always been interested in printed matter or publications, because I like things that are tangible. Now I am working as a graphic designer in a local publication firm.
In your website, you have showed your works from different fields, such as graphic design, illustration, photography and fashion styling. How do you position yourself?
To be honest, it is a bit strange to position myself. I don’t really consider myself as a graphic designer, even though I do graphics. Besides illustration and graphics, I am very much into fashion, so I like to integrate fashion into my illustration and design. I like bringing some fashion elements into my drawing and design, so I think graphic design is just a medium for me to express my passion.
IT POST Issue 4
How did you get into drawing?
I remember the first time I drew was my final year of university. I had no objective when I first started to draw. After my first drawing, I became obsessed with illustration and I haven’t stopped drawing since.
You took a trip to Fabrica in 2007, could you tell us about this experience? Do you have any interesting stories from the journey?
Oh, the start was quite funny actually. I made a publication about Fabrica for my final year project at university. Then one day the director of the design studio Milkxhake, Javin Mo talked to me at the graduation show and encouraged me to send this publication to Fabrica. Ever since he shared his experiences from Fabrica with me, I have had this idea in my head. Then I submitted my portfolio to Fabrica later on and I was absolutely thrilled when I found out they had chosen me for a trial.
There were a lot of interesting things that happened in those two weeks, but I always remember I got lost on the first day when I arrived in Italy. I would need to take a bus and a train to get there, but I was completely lost. Luckily, a nun, a Mandarin-speaking girl and a couple helped me to find my way on the road. It was memorable.
Casper and his Fabrica friends
How did this experience at Fabrica inspire you and what did you learn from it?
Fabrica is a big “melting pot”; designers and artists come from different countries and speak different languages. However, language and culture was never a barrier for us to work together as a team. In fact, I am glad that I had the opportunity to learn about different cultures from them. This experience definitely helped me to widen my vision on design and inspired me to bring my work to an international level.
When I Wear You
You have some on-going illustration projects, what is the concept behind each?
I am working on three personal illustration projects now, which are “When I Wear You”, “When I Sing For You” and “When I Shine On You”. The concepts behind them are similar. For “When I Wear You”, I would like to give tribute to the international fashion designers that I admire by drawing their portraits. Other than that, I also want to draw my favorite singers and fashion models, that’s why I developed the collection of “When I Sing For You” and “When I Shine On You”.
There appears to be a French influence in much of your work, why is this?
I always love the romantic culture in France and their language as well. So I like adding a little touch on my piece with French to enhance the romantic feeling. I would love to go there again someday.
T-shirt project with Start From Zero
Tell us some projects that you completed lately and what are you working on now?
I recently collaborated with a Hong Kong based street art team – Start From Zero to create a T-shirt project and they asked me to draw a portrait of the legendary music icon – Kurt Cobain. I was excited to be part of this group project and my work was printed on T-shirt, tote bag and sticker. The products are sold along with works created by different designers in Hong Kong and Taiwan. Also, I have done an illustration project for local magazine Milk X called “Les Vingt Femmes”, which I have drawn twenty mother icons. After that, I have done four illustrations for the latest issue of I.T POST.
Last week, Daria from AAAAAAAAAA in Italy, who I met at Fabrica, invited me to join their tailor made textile project. They would like to use my illustration as one of the prints on the denim. I am very much looking forward to do this fun project with the fun team!
Les Vingt Femmes for Milk X
As an illustrator, how do you see the illustration scene in Hong Kong? Who is your favorite Hong Kong illustrator?
Compare to Japan, illustration is a very niche market in Hong Kong. A lot of different types of illustrators exist in the Japanese market, and generally the acceptance from the Japanese is wiser than the people in Hong Kong. So I guess it is very hard to be a full-time illustrator in Hong Kong.
My favorite Hong Kong illustrator would be Ted Yeung. You can find a lot of Hong Kong’s old cultures from his illustrations, which I connect with very much.
What is your goal in the future?
I would love to have a chance to live and work in a foreign country one day. This is my number one dream for now. I think it will be great to have this exciting life experience. Then I would want to have my own design workshop couple years later.
Text: Justin Tsui