By Omar Linares
Justin Ng’s own life seems embedded in the aesthetics his images lean to; the white walls and furniture frames him in a manner not unlike those of his graphite illustrations and subtle toned photography. Not only his aesthetic but also much of his subject matter reflects the influence of the fashion industry amidst which he grew up, as his imagery features jewelry and decorative designs but also portraiture. Although Justin currently explores the possibilities of vector art, as for instance in his piece “Madam Butterfly,” the light tone and minimalism of form of many of his images employ graphite and color washes; this choice of media partly influenced by the fashion illustrations of David Downton. Still, Justin doesn’t think of himself as a fine artist, “…when I do my work I’m not necessarily as conceptual as some of the other people in our school…”
Indeed, during his time at the Illustration major at Emily Carr, he has experienced this division between the conceptual prominence of fine art and the more commercial applied illustration, as class critics with fine art students majors have shown him. However, this rift does not prevent him from engaging in formal explorations of “unexpected colour combinations that look kind of awkward…” or on the “juxtaposition between hard and soft” subject matter like pop culture elements and masculine portraits.
The focus on theme and aesthetics is part of his plans to develop as an editorial fashion illustrator; while exploring local job openings and submitting to art exhibitions, Justin is conscious of the need “…to focus on one style, that’s what I’ve learned in the last two years…you don’t want people to not know what to expect from you.”
Justin’s work can be found at his blog: http://justin-ng.net/illustration/
Photos by - Geoff Campbell + Sami Barker