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For T 02, the Bangkok-born, Paris-based multidisciplinary artist makes us smile with a tongue-in-cheek T-shirt capsule that encourages us to clean up our environment.
To encourage the positive change that 2021 needs, LN-CC is broadening its Conscious initiative with a series of community-centred, sustainably-minded launches that support the creatives, campaigns and causes that are changing the world for the better. Today sees the second installment of T, a project that invites a multidisciplinary artist to harness the everyday power of a ubiquitous wardrobe staple, while we donate all profits to a charity of their choosing.
After illustrator and animation director Kyle Platts applied his signature comic abstraction on a capsule of environment-inspired warning label T-shirts for T 01, LN-CC invited self-proclaimed “nonsense” artist Pz Opassuksatit to make us smile and encourage us to act with a tongue-in-cheek design for a cause close to her heart.
Essentially the T project is made for the Bangkok-born, Paris-based art director and artist continually places her distorting lens over the familiar, she instantly turns it Into the unexpected and otherworldly. From a cake reading ‘bruise my esophagus.’ to a scarf-meets-toilet-seat cover and a pair of Salad Leaf Sliders, her work as PZ Today has been described as dark comedy and her world as one of extraordinary, eccentric oddities. Pz’’s email subject line reads: “Selling Concept & Design For Living” and she’s wonderfully described her approach as taking something basic and adding little Spice, a twist that introduces people to a different perspective. For her design, she worked with photographer and close friend Charly Gosp to shoot a trash strewn beach scene and nominated SOS Earth as her chosen charity.
How would you like to introduce yourself and the pz perspective, what you do and why you do it?
Pz: I recently came to the realisation that one word, nonsense, succinctly describes my approach. I want to lift things up, blur lines, and love making people laugh and smile. Why not bring more love, joy, and laughter in fashion? Beyond nonsense, I see myself as an artist that works within fashion, but I'd like to expand. I started in fashion design but as there were more opportunities in art direction, graphics and book design, that’s where I’ve moved. Ultimately, my time at Vetements (as Head of Image and Visual Design) shaped my path and I've not looked back, I’m always learning, always experimenting.
Firstly, what attracted you to take part in our T project? Your perspective is in demand, so what made you say yes to T?
Pz: I've always loved LN-CC, it's a platform and community that's so positive and inspiring, so when you reached out I just had to do it. The charity element was very important to me too and it's great to be able to support SOS Earth. I've known its co-founder Maria (Poonlertlarp) since my BA and she used to model for me before she became a family friend. Even before she was crowned Miss Universe Thailand in 2017, she's always been engaged in what's happening in Thailand. With SOS Earth she's pushing consumer and political environmental change.
Maria, what was the catalyst for SOS Earth?
Maria: I've always been engaged in environmental issues and one of the biggest issues here in Thailand has been trash; we are one of the highest polluters of plastic into the ocean. Our trash system just isn't good enough and our recycling facilities import in order to reach capacity. Just walking around the city, you see just how prolific plastic use is in everyday life; coffee comes in a plastic cup, with a plastic straw, a plastic holder and a plastic bag. Out of discussions with my friends, we wanted to create something collectively because we had so many ideas and concentrated on how we could influence both consumer behaviour and policy. SOS Earth started with nature-based activities, going into the wild and harnessing energy for change.
Could you talk us through some of the initiatives SOS Earth has worked on?
When Covid-19 hit, we had to pivot online because we were unable to bring groups of together and that's where initiatives like the #TRASHME campaign became the focus and it was about inviting people to question their consumption behaviour. As people understand the problems, we're now encouraging them to push for policy change; to sign petitions and to call for government change. On August 30th there was this huge bill where we were trying to stop the import of plastic particles from China because we already have so much. Few people recycle here, trash isn't separated at home because they see the trucks come and mix everything anyway. It's not working and so much trash ends up in our rivers. When we were doing the river pick up last year, we encountered anything and everything, from beds to refrigerators, helmets to bottles of pee! It's a constant flow and we need to turn off the tap. It's about going to producers of plastic and encouraging them to change, to switch to materials that are easier to recycle. It's such a big project. Right now we are working with Thai Health, in order to do a river restoration project as a model in one of the areas, cleaning them and adding oxygen to them. They are potentially great modes of transportation but they're neglected and have long been abused, not forgetting how they could improve local air quality too. This links to the TRASHME campaign but extends into pollution in our rivers too. Also the recent Love4Air project has seen SOS Earth supply nearly 100 air filters to child development centres in Chiang Mai.
Amazing, we hope we can help! Pz, what was your starting point for this project?
Pz: I’ve always loved the ocean and pollution has become a real problem.
A fake sand beach on a rock beach, that’s so nonsense!
Pz: Exactly! Plus I always keep my trash, my pockets are filled because you never know when it might be useful. There are many cute, hidden details in the picks like my favourite water that show my obsessions. It's about raising awareness. I come from Thailand, where the beaches are so beautiful but over the years they are increasingly becoming polluted. The changes are more obvious to me because I'm away a lot. I went back in December and couldn't believe how bad the air has become and the volume of trash. The T-shirt is filled with details waiting to be discovered, to encourage us all to have to figure how we can all help.
Beyond buying the T-shirts, what do you hope people take away from the project?
Pz: It's an open book, from art to awareness, people can take whatever they're drawn to. It's more than just a T-shirt to me.
Maria: Firstly, I love the T-shirts, they’re great! Our goal is about helping people understand. When people understand what's at stake here and how it links to so many issues, everyone wants to do good, everyone wants a clean environment. In Thailand, we don't have the same media focus on environmental issues and the belief in re-using is historic but has been overlooked in recent years as we've Westernised. People are beginning to return to these values, seeing the worth in indigenous values as people want change.
How would you like them to be worn?
I've been wearing the T-shirt during my residency and people keep stopping me and asking where they can get one, which is great. I'm an all year T-shirt. From summer feel good through to winter when I need to be reminded of warmer days.
PZ, you’re currently working on a residence in the CayMan Islands but what’s next?
PZ: I'm about to return to Paris for a GUT Magazine shoot, and I'm working on another book. There are always new things coming.
Art Direction PZtoday, @pztoday
Photography Keren Lasme, @angnm__
Models Irene Wambui Wangari, @me_wambui
David Lastuvka, @davidlastuvka