Hawaiian-born artist and designer Jasper Wong is inspired by the day-glo energy of 1980s America. “I’m mostly inspired by 80s culture, like Mr. T and Chairman Mao, and I like to draw them in little dresses and shooting laser eyes,” he explains in the latest video from The Avant/Garde Diaries.


After a decade away from Hawaii, Wong returned to “give back.” One of his recent projects was Little Shop of Wonders, a pop-up shop where school children are invited to color 60-feet of walls like a giant coloring book. “I feel like in this day and age, we kind of forget this analogue materials and skills, and I wanted to remind people about the simple beauty of coloring.”

“Beautiful in its simplicity, the act of using a crayon to put color on paper is an experience that we’ve all shared at some point in our lives and it’s an activity that we’ve watched children enjoy countless times thereafter,” he says. “Coloring is one of the reasons that stemmed my love for art and continues to fuel it to this day.”

A simple idea can have a beautiful ripple effect, even if we don’t know what that is quite yet.

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One reply on “Honoring the Day-glo Vibes of 1980s America”

  1. Wonderful project. I wouldn’t call it “just coloring” though. Coloring is a wonderful way for children to learn about color relationships, shapes, and even Gestalt stuff like creating a whole from pieces. Coloring is a very creative activity for kids!

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