NOSTOS X ALGIA by Jon Goh

In January 2011 Jon Goh wowed us with his beautiful Alice in Wonderland inspired illustrations.  Last May, he graduated from Parsons where he amassed the Menswear Designer of the Year (2015) award. His name also appeared on  i-D magazine’s  list of Top 10 Undergraduates to watch.

More recently, Jon presented his winning thesis collection as part of KEEPERS Playtime at the National Design Centre.

(from the press release)

NOSTOS × ALGIA, began as an introspective search for identity through memory. Looking at Singapore through the lens of nostalgia, Jon’s collection borrows from collective past and personal history through research and images of post-colonial Singapore, and family photos from the 60s through the 90s.

“The ideas of ‘old world’ and ‘new world’ work hand-in-hand to create a hybridized one, that is in a perpetual state of becoming” says Jon. “Trough my thesis, I was interested in opening up the discussion of what designing for a world outside of our prescribed Western (design) vocabulary could or might (have) look(ed) like.”

It is through these aspects that his menswear collection also challenges Western sartorial convention, by borrowing from the streets of olden day Singapore, Ah Kong’s billowy pants, Grandma’s floral curtains, Mum’s cross-stitching projects, and beading from Peranakan slippers. The list goes on.

“I found myself rather displaced while abroad in New York as a young Singaporean overseas. How does my work reflect who I am and where I come from? How do I capture the essence of a nation that is so unique and diverse? Can design become a medium where we begin to create a visual language for our identity? Can we record, or translate our shared histories and memories as Singaporeans through design? These are questions that still intrigue me, and I don’t think my thesis necessarily answers these questions directly, but proposes the possibilities of what that process and result could look like,” says Jon.

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