Thursday 24 January 2008

Joy Island

I've just come across the astonishingly talented Chinese Photographer Joy Island. Not bad for someone who started taking photos in 2005 is she? With creativity like this it shouldn't be too hard to breath some life into brands that all too often are sclerotic and asphyxiated with a marketing bullshit that has crushed the life, tonality, voice and ability to inspire or provoke thought, through endless quantitative measurement of the difference between idea free and idea less.

Great brands are about ideas, not about doing everything possible to avoid an idea, and we need to let let talented local Chinese creative people and artists connect at this level. Creativity doesn't come from an Apple Mac it comes from people. The brand idea that sticks out often gets hammered in, here in Asia, but with photography like this I just know that China has a brilliant future as long as the creativity is protected.


  1. China has never had a lack of creative talent - infact I'd argue it's one of the most inherently creative places on Earth - the issue is that when we talk about creativity in relation to commercial communication, clients [and too many agencies] focus on keeping their seniors happy rather than doing what that will engage, enlighten and motivate the masses.

    It is "creative prejudice" and if not addressed, could either start to undermine how the wider society views creativity or - more likely - encourage these talented people to move overseas where they feel they will be more appreciated.

    OK, so when you've got a population of 1.4 billion, it's going to take a long time before that issue is really felt, but in places like SINGAPORE, the effect is already taking hold and whilst the Government are trying to counter it in some way, it's too little and quite possibly too late.

    Who do I blame? You can find out by going here ...

    [Sorry Charles for using this great post to plug my own blog - but until agencies and research firms stop being so fucking condecending [or corporate-toady] talent like Joy Island could not get the acclaim they fully deserve]

  2. No way Rob. Comments like that are always appreciated here. I'm so happy to see this kind of work as it confirms that the potential for creativity exists in a vibrant and stunning way. Its our job to make the advertising world in Asia understand that THIS is what makes people notice the world. Not the rubbish that is so often peddled as creative but is actually airbrushed and sanitized messages that will be ignored anyway. The thing that gives me a great excitement is that it will only take one brave client to put real emotion like this photography into their advertising and we will have 1.5 Billion people (OK I'm exaggerating but it sounds most awesomest) paying attention to what we do. This is the real and unspoken potential for China and the rest of Asia. The idea that stands out will never be forgotten - not hammered in.

    I wish we could work together on some shit. Get a dream team together and a client with balls and some personality. Fingers crossed eh!

  3. Now that is a campaign i'd love to see...

    Nice pictures. It will be interesting to see how the government handles the boom in creativity and expression that is happening now.