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Head in the clouds: Get lost in traditional Japanese art brought to life

Make-up artist Porsche Poon reinterprets the classic style in a new, playful way

“I have always wanted to do a story related to my roots, but I didn’t want to make a story about Chinese theatre masks because it’s been done so much in the past,” says make-up artist and creative director Porsche Poon. Instead, he drew inspiration from Chinese and Japanese comics he has been reading recently and armed with a new 3D pen he’s been playing with over lockdown, he decided to combine the two. 

“I was first drawn to all the cloud drawings from comics and as I started to dig deeper, I learned more about Asian totem and prints on ancient Chinese emperor and empress’s imperial dress.” The result – created in collaboration with photographer Michiyo Yanagihara and hairstylist Benjamin David – are a series of beautifully serene images, that take the traditional cloud motifs you might recognise and reinterpret them in new, fun ways using the 3D pen or wisps of hair. 

“My favourite part of working on this project has to be making the 3D clouds,” Poon shares. “I used it to create all the different textures, even the cloud shadow in one of the pictures was formed by my 3D clouds. I felt empowered with ideas of how to incorporate a 3D object to create different images – plus it’s really fun!”

Photography Michiyo Yanagihara, creative direction and make-up Porsche Poon, hair Benjamin David, models Pei Pei @ MiLK Model Management, Ruo Yi @ D1 Models, Chantel & Erika Thorsen @ Body London 

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