Jon Max Goh, menswear designer
A Design-Singapore scholar inspired by Singaporean and Peranakan heritage, Goh graduated with a BFA in fashion design at Parsons The New School for Design and bagged the school’s Menswear Designer of the Year in 2015. He was also a recipient of the CFDA (The Council of Fashion Designers of America) scholarship in 2014. I come from a fine arts background and grew up being encouraged to pursue my creative interests. While I’m a fashion designer by training, I’ve come to realise that I’m ultimately an artist. My work is often from the lens of fashion design. Our cultural, social and physical interactions between body and garment are what drive my interest with the medium. I see clothing and material as my palette and clay to paint and sculpt with. I’m not so concerned about creating a retail empire as I am trying to get us to keep thinking about the way we engage with our world through clothing.
There’s one work that I do think of fondly that sets it apart from the fashion designs I’ve done over the years. It’s titled ‘Corpus, In Tandem’. It was a project I did in my senior year at Parsons that centred on how we perceive our own (physical and cognitive) identities through being informed by the context of other bodies that we come into contact with. The fondness come from the fact that I was able to include people (mostly friends) who allowed me to borrow and document their bodies, and engage with them in face-to-face conversations about their relationship with their own bodies.
I feel privileged to (be practising art in Singapore). Firstly, because I know it’s still not an oft-travelled path for many to conceive. Secondly, because it’s an exciting time to be contributing to the cultural capital we get to create for ourselves. I hope that artists and designers continue to lead by example and pave the way for future creative minds and hearts. As creative trailblazers, we take it in our stride to be responsible in the way we shape and design how people interact and function, whether as a direct cause or a by-product of our decisions.
(Caroline Kan of Keepers) has been a great supporter and mentor through the years as I set out on my path in New York. I had already shown my senior thesis at Keepers three years back on a return trip home, so when Carrie approached me about the upcoming iteration of Keepers, it was a no-brainer seeing as I had missed out on all the fun from last year at Majestic Hotel! What started out as a simple idea to bring visibility to local artisans has grown into a giant celebration of all things local. I think Keepers has been such a great support in bringing art, design and everything off the beaten path into the light that allows the public to enjoy and appreciate effortlessly.
Pages from ‘Corpus, In Tandem’ by Jon Max Goh.