THE FOUND OBJECTS OF ANDREE KONG
ONE WOMAN'S JUNK, THE WORLD'S TREASURE
Hong Kong has, for centuries existed as a city on the precipice of both the East and West, a threshold between worlds, and like her place of birth, Andree Kong was raised on the edge and in the middle of many things at once. Born into a bilingual family, Andree was raised to appreciate the values and art forms from two very distinct cultures. With a mind and a home full of such life and juxtaposition, it was only a matter of time before she started practicing art. She tells us “the countless cultural contrasts that I encountered throughout my life often drew me to the preciousness of found objects and materials. I believe this fostered my ability to interpret the art world through multiple lenses, and triggered my first step into the creative product field.” In an effort to detail the wild world around her, to show all that she and only she could see, Andree’s passion towards materials and found objects took root as an early child. She started off as “a collector of random junk,” and began to explore craftsmanship, fine art, and sculpture during her high school years, eventually going on to pursue a career in design at the Savannah College of Art and Design.
Now focusing on handbag and footwear design, Andree says that her artistic medium is “accessorizing and objectifying.” She believes that accessories can draw attention to our desires, enhance our beauty and demonstrate power, and how what you adorn yourself with and how you adorn yourself is itself a way of applying art onto the human body, and ultimately becoming one of the truest mediums of self-reflection. Her objects of adornment, in their myriad forms, have garnered her much attention as her designs have been featured in Elle, Bazaar and Vogue. Exhibited at the American Made Show, Parson X Neiman Marcus Hudson Yards Showcase, and the CFDA Fashion Future Graduate Showcase. Her proudest career achievement is having her handmade mule loafer, worn by the infamous runway coach and reality television personality J. Alexander.
From Hong Kong to New York and so many places in between, Andree Kong’s work is as unique and thoughtful as its creator. Andree, in regards to her artistic philosophy, tells us that “I learned that as a designer, you can only empower yourself by respecting your heritage, aesthetic and always staying true to your purpose as an artist.” From collecting junk as a child, to graduating from an esteemed college of design, to making footwear and accessories for the international fashion arena, Andree Kong has done just what she set out to do: she has stayed true to her Hong Kong roots, mixing and mashing worlds together with the raw everyday material she sees in front of her, bringing to life a body of work as diverse as it is experimental and raw.