Design Hunter Q+A: Mikala Tai

Deep in the midst of organising Supergraph, we catch up with one talented young Design Hunter, Mikala Tai.

17 Dec 2014

 

Name: Mikala Tai

Where you are from/live: Melbourne & Hong Kong…but I live in Melbournetown.

What you do: I am the director of Supergraph and a freelance writer and curator on the side.

When did you first know you wanted to be a… I never really set out to become any one thing I particular. It all just evolved from falling in love with collecting art.

Your latest project: Supergraph is my latest and most loved project. I have never worked on something where everyone involved is so committed and going to work is always a bit of fun. It is an annual Contemporary Graphic Art Fair held in Melbourne that sees an explosion of art and design over Valentine’s Weekend. We hope that it is almost impossible to leave without taking something home for your wall.

Please tell a bit about this, what were the highs and what were the challenges? How did you overcome these?

The biggest challenge is the fact that I am a creative type and this role requires me to be the business type! But now that I have the hang of it I am actually really enjoying the nuts
and bolts of running a business as much as I love when new art works pop into our inbox. (That is a complete lie – nothing beats seeing new applications!)

Where you find inspiration:

Adventuring. And while I am infinitely inspired by wanderlust it is more the fact that travelling gives me some time out from routine and a moment to refocus and redefine what’s next.

Three people that inspire/excite you:

1) Artist Yang Yongliang
2) Artist Mohammed Kazem (particular The Sound of Object series)
3) The brave people that submit their work to Supergraph to be involved in their very first show.

What is your favourite…

Car/bike/plane/boat model: I am the worst person to ask this question to. I have no idea.
Chair model: Am currently a little bit obsessed with Melbourne’s Barnaby Lane ‘Tanner’ chair.
Residential space: My apartment – I only recently moved in so I am a little obsessed with lounging at home.
Commercial space: The Prada store in SoHo, New York. Words cannot describe the fit out.

Decorative product: Everything Wirely Home produces!
Functional product: Lab de stu’s ‘Dr. Spinner’
Handmade good: Ingrain Designs’ recycled timber everything. MUST HAVE.
Mass-produced good: Books. Any books. This is mass produced goodness that we cannot lose.

Item in your studio: My cactus Carlos.
Time of day to work/play: I am a night owl by nature but am trying to
teach myself to be an early bird.

Meal: Chinese New Year banquet (Impossible to beat!)
Restaurant: Supernormal & Townmouse
Drink: Lychee Martini
Bar: The backgarden of my friend’s place in North Fitzroy.

Piece of technology: My iphone. I love it.
Historical figure: Alfred Barr – who began MoMA and the fashion for collecting art and design from the now for tomorrow.
Fictional character: Alice from Alice in Wonderland.

Vice: Tequila.
Virtue: 2 litres of water a day to counteract the tequila.

What does the term ‘Design Hunter’ mean to you? It means someone with an insatiable need to find the beautiful in the everyday. I recently caught up with a friend who made me cross the road so we could walk on the side that had the more beautiful buildings. He is a design hunter supreme.

Who are two people you’d call Design Hunters? Korean artist Lee Ufan – he goes rock hunting! And my close collaborator Suzy Tuxen from A Friend of Mine – she is constantly on the hunt for excellent design and I have learnt a great deal from her.
 

Supergraph
supergraph.com.au