Partnership

DIOR LOVE CHAIN

I would conquer mountains, sail the seven seas, traverse desert lands, and skyrocket across the galaxy. And you, what would you do for love?

This short film was created for Dior Parfums, for the #DiorLoveChain campaign, to raise awareness and support for WE Charity, an international movement that partners with communities to help lift themselves out of poverty. The operation will particularly support the work of WE Schools in Kenya, aimed at providing young women with an education.

Directed + filmed by Urban Koi

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Partnership with Dior


B&O Harmonies

Bang & Olufsen introduced Harmonies, a new limited edition wireless speaker collection inspired by nature. The entire sound system was carefully designed to bring a bit of tranquility and balance into the home, crafted to sing together in blissful harmony. The Beoplay M5 features an aluminium disc that answers to viscous-dampened movement to manage volume and connection controls. Three evenly-spaced tweeters, a front facing mid-range driver, and a powerful woofer projecting its power down towards a meticulously designed disperser, provide a uniform diffusion of the Bang & Olufsen Signature 360º Sound throughout the space. The beautiful green woven wool produced by Kvadrat, a renowned Danish textile manufacturer, was constructed to add warm texture and enhance acoustics. The BeoSound 1 is a portable wireless speaker system, flexible to follow you to any room in your home or outside—the freedom of choice. It bears a built-in proximity sensor that detects your presence by calculating your distance, applying instantly, and automatically turning towards you, ready at your command. Its elegant design resembles a musical instrument to harmonise, not only in functionality but also in aesthetics—to create the perfect soundscape wherever the beauty of music takes you.

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Partnership with Bang & Olufsen

Fern
Harmonies 1
Harmonies 3
Harmonies 2

MINI x Shanghai

Automotive, Living, Work, Fashion. On first glance, these sectors may seem detached or isolated from one another, however, together they are the core elements that build the foundation of urban life for the Creative Class. MINI has introduced a unique vision for a brighter city life, whilst keeping a small footprint. The MINI mission is to integrate design expertise with the spirit of experience—a radically new future of urban living.

Cityscapes characterised by density and scarcity are reconstructing inner-city spatial aptitudes into a modernised currency in the era of hyper-urbanisation. Growing urban populations, space utilisation, and demographic amalgamation are evoking a collision between the supply and demand of living space in the global metropolises. Innovative architectural concepts that "think outside of the box", and integrate space and time, have become a necessity, as the most relevant urban potentials lay the framework for a future focused on personal flexibility, experience, and inspiration—together.

The MINI Shanghai URBAN MATTERS EXHIBITION took place from October 27 to November 7, 2017. The event was a paramount catalyst to the MINI mission to curate, create, and reinvent solutions—connecting the past to the future for a brighter urban life. 

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Partnership with MINI


MINI x NYC

MINI LIVING has designed the URBAN CABIN, a micro-house that acts as a research space for revolutionising urban living. The aim of the project is to create a pragmatic space inspired by local surroundings and bring light to relevant architectural solutions for urban needs and local identities, whilst keeping a small footprint upon Earth. The URBAN CABIN in Brooklyn camouflages into the landscape and illustrates New York for the vibrant city that it is—a blend of cultural influences from around the world.  

The URBAN CABIN façade flaunts iridescent acrylic glass in bright colours that change with every movement—a reflection of the bursts of inspiration and diversity in New York. In contrast, the back door—disguised as a hammock nestled in the a beautiful vertical garden—opens to the air for rest and restoration, a breath of calm and tranquility. The culture of the project meshes a spiked, humorous façade with a soft brightly coloured upholstered nestlike seat on its interior. “It’s basically St. Mark’s Place in the 80s: a bit punk, a bit kawaii...and close to John Hejduk,” states Peter Zuspan (principal of Bureau V), detailing some of the cabin's design references.

There will be a sequence of events and activities involving the URBAN CABIN through October and November 2017. 

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Partnership with MINI


Prospector Co.

As the heir of an aromatherapist, Kyle Hinton established Prospector Co. in Savannah, Georgia, in 2010. The unisex bath, body, and grooming commodities are constructed in care with sensitive skin in mind, formulated with no additives, artificial fragrances, and colouring. To ensure highest quality, each clean-scented elixir is blended in small portions with great attention to detail and encased by hand in classic apothecary-inspired bottles. I have been using Prospector Co. for quite a few years now and I truly recommend their products for the individual keen on natural, less commercialised goods. Health and wellness begins with the ingredients we ingest, including ones we allow our skin to absorb on a daily basis. Presented here are a few personal favourites. 


COMPRESSED TOWEL TABLETS

These compressed cotton fibre tablets instantly decompress at the touch of water and expand into small facial towelettes for convenient personal care anywhere, anytime. They are brilliant for travel and in-flight relaxation when paired with your favourite soak and a few drops of essential oils. For a lovely touch, these little jars make a welcoming and refreshing gift for guests who have paid you a weekend visit. 

LAVANDULA ANGUSTIFOLIA CREAM
8 oz. Push Dispenser

This calming moisturising hand and body cream, infused with botanicals, was designed with pure relaxation in mind. Creamy, yet light and absorbent, it leaves the skin feeling hydrated, smooth, and replenished. The essential oil blend of lavender, rosemary, and cedarwood amalgamate into a scent of subtle broken flowers, overgrown gardens, and springtime freshness. 

ROSEMARY SAGE HAND WASH
16 oz. Push Dispenser

This gentle cleansing soap is a soothing fusion of herbal essential oils with a revitalising, garden-fresh scent. Eucalyptus and sage open the sinuses and breathe clean air into the kitchen or bath. Rosemary intermixed with tea tree offer anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and deodorising properties to the palms. Thyme, characteristic with its warm, spiced scent, bears additional disinfectant features as well.

SHAVING BRUSHES

Using only the highest quality materials and handcrafted detail, all of our brushes are manufactured in Germany, working with an 80-year-old, family-owned business. The superior performance and longevity gained from age-old techniques and modern engineering make for an heirloom-quality brush that “lifts” the shaving experience (Prospector Co.).

PURE BRISTLE SHAVING BRUSH 
Made in Germany

The Pure Bristle is a natural hair brush, a superb choice for wet shaving. Its anatomy includes a beechwood handle and economical boar hair, which gives a firmer, more rigid effect to the shave, that mellows beautifully with age. This makes for an exceptional entry brush for a new wet shaver. I have given this dapper brush as a gift to a comrade and he is quite pleased. 

ACACIA WOOD SHAVING BRUSH
Made in Germany, Vegan

The natural Acacia Wood brush, with its long-lasting durability and high resistance to water, is another excellent option. The bristle is made from a superior black fibre that exudes similar qualities of the badger hair. These fibres are long-lasting, tenacious, and produce a marvelous foaming lather—they prompt reliable softness even through the constant wet and dry periods of daily use. 

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Partnership with Prospector Co.


Autumn Muses

As I peer through the rustic window back home in New York, I see leaves starting to change colour. The brisk zephyrs pass through trees with sombre sighs; the light is slowly growing melancholic and moody, signifying the beginning of my most favourite season—autumn. With ambient music playing in the background, I am sipping tea, deep in green with the essence of roasted rice, and musing upon my summer.

‘Elegance is not about being noticed, it’s about being remembered,’ articulates Giorgio Armani. And, the HP Spectre is an unforgettable one.

I never thought that I would fancy another laptop other than the one I owned for the past 4 years, but the Spectre provided me with a new perspective into my art, which allowed me to reinvent my creative vision.

This past summer, I aimed to nourish my adoration in travel to a foreign land far away from the metropolis as well as increase breadth in my travel work. Some were a bit surprised at my newest travel location, as it is the opposite from the hustle and bustle characteristic of the city that I gravitate towards. However, it is reminiscent of my work as a mere child, when my passions in photography blossomed, and I took special interest in capturing the beauty of a simple dandelion.

I typically do not bring my old laptop on travels because it is quite cumbersome, but the Spectre is so incredibly light, it was fitting to bring along with me everywhere I went. This laptop challenges the future of computers—the extreme thinness of the Spectre without the compromise of power is the feature that I found to be the most striking. As I admire the Spectre bathing in autumnal light on my windowsill, I can see just how unbelievably thin this laptop is.

Moreover, from the i7 Intel Core to the artisan craftsmanship with carbon fibre, aluminium, glass trackpad, and gorgeous keyboard—the attention to detail is stunning, making this gem elegant, yet solid.

Being an urban soul, as I have written in in my previous Journal entry, I predominantly captured the ephemeral, quiet moments in urban cities. But with my Spectre, I traversed the ocean to rural Iceland and my artistic expression has distinctly evolved, evident as my visual storytelling of my magical adventure slowly unravelled. My Spectre became the perfect summer companion and will continue to be in the future.

Escaping the city with my beloved Spectre was incredibly exhilarating—it was the highlight of my summer. My heart is full.

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Partnership with HP


Spectre in Iceland

Little 1.5m me and my 13cm platform boots hiked across a mysterious post-apocalyptic planet through endless kilometres of rocks and black sand, and stumbled upon a mysterious plane wreckage peeking through thick fog. I stood on top of a mountain amongst the clouds, breathless, revelling in its mystifying allure. I am finally herethe land of fire and ice, Iceland. 

Iceland is a magical place that I have dreamed of visiting ever since I was a child, thumbing through old issues of National Geographic. I diverged from my comfort and familiarity in urban cities and ventured to a more remote land that breathes magic and wonderment through the untouched beauty of naturemy most adventurous escapade yet. 

Admittedly, I have always been a city person. My upbringing is deeply rooted in Brooklyn and I am studying at Columbia University, which is adjacent to Harlem. I grew up living most of my life in New York City. But, spending more and more time with my Spectre, I was struck with a delightful spark of new inspiration, which led me to reinvent my creative catharsis. 

My creative work encompasses city lifefrom the forgotten ruins and remnants of old cities around the world contrasting with the architecture of the 21st century to food and still life moments present in urban settings. However, because the Spectre is extremely feather-light, versatile, and powerful with a long-lasting battery, it provided me with confidence to venture with it outside of Reykjavík, the capital and largest city in Iceland.

I felt that I was not bound to the city. My creativity deepened as I lost myself in more landscapesmountains, glaciers, and waterfalls, to places that I have never been to before. I even had the pleasure of seeing Aurora Borealis dance in person, the stunning Northern Lights. The Spectre allowed me edit in the mountains and visualise my work on screen on site, breathing in the crisp air, overlooking the water. 

I am becoming more obsessed with the Spectre since my previous Journal entry, as it is expanding my creativity into landscapes and nature. I am reinventing my obsession. 

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Partnership with HP


New Obsession | HP Spectre

Although a bit camera-shy, I pushed myself out of my comfort zone. Perhaps you have been following my Twitter and saw little hints or seen me on the big screen in theatres across America as film pre-roll, but I am incredibly honoured to officially reveal that HP featured me in a cinematic short directed by the talented Tatia Pilieva, which documents bona fide reactions to the new Spectre. Weeks before filming, they were awfully mysterious and did not disclose any further details. I must say, it highly piqued my curiosity! Upon arrival at Siren Studios in Hollywood, I was quickly ushered through hair and makeup, and finally onto a full production set. Admittedly, I was quite hesitant at first as I have never been on a production set in Hollywood before, however, I was utterly impressed. 

The new Spectre is a stunner. There's thin and there's thinner—the Spectre is 10.4mm in thickness and weighs only 2.45lbs. As a travel photographer, I am obsessed with the smart Artisan craftsmanship and revolutionary design—feather weight without sacrificing power or battery life. The Spectre is the first HP laptop to integrate a hybrid battery—four polymer battery cells are allocated throughout the device in order to maximise battery capacity, enabling me to work longer on a single charge no matter where I am in the world. As a scientist, I am immensely keen with HP's unique method to cooling. The laptop is so remarkably thin that it requires special progressive hyperbaric cooling technology that actively draws cool air in and directs it over the processor, rather than simply venting it out. 

The Spectre is the ultimate sensorial masterpiece as well—Bang & Olufsen audio (my favourite) and a full HD IPS display with exceptional sound clarity and crisp visuals guarantee that I never miss a detail, whether I am editing on the plane, watching a film, or conducting experiments at the lab, deep into data analysis. I will be taking my Spectre on my next adventures and I cannot wait to share my experience with you.

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Partnership with HP



Wythe Hotel

Just walking into the room was a breath of fresh air. The Wythe Hotel is a haven which I frequently escape to for a staycation or short retreat and I am almost hesitant to share photos since it holds a special nook in my heart. It still remains one of my most treasured hotels and I have been waiting for the right moment to document it. From the outside, it may appear analogous to all of the old neighboring warehouses in Williamsburg with rustic brick walls and vintage industrial features, however, the inside is classic-modern, chic, and tastefully minimal with urban character. 

A former barrel and cask cooperage, circa 1901, the Wythe Hotel began with the uncovering of a factory on the Williamsburg, Brooklyn waterfront. It has now been refurbished into a 70-room hotel by trio Australian hotelier Peter Lawrence, local property developer Jed Walentas (of Two Trees) and celebrated restaurateur Andrew Tarlow (of Diner and Marlow & Sons).

With floor-to-ceiling windows that showcase glorious views of the Manhattan skyline and a standalone pedestal tub, the hotel is of ebullient industrial charm—the original bare bricks, arched windows, and impressive cast iron columns have all been artfully preserved, while the bucolic pine ceilings were reconditioned into bed frames.

The hotel’s rooftop bar, The Ides, rests in a new glass box extension above the old warehouse, while the restaurant, Reynard, serves a menu that changes nearly every day with seasonal fare, wood-fired dishes created by Tarlow, and the finest handmade desserts with gourmet flavours.

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wythehotel.com