Blasblog: The Koh Front
When I moved to New York, my mother gave me one piece of professional advice: Work begets work. I blew that off with the rest of her metropolitan tips. (She once bought me one of those tourist money belts for Christmas. Can you imagine?) Still, speaking to the most recent face of United Bamboo, Terence Koh, proved she might be right with that other dictum. So, how did Koh land this latest campaign? “Thuy [Pham, United Bamboo co-designer] was in Hong Kong and saw my face plastered all over billboards for an ad campaign I did there for Lane Crawford,” the artist explains. “He didn’t know I could strike a pose like no other.” (We of course knew that, having seen him work a Fendi fur and Balenciaga robot leggings like it was his job.) Not that he was unfamiliar with the clothing: He’s been a fan of the collection for his daily studio wear for years. “I think it’s a great puts-you-in-the-mood-to-make-art clothes look,” says Koh. “You just feel elegant and creative in it, like one of those preppy hot Catholic school boys.” Koh also says he took the modeling job very seriously, even agreeing to grow back his eyebrows for the shoot. He may even be contemplating a career change. “I would like to be a male model,” he says with a smile. “I think I might give up being an artist. That’s hard work.” He might just be his own best agent. He says he’d like his next job to be shot as the face of Comme des Garçons, but to hawk the women’s collection—not the men’s. It’s not a total stretch for the whippet-thin artist. “I have always had a dream to be in a custom-made Comme des Garçons white wedding dress shot by Jean-Paul Goude.” From what we know of those visionaries, it might not be a bad collaboration. Koh definitely knows his way around the fashion-as-art lingo: “Honestly I just like looking at clothes which I don’t perceive as fashion,” he explains. “It’s like shapes and surfaces you put over your body so you become a living sculpture.” You can see Koh’s ads, shot by Marcelo Krasilcic in the Spring issue of Fantastic Man magazine.