Late last week I was in a cab filled to the brim with camera equipment, samples and props; all balanced precariously on my lap. It was one of those new and insanely silent electric black cabs (a mute vehicle coupled with the stereotypical disposition of a London cabbie is perhaps equivalent to tequila and gasoline, AND Miley Cyrus in the room: yes/no?) with a sunroof. I noticed through the glass ceiling that the leaves had started to turn yellow on De Beauvoir’s Southgate Road, and made a mental note to go see the leaves, Shini—and stop referring yourself in the third person. A week and a half later, my cab back from London City airport took the same route home and I realised that the leaves were a distant, unseen soggy memory.
‘Tree eczema…?’ was my contribution to a copywriter friend who was frisking the room for a better word for Autumn recently. (A hell of a writer I’d have made, dad, had I followed your suggestions of a more ‘reputable’ career path.) Change was happening whether I wanted or not; adamant, selfish, aggressive-at-times, change. The leaves turned, various social media platform algorithms shifted, and the notion of beauty morphed – almost overnight. Do I need Kim K lip fillers? Of course, I hadn’t aged one bit in the past decade!(?).
For ten years I zealously worked on keeping a story on a blog, whether it meant practising (or inventing) muscles in editing, styling, production, photography, web-design, or DIY*. All hats which, each gratefully led to micro-careers that supplied enough grit to help face any challenge that I—and by extension, my team—encounter today. However, despite hitting certain milestones and experiencing reasonable growth pains, I was only squirming from a larva to a pupa this past decade.
It was much like a 12-year-old becoming a 17-year-old, REALLY. I simply developed a set of chesticles—not big ones in my case anyway.
Like Louise Bourgeois’ drawings that depict the malleability of the elastic female body, capable of dissembling in childbirth and remorphing—a little bit like an Issey Miyake Pleats Please number—my journey rippled with the demand of the time. Just as Georg Simmel’s essay ‘Fashion’ (1904) oscillates between uniformity and “differentiation of separate ele- ments, producing the restless changing of an individual life”. In plain terms, it is true that ultimately we deal with an inherent desire “for change and contrast” matched with a need to conform or fit in.
What makes this livelihood so glaringly unnatural however, is the constant creative strains of churning out relevant and interesting content – content I cannot delegate to anyone else because you, my audience, are supposedly subscribed to my twisted sense of humour and visual perspective. Moreover, I cannot juggle (objects and deadlines, equally) to save my life so I naturally desired a team, a family, on whom I can rely.
My smart-ass gynaecologist only recently announced that my ovaries are about seven years older than the host body due to stress; and should we want a family, I needed first to oblige to this change brought on by none other than mother nature. It’s practically kafka-esque.
The hatching of CUBICLE is a consequence of a time when ruthless transition unfolds, like the turning of the leaves, their shedding, and the disposal by disgruntled street cleaners who swept them into—hopefully—degradable trash bags.
The World Wide Web accelerates at a dizzying speed and content, creative or not, is churned out and digested at a harrowing pace. Social Media campaigns are based solely on quantitative success and not emotive impact or memorability. Stories are cheap. It breaks my heart that a piece of work I embed a fragment of my soul in, gets so promptly buried in the social feed within one week, and then forgotten.
Yes, most my horcruxes are at a scroll’s distance.
Influence for the sake of influence is no longer an organic impact: this is a personal opinion (always has been – sorry, fashion industry), but I believe it’s almost as dangerous as rife plastic packaging, and NOW is the only time to act upon it. With this new venture I hope to re-strengthen integrity and take back ownership of stories, while collaborating with select brands and businesses with ethea that I truly admire. This is a plea to respect the configuration and etiquettes of each industry, encourage professionalism to young players and nourish creative talents, and in turn, assist them in their own stages of metamorphosis
A dragonfly in its final moult, undergoes metamorphosis from its nymph form into an adult and leaves a ghost of its past form, the exuviae. It’s a beautiful memento of the past self, albeit a little gross when discovered on a branch. This is the sole reason I have not shut down, or written over, Park & Cube. It will continue to exist as an enduring archive, a
celebration of the pages that had paved the way to this new chapter.
In André Breton’s Novel Nadja, Schiaparelli employs rhetoric strategies to subvert taste and functionality of a garment – an insect became a button, a shoe inspired a hat, a trompe l’œil effect turned a jumper into a shirt.
A key word in the Surrealist vocabulary, metamorphosis bears strong associations with transformation, mystique, and duality.
CUBICLE is an insect that is a button, evangelist of a slower internet, and my own metamorphosis.
creative direction, photography & words SHINI PARK
art direction CAMILO GONZALEZ
styling SIMON SCHMIDT
production CUBE COLLECTIVE
project management ELLEN LI
lighting KANE MARTINDALE
hair SKY CRIPPS-JACKSON
makeup AGA DOBOSZ
assist YIANNA HADJIPANAYIOTOU
research ZANA WILBERFORCE