Malcolm, excerpt:

M. Shea:  Can you remember at some point, early on in your life, if there was someone or something that really made you want to make things, or made making considerably better?

Malcolm W. Choy:  Absolutely. Absolutely.  It happened so long ago that it might be almost myth.  When I was about four, when they sent us to junior kindgergarden, in the early 80s.  It's adults, trying to throw things at kids, to keep them amused, to see what sort of sticks.  Pure academic learning, story telling, nap time, play--all that stuff.  There was art period in junior kindergarden.  We had a special art instructor come in along on top of the actual kindergarden teacher.  And we'd just be doing some very innocuous and basic things, with crayons, and stuff like that.  I don't even remember the first time it clued in to me that I could draw.  I don't remember the first drawing that I ever made.  Um, I just knew that--when I remember it--that it was comfortable.  Drawing and making things, for people.  Pictures.  Anyways, this art teacher, who was of Irish descent, and still had a bit of his accent, he wore dark glasses and had dark curly hair, I think.  He took a shine to my art pieces, and he took the time out specifically, and beyond the art hour, I would have individual tutoring.  I would have my own art teacher for another half hour or hour to develop my drawing skills.  Because I think at that point we were already discussing, you know, I had known the difference between realism and a little bit of abstraction, so we were always can you draw this plant more realistic and less realistic, and what do these colours mean to you, and can you draw me, and the hat.  And anyway, I'm four years old, and I was really into it, and I would come home, and he was a big  impact, and I thought ya, at that point, that I'd be an artist when I grew up.  And I think my parents did too, I was just so into it.  Anyways, that summer, you go away right, for summer break.  And my art teacher, my tutor, I don't remember his name, went back to Ireland to visit family.  Unfortunately there was a, um, a plane crash, and he died.  So he never came back the next year, and uh, I never heard anything more.  But it used to be said that he, at that time, that year, he'd always have a couple of my drawings with him, in his briefcase.  So I like to think that he took a couple of drawings back and then they were lost in the sea.  So, I don't remember his name.  I don't even know if he's real anymore, or a figment of my imagination, but that is the beginning of my making, of my artistic narrative.  Ya, it's total myth.  It's awesome.

M. Shea:  I guess he was sort of a focal point for your process―

Malcolm W. Choy:  Exactly.

M. Shea:  ―and so can you. . .  do you think, you use other people as your focal points now, or do you think that helps you in some way. 

Malcolm W. Choy:  Absolutely.  I think that was very impressed upon me at that point.  Like I say, I think there were technical discussions but it had nothing in my memory to do with technical advancement.  It was really an embodiment through somebody, or their support, where the idea of me starting to make something viably, started coalescing.  So I guess I was making something for somebody at first, I guess it was me, or him, or whatever.  And to this day there are individuals that I find that I focus on and that I find highly inspirational.  For better or worse! And it's so cliché uh, but um, I fall in love with people, with women, all the time.  I love being in love and nothing beats ― this sounds terrible and sexist ― nothing beats a proper female muse.  And whether I'm writing ridiculous sort of love letters, or innocuously sketching a portrait, in a bar over the table or something like that, if I think about that person enough, they become the focal point.  Suddenly I can write something for them.  There's someone to write something for.  And I can imbue all this fresh romanticism in it, I can break the constraints.  I don't know what their impression is, but I want to make a good impression somehow, and so I'm doing it for these ridiculous and juvenile and thoughtless reasons, and yes, there are people who become focal points, for me.

M. Shea: Ya, they sort of bring it out of you.

Malcolm W. Choy:  Ya, I think they bring it out of me.  And the worst thing is that I rarely, I forget to credit these people for the work they do because it happens on the sly, and very sort of privately and internally for me.  It manifests itself, like I said, in small love letters, or little things that I've made, but I don't know how many of them, past muses and lovers and people that've influenced me, know whether or not their influence has migrated, and in fact it has, to various other pieces of work.  In obtuse ways.  Not in, not directly, you know, just it's a part, it's a piece of what I think, would be pleasing to them aesthetically, or it could be simply one of their hobbies, or interests that they've shared with me, that I've decided to comment on in an abstract way.  But ya, those things like threads, get pulled and then they find their way into, you know, other sweaters and scarves.

(transcription from Interview 25)
Lee Towndrow
Kevan Funk
Jamie Usas
Malcolm W. Choy
Rich D’Alessandro
Giuseppe Bellomo
Tyler Walker
Oliver Jeffers
Aleksandra Popovska
Danelle Abbott
Lee Piazza
Anna Jarvis
Skanda Lin
Benji Wong
Graham Robinson
Adam Bentley
Alex Cogswell
Esther Kim
Max HughInterview_25_Lee_Towndrow.htmlInterview_25_Kevan_Funk.htmlInterview_25_Jamie_Usas.htmlInterview_25_Mlex.htmlcoming_soon.htmlshapeimage_2_link_0shapeimage_2_link_1shapeimage_2_link_2shapeimage_2_link_3shapeimage_2_link_4