Art director’s choice

Hearing news this week of a forthcoming exhibition by the multidisciplinary, D&AD-awarded, illustration and design studio Kai & Sunny has sparked some excitement around the Design Week office. Entitled ‘The Flower Show’, this is their third solo show at the Stolen Space gallery and looks set to impress.

Kai Clements and Sunny both studied art and design at Epson School of Art before going on to develop careers working under Ben Drury at Mowax and Maharishi respectively. After their solo stints in these roles, they decided to set up their own studio ten years ago.

What I admire most is the versatile nature of their work. They confidently switch between the creation of striking design campaigns for the likes of Adobe, Cadbury’s and Apple to producing intricate, natural and sometimes sinister styles for their clothing line, Call of the Wild, Unkle, Surrenderous and Alexander McQueen to name just a few.

Kai and Sunny project for Alexander McQueen and Unkle
Kai & Sunny project for Alexander McQueen and Unkle

Call of the Wild t-shirt design
Call of the Wild t-shirt design

Call of the Wild t-shirt design
Call of the Wild t-shirt design

Work produced for international clients strikes a vast contrast to their personal output but still maintains a very specific aesthetic, instantly recognisable as their own. It’s a balance that the studio are particularly proud of and keen to embrace.

‘Commercial work is always about solving a brief, working with other people to achieve a solution. This way of working can be hugely rewarding and take you down different paths,’ explains Clements. ‘Art is much more personal and is something Sunny and I have total control over. But it’s scary too, as it’s our input and nobody else’s.’

Book design for author David Mitchell
Book design for author David Mitchell

Following on from the success of their previous Stolen Space shows, they will be exhibiting a series of monotone screenprints, highlighted in glittering silver, each exploring the word ‘flower’ in different contexts. The exhibition continues their fascination with nature, featuring a variety of intricate, intense, weave-like depictions of the flower form.

‘The Flower Show idea was taking a word that has so many connotations. It felt right to right to use this as a starting point as it possesses so many different layers and meanings,’ explains Clements.

I’m particularly looking forward to seeing the 120cm x 80cm two-colour, hand screened editions. The making of which can be seen below.

Screenprinting in action
Screenprinting for the upcoming show

Screenprinting in action
Screenprinting in action

Screenprinting in action
Kai & Sunny screenprint

The future looks bright for Kai & Sunny, with an array of big commissions and exhibitions planned for later in the year, including another project entitled ‘Ghosts of Gone Birds’, showing at Liverpool School of Art, alongside a range of artists including Jamie Hewlett and Sir Peter Blake.

See details below to win this Kai Sunny screenprint
See details below to win this Kai & Sunny screenprint

To be in with a chance to win this limited edition, hand-pulled, one-colour screenprint from the show, measuring in at 75cm x 55cm, email our blog editor, Laura Snoad at laura.snoad@centaur.co.uk with your name and address, and the subject line ’Kai & Sunny’. A winner will be selected at random and be notified by email. Closing date is 26 June, the same day the exhibition closes.

The Flower Show by Kai & Sunny is at the Stolen Space Gallery and runs from 3-26 June.

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  • tom sanderson November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Kai and Sunny

    Tom Sanderson
    24 Warleigh Road
    Brighton BN1 4NT
    East Sussex

    Love their work!

  • Alistair Lorimer November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    ’Kai & Sunny’

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