Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Jun ist es wichtig, dass seine detailreichen Werke vor dem Auge des Betrachters »explodieren«.
The works of Jun have a great attention to details. He loves it when artworks »explode« in a visual way.
Einer der am häufigsten genannten Namen in der singapurischen Illustratorenszene ist Jun. Seine Arbeiten werden in unzähligen nationalen sowie internationalen Büchern und Magazinen vorgestellt. Durch Kunden wie Sony und Nike hat er sich seinen Traum erfüllt und sein eigenes Studio Büro Ufho gegründet.
Jun made his dream come true and founded his own studio Büro Ufho in 2008. His clients are huge companys like Nike and Sony. His works and illustrations are featured in many national and international books and magazines.

Would you like to tell us something about yourself (e.g. educational background, job experiences)?
I graduated from the Internet Computing course from Temasek Polytechnic, majoring in Broadband Multimedia. I learnt programming for games, web, and applications, understanding web usability, laying out cables and touching a little on web streaming. A twist of fate led me into making videos and animations during my internship, and designing printed flyers and marketing collaterals for clubs on my first job, and subsequently ended up in an advertising agency as a Visualiser and Art Director. It does help me look at things from these various angles.
When did you start Büro Ufho?
Büro Ufho started after I left advertising agency Ogilvy in the wake of the recession in 2008. Not many people would choose a time like this, but looking back it sure was the best time to do so.
Devoid of the addiction of a stable income, I felt like a free man, and became less afraid of making tough decisions, in terms of design and business.
What is the main focus of Büro Ufho?

What is the main focus of Büro Ufho?
To create great, interesting works. It boils down to the word 'Euphoria', meaning being able to do what we enjoy doing most that leaves us with happiness and contentment. Enjoying your work is a crucial part of creating great work and we believe it cannot be achieved when people don't love what they do. Our works tend to be visually-focused but I guess it's what we do well at, which in-turn attracts more visually-focused projects. We also work well with corporate identity projects, something which we enjoyed very much lately. We work with direct clients as well as agencies of various sizes and do not see ourselves as their competitors, but merely providing them additional value into the project.
What does the name »Büro Ufho« mean?
UFHO started as an online showcase of my portfolio. It's a name I came up with from the word 'Euphoria', the intense state of transcendent happiness combined with an overwhelming sense of contentment I get from design. It became a SoHo, with me and my partner leaving the agency and started out on our own, so »BÜRO« was added in to signify the difference.

You worked for a lot of big company like Nike and Sony. Can you give us an insight into your work with clients? What are the first steps, what are the last steps of the job?
The first steps are to get a clear understanding of the brief, what it is trying to achieve, how it can be achieved. The last steps are getting the confirmation from clients, slight tweaking and delivering the solution on time.
What has been your first job when you started Büro Ufho?
Our first jobs settled in very quickly and during the first month we've had Illustration job (for an agency book), Digital Imaging job (for advertising products), Web design project as well as Print (flyer work), all of which are still what we do now.

What are you working on now?
We are trying to balance commercial projects with personal projects. So currently we're blocking some of our time working on some new pieces under our artist Moniker Kittozutto, as well as being part of a fund-raiser project for the Japan Earthquake.

Do you have a specific method to begin and to get ideas when you start a new project?
I wish there's a method. Wouldn't it be nice to have a trick which is guaranteed to work every time? Hahah, but unfortunately we don't and luckily for us then, since every project will be refreshing and they sure won't feel like a routine. It's largely dependent on the brief and sometimes we already have a concept in our heads and the right client comes along, sometimes the brief would be so specific that we have to come up with ways how to make it more exciting for us, and for the client.

Where do you get your inspirations from?
The scene, the brief, the client, the Arts, and even un-designed things that irritates us everyday.

What do you do beside design?
Besides doing commercial projects in our studio, we live as an artist making art.

Which artist(s)/designer(s) influence your work?
Everything that I've seen influence me to some degree, that includes all artists and designers I've come across. Some encourages me to work towards, some encourages me not to. Every good and bad design makes me learn something useful from it. So every artist and designer is a teacher to me. It is an essential attitude I've trained myself into adopting.

Which tools do you usually use?
Adobe Creative Suite. Wacom. Camera.

What do you thing about the Singaporean design scene? Does a Singaporean style exist?
Singapore's design scene is still trying it's best to develop but I guess it's certainly better now than what it was 5-10 years ago. There is in fact a Singapore advertising style, the kind of local ads that is funny only to Singaporeans. It is true to copy writing as well, but I don't really see a Singaporean style exist in terms of design. Perhaps the concept of 'rojak' would be more fitting.
How do you see the future of Singaporean design?
It is better than 10 years ago and will be better than now 10 years later. Everything improves with time, and as more people get educated in design, and the overall understanding of design gets better, more projects involve design, greater design works get created, and the image and respect for a designer raises higher...and the cycle continues. So I guess it's all good, although I wish it could be faster.

Can you describe Singapore in 3 words?
Small, Safe, Changing.

Does Singapore influence you? If so, how?
Yes, the place and the surroundings does influence it's people. Singapore has influenced me to have this thinking that the majority is always wrong. It certainly has a profound impact on what I do.

Do you have any advice to aspiring, young designers/illustrators and students out there?
Don't listen to advice. Or don't let advices get in your way because everyone's experience will be different. What mostly doesn't work out for me might surprisingly work out for you.
So advices are meaningful only after you experienced it.
Do you have a philosophy or motto?
You becomes what you decide, and what you decide becomes you.

What would be your personal dream project?
Having our own art show in future.

What does creativity mean to you?
Creativity is simply thinking what everybody have thought and doing what nobody has done.


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