Meet Liz/沛儀 from Pei Yi
Name, pronouns and star sign?
Liz/沛儀, she/they, Capricorn.
Where did you grow up, and where do you live now?
I grew up in Hong Kong and moved to Naarm in 2013.
How has your upbringing shaped your creative practice?
My parents have definitely shaped the way I make things and think about them. My mum has a wonderful eye and a bold sense of colour. She has a great sense of space, balance, flow and placement, and loves rearranging our home furniture to reflect this. My dad is an avid sailor and civil engineer by trade. As a kid, most of my weekends were spent skippering for him, accompanying him to various construction sites, and helping him fix stuff with bits of string and some very lateral thinking with power tools. I find steel hardware very visually pleasing and I am very attracted to right angles, 45 degree angles, perpendicular lines, visual repetition and geometricity.
Photo Credit : Calvin Po
I think my sense of aesthetics has also been heavily influenced by growing up a third culture kid. My life has been a 28-year practice of jamming together cultures, values and aesthetics that don't belong. I'm a big fan of juxtaposition. I don't like things I feel like I've seen before. I like things that make me uncomfortable. I like things that make me laugh!
I owe a lot to the Hong Kong skyline. We have a west-facing apartment back home and nearly every single sunset is like a spectacular crazy microsoft word-art colour fill gradient. I love watching building lights reflected in the harbour. I like it when the air pollution gets so bad that the bright night lights become diffuse blushes of colour. I think it's made me obsessed with light refraction/reflection/intensity.
The city is immensely slick but also really grimy. Shiny shiny glass, lots of metal, neon lights, pigeon shit, drying seafood, car exhaust, smog. It's given me a deep appreciation for beauty in the abject.
What is the story behind the name PEI YI?
It’s my Chinese name on my birth certificate, but in Mandarin pinyin which is marginally easier to pronounce. My mum saw a fortune teller before I was born and they said I would have too much fire in my life, so the water radical in 沛 (PEI) is intended to neutralise that in some way.
Who or what do you turn to for inspiration?
I find a lot on Instagram. I am obsessed with looking at new things to an unhealthy extent.
What’s your dream collaboration?
I'm currently working on a very exciting new (series of) project(s) with Sschafer which will be released later in the year at some point. Very dreamy, very freaky.
Steph (AKA Sschafer) and I have a similar sense of aesthetics and get equally obsessive over things. We egg each other on to take it too far, which I love! I’m discovering that for me, creating wearable items is mostly about recreating fantasy–of a person, a vibe, a story. Indulging in the fantasy with someone else, and working together to build and extend it is kind of more than half the joy for me. It’s like being able to live in my dreams for a bit, but with friends around. So I guess this is my very long-winded way of saying this has been a dream collab.
If your label/art was a…
Kung Fu Hustle or the Lizzie Mcguire movie.
Session by Linkin Park. Unexpected bop!
Maybe Danny Trejo! Fun, a bit weird, doesn’t take things too seriously. I love his instagram.
… piece of clothing?
Jewellery I guess.
What’s the best advice you can give aspiring jewellers?
Go for it! Don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice or to collaborate – Naarm has an incredibly supportive jewellery and fashion/general creative community that has been instrumental in getting PEI YI to where it is now – I'm very grateful for that.