A little bit crazy – Stickyline

The starting point of this artist group is pretty similar: lines, polygons and paper. Using the simplest elements, Stickyline has been bringing skyscrapers, animals and plants to life by sticking, folding and transforming two-dimensional patterns into three-dimensional installations.

The journey begins…

“Stickyline means ‘a little bit crazy’ when translated into Cantonese, just a little bit crazy but not madness,” said the group.

Formed by Soilworm Lai and Mic Leong, the artist group only aimed at selling small paper souvenirs at first. With an idea of doing massive work provoked by their friend, they began to transform their work into something bigger and better.

“A friend asked us ‘how much would you get when selling these paper products? Why don’t you two create something amazing to impress others and make noise? That would value much more comparing to just selling things!’ Then we headed onto our project: Masked Creature.”

Masked Creature received a lot of positive feedback in DesignMart, an art event in Hong Kong. People started talking about it and sharing the up-and-coming artist group. From this, Soilworm and Mic were positively inspired and realised they could do much more in the future.

“Paper should not be our only medium”

If one takes careful observation into Stickyline’s projects, it is extremely easy to discover that paper is their main medium of installation. Even the group agrees that “it really appears very often, in almost every project”.

“We like paper’s texture and flexibility, which allows us to create polygon objects in either small or big scale. We didn’t even expect that at the beginning,” said Stickyline.

In a project the group is involved in, it doesn’t only take the role of design and production but also actual installation. The group does different kinds of installation, but things are not always easy.

“There was once we needed to setup a giant skull inside a shop with a high ceiling. Although technical support built truss for us, which was 4 to 5 metres above ground, we had to give up on doing it on our own since we had no training for this. In the end, we got a professional who helped do up the installation.”

Rewards from projects

Stickyline has a similar routine for each project: site visit if a project happens in a particular venue. Then sketch a rough idea followed by 3D modeling once the idea is confirmed. A lot of technical work has to be done in 3D software and then is transformed into 2D patterns in real life, on paper. The final step is assembling paper parts into a piece of work.

The group has done both commercial collaborations and also design-oriented collaborations, which had heavy debate between artistic and commercial value. Soilworm and Mic saw the uniqueness in both.

“Sometimes they are quite similar as some of our commercial collaborations give us opportunities to play with crazy ideas. It is inescapable that commercial projects have to promote clients’ brands or products. Design-oriented collaborations may show more variety on creativity.”

However, when the most unforgettable project is asked about, the group said it was the Coast Modules project for Detour 2012, an annual flagship programme to promote young and creative talents.

“It was the first project that involved the help of a factory for mass production of paper modules. The installation was finally completed with visitors and participants in three weeks time. It was a very happy time for us to see people love the modules wall and participate together with us.”

Come, go and further

For an installation project, sometimes it would be a dilemma to keep or giveaway. Sometimes works will belong to clients after delivery; while other times, the group will try their best to keep them if storage space allows.

For Stickyline, they are happy to keep and even reuse their signature projects since it fits into their environmentally friendly idea for their installations.

Pretty similar to a lot of artists, Stickyline has their own dream project. “If there is a great location for an installation project which we can create with no limitation with sufficient technical support and manpower, it would be great.”

The upcoming project of the group is to create a huge modular installation play with lighting and different kinds of paper in order to interact with lighting effect. They are excited to explore polygons, new media and interaction with people and hope to share the beauty of their art style with various possibilities.

Leave a Comment