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Adidas Originals

Adidas reached out to me for a collaborative project. They asked me to express something about my home city on their graphic tee, and added that it could be as abstract or as literal, as personal or as broad. This project came about because one of the primary design directions for their Fall/Winter 2017 months focused on key cities around the globe – Osaka, Copenhagen, Portland, Chicago, Seoul and St. Petersburg. As an artist from one of those cities, Seoul, I took the standard, iconic adidas tongue label as a base to apply my artwork to / in / around / through.
Belows are the participating artists and their corresponding cities, for Adidas SS 2017 and FW 2017.
Anthony Gargasz, Los Angeles; Daavid Mörtl, Berlin; Jaemin Lee, Seoul; JC Rivera, Chicago; Jean-Philippe Lagouarde, Paris; Kim Høltermand, Copenhagen; Lennox Rees, Portland; Luke Choice, New York City; Nina Kazanova, St. Petersburg; Stevie Gee, London; Yamane Yoshitake, Osaka; Yoshi Rotten, Tokyo

  • Client: Adidas
  • Year: July 2017

My design expresses my perspective on the city I live in, as a place filled with people but somewhat lonely at the same time. To some, Seoul is a place of opportunities for higher power and luxurious honor, and to others it is merely a heartless and desolate place. There is a contrast of hoping to reveal, but also hide, its inhabitants' concealed stories. There are areas in Seoul that define this city, with tall buildings and busy streets, crowded with people by noon. At night, however, these places feel almost abandoned.
Almost everyone seem to have gone home for the day, but always, some lights are still on in the facades of these shadowed buildings. When I see these remaining lights from my window, they seem so close to me in terms of physical distance, but at the same time, our stories are so far apart from each other that they are unimaginable, unreachable, and almost fantastical. All in all, I feel that Seoul is one of the cities that have a splendid night view, but wanted to equally emphasize the melancholic mood of the people who live in its splendor.

© Jaemin Lee. All rights reserved.