Meet Mr Mojoko
MEN 'S FOLIO Singapore|August 2020
Meet Mr Mojoko
Before coining the moniker Mojoko, creating the distinguished collages that infused trash pop culture with the old & historical and becoming the creator of Kult Magazine — he was Steve Lawler.
Bryan Goh

YOU WERE BORN IN IRAN, SPENT YOUR YOUTH IN HONG KONG BUT YOU ARE BRITISH. WHY DOES THE MIDDLE COUNTRY SEEM TO HAVE A LONG-LASTING INFLUENCE ON YOUR ART?

Hong Kong was an overload on the senses — the neon lights, the volume of people, the sights and smells were intense. The energy is infectious and the juxtaposition of Western and Asian culture was everywhere — Chinese movies with English subtitles or Rambo movie posters with Chinese typography. I found it fascinating and still do. There is definitely an air of nostalgia about it for me, but it was so futuristic and still does feel like one of the most exciting cities in the world.

DO YOU STILL FEEL BRITISH DESPITE HAVING LIVED IN ASIA FOR SO LONG?

I think I have a British sense of humour, but I’m not particularly patriotic about the UK. I still look to it as a benchmark for creativity and quality content, but I do enjoy a global perspective on all things like music, art and film. The former includes Mick Jagger, David Bowie, Kim Wilde and Boy George — UK icons who still resonate with the modern times.

MOJOKO SOUNDS FUNKY AND RATHER UNIVERSAL LIKE IT COULD COME FROM JAPAN, INDONESIA OR NIGERIA. WHEN DID YOU ADOPT THIS ARTIST NAME AND WHERE DID IT COME FROM?

Actually, the name comes from the printing process CMYK. I was playing with colour values on my computer and I noticed M=0, Y=0, K=0. It just resonated with me, and yes it felt like it could be African or Japanese or Indonesian. I loved that versatility of the moniker.

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August 2020