James Cave, of the Offsetter, interviewed us about Moon Collective and our recent art show at BoxJelly. We are appreciative for the opportunity to share a few words about our company. The full article can be found here.
The show is the product of Moon Collective, a mysterious brand who has landed into town as if from a tractor beam in a cornfield, and the spotlight is following them around. When our Instagram feed, which is normally full of the latest in San Lorenzo bikini fashions, started filling with pictures of people wearing black t-shirts with the word “MOON” emblazoned across the chest like this: “M <o> <o> N” — we were intrigued. Then there were Moon hats on the heads of basically everyone in Chinatown, and it was like we’d learned a new word that suddenly everybody was saying.
It turns out Moon Collective is not extra terrestrial, but the product of Ben King, a recent San Francisco ex-pat and, with his Moon Collective team, the the official art curator for The Box Jelly in Kakaako. Here are questions we asked King, mixed with images from Psychedelic Research Team, which is on view through August.
JC: What is Moon Collective-Are you a clothing brand or art curator, & what brought you to Honolulu?
BK: Moon Collective is a clothing brand inspired by skateboarding, design, folklore, earth and space. Our aesthetic is simple and clean. Our name is derived from our neighbor, the Moon. It has such an importance on us humans, the tides, and the growth of all living things. It’s our guiding light in the dark. Yet on the other hand, the moon is something that we often neglect and forget. It’s something we notice in the evening sky but don’t pay much homage too. In essence, the name Moon is about the concept of balance.
At the time of my move, I was burnt out from my job, the daily routine, and living in a cold city. The idea of living in Hawaii had always been a dream of mine. Simultaneously, Moon Collective had just began and I seemed more in love working on that than my day job. I felt moving here would offer me a different perspective and inspiration that could help me develop the company. It only seemed right to follow what I had always longed for. I sold many of my possessions, quit my job, and moved to Honolulu.
What do you hope to achieve in Honolulu/what does success mean for you?
During my stay, I want to learn everything I can about this land and culture. I want to make friends, start cool projects and do things I wouldn’t be able to do in the mainland. Success to me is making a living doing what you love. Nonetheless, creating a positive force and awareness around changing the environment is also something intertwined with anything I create or do.
What does Honolulu's art/creative scene need that Moon Collective can provide?
Honolulu has a strong creative community. This is something I return to the mainland proudly sharing. Most of our best collaborations have been with local friends and artists here. I hope that Moon Collective can work towards bringing these artists together and providing them an outlet to display their artwork and vision. I enjoy supporting people who want to follow their dreams or at least try to. I haven’t mastered anything yet but I will try my best.
How many people are involved in Moon?
Moon Collective consists of a very small hardworking team. Everyone involved is kind-hearted and has a specific skill which they excel at. I will forever be grateful for their dedication and their belief that Moon Collective will evolve into something great.
What is your art/curation background?
Upon graduation, I began an art collective with a friend of mine from Hawaii called PAL, Poor Artist League. We wanted to show and sell reasonably priced art work from talented friends in San Francisco. In the beginning, we curated shows in our apartment living room and all throughout our bedrooms. We cleared out all the furniture and hung massive group shows. Eventually, we found places to do pop up gallery shows. We always had fun because we worked hard and pushed friends to make art.
What are your hopes as art curator for Box Jelly? What are some things you're thinking about where art is concerned in that space?
Box Jelly is a rad co-working space where all types of businesses and creatives come to work during the day. I hope to continue to curate awesome art shows and bring attention to this wonderful space. It would be nice to see young creatives working here side by side and also potentially showing here as well. I think only good can come from artists gathering together to work. For now, the general idea is organize themed group shows with half the artist from mainland/aboard and the other half from Hawaii. Once I settle in, I would like to do more solo shows and installations.
Why do a group show, versus a more selective show with 3 or 4 artists?
I decided to do a bigger group show in order to display the vast styles and mediums of artists. I also wanted to draw in a crowd to get people excited about young artists and low brow art.
What is the idea behind the psychedelic show?
Psychedelic Research Team is a phrase I use to describe our Moon Collective team. The most direct explanation is experimenting with psychedelics in order to achieve a certain degree of enlightenment or manifestation of the mind. For me, I see psychedelic research as spending time alone in nature away from technology and the everyday noise. Time to reflect and become whole again. I wanted the artists to create their own definition of psychedelic research either through their own process or final piece.