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UNIQLO X The Lost Food Project


I was approached by Daine from The Lost Food Project November last year; she asked if I would be interested to contribute to their collaboration with Uniqlo UTme 2022 limited edition merchandise for fundraising. My answer to Diane was an immediate YES.

Artists were given a theme: Inglorious Food to work on a t-shirt design.



The process


I started off with some research on ugly and deformed produce, and move on to some rough sketches of these produce to get in the groove. I love the shapes from the initial sketches and further develop them into ‘poses’. I have the idea of ‘humanising’ them. My objective is to create a visual that makes ‘ugly’ food pleasing to the eye (like a paradox - this is exactly why the ugly veg & fruits in the supermarket are being thrown away, because they don’t look pretty), and hopefully, brighten someone’s day too. Amongst all, the shapes of the carrots and the chilies are captivating. I decided to work on them.


Rough sketches of all veggie gestures


The inspiration


Perhaps it was the colour relation, when I was sketching the carrots, the first thing that came to mind was the painting by Matisse, the Dance.

Dance is an ode to life, joy, physical abandonment, and has become an emblem of modern art.” (Source: Artsper Magazine)

I want to create a piece that looks ‘raw’ and unpretentious, a little playful, and that it’s an ode to ugly food.



The design

It was quite a smooth process overall. We went through 1 round comment/feedback and 1 time amendment for the Ugly Veggie design before we reach the final. And I was asked to come up with a second design! And so, the Ugly Fruits design was born.


The “Ugly Veggie” design draws inspiration from the painting by Henri Matisse - The Dance. The ugly carrots and chilies are dancing in a formation of a circle, looking confident, cheerful; as though they are saying: We are who we are. I want to create a piece that looks ‘raw’ and unpretentious, a little playful, and that it’s an ode to ugly food.

This “Ugly Fruits” design incorporates elements of social media culture, featuring a thumbs up looking strawberry & lemon, with one supporting the statement of another represented in the speech bubbles. The sketchy pencil strokes in both designs are intensional - that we are not afraid of imperfections.

It is saddening and worrying to learn that a large amount of consumable food and compostable food waste are landed in the land fill every day. There are 3,000 tones of edible food being thrown away each day in Malaysia, and this is enough to feed millions!


The Lost Food Project rescues these edibles from going to the landfill. This collaboration with UNIQLO Malaysia helps create awareness, and supports TLFP’s effort to save greenhouse gas emission and help thousands of household in need.


I’m honoured to be contributing to this cause. Together with 2 other local artists, Chin Lay and Chee Zhen, there are 6 designs that you can choose from, to be printed on a tee or a tote bag, now available over the UTme! counter at UNIQLO DA Square and UNIQLO Fahrenheit KL. Designs will be made available for a year from 5th August 2022.


Grab yours today and support the cause!



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