Monday, 17 October 2011

Island Identity...On Caribbean or Island Aesthetic with Katinka Bukh

Katinka Bukh is the Director for katbukh design ltd.
She was formerly a Creative Director for Abovegroup, Trinidad.
Business Relations and Strategy Care part of position.
Abovegroup is now partnered up with Ogilvy and now called AbovegroupOgilvy.

Does the term 'Caribbean' or 'Island Aesthetic' mean anything to you 
and if so what?

As a Danish Creative Director having worked in Trinidad for a year
I found that ..
Its a small world containing a lot of worlds.

I had almost no knowledge about the Caribbean. But somehow I felt that since I'm from a small place myself - an island in fact :) - it was not to different, from a human perspective.

From a design perspective it was very different. Mostly because the confusion about what a local expression should look like. And what good design is.

Essentially there are two things I feel drive the creative process towards finding that answer in the region - its curiosity and diversity.

You can't create good design without being curious. Almost nosy in fact. You have to know everything about anything- everywhere. That makes a good designer. Cause inspirations comes from all places.

There is a sense, I feel, that there is .. a shame in looking towards other countries in the quest of finding a visual Caribbean identity. I don't agree. We all have to look in and outwards to find great answers to great questions. And we all leave our mark.
So everything coming out of the Caribbean is already Caribbean, being it good or bad.

And it leads me to the energy which springs out of the diversity that exist here. There is such a strong presence in a island cause it is by nature isolated. So here we are - close together with a distant dream of other places beyond the horizon. We are all coming from somewhere else, even it's generations ago. Its a strong history to share. I think being a young nation matters a lot. But it matters in a good way. There is no set way of doing things. There is a lot of pioneering.
New ways to be discovered. And a will to do it.

As a European having worked in three countries I dont know anymore if I'm a 'danish designer'. Where does inspiration come from? I know what my cultures aesthetic past is - for better and for worse, but does that make me that? For me its not so important anymore, because I feel as a part of the globalisation having worked in 3 countries with people from all over the world.

But when I'm in Denmark I can see it is important because its the visual clothes we wear. How we make things look tells a story about who we are. To each other and the rest of the world.

I cant wait to see more art, fashion, design, branding etc coming out of the cracks and corners of the Caribbean.

And I feel happy and privileged being a small part of that world.

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