David Bowie

Fashionista goes back to basics in her campaign to clear the air

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 26 November, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 26 November, 2009, 12:00am

A black T-shirt and jeans aren't normally the kind of ensemble a fashionista like Joanne Ooi would wear to her own party, unless it's for a good cause. That was the case on Tuesday night at the Box Thai restaurant as the Clean Air Network Ooi now heads hosted a cocktail event to highlight its agenda.

'I wanted the campaign to be subversive, artistic and creative, and also show that we are not afraid to be daring,' said the former Shanghai Tang creative director and now co-owner of the Ooi Botos Gallery. 'It's a big topic. The only way to deal with it is through controversial images.' That explains her shirt's logo of a baby in a gas mask.

The drive began in September with the aim of raising awareness and urging the government to revise its air quality objectives, which have not been upgraded since 1987. The message Ooi offered in her presentation was sobering. Indie band David Bowie Knives gave a brief performance.

Ooi said she got involved because her young son had a chronic cough in winter. 'It's a wake-up call for me that my son became ill ... before when I was in the designer clothes industry, I was spinning a dream and now I'm armed more with facts to wake people up.'

You can sign CAN's petition urging the government into action at