Barbie, Move Over: Andrew Yang Made a Hot Young Hong Kong Lawyer Doll with Sparkling Swarovski
An exhibition of his miniature designs will span Elements Mall over Christmas.
So, why dolls? My mother loved [American collectible] Madame Alexander dolls, so they were always around in my childhood. I have always loved playing with dolls with my younger brothers since I was young—Barbie, My Little Pony, and lots of fabric dolls from the local craft store that were meant to be used as holiday decorations. Dolls give me creative expression. I always wanted to make a doll, but never had the patience for sculpting—it takes a lot of time and practice to be a great sculptor—but one of the things I did learn in fashion was the basics of how to sculpt with fabric. I chose that as my medium and then it was quite easy.
Which of your dolls on display at Elements is your favorite? I really love the character Earth Wright. She is a hard working lawyer, a young professional as we would call her in the States—with a flair for fashion and extremely good taste. Like me, she always looks good while traveling, so this made me think that I understand her well. Her style elements usually involve Swarovski crystals and all things that sparkle—so I intentionally designed her look to be quite simple with a short bob haircut and clean makeup. I fell in love with the dolls I made of her.
Where do the dolls’ personalities come from? I am really inspired by the personality of the modern Hong Kong woman, who is very international these days—but also incorporates fun, fancy things. For this project, I studied Hong Kong a lot and tried to find iconic elements which truly represent Hong Kong. I got inspiration by reviewing Hong Kong movies and magazines, to represent the beauty of modern Hong Kong ladies.
How long does it take to make one doll? If I was working on each one at a time and they were over-the-top crazy looks, then three days to a week. But it’s easier to work on many at the same time, which cuts down time. This project took about 3,000 hours and three months of work.
Do you ever make male dolls? There are lots in the new display. I made various male characters, including kings dancing at Christmas balls, musicians, porters, grooms and more.
Do you keep any dolls at home? Many of them sell or go on to exhibitions, and I like to send them out in the world—but I collect many of my own. I have over 100. For this exhibition I have various vintage fashion doll collections on display. [My dolls take viewers] on a journey back in time with fashion dolls from around the world.