The Illustrious Magician

As a gifted youngster, Kristoffer Kang found his calling in illustration. Since college, for almost six years, he dabbled in the world till he found his taste of dream like mash-ups. “In terms of themes, I enjoy the surreal dream-like themes.”

Commissioned projects or competitions are usually where you can find Kang. “What I usually do is take part in competitions. That’s my usual expression of my art.” Representing the Philippines for the 2014 ASEAN Youth Competition was his first step to fame. 6 months old in Dubai, Kris Kang has already appeared on Wrist 2014 at Al Serkal where his piece was one of the first to be sold. Project 1440 by the Wrist Shop invited 1440 artists from around the world to interpret their favorite time of the day.

“My favorite time of the day is 5:45 AM because when I was a kid, I was scared of the dark and I had to go to school at 5:45 AM but I never got scared because I knew that the sun is coming.”

Kris is also illustrating home girl and Dubai based poetess Danabelle Gutierrez’s second book “& Until the Dreams Come.”

“I have a job in advertising which I love, but I also want to concentrate on my art this year. Every stroke in an experience, so I don’t really like rushed deadlines. I really want to put a lot of myself into what I do. Hopefully, I will get to do more gallery exhibits here.”


Heading out to catch people going about their daily life, Kang takes his inspiration from real life and turns them into fantastical surreal propositions creating magic out of the ordinary. “I read a lot, then I go out and observe the world mixing it all up to create what I do. I read somewhere, that to be really great you should surround yourself with people like that; I have a group of artists I know in Manila. They are known as the Betamaks Studios. They inspire me, they are great artists and I want to be in their caliber.”

As a quiet person, even music has had its influence on Kang. “Sometimes a song or the emotion in its lyrics will bathe you with inspiration. Earlier I did some art based on lyrics I loved.”

Kris Kang is an example of Dubai’s Third Law of Immigration. For every person who moves to Dubai to make ‘quick cash for two years;’ there will always be a Kang moving here for equally inspiring but opposite reasons. Because he is moved by the calligraphic beauty of Arab arts connecting to the lives of its myriad cultures and feels Dubai is just the place to give his talent wings.


Kris Kang is a Dubai-based illustrator. Find him on Tumblr.

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