The thought of sharing art with the world can scare the bejeezus out of any creative, regardless of age or experience. This is why we at DesignGood celebrate creativity as an act of beauty and of courage. German-Chinese photographer Sarah Köhler is a kindred spirit: Based in Hong Kong, she saw lots of young creative talent that deserved to be shared and celebrated. “It really only takes that one person to take a chance on you,” she says.
Growing up in Hong Kong challenged Sarah to grasp onto something within the blur of the cityscape. Her interest in slowing viewers down is an important notion in our contemporary era of fast-paced sound bites and flashes of imagery. Sharing a quiet passion for life – in people, in places and the in-between moments in daily doings, she makes it apparent in her photographs.
After spending some time as a photographer in Oakland, Sarah returned to Hong Kong and worked in galleries, publications, fashion and product design. She found herself limited, filled with fear, and wanting to do it all, which inspired TwentyBliss and then soon after her decision to become freelance.
Sarah now works as a multidisciplinary creative partnering with a variety of brands and clients.
SEEK INSPIRATION, NOT VALIDATION
AND SHARE WITH INTENT
In 2013, Sarah created a blog called TwentyBliss. A personal journey of an artist in her twenties navigating the obstacles of getting her work shown, turned global conversation and community of emerging talents that felt the same, and a mere four months later; the opening night of TwentyBliss' very first exhibition in Hong Kong.
As the following grew, 2014 became the year that TwentyBliss was accepted into Google's Empowering Young Entrepreneurs Program, evolved into a creative platform, curated their first international exhibition in Los Angeles and was included in a list by the Creative Executive, "Favourite Movers and Shakers". The list of seventeen included Martin Parr, The Satorialist, Vice Magazine and AirBnB to name a few. A nomination for a Shorty Award and a Hong Kong's Most Valuable Company Award followed soon after.
TwentyBliss exists because of community and will always put that first.
After working with artists from Hong Kong, Manila, London, Vancouver, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Oakland, 2017 will mark the beginning of a new era for TwentyBliss operating out of a new city.
In an industry that often looks to curators and critics to decide what is assigned value, making time, space, and a platform for young talent to get exposure is critical. Sarah made the jump out on her own before most of her peers – a bold move that is paying off!
- CREATIVE EXECUTIVE
2016 marks the tenth year of friendship and creative partnership between Marco Aexel and Sarah Köhler, thus, AEXELKÖHLER was born, or rather, made public. A curated space to share their daily musings and passion for how style, design, creativity and curated experiences can stimulate or propel us to be better people for one another. It plays a huge role in their friendship; whether it strikes a profound chord or inspires them to be silly and laugh a little. Partnering with emerging brands, they create content, photograph, style and are able to celebrate the things they love on an open platform.
ARTISTS FOR NEPAL
Platform, Hong Kong
Foster Eastman Gallery, Vancouver
Teakha, Hong Kong
VOLCOM PRESENTS: HONG KONG PHOTOGRAPHY
Boomshack, Hong Kong
Hatakeyama Gallery, Los Angeles
TWENTYBLISSxBESTBEVHK: ART AND BEER
Boom Gallery, Hong Kong
Haji Gallery, Hong Kong
PAPAYAS, ALIGATORS AND PRAYER FLAGS
Bruce Galleries, San Francisco
College Avenue Gallery, Oakland
W Hotel, Hong Kong