We had the good fortune of connecting with Ya Xian Feng and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ya Xian, how has your background shaped the person you are today?
I was born in Fujian, China and when I was 9 years old, I moved to Europe with my family. Currently I live in Budapest, Hungary. I remember when my parents told me, that we are going to move to a whole different continent, as a little girl, it didn’t even occur to me, that there are other languages and cultures that would make my everyday life challenging. When I was little, the language was not so important, because children understand each other without words when it comes to playing. When I got into Highschool this problem became more apparent, so I had to focus on learning the language, which I eventually did and now I speak Hungarian on a native level. Growing up in Europe gave me a different perspective on things, I learned how to think with a western mind too. It was hard to navigate at first, because my parents raised me the eastern way, while the school and my friends treated me the western way.
Drawing always had a great importance in my life. Even when I was little, in China I was sent to drawing competitions. When I came to Hungary, drawing provided me an easy way to communicate, because children can understand each other this way. This made it easier for me, to make friends. Then in Highschool when I was struggling with my teenage years I was having a hard time balancing the two cultures I was living in, drawing provided me an escape route, where I could find myself. My parents always suggested that I should learn finance or be a translator, but I had a strong passion doing art, which eventually led me to pursue a creative career. Fortunately my parents are very supportive in my decision. I discovered Alexander McQueen in my teenage years, and that was the moment when I decided that I will be a fashion designer.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
The eastern and western cultures work together in a harmony within my work. My Asian roots have a great impact in my designs, which I usually try to combine with the western style. I grew up with two cultures, and this duality is always represented by my work. This is mostly a subconscious process that comes from the fact, that I accepted both of my “cultural personalities”.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If you came to Budapest, I would definitely take you to local restaurants, because Hungarian cuisine is delicious. We could walk through the famous Chain Bridge to visit the Castle and drink wine on the banks of the Danube river. Checking out the “party district” is a must. We have world famous ruin pubs and great street food. And last but not least we would visit the Fashion Street to end this great holiday with shopping, so you can take something home besides your memories.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I am thankful to my family for always supporting me and pushing me forward. And also all my art teachers, who helped me to develop my skills and to find my own style.
Adam Földi Vanda Demeter Soroush Khaksar Naghmeh Karimaei