Arts & Culture » What Are You Wearing?

"Pseudo Arrogant"



Hong Kong native Sam Ng moved to Chicago in 2001 to study film and music at Columbia College. He dressed as predictably as the next Wicker Park dude--until he started going to parties at spaces like Buddy and Camp Gay last summer.

Liz Armstrong: Those shoes are insane, Sam.

Sam Ng: Be careful--don't touch them. I stepped in dog shit and my shoes smell a little bit.

LA: OK. Why do you wear so many accessories? I mean, you even have jewelry on your shoes.

SN: It's color, it's texture. It's stimulating when you see those shimmering things. It just gets me going. It's like bling-bling.

LA: Would anyone call you materialistic?

SN: Not really. I don't buy much that's more than five bucks, not more than ten for sure.

LA: Before you were inspired by other people dressing all nuts, how did you dress?

SN: I was more clean-cut before. Like typical Asian--

LA: What does that mean?

SN: It's a little bit stereotyped but I know a lot of Asians like to go for brand-name stuff.

LA: So now you don't really care about labels?

SN: No, not really. It's all about atmosphere, how you want to present yourself as a character.

LA: What is your character?

SN: Right now? Baroque, elegant--pseudo arrogant.

LA: What about that appeals to you?

SN: It gives me more confidence and makes me more presentable as an artist.

LA: What kind of art do you do?

SN: Basically audio stuff. Right now I'm working on location for a film as a sound mixer.

LA: Have you released any music?

SN: Last year I formed a brass quintet about Paris Hilton. It's called Parisite.

LA: She's pretty ostentatious. That's how you present yourself too. Do you get attention for how you're dressed?

SN: Yeah, a little bit. Some appreciate it, but some people think it's a little goofball.

LA: How much of your identity is wrapped up in how you're dressed?

SN: I'm trying to learn not to depend on objects. But it's tricky. For me right now attracting attention is all about networking. I think it helps a little bit--

LA: To present yourself as a character?

SN: Yes.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Saverio Truglia.

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