"Pseudo Arrogant" | What Are You Wearing? | Chicago Reader

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"Pseudo Arrogant"


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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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