For the Lunar Chinese New Year capsule 2023, Maje collaborated with Jiayi Li, a Chinese illustrator based in Paris, to communicate the collection through strong vivid, and creative images.
Jiayi Li is a Paris-based illustrator who grew up in China. She studied fine art before pursuing further education studies in graphic design in Paris. Today, she is considered a renowned artist known for her strong culturally relevant art that evokes sentimental memories. Jiayi Li aims at connecting with others, and she does so by illustrating peculiar daily elements in her work.
What is it about Maje that you relate to?
For me, Maje stands for giving you endless possibilities to express yourself while still keeping it simple. This fits well with the definition of a popular Chinese term « 氛围感 » which is a laid-back charisma that doesn’t sprout from being overly dressed up, a very natural and effortless charisma.
Why did you decide to do a collaboration with Maje?
I have been following Maje for more than ten years and Maje is very concerned about the expression of femininity, which is also what I’m usually interested in as a creative. And I find that the new pieces for each season are very diverse, which gives me a lot of freedom for creativity.
Your artwork is full of colors, can you tell us more about the inspiration behind your creations?
I’ve been inspired a lot by airbrush art at the beginning, with strong colors, generous volumes, and many details. The lighting effects I put in my work are inspired by modern photography, I really like this hazy effect that feels like a reminiscence of a dream.
What does Chinese New Year mean to you?
Chinese New Year is definitely the most important celebration of the year for me, it is as important as Christmas to Westerners. Chinese New Year carries so many good memories for me: family, music, food, fireworks, garden parties, mahjong, etc. This gathering is a unique experience that you can only fully live in an Asian country.
What is the inspiration for your Chinese New Year design concept for Maje?
The Chinese New Year design I created for Maje is inspired by some excellent animations from Shanghai Animation Film Studio ( 上海美术电影制片厂 ) such as Havoc in Heaven, A Deer of Nine Colors, and more. Mostly for the richness of their color palettes. I’m trying to bring Maje into the lifelike and poetic scenes of Chinese mythology and capture some spontaneous moments that occur during the celebration.
As a Chinese that resides in Paris, do you celebrate Chinese New Year? If so, how would you celebrate?
I used to grandly celebrate it with my Chinese friends in Paris, but now most of them went back to China. I still celebrate it with my French family and friends who are interested in Asian culture. We cook tons of delicious food every New Year’s Eve and then eat it while watching the Chinese CCTV New Year’s Gala. We sometimes go to the 13th arrondissement of Paris to watch the Chinese New Year parade