Peace in The Jungle.

Peace in Jungle (Gan Hosoya, 1968)

About a year ago I came across this political Japanese war poster (above) that symbolized a lot, not just of who I am but to where the world was & still is at the moment. Gan Hosoya whom is the inspiration behind my newest collection is one of Japan's leading art directors in which his designs were inspired by American magazines such as "LIFE" & "Vogue". I took a page out of his inspirational mood board to do the same but inverted - Japanese political designs to enlighten on current American's state. The beauty of inspiration is simple, "sharing". Not stealing, not copying but drawing inspiration & making something of your own for the next person to become inspired. That's what has happened with my newest "Peace in The Jungle" collection.

For me "Peace in The Jungle" has numerous of meanings that may not exactly apply to everyone else but I do feel there can be a applicable meaning to anyone when they see it. I grew up in a neighborhood west of South LA with many of names: Leimert Park, Baldwin Hills, Crenshaw District & lastly & more informal - The Jungles. The Jungles has reasons of its own for having that title. Each block within radius of The Jungles are sky scrapped with palm trees & trees in rows of each street that literally can cover the sun. Along with that definition of this Los Angeles neighborhood there's also another - straight madness, gang violence, police brutality, section 8, wild life, like a true jungle in the wilderness. Even with this negative annotation about The Jungles for me this is home. This place is who I am & that alone stands for more than just myself. Though I'm still currently residing in The Jungles I have this mentality that I've made it out the hood. That saying of "Making it out the hood." isn't just physical, it's actually more mental than anything. You can make beauty of any situation you're in as long as you have a controlled mind that knows where you are but more importantly where you're headed...

My goal is peace - peace for not only my neighborhood, LA neighborhoods, American neighborhoods but peace for the world. Though we're considered the land of the free, the land of equal opportunity but I feel we as Americans are going to war with ourselves. We all live in a Jungle, there's no place that is perfect no matter how special or sweet your current state may or may not be, there's someone suffering & that suffering may be taking place within minutes from where you're placed at this moment. This is my flag of liberty, this is my way of taking a stand to make the world a better place. These items, this collection, is just the beginning of what is to come. My vision for this is to be an outreach for us all & I pray one day this voice is heard outside of just my neighborhood, but I'll for damn sure make sure to start here.

Photos by: Kayla Reefer

Collection available HERE.