Kyle E and Jun Ong are the creative duo behind POW Ideas, a design and architecture collective founded in 2015. You might say both men found their calling to creative work, with Kyle and Jun setting their hearts on design from very early on. Kyle explored several tangents before settling on landscape architecture, while Jun veered towards art installation projects from a grounding in architecture as well.
What are some of the more interesting projects you’ve undertaken?
KYLE: Gerai Tai-Tai was an art installation that started off at the SS2 pasar malam. It was a fortune telling booth with food elements, designed to revive the dying tradition of street corner soothsaying. Guests would have their future divined not with tarot cards but types of food from the night market. We used sotong, yong tau foo, asam, and lime jelly to reveal the unknowable. Gerai Tai-Tai was also recently showcased at the 58th Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition.
JUN: Another project we enjoyed was designing the Swimming Club at the rooftop of the KL Journal Hotel. With no views to “wow” guests, we played with a lot of coloured plants, neon lights and even custom upholstery. We married lots of different principles that really showed off our cross-collaborative slant.
How big do you want to grow the business?
KYLE: Our ideal size is a team of 10 to 12 individuals, a tightly-knit team that can multitask on various things. This allows us to have a very strong hand in design. We realised that you can lose your soul if it becomes a business. So, we look for people who are teachable, fun and have different interests from us; people who don’t take themselves too seriously, but at the same time, have a vision of where they want to be.
JUN: That being said, we have a yearly objective and we want to hit the milestones that have been set out at the beginning of each season. Before we take on a project, we have to first believe in it, and know that it will be good for everyone on the team.
On Jun: Shirt by Gucci; TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 16 automatic chronograph in stainless steel with ceramic bezel and black calf skin strap; On Kyle: Turtleneck and shirt by Gucci; TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 16 automatic
chronograph in stainless steel with ceramic bezel and brown calf skin strap