present joys

Jon Chao


Words by:

Jon Chao

Thrilled to feature our friend and artist, Jon Chao, for our latest Present Joys! Jon possesses a rare kind of talent that runs both wide and deep, as seen in his work that spans furniture and fine art. We appreciate the quiet nature of his work, often inspiring introspection and an appreciation for the natural world. See his latest work in Take A Seat, a group show featuring pieces by Jon and six other artists, up until May 20th.


Via Gaetano Pesce and Salon 94 Design

Gaetano Pesce

“Young designers have to understand they are practising art" —Gaetano Pesce

R.I.P Gaetano.
I remember seeing his work at The Future Perfect in Los Angeles last year. That was the first time I’ve ever been around it and I was thinking while I was there, “Wow, this is really important work for me to be experiencing.” I probably won’t ever see a comprehensive body of his work again. Anyway, I bring this lecture up because I’m participating in a furniture show and I was seeking inspiration. I recently found this lecture of him discussing his body of work and his design ethos and I thought it was really refreshing. Watching the lecture was a way for me to get pumped up and do the work.

Pico Tennis

Tennis might be the most consistent activity I’ve done in my life thus far, and it probably will continue to be. With that said, I am fortunate enough to be part of community of tennis players in sunny LA.

Afterparties by Anthony Veasna So

I’m currently reading this book recommended to me by a friend. It’s a collection of short stories about Cambodian American youth and the characters' navigation through sexuality, race, trauma, family, and friendship. There are passages in the book that remind me of visiting my cousins in Sacramento. Similar to me, Anthony So was Southeast Asian and grew up in northern California. His writings provide a familiarity of characters and environments against dark comedic backdrop. I don’t know, I’ve been enjoying it.

Pop Ambient 2014

There was a moment in time when I owned a record player and thought I would start collecting vinyl, but I never got too far and ended up selling my record player. I did keep the small collection of records. One being this album, Pop Ambient 2014, a compilation album of droney, atmospheric, ambient songs. Lately, I haven’t been listening to ambient music, but when I found this record stashed away in my storage, it reminded me of favorite ambient album, Pop by Gas. Highly recommend that album.

Marshall's Banana Photo

So stupid, so smart, so funny. This photo is outrageously funny to me. It’s a fruit roll up around a banana. What a fucking idiot. Hahaha.

The Plant Magazine

The latest issue of Plant Magazine (Issue no. 20), especially the spread of illustrations by German painter Amelie von Wulffen depicting various psychodramas of anthropomorphic fruits and veg.

Acrostic Jewelry

A history lesson on acrostic jewelry explaining how each letter of the alphabet corresponds to the name of adifferent precious colored stone.

Trompe L'oeil Clothing

The humor of trompe l’oeil clothing, like Korean brand Amomento’s recent Scan Print series of clothing.

Lemony Asparagus Pasta

The best thing I ate last week. We made it and added a few grilled scallops on top—absolute perfection! And IMO the lemonier, the better. Thank you for the rec Ali LaBelle.

Laguna B

Sometimes I think to myself, damn you really should have had a proper wedding with a proper registry so you could put proper things like this glassware on it.

Corduroy Surprise

My dear friend Dan sent me a vintage LL Bean corduroy overshirt as a surprise gift last week after a few conversation about personal style and our elusive search for it. The thoughtfulness behind the gift was just as nice as the gift itself. Now to wait for some May gray or June gloom so I can finally wear it.

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