Xiaojie comes from Shanghai, China, lives almost 5 years in Berlin, her major is vocal. She lives in Wedding, yes, we are again in this familiar and vivid area!
This is an interesting question, as I remembered, after graduating from senior high school, I wanted to study vocal abroad. I got two choices that time, USA or Germany, I can't tell the reason now, anyway I decided to come to Germany, and there is only one city on the list that I had, so, here I am.
喜歡柏林嗎？ DO YOU LIKE BERLIN?
Well, it's hard to say yes or no. I've been here for almost 5 years, and this is just another home for me, when I come back here, I feel home. Berlin is a city with great tolerance to people. The most people won't keep stare at you whatever you wear. No need to live by other's preconceptions and expectations. I feel it's a place where people can develop their own style. 不過感覺治安有漸漸的變不好，社會的不安定份子有變多的感覺，還有就是偶爾會有很熱很熱的夏天，可是沒有冷氣！！！ But I feel the public security is getting worse, the social unrest element is increasing, and the summer is sometimes quite warm just like in Asia but without air-conditioner!!!
CAN YOU COMPARE HAMBURG AND BERLIN SINCE YOU HAD LIVED IN HAMBURG FOR A WHILE?
I felt somehow that Hamburg is more like a big city, maybe it is because of the harbor, and everyone do care about what to wear, the taste is different, you can see many people wear really formal, kind of like in Shanghai. Berlin is a little more casual, and the tempo of life is also slower.
求學過程有想過要放棄夢想嗎？ HAVE YOU EVER THINK ABOUT GIVING UP YOUR DREAM?
NEVER. I can tell you that I practice 300days a year, the days that I don't practice is really little, it's important to stick to your dream and I'm pretty sure this is the way that I want to go, and I also feel the road is getting wider for me.
Before starting the interview we had a small discussion about what to do, since she felt that she has not much to tell, so we decided to let the photos play the main role this time, she changed 3 different clothes so that people can feel the varieties, the one who sing, who is young and the professional sight.
I did like this kind of discussion, I don't need to be the one who decide the content, every interview can have their own unique.
Daniel，來自哥倫比亞。是一個設計師，專門使用舊材料做出新東西，有一間自己的店El Reinventor-the other side在Friedrichshain。我們第一次見面是在今年的DMY( International Design Festival in Berlin)，因為覺得他的作品很有趣也很幽默，所以那時候聊了好一陣子，然後就心裡默默打定主意，一定要去他的店裡參觀一次，於是訪完Rahel以後，我就散步到他的店裡去了。
Daniel comes from Colombia, he is a designer, who is good at using/combining old materials into new products. He has his own showroom "El Reinventor-the other side"in Friedrichshain. The first time we met was in DMY( International Design Festival in Berlin), I found his works are interesting and humourous, so we talked for a while that time and I made up my mind to visit him, so after interviewing Rahel, I walked to his Showroom.
I studied finance in university in Colombia, though I wanted to study design, but I still finished my study and then I flied to London for the Master degree( also something financial), but after that I did feel that is not what I want, so I started to do something and sold it in markets, and it worked well, so, I think, that's it. Since my wife is a german and studies in Berlin, so here I am.
I like it, I have lots of ways to get cheap materials or just get the materials for free. There are many markets that you can buy or pick what you need, since I have my own showroom now, many people or friends will call me and tell me that they are willing to give me or exchange the materials they have. The wood that I use a lot is also for free, or when people move out, they normally will have bunch of things to give away, and I'll go take a look. I think Berlin is a good place to be yourself, do your things and become the one you want to be. Besides, the tempo of living is not too fast, right for biking, and the surrounding is also safer than Colombia.
At first I sold my works in many markets, like Mauerpark, RAW and Boxhagener Platz. I met a lot of people there, in summer it worked quite good, we all just sold works, played music and drank beer, it was such an excellent experience, but then I took a rest in the winter and decided to sell mainly in my showroom. It works better and better, I don't earn a lot but enough!
People who are in love with fixing things of course will do all the decoration by themselves. I asked about the wall behind him, and, it is undoubtedly made by him and friends, it's so cool, I need to say, and the wall of the room inside is full of notes, totally different atmosphere!
It depends, sometimes I thought about new product and then I look for the materials, but sometimes it is just opposite, instead of thinking first, I'll have the material first, play around it and then get ideas. For example, I got a whole box of hangers from a friend, then I started to think, what can I do with them? Then I saw the frame of the bike wheel, and I just combined them into one piece!
Because I have my own place, sometimes costumers will come to me with their own ideas and materials, then we just design together, or some will just give it to me and I'll finish the work, there is no formula to follow. I've done over 50 workshops like this way.
London is expensive, but it was the place where opened my eyes, I mean widened my horizon, it was the very beginning and the first station for me. I always live in east London, no matter how many times I had moved, I was in east side. And Berlin, like what I have said, it's a place where you can get lots of sources. But, I started riding bike (as transportation) and having my beard (my logo) since I was in London.
I felt something different between this time and the last time I saw him, though he still has his stylish beard, so as a curious person I asked, and he said, he did shave his beard, cut the hair and wear the white suit special for DMY, and this is the normal him, casual and comfortable.
And he said immediately as I showed up from his doors: We have met in DMY. (It seems Asian is not so hard to be recognizedXD)
As we were talking, many of his friends kept showing up, they are all interesting, joining the conversation easily and moving around, it felt like that the cool people have magnets in their bodies, they just come to each other naturally (and all with bikes!).
Rahel comes from Germany (yes, the first german interviewee!), she is here almost 3 years, now she has her own shop "Lashopp", you can buy the clothes she designed/made, many comics(cuz she loves comics!) and some other handmade stuff from others. Her shop is in Friedrichshain, an area I'm still not very familiar with but would like to know more, haha.
I studied Bekleidungstechnik (clothing engineering) in Cologne for 2 years, and then studied and worked in Spain, because of the experiences working for others, I decided to have my own shop as well. I had been in Berlin for once, due to join an exhibition here, but I didn't really have a good impression that time. But after quitting the job in Spain, I decided to come, because, it's the metropolis all the artists and young people come here, so do I.
Yes, I love it now. It is quite interesting here, there are many different events and activities to join. Since I need to take care of my own shop, I work till 8 o'clock, if the weather is still nice, I will go to the park. Summer I loves to go swimming in lake, or to Mauerpark. So far, there's nothing I don't like about Berlin.
你開店到目前三年了，感覺如何？ HOW DO YOU FEEL AFTER HAVING YOUR OWN SHOP FOR 3 YEARS ? 自己開店就是收入很不固定，但是每個月固定的開銷就是那麼多，有時候可能會這個月非常緊，想著這下怎麼辦，可是下個月突然拿到一大筆訂單（網路商店），但是可以有自己的地方，做自己想做的事情還是很好！ The income is not stable, but the bill I need to pay every month is the same, so sometimes it's really tough but the next month I just got a big order (from online shop), but it's still good have my own place to do what I want.
She loves handcraft, so she also teaches children Papier-mâché in an institut, once a week. She smiled and said: I'm not the one who is really patient, but I am when I'm with kids. Sometimes I'm just exhausted from days of working, but as the kids say, "Oh, you are my favorite teacher!" I'm happy again.
Shop, Studio and home are together here. You can find many handcraft works on the wall, some are from her, some were bought. The interior in the shop is also all from her and a friend, they build all the things by hand, a comfortable space.
She said, I'm neither a tailor nor a fashion designer, I 'm doing the things I love. Her leggings are all unique, she uses different textile or patterns for front and back, so that you will feel yourself special! She joked, If you need the basic leggings, then you should just go to H&M! Not only leggings have this unique combination, the most clothes from her are made at least by two different textiles. I asked, how did the idea come to you? She said, Intuition!
It's kind of funny, cuz the friend who introduced us to meet told me that she comes from Spain, but she is indeed a German, maybe it's because that she had lived in Spain for a couple of years and can speak very good spanish, but she is quite happy about this beautiful mistake, "I also think that my soul is a Spanish"
She was working while we were talking,from the first step of cutting, it reminded me of my grandma who was a tailor, she made so many clothes for me, but I was too small and had no camera, so all the things can only stay in my mind, I told her and she said, I wish I will be a good grandma like yours one day.