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Rip Curl's James Hendy talks about art, his own personal "Search" and Jimi Hendrix

Rip Curl's James Hendy talks about art, his own personal "Search" and Jimi Hendrix

This coming Friday, the free spirits over at Rip Curl will finally be debuting their Artist of "The Search" (AOTS) campaign in Singapore! And to celebrate, they'll also be throwing a grand launch party at kult kafe featuring art, music, fashion and photography.

Not only will attendees be treated to live painting by acclaimed artists efoe and Aeropalmics, a photography exhibition by renowned surf magazine BELLY, and a preview of Rip Curl's latest Autumn '16 collection  - there'll also be highly-anticipated musical performances by indie-pop band Disco Hue alongside DJs Nez and William J to boot!


efoe and Aeropalmics working on a live piece


But beyond the entertainment for the evening, the main focus of the party will, of course, center around their quest to find local artistic representations of their company's driving ethos - "The Search". Open to all formats, Artist of "The Search" is an open-format (painting, photography, animation ,etc) call for artists all around Singapore to share their personal vision and interpretation of "The Search" by submitting an original work.

And just in case that wasn't enticing enough, the selected AOTS winner will stand a chance to win an all-expenses paid trip to Asia's biggest art festival, Art Basel 2017 in Hong Kong for 3 days and 2 nights (with $1,000 USD spending money), and the opportunity to work with Rip Curl on a collection!

To find out a little bit more about the origins of "The Search" and the genesis of the AOTS campaign - we talked to James Hendy, Rip Curl's ever-personable Marketing Manager for SouthEast Asia. Here, Hendy discusses what "The Search" means to him personally, the artists involved in AOTS worldwide and why he thinks "The Search" is best personified by a Jimi Hendrix classic.


Hi James! Thanks for taking the time to talk to us. First of all, could you tell us what “The Search” is all about?

The Search started out as a passion and lifestyle of the two young surfers who started the Rip Curl back in Australia in 1969. They wanted to explore and Search the Globe to find perfect un-crowded waves and un-tracked powder in the remotest oceans and mountains.

Today those two founders of the company remain the owners and they have built a brand based upon that original ethos. The Search is still the main driving force for the company. Its more than simply a marketing campaign, its what drives the brand…. from the people who work here at Rip Curl and the products we make - its all designed around the enjoyment of The Search. The travel, the discoveries, the disasters along the way, the rumor of that perfect wave... its what drives us to live the way we do. To get out there and…Search!

Different people may view that ethos in different ways. What does “The Search” mean to you personally?

I think everyone has their own personal Search, mine is that feeling you get at the end of the day after an amazing surf with friends and family. Just a few of your close friends hanging out, enjoying the things that excite you. For me, that is surfing in perfect tropical waters like we have here in Indonesia, where I now live with my wife and three children.

For others the Search is limitless! It could be driving a fast car, skateboarding, trekking through the jungle or going to party with your friends! The Search is in all our lives, it’s just how you choose to view and enjoy it.


James Hendy


Likewise, Artist of “The Search”(AOTS) is a global campaign to seek out local artistic representations of “The Search” is various territories. What was the genesis behind the idea for this campaign?

The idea of launching the Artist of the Search in SouthEast Asia is that we want to tap into the lives of everyone – not just surfers and boardsports enthusiasts. We regard ourselves as the ultimate surfing company in all we do... and the Search goes hand in hand with that. But, we don’t want to limit this enjoyment and way of life to only surfers!

The Artist of the Search campaign broadens Rip Curl’s pure Search message into the creative world of Artists who can express their personal journeys through art.

How has the response to AOTS been around the world?

We have run this campaign specifically around our events in the past and it’s been very successful, with some of the chosen artists partnering with Rip Curl on product collections. For instance, Kevin Walsh is a US-based illustrator that worked with us on a event artwork for our Rip Curl Cup event, held in Bali each year. Ashley Bickerton is another well-known artist that has worked with us.

For interested participants, what is Rip Curl looking for when selecting a winner from Singapore’s pool of artwork submissions?

We don’t want to suppress any artists creativity! We want artists from all walks of life to express what is their personal Search – this doesn’t have to be in the form of a beach or wave, it can be something that is your personal search in your own life.



Lastly, being a music website, we couldn’t let you go without asking this one: name us one record that best fits or describes “The Search” movement, and tell us why….

Jimi Hendrix's 'All Along The Watchtower'! I love the opening line of this song – “There must be some kinda way outta here.” And then – “There’s too much confusion, I can’t get no relief...” Getting out there and enjoying The Search addresses those two things right there!


Artist of "The Search" submissions are now open! Click here to share your original work.

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