A journey between two cultures: the story behind our upcoming Artist Series T-Shirt


Ash 'Chimp' Sisson is a New Zealand street artist known for his vibrant murals. Working under the pseudonym 'Chimp' this talented Wellington artist has been commissioned by the New Zealand government, Massey University and has had his own solo exhibition shows.
CHIMP, artist posing infront of one of his artworks
Ash 'Chimp' Sisson with one of his artworks
With Kathmandu being a New Zealand heritage brand, it was important for us to collaborate with an emerging local artist for the next Artist Series Tee.
 
Chimp was a great fit for the collaboration because of his distinctive street art style and his “passion for travel” which inspires his work.
Three images of CHIMP travelling in Nepal
Photos taken by Chimp from his trek to Base Camp Everest
Armed with a sketchbook and KMD gear, Chimp took part in Kathmandu’s Nepal Treks to Everest Base Camp to draw inspiration from the stunning Himalayas. A once in a lifetime trip which he found "eye-opening".
 
"The trip to Nepal was the biggest adventure I had been on and the furthest from home I had ever been. It was absolutely amazing to disappear for a month into Nepal and meet new people and learn about a completely different part of the world. I find the trek up to Everest basecamp is even better in hindsight. I forget the hard parts, I suppose!" 
 
His design illustrates the story of a journey between two cultures – Nepal and New Zealand – through the ambitious upward gaze of an adventurous woman. 
 
"The concept that stuck was an illustrated portrait of a girl looking up with an ambitious gaze, with motifs for climbing and travel making up a vertical composition," Chimp tells us. 
 
"I took the reference photo of the girl, Alana Frost, myself. I had a very particular expression that I wanted, one of awe but with a tiny bit of nervousness."
CHIMP Artist Series t-shirt design
Front design (left) and back design (right)
Arriving in selected stores in September, $5 from the purchase of every limited edition tee goes directly to Australian Himalayan Foundation or the Himalayan Trust of New Zealand.
 
To find more of Chimp’s work you can follow him on Instagram or Facebook. Alternatively, if you live in Wellington, you can visit his solo exhibition from Friday 9 August - Saturday 7 September.