Get to Know Neocha: The Creative Agency behind all things Culture & Creativity in Asia
Original interview by Talenthouse.
Taiwanese photographer 3cm.
Neocha (@neocha) was founded in 2007 with a simple mission: to celebrate culture and creativity in China. Since then, the mission has expanded to include all of Asia. We caught up with founder and creative director Adam J. Schokora to learn more about his vision, the challenges he’s faced along the way, and why Asia’s creative scene should be on your radar.
A peek into Neocha’s Shanghai office.
Can you tell us a bit about Neocha and its mission?
Our mission is in part a reaction to the explosion of creative culture we’ve seen in the region over the past decade+, which has largely been under / misrepresented around by the world. We are looking to counteract the misperceptions about innovation, creativity, and originality in Asia.
Our work, whether for clients via our creative agency, or editorial storytelling via our magazine, aims to elevate what’s going in Asia’s creative community to global mainstream audiences. We showcase the rich culture and vibrant creative spirit of Asia in all that we do.
Taiwanese painter Chang Chia-yin.
Name some of your favorite creatives from Asia, and why? How would you describe them?
Every day via our magazine, we feature new creatives and culture-makers who inspire and move us.
Our magazine covers a wide range of creative mediums across the entire Asia region: street artists in Mongolia, photographers in the Philippines, illustrators in Hong Kong, rappers in Taiwan, DJs in Japan, up-and-coming boxers in China, indie magazines in Singapore, indie publishers from Vietnam, filmmakers in Thailand, animators in Malaysia, streetwear brands in South Korea, installation artists from Vietnam, textile designers in Indonesia, artisans in Cambodia, multimedia artists from Nepal, and more.
Japanese photographer Masashi Wakui.
What are some of the challenges faced by creatives in Asia and how is Neocha helping these creatives?
Creatives in Asia face many of the same challenges creatives face around the world. However, with the explosive growth of the industry here, these difficulties have been eased considerably in recent years.
The challenge of paying bills and making a career out of your creative talents or pursuits is a very real issue in Asia. Neocha itself employs 30+ full-time creatives in Shanghai and literally hundreds of artists around Asia via different ongoing commercial projects and collaborations. We are firm believers that all creative work should be paid for. Helping provide paid opportunities to creatives and educating industry clients on proper workflows and compensation is important.
Most creatives currently working in Asia grew up in an environment that was either totally unaware of the creative industry or skeptical of it as a way to make a living. This is changing fast and the Neocha Magazine is playing a small part in that process by constantly promoting that it is indeed possible to develop a career in the arts / creative industry. Raising awareness on this front can have a powerful impact over time...we've been at it for over a decade now.
Filipino street artist Jappy Lemon.
How has the exposure by Neocha received by the creatives impacted their lives?
Being featured on the Neocha Magazine exposes creatives to global audiences via bilingual editorial (English and Chinese). Such recognition has helped creatives land commercial opportunities; connect for artist x artist collaborations; get noticed / featured by even bigger media platforms; be considered for exhibitions, etc.
In general, being recognized by a renowned publication is a confidence builder. Sometimes that extra bit of encouragement is just what an emerging creative needs.
However, our magazine isn't just about "exposure", it's more presenting a curated showcase of work and ideas that inspire readers and give them a sense of the depth and breadth of creative culture in the region.
Singaporean sculptor Qimmyshimmy.
Where do you foresee Neocha going in the next 5 years? Do you have any goals or plans for the future? e.g. Expansion or finding cool ways to collaborate with artists through Neocha.
Our mission won’t change, we will still focus on celebrating culture and creativity in Asia.
In addition to continued client servicing through our creative agency and ongoing editorial through our magazine, we are looking to expand our e-commerce offering. We want to do more of our own Neocha-branded products. Also, it sounds crazy, but we are keen to develop our online editorial into offline, printed periodicals…as either annual or biannual issues.
Can’t get enough? Discover more from Neocha on #Ello here.
If interested, here is an interview about my company (@Neocha) I did with the lovely people at Ello / Talenthouse.