Michael: You share your workload with Hey. She handles the design and you handle the business. Where is the meeting ground for you two? How does it work when you both are designing a collection?

Moon: Our projects have always come up out of the blue. It’s not something that we planned. It just comes naturally; which is the best way I believe. Instead of forcing ourselves to pull something out – through conversation, we find things that are interesting and then we start to think about it more deeply; and then we get to work.  


Michael:You’ve been working together for how long?


Moon: We’ve been working together for almost 10 years now. Obviously it’s not an easy thing to do but luckily we have a similar aesthetic and commonality. I think that’s why it worked out.

Michael: And you do it very well obviously.

Moon: It may look like we do it well and it may look like it’s not that difficult, but trust me, it’s really hard. There’s a lot of contradiction between us. But whomever you work with, it’s the same thing too. So, you just have to do it.

Michael: You both work very hard to produce a collection and get it going, what happens after? What do you do to recharge your batteries and reinvigorate yourselves?


Moon: That’s the difference between Hey and I. When I need to recharge, I have to do nothing. But my partner, she has to do something to get recharged. That’s why she’s always busy. For me, when I need a break or a recharge, I just take off completely, doing nothing. One of my great hobbies is just daydreaming (laughs).

Michael: What’s inspiring you these days? For you, what’s interesting now? What are you listening to? What are you thinking about?


Moon: These days, I think more about simplicity. What ever you do in your life, if you do it for a long time, you get simple in the end. I noticed that so many great artists around me are getting very simple later on.

Michael: What happens to you that makes you want to simplify?

Moon: Being simple sounds very easy, but it’s one of the most difficult things to do. Because simple is not just about being simple.

Michael: I would think it takes a great deal of confidence to simplify your work. Personally I think, when I say confidence, it’s like cooking. When you first learn to cook, you use so much spice because it’s all new and beautiful. As you get better and better, you realize that just a fresh piece of basil is enough.


Moon: Exactly. When I was younger, I wanted to taste everything. Now, I enjoy simple dishes. I don’t need a lot of different dishes on my dinner table. I love very simple pasta, with just basil. That’s it. That’s what I love. But in order to make good pasta like that, it takes a long time and it’s hard to do. This applies to everything else.

Michael: In other words, you have to experiment with everything, in order to understand simplicity.

Moon: Exactly. That’s why I put more value in simplicity.

Michael: What do you see yourself doing with this knowledge, this sort of enlightment that you’ve gained?


Moon: I just do whatever I feel like. I think naturally, you get to that point.  I don’t think it’s like, “I want to be simple,” and you become simple. I think it just comes to you naturally. Once you spend a long time working and doing a lot of different things in your life, all these things are summed up and come to you in a very natural way.  That’s what I’m trying to do. Instead of just forcing myself to be something else as an artist.

Michael: You are an artist. You paint. Tell me what other things that you do.


Moon: I take pictures and I paint, I make clothing… but fundamentally I believe that our individual lives is an art. So I believe that we are all artists, everybody. It’s a matter of you doing something and showing it to the public, to other people, or not. Maybe that’s the difference.

Michael: So life is an art.


Moon: Definitely. Life is an art. Anything around you can be your sensei... even your dog. I learn so much from my dog. 

Michael: There’s something to be learned in everything.

Moon: Yeah, like cleaning the windows. I see these window-cleaning guys cleaning windows every single day. If you do that for a long time – not just doing without thinking – but if you think while you’re doing something, I believe you can get enlightened. I don’t think there’s a difference between making art and cleaning a house. I value the people who do the same thing over and over again for their lifetime. In the end they become a master in their field. I really respect that and I appreciate that. 


Moon Rhee and Hey Ja are the founders of Dear Rivington. Portraits taken in Brooklyn. View their previous Manhattan apartment here



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jane Mar 31, 2015 14:49:43


Scarlett Mar 27, 2015 19:12:29

Ok guys it's 2015 I need you guys to feed me more inspiration!

Scarlett Mar 27, 2015 19:10:44

Ok guys it's 2015 I need you guys to feed me more inspiration!

Gem D Nov 12, 2014 20:09:59

Please don't stop this project!

Fox Oct 05, 2014 14:55:12

I miss seeing posts from you! Please come back. :(

LeSharon Feb 26, 2014 03:29:44

Great read.

Olga Jan 22, 2014 07:33:39

I agree with AZUL!

AZUL Jan 17, 2014 08:04:03

Very Good article and site!
"So life is an art..." , because I also believe it, I value Work

AZUL Jan 17, 2014 08:03:56

Very Good article and site!
"So life is an art..." , because I also believe it, I value Work

AZUL Jan 17, 2014 08:03:39

Very Good article and site!
"So life is an art..." , because I also believe it, I value Work