What would a sneakerhead’s dream home look like? We caught up with Indie DJ Lim Kok Kean to see what will meet his criteria.
From his days of being one-quarter of indie deejay group, Twilight Action Girl (TAG) – Lim Kok Kean or famously known as Bunga – is still pushing his passion for the creative arts in his career. Lim has already been very involved in the music scene in his younger years before TAG propelled him to the forefront of the early 2000s indie club scene.
These days, he’s filling the role as Festival Director for one of Kuala Lumpur’s longest-running creative arts festival, Urbanscapes. “2019 will be the third year my team and I are running the current city-wide format and we’re very glad and happy that the response from the creative communities, the general public and our supporters and partners, have been really positive,” he tells us. “Nowadays I’m more behind the scenes, which I’m comfortable with – let the new generation do their thing while supporting them whenever possible.”
Music and festivals aside, Lim is also infamous for his sneaker collection and is one of the pioneering sneakerheads in Malaysia. His obsession with sneakers started with his love for basketball and naturally, what’s worn by his favourite players.
“To me, a pair of sneakers is the starting point of everything. If you have lousy footwear, the rest of your outfit doesn’t matter – the choice of your footwear says a lot about who you are as a person, it’s almost like a tribal thing – your hip-hop guys will be rocking Puma Suedes and Adidas Superstars while the punk rockers got their Converse Chuck hi-tops and so on. If you got good shoes on, you’re pretty much invincible.”
As Lim is currently on the prowl for a new home for himself and his prized collection, we spoke to him on the most optimal criteria for his future home.
#1 Space matters most
“I’d say that I’m willing to live at a less central location in order to have more space,” Lim says. “I’d like to make my home a comfortable place where I would spend most of my time, so having enough space for the things that make me happy (such as my music collection) is a priority.”
With a collection of over 8,000 CDs, Lim is looking to convert the living room into his showcase-slash-storage area. “It’ll probably be the space I spend the most time in relaxing and listening to music. I’m always looking at Japanese interior design magazines for inspiration – it’s amazing how creative they are with the little given space that the Japanese have in their homes,” Lim explains.
Lim’s top 3 favourite sneakers: Adidas Micropacer OG, Visvim FBT and Nike Air Jordan 1. BONUS: I’m putting in the Converse Chuck Taylors because it’s such a staple and probably what I’ll be wearing in my old age when I’m done with this whole collecting thing.
#2 Custom sneaker storage
Sneaker storage idea
In his current home, Lim abashedly told us that his sneakers are all over the place, with his most prized ones kept in plastic container boxes with dehumidifier packs. Therefore, it is really important to have a custom storage design in place, in his future home.
“I’d like to build custom sneaker storage cupboards and display racks for easy access when I want to pull something out to wear,” he says. “I’m actually already in the process of downsizing and letting go those that I’ve not worn or would not wear (I’ve only worn about half the sneakers in my collection). There are more important things in life than having nice sneakers.”
His top tips for keeping your sneakers in tip-top condition?
- Keep them in a cool space without direct sunlight
- Always clean them after a couple wears
- Wear them often – they’ll crumble to dust if you don’t!
Most legendary sneakers in Lim’s collection: Nike Supreme Dunks SB Black cement, Nike Dunkles SB, 1994 Air Jordan 1 Chicagos, Adidas Micropacers Millenium edition, Adidas Undefeated Superstars, Bape Superstars, UNKLE Bapesta and Converse Bape camo Chuck Taylors.
#3 Solid textures and materials
In line with Lim’s taste for all things vintage and retro, he’s hoping to create a home that mixes up modern mid-century design with classic Americana and Japanese influences. “I’m a sucker for wood, steel and vintage furniture,” he mentions. “The place will need to have lots and lots of sunlight, in a quiet area but yet, not too secluded.”
While unfinished concrete and steel may seem too cold for a home, adding in plenty of wood (furniture, shelving, decor) and also medium to large greenhouse plants, can vastly soften the interiors of an industrial chic dwelling. Throw in some warm lighting and a touch of soft goods like large throw pillows, and call it a cosy home!
Next on Lim’s wishlist: If possible, I’d like to get a pair of Nike Supreme SB white cement to complement the black pair I already have.
#4 Ideal neighbourhood
“I’d like my neighbourhood to be a good balance of the old and new, I need my kopitiam and local grocery store where the shopkeeper knows my name but at the same time, a nice cafe with good coffee and neighbourhood Italian or Japanese restaurant wouldn’t hurt,” Lim tells us. Some of the locations that carry these ideals are Taman Desa, OUG and Petaling Jaya Section 14 and 17.
When asked if Lim would prefer to find a landed or high-rise property, he says that, “ I’ve always had my two feet on the ground, I’d like it to stay that way. But hey, never say never, right?”