Pop Artist. London
To do what we do (creep around somewhat prominent peoples’ private spaces for our own voyeuristic pleasure) a fair amount of planning needs to be done. When, in what city, for how long—it’s all part of our scheduling and rescheduling before the shoot ever even happens. But even we can’t ever plan for exactly what we’ll encounter once we actually cross our subject’s threshold into his or her own personal space. Showing up at Bip Ling’s Greenwich condo, we knew she would be, well, quirky (understatement?)—we mean, on top of extensive scheduling we also do a lot (A LOT) of research. Not that Ling is easy to miss: she pretty much rules the Internet from her emoji-laden kingdom (that would be bipling.com) punctuated by self-coined vocabulary like “YAR” and “mooching.” (We still don’t know, but we like it.) So if you’re at all familiar with Ling’s extra-colorful pop world of extraordinary everything, we suppose that seeing her flat—essentially an IRL explosion of her digital persona—shouldn’t have been as much of a trip as it was. Let’s just say that it totally makes sense that her occupation has changed from DJ (which she still does, too, playing gigs for plum clients like LOVE Magazine) to pop artist. Then again, hanging out with Bip Ling is, in itself, a trip. In a word, girl is game: within five minutes of arriving we found ourselves tightening her corset so that she could play-act with a vacuum for our photog’s camera. While, we admired paintings by her mother, artist Tanya Ling, and her extra-large collection of shoes (golden Jimmy Choos, Stella McCartney flatforms, Christian Louboutins, Keith Haring Docs) in turn, she chatted to us about her love for Claire’s Accessories and, yeah, you guessed it, emojis. And how could we not persuade Ling to try on a horse costume (yes, you read that right) that she’d taken home from a party the night before. What are we saying? It took no persuasion at all.