President Zelenskyy’s shirt during the 19th Shangri-La Dialogue grabbed the attention of viewers. It especially shocked the Singaporean teen artist who designed and sent the shirt to him.
In this article, you’ll read:
- Story of Teen Artist Who Designed President Zelenskyy’s Shirt
- Inspiration for the Unique Design
- Where Can You Purchase the Shirt?
Story of Teen Artist Who Designed President Zelenskyy’s Shirt
On the 11th of June 2022, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed delegates virtually at the Shangri-La Dialogue. President Zelenskyy’s attire choice became one of his speech’s unexpected talking points.
A Singaporean teenage artist named Ava Soh was the one who designed the shirt that the Ukrainian president was wearing at that time. It was a black T-shirt bearing an illustration of a girl spray-painting the blue and yellow colours of the Ukraine flag.
The Spray Paint Ukraine
The Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy received the shirt and a handwritten letter from its creator, 16-year-old Ava Soh. At that time, he spoke to 575 delegates from 40 countries at Asia’s top security summit. He then opened up about the shirt and said,
“She wrote me a letter asking to support her initiative called Spray Paint Ukraine – an initiative aiming to help Ukraine.”
It has only been a week ago since Ava sent the shirt to the Ukrainian president. His sartorial choice came as a shock to Ava.
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“It was very unexpected for me,” said the Secondary 4 student at St Joseph’s Institution International.
Ava sent the sent with just a little hope that the Ukrainian president would wear and notice it. She was aware of the country’s present situation and what the president was going through, so everything became so unexpected. At first, she didn’t expect him to wear it to any public event because of the ongoing war.
She said, “Him wearing this girl’s shirt was probably not a top priority.”
She also added, “If he could even hold it in his hands, that would be enough for me.”
Ava said that she requested President Zelenskyy to wear the shirt in a photo or video clip. With a bit of hope, she did not expect that the president would fulfil her request. Moreover, she was shocked to see President Zelenskyy’s shirt during the 19th Shangri-La Dialogue.
It took her two to three weeks to come up with the illustration. It entailed scouring the internet for images of a back view of Ukraine’s traditional dress, modelling the pose for the image, and finally drawing it on the digital illustration app Procreate.
After that, it took her another three weeks of being “fully immersed” in the project to fine-tune the image. She then mints it as an NFT and sets it up for sale.
Inspiration for the Unique Design
The 16-year-old Avah Soh started her Daughters Of The Revolution brand when she was still 14. The short term for Daughters Of The Revolution is DOTR, which must be pronounced as “daughter.”
Ava worked on the shirt’s design in late April. She was inspired to come up with the concept after meeting with Ukraine’s ambassador to Singapore, Ms Kateryna Zelenko.
What happened lit a fire in her heart to extend her hand and help people in need. She was not hesitant to use her talent for the gain of others; she has always been taught to help others.
“I thought that I should help people, as it’s something I’ve always been taught,” she said.
“I did the Ukrainian rendition of the flag to promote self-belief, confidence and also as a commentary that women too can build the country.”
Where Can You Purchase the Shirt?
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“All profits will be donated, not pledged, directly to Ukraine via the Embassy in Singapore,” wrote on their Instagram post.
DOTR sells the Spray Paint Ukraine on the Big Beyond website as a “wearable non-fungible token (NFT)” or T-shirts with the NFT printed on them.
They mainly aim to help raise funds for the ongoing war in Ukraine. They intend to donate the sale proceeds to the Ukrainian Embassy in Singapore.
There are 1,000 pieces of the “wearable NFTs” for sale. According to Ava Soh, she would want the proceeds to go to the women and children displaced by the war.
“Of all the times, Ukraine needs it now,” she said.
The 16-year-old artist said there might be more Ukraine-themed NFTs in the mix. However, she will leave the choice of beneficiaries to the discretion of the Ukrainian embassy, for what she said was an urgent cause.
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