Staff Reporters
May 11, 2023

Creative Minds: BLKJ Havas art director on challenging status quo with avant-garde brand concepts

A furniture catalogue sparked the joy of advertising; several signature campaigns later, Jay Liu dreams of pushing boundaries to redefine advertising with a forward visual language.

Creative Minds: BLKJ Havas art director on challenging status quo with avant-garde brand concepts
In Creative Minds, we ask APAC creatives a long list of questions, from serious to silly, and ask them to pick 11 to answer. (Why 11? Just because.) Want to be featured?

Name: Jay Liu

Place born: Singapore

Places lived: Singapore

Preferred pronouns: He / His

Job title: Senior art director


BLKJ Havas, Singapore, Senior art director, 2022—Present
DDB Singapore, Senior art director, 2021—2022
BBDO Singapore art director, 2018—2019

1. How did you end up being a creative?

My brother is an interior designer, and his mentor/boss had shared some furniture catalogues with me. It sparked a passion for advertising and graphic design there and then.

2. What's your favourite piece of work in your portfolio?

Exposure Currency from Jay on Vimeo.

It will have to be Exposure Currency, a self-initiated campaign to battle the stigma most creatives face before landing on their defining gig. It had a lot of meaning and I funded for the entire project myself.

3. What's the one piece of work you most wish you'd done?

'Original is Never Finished' by Johannes Leonardo for Adidas. The platform messaging (of how expansive it can be) incorporated with a beautifully executed film broke all the barriers of the brand guide and visual language, the way it is brought to life brings a sense of adrenaline rush every time you watch it.

4. What's the craziest thing you've ever done?

I overhauled my entire study room into a more conducive environment during work-from home days. It was well-received, and it rejuvenated my confidence at work again.

5. What's on your bucket list?

There are two items most important right now:
a) Creating a signature campaign that can reshape the way things are understood and
b) Conceptualise and develop a very forward or avant-garde visual language for a new

6. Who do you most admire?

L: Yohji Yamamoto, R: Christopher Nolan

There are too many brilliant minds! But I shall have two: Christopher Nolan, not just because of his film direction, but because he considers every aspect of design discipline in his frames, ranging from architecture, interiors, visuals, to even the furniture.

Yohji Yamamoto, for this relentless belief in challenging the status quo of fashion and allow the whole oversized fitting to liberate people. And also, for his exemplary use of dark colours.

7. Do you work best under pressure, or when things are calm?

Definitely when I’m composed! Life itself is dramatic to begin with.

8. What advice would you give to 10-year-old you, if you could?

Enjoy all the days while you can. And please, learn to say no.

9. How would your co-workers describe you?
Energetic, (overly) optimistic, genuine.

10. What's your guilty pleasure? (Don’t limit yourself to food, this could be
anything you indulge in.)

Buying beautiful objects like bowls and trays which I really just use as a display.

11. Any regrets?

I have a list.

Campaign Asia

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