November 30, 2023

Ashley Lin & Chloe So / Fearless, Fun & Defying

In any era, no one dares to call themselves a “goddess”. To bear the title of “goddess”, you must first have a beautiful appearance, and then your heart must be strong enough to withstand the pressure of external criticism.

Ashley Lin and Chloe So, respectively known as the “Goddess of Elegance” and the “Goddess of Otaku,” have both been in the industry for 10 years. They have taken on various roles as models, singers, and actresses. Despite being seen as radiant and shining, both of them feel uncomfortable with the title of goddess. However, what makes them charming is their effortlessly unique style.

On Ashley: Purple printed knitwear, Purple silk dress, On Chloe: Yellow printed knitwear, Washed jeans and Leather belt, All from MAX&Co. Collaboration with Looney Tunes

Z: How do you feel about being called a “goddess” by the public?

Chloe: “Goddesses in the past were truly divine, as they had a sense of distance and mystery, always giving people a feeling of being unattainable. However, later on, it seems that the media started to label girls from various fields as ‘goddesses’: ‘literary goddess,’ ‘down-to-earth goddess’… On the surface, it may seem like a compliment, but undoubtedly, it raises expectations for these girls. If a girl with the title of ‘goddess’ doesn’t live up to the audience’s expectations, she will face harsh criticism. This title of ‘goddess’ is a framework for artists, and no matter what, it makes their journey in the entertainment industry a bit difficult.”

Yellow print knitwear, Washed Jeans and Leather belt, All from MAX&Co. Collaboration with Looney Tunes.

Ashley: “Once, I was performing at a Jazz club and the older owner jokingly asked me, ‘Why do people say you’re a goddess? Do you usually dress provocatively?’ It turns out that in the past, ‘goddess’ was a kind of sex symbol, but with the changing times, the definition is very different. I agree that the current title of ‘goddess’ is a way for the media to influence the audience’s evaluation of women, but I don’t resist this title. At this stage, I don’t have a representative work yet, and my skills are not stable enough. Having the title of ‘goddess’ actually helps me understand how to improve my craft. I will treat ‘goddess’ as a profession.”

Purple print knitwear, Purple silk dress, Both from MAX&Co. Collaboration with Looney Tunes

Z: Is this a generation that values authentic entertainment? Should we present more of our true selves to please the audience, or create a dreamlike space?

Chloe: “Since appearing on variety shows, I have openly shown my humor, clumsiness, slowness, and other aspects of my personality to the audience. They enjoy seeing this side of me. If I only pursued popularity, it would be best to show my true character. However, for an actor, if your true character becomes deeply rooted in the minds of the audience, it can hinder your development. In the future, no matter what role you play, it will be difficult for the audience to fully immerse themselves and stay engaged.”

Ashley: “Basically, I am someone who remains consistent both in front of and behind the camera. However, some people have a tendency to emit a sense of distance in their appearance and personality, while others give off a sense of closeness. I clearly belong to the latter. It’s not just when facing the audience, but even with everyone, I always have a part of myself hidden. It’s not that I deliberately create a sense of mystery. I am still contemplating whether the part of me that hasn’t been revealed yet is something that the audience will like. Will the audience find that part not entertaining enough?”

On Chloe: Black printed knitwear dress, On Ashley: Green printed knitwear dress, Both from MAX&Co. Collaboration with Looney Tunes

Z: How do you view the innocent and obedient image given by the outside world?

Chloe: “In terms of personality, I am introverted and slow to warm up. I tend to be quiet most of the time. Additionally, I have high moral standards and would never allow any negative news that could seriously affect my image. Perhaps because of this, people misunderstand me as a good girl. But I don’t consider myself someone who always follows the rules. I have also hidden from my family and secretly participated in a girl group audition, and I didn’t even tell them when I first started my career.”

Blue checkered shirt, purple printed tee, denim dress, all from MAX&Co. Collaboration with Looney Tunes.
White print tee from MAX&Co.’s collaboration with Looney Tunes

Ashley: “I admit that my image fits the definition of being obedient: I like studying, enjoy quiet music, and love being with my family… but that doesn’t mean I’ve never been rebellious in my thoughts. I don’t like doing things according to everyone’s expectations. Do you think I have to act in a certain way? I prefer to do it differently. Just like silently doing things that others wouldn’t expect, I hope that one day I won’t have to worry about any image, but the first condition is to have enough strength and ability to make it happen.”

Z: Coincidentally, both of you have a reserved and introverted personality. How do you feel about working together and collaborating?

Chloe: “I really like the cool atmosphere at work today (laughs). Usually, there are more enthusiastic and proactive partners on set, and sometimes it takes a lot of effort and energy for me to respond to their enthusiasm. But when it’s just the two of us talking, I feel more relaxed and at ease.”

Ashley: “I understand! I also feel that the communication rhythm is just right. Although there are a few shots that require us to create a joyful and playful scene, there was a momentary awkwardness between us. However, there is indeed a unique chemistry between the two of us that only we understand.”

On Chloe: Black printed knit dress, Green striped muffler, Black Leather Buckle Shoes, On Ashley: Green printed knit dress, Black & white striped muffler, Black leather booties, All from MAX&Co. Collaboration with Looney Tunes

Z: What are some artworks that have had a profound impact on you?

Chloe: “Whenever I feel disappointed or confused, I always rewatch Frances McDormand’s starring film ‘Nomadland’. The film’s natural scenery is very healing to me, and the story also teaches me how to let go and face myself and life. Since I enjoy hiking and camping, I hope to experience overseas hiking every year to cleanse my soul.”

Ashley: “Gustav Klimt’s painting The Kiss evokes strong emotions in me. In the painting, the girl leans against her male companion in a unique way, experiencing a sense of unconditional acceptance. The longing and dependence in her gaze exude an indescribable romantic feeling. Indeed, this painting embodies the kind of love I aspire to, yearning to be loved in such a way.”

Z: Can changing one’s image change their destiny?

Blue checkered shirt, purple printed tee, both from Max&Co. in collaboration with Looney Tunes.

Chloe: “Indeed, it was asserted that cutting off my long hair would cause some ripples, but what changed was only my appearance, not my image. Building an image takes a long time, even until the public can recognize the energetic, sports-loving, basketball enthusiast side of me in the next one or two years. Appearance is temporary, while image requires accumulation over time.”

White logo print tee, Black & white stripes muffler, Black silk dress, All from MAX&Co. Collaboration with Looney Tunes

Ashley: “I always had short hair before entering the industry, and growing out my hair was a decision I made after entering. I believe that changing my appearance may not immediately affect how others perceive me, but it does affect my behavior and mindset in those subtle changed aspects, which accumulates and influences my daily decisions, gradually changing my destiny.”

Executive Producer: Angus Mok
Photographer: KAON
Art Direction: KAON & Mimi Kong
Styling: Mimi Kong assisted by Yoanah Chan
Videography: Kason Tam & Alvin Kong
Video Edit: Kason Tam & Alvin Kong
Interview: Ms.A
Makeup: Melody Chiu (Chloe), Zoey Chin (Ashley)
Hair: Al Leung (Chloe), Veron Chan (Ashley)
Wardrobe: MAX&Co. &Co.llaboration with Looney Tunes

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