Soy Panday / B&B / PREMIERE

Soy Panday, the one and only; now, not content enough with just providing you with a new part of his, the man himself decided to chime in and answer a few of our, and hopefully your, questions. The tortured Magenta Skateboards graphic artist who turns into Roy if (preferably comfortably) fed tofu past midnight, proud owner of several Parisian fountains and with equally good eye for urban spots, taste for lines (of whichever form) and form on backside flips is now live on LIVE, cruising through twenty years of street footage on video as well as through your mind with his words.

LIVE Skateboard Media: How did the work on this new part come about, and how did your approach of the project evolve along time? Any source of inspiration, maybe?

Soy Panday: I'm not sure I'm qualified to define the process as "work", as for the most part, skateboarding really is all I've been doing the whole time. I've been having fun. On the other hand, you filmed and edited - that's work.

I remember watching Vivien (Feil)​ and Glen (Fox)'s sections from the B&B video project of yours for the first time and thinking that was cool, as it felt like a documentation of everyday skating, spontaneous spots and clips - so eventually, I thought I'd suggest we could work on one together.

"Back in 2000 I was twenty-three and now I'm forty-one, so the juxtaposition of the two time periods is interesting as they are rather separated"

Then I also had those three VHS tapes from back in 2001 at my place: skate footage dating back from the time period of my life where I was a student in Grenoble still, just getting on flow programs with Osiris then I-Path... I hadn't watched any of that in over ten years, then that's when a friend of mine helped me rip them and eventually, it occured to me that somehow managing to incorporate some of that old stuff into our project could be funny. It would be a good way of sharing those old clips the world hasn't really seen and, for me, of gifting myself with an artfully-crafted souvenir of my skateboarding, designed by somebody who's passionate.
 

Switch heelflip, Grenoble, 2001. Ph.: Cédric Viollet
 
LSM: Who filmed all that old stuff? When does the oldest stuff date back to? And how recent is the newest stuff?
 
Soy: All the old footage dates back to the same time period: 2000, 2001. They are extracted from three videos: two local ones - one from Grenoble filmed by MDV, and one from Voiron, as well as Pierre Prospero's "Parasite" which comprised some of the first footage I ever got in Paris. All three videos date back to the same year; some of the clips were even repeated in all three of them...

The more recent footage has been your work, collected throughout the past two years, whenever we'd happen to cross paths.

Back in 2000 I was twenty-three and now I'm forty-one, so the juxtaposition of the two time periods is interesting as they are rather separated. Around that time period, I was studying economics because I had given up on my dream of becoming a cartoonist, and I was skating every day. I could never give up on the dream of making something out of skateboarding, so I let it carry myself to wherever I was headed to, guiding me around, introducing me to people. The dream decided for me.

And eventually he turned me into a worker of a kind I didn't expect could exist: some modern type of cartoonist whose every work is a line of skateboards.

"The Magenta board graphics that I make, this comic no one has read yet - myself included, despite being its author"

That's when I realized the dream knew better than I, that fear only turns dreams into nightmares, and that the brain should serve the dream, so I made that my storyline and it's been the cases I've been drawing ever since, on every new Magenta board...

I aim at depicting the solutions to the problems I encounter that I find, in order to spread them.


Frontside bluntslide, Paris, 2001. Ph.: Cédric Viollet

LSM: What did you want to express with this project? I remember its inception, back when you were saying you'd feel like making some sort of updated « PARISien » with more tricks. Then with the addition of the old footage, you mentioned Epicly Later'd. Were the certain things you wish you could have shown, that you eventually didn't? What was your vision like?

Soy: At the beginning it was just supposed to be simple skating, cruising, some kind of updated "PARISien" with more tricks. Then as I got my hands on the old footage, I realized we could make it some kind of retrospective video.
 
Out of my generation of skateboarders, not many are still "pro" (whatever that might mean), and still put out "parts" (whatever that means, too)...​
 

"There always is some seduction in whatever we make that we decide to show"

 
Seb Charlot had been on my back before constantly telling me I should come up with some "greatest misses" type of project, that would comprise all the video parts I've had over the past decade, and I guess some of the idea can be felt in this new part, although instead of remixing ten years of video parts it is a bunch of twenty-year-old clips that is highlighted.
 
I wish I could have shown more of my practice of drawing, of the Magenta board graphics that I make, of this comic no one has read yet - myself included, despite being its author. But I never really had anyone film me working; and on your end, you were inspired to make the atmosphere of the project deeper by showing struggles, and alluding to my troubled love life at the time. But that has been making me think.
 
​ 
There always is some seduction in whatever we make that we decide to show. Nobody likes their own flaws, so maybe we are tempted to mostly display the things we do best as some sort of act of seduction of the self.
 
Skateboarding is a type of free dance, and dance is nothing but a love parade.
 
Drawing is a poetic expression of one's thoughts and therefore, also some sort of love parade that gets addressed to whoever can decode it.
 

"Every destruction engenders new reconstruction"

 
I guess my own vision for this new part would have been something with more positive momentum leading up to new perspectives as opposed to something deep, because I'm an optimist; but around the time we were filming those new clips together, my optimist was doubting and I feel like this is what you portrayed.
 
And that's interesting also with the mix of all these old or recent, timeless or dated clips. Also you put a lot of your own soul into your work, which is the essence of any artistic process.
 
LSM: Why were you inspired to make such a project?
 
Soy: I think originally, I wanted to gift myself with a video part that would come out on my fortieth birthday... 
 
Then I underwent a break-up and that probably motivated me to skate, too - go dance in front of a camera, haha... Every destruction engenders new reconstruction.
 

Ollie, San Francisco, 2001. Ph.: Bertrand Trichet
 
LSM: Where were you with Glen just last week? You've had some trouble with transportation, haven't you? What is it you guys were you up to there, and what about your current activity?
 
Soy: We were in Tokyo for a Magenta art show as organized by our Japanese distributor, Kukunochi - I'm on the plane back home now.

I've had some trouble on the way there, yes. For a day and a half, literally everything that could possibly go wrong went wrong, and it took me three days to get to Tokyo instead of just one. That's including two improvised hotel nights spent in two different cities, one of which wasn't even on my path. But in order to get to any heaven, one always has to swim through some hell to maybe grasp, then quash.

The rest of the trip went super well, anywhere with Glen is always a trip, and the twenty prints I brought with me sold out at the show!

We even had to rerun three new prints... Thank you, Japan!​

As far as my current activity, I'm busy drawing skateboards and clothing lines for Magenta, and I have some work awaiting me in Paris...
 


Ollie, Paris, la Défense. 2000. Ph.: Nohan Ferreira

 

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