Designer Jiminie Ha has spent years inhabiting the border between the worlds of art and design, running a tiny ‘hole in the wall’ gallery in Manhattan’s Lower East Side for several years as well as setting up New York-based agency With Projects and publishing art and food mag White Zinfandel – copies of which are in the permanent collections of various universities and museums in the US.
Over the course of her career she’s covered an impressive range of ground, working with artists and cultural institutions including Art Basel and Miami Design District as well as major brands such as Johnson & Johnson and Maison Martin Margiela. In September 2020 she handed over the reins of With Projects and took on a role as director, graphic design at New York’s Guggenheim Museum – something she describes as the marriage of two disciplines she loves.
Here, she speaks to CR about her somewhat circuitous path into the design world, why art has always been a significant part of her practice, and why she believes the creative industry needs to be approached with a healthy amount of rigour and self discipline.
Growing up immersed in art I actually grew up in Europe – my family moved to France when I was about 12 years old, and I went to the British school of Paris before they enrolled me in an all-French high school. I grew up with art around me constantly. My mother was doing extended studies in fashion and design while we were living in France, so we were always consuming art and going to museums. My mother was studying and drawing constantly, and I was surrounded by fashion and art publications in the household. It’s not a surprise that I ended up in this field, but [my parents] did everything in their power to steer me away from the arts – even though that’s all we did, road trips to Monet’s house or Van Gogh’s studio on the weekends.