Interview: TEN

Client: CLASH

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As Ten Lee – a vocalist and dancer in K-pop groups NCT (with whom he debuted in 2016) and Super M, and Chinese group WayV – is musing over his proclivity for partnering music or visual styles in a way that others deem strange, he veers off on a tangent. “Anything can be matched… except juice and coffee,” he says, suddenly. “Those two should never be.” Ten is infamously anti-fruit. It stems from a mistaken process of association in childhood where “I had the image of a spider and the image of fruit mixed up,” he laughs awkwardly, “so now whenever I put fruit in my mouth, I think there’s spiders in my mouth.”

Random abstractions such as this pepper his rapid-fire conversation, like small fireworks fizzing through the dark. Excitable, enthused and sharply alert, if Ten’s energy was visible it would be a shimmering mantle of gold and silver dust. As a dancer, he moves with a sinuous, controlled power that can shift from elegant to explosive on a single beat. As a visual artist, the Bangkok-born, multilingual 25-year-old recently added the title of designer to his growing list of achievements, launching an already sold out collaboration with the bespoke merch platform Represent.

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