Bigboy Cheng On How Much He Loves Sneakers, Toys, And Art

Lifestyle Asia delves into Bigboy Cheng’s motivations and what truly matters to him, revealing his deep love for family and his passions.

When you enter Bigboy Cheng’s house, you immediately know he’s a collector. Everywhere my eyes can reach, there’s something interesting. 

You can study every corner, every detail, and chance upon artworks from different artists, sneakers, huge cartoon figures, and art toys.

For someone like Bigboy with so many collections, one can’t help but wonder when he started collecting for his collection to be so vast.

He shared with Lifestyle Asia that he’s been collecting sneakers since the age of 8, then ventured into art toys at 20, and started collecting paintings by 30. 

Despite that, he still calls himself a late bloomer when it comes to collecting paintings.

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Love of Art, Art of Love

When asked about his favorite paintings or artworks from his collection, he said, “I would say Joan Cornellà. I like his humor, his messages from his artworks. It makes you think in a deeper sense, giving you a sense of awakening but in a humorous way.” 

Bigboy also noted that one thing he learned from Cornellà’s paintings is to “not be like that,” implying that they serve as a reminder not to emulate the depicted scenes. “His characters have an impact on me,” he added. 

Bigboy has a laid-back personality. He candidly shared that he never intended for his collection to expand to its current size. It’s his passion for art, toys, and sneakers that naturally led to its growth. “I would be surprised it’s this big already,” he remarked.

He also added that he would display some of his collections in his office and his mom’s place. “I also believe that this collection is something my two sons will inherit soon,” he added.

Bigboy loves discussing his family. His parents, who owned Uratex, the leading foam manufacturer in the Philippines, had a significant impact on him, especially his mother in terms of business acumen.

The Heart of Success

“My mom’s good with PR. She’s a good businesswoman, she’s a genuine person, in short. What you see is what you get, that’s why people call her Aling Nati; she’s very humble,” Bigboy said.

Bigboy is grateful for inheriting his business acumen from his parents, particularly his mother. He also credited his mother for instilling in him the values of honesty and kindness towards others. 

Bigboy noted that his father was creative with ideas, while his mother excelled in finance. “My parents are a very good combination,” he remarked.

Despite the many memorable experiences he’s had as a collector, Bigboy values the friendships he has made the most. “That’s the most important thing for me, in my journey with shoes, art, and toys—it’s friendship,” he emphasized.

Limitless Passion

When it comes to collecting, Bigboy acknowledged that he has no boundaries. “Limitless. I like a lot of things, sneakers, artworks, vintage items, even Barbies, I do collect,” he shared. “I don’t think there’s anything I won’t collect,” he added.

When asked about his feelings when collecting items, he gave a simple yet clear answer, saying, “I just want to see them in my house. I like that when I look right and left, I can see all my collections, the things I worked very hard for.”

Everyone has their own way of enjoying the fruits of their labor. Some celebrate it, others wear it, while some enjoy its rewards. For Bigboy, seeing his collections in his house serves as a reminder of the hard work he put in for those things. It motivates him and drives him to continue.

He mentioned that when Lifestyle Asia did a photoshoot of him with his newly opened painting, he felt nothing but joy.

A World of Collections

The businessman, collector, DJ, and social media personality also discussed the intersection of streetwear culture and art. He’s a man who wears many hats, and he doesn’t deny how happy he is with that. 

Bigboy owns the Ronac Art Center in Greenhills, a hub for various art forms. “We built that for arts, for music, for fashion, and more. It was initially focused on streetwear but now encompassing all forms, including classical art, in a unified movement.”

He cited Pharrell Williams as an example of how streetwear culture and arts can be merged. 

This highlights his transition from a rapper to the men’s creative director for Louis Vuitton. “Who would have thought, right?” he remarked. Bigboy expressed admiration for the evolution of art, not only in the Philippines but also worldwide.

Connecting Cultures

Returning to his passion for connecting with others, Bigboy utilizes his platform to spread joy and happiness. 

“I don’t simply post content; my aim is to entertain people. Whenever I visit Japan, I often express a desire for similar experiences in the Philippines. This sentiment sometimes annoys my sons, as I frequently mention it. I myself feel frustrated wondering why such experiences are not yet available in our country. That’s my objective. When I launched Fresh Manila, Filipinos queued up eagerly, akin to the way people line up for art in Japan. My aim is to cultivate a new cultural scene in the Philippines, all through my platform,” he explained. 

“My primary focus will always be for the Filipinos,” he added.

He advises aspiring collectors to take it slow. He jokingly said, “Take it easy, don’t be like me.” 

He then reflects on the challenges he faced before achieving his current status. “Make sure that the thing you’re choosing is something you really want, not just in sneakers or art, but in life,” he added.

Beyond Riches

By the end of the interview, Bigboy gets real by answering the question, “What for you is true wealth and luxury?” 

“For me, it’s family. And then the people who I consider family. Wealth and luxury are also happiness and contentment in terms of loved ones.” It was a simple, short, but also genuine way to close the interview. You would usually hear it from other interviews with celebrities and philanthropists, but that afternoon, we heard it from Bigboy Cheng.

We now know that his collections are a reminder of everything he worked hard for, that the reason he loves keeping them at his home is because he loves to cast his eyes over his very own collections. 

One might say they’re just material things but it’s holding so much depth especially for the person owning them. And that owner is Bigboy Cheng.

His story is one of passion, dedication, and a deep appreciation for both art and personal connections. 

As we reflect on his story, we’re reminded of the value of hard work, the value of treasuring those close to us, and the profound impact of pursuing what we love. 

Banner photo courtesy of Kieran Punay of KLIQ, Inc. 

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